A Seinfeldesque "show about nothing" begins with plenty as Heyes, Curry, a doctor, an undertaker and a cowboy see an old man stagger and fall in the street. It takes all of them to lift him because ...
Heyes and Curry, unable to find work because of an economic depression, accept a rancher's offer of pay plus a fat bonus if they can help herd cattle to a Colorado town. Soon, one of the cattle-drive...
Heyes and Curry are captured by a farm family and brought into Hadleyburg. The farmer wants the bounty money, but has a change of heart and helps them escape. That puts the farmer and his wife into ...
The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »
In the 1880s Jason McCord travels the country trying to prove he's no coward. He needs to do this because the military career of this West point graduate came to an end when he was thrown out of the army after being accused of cowardice.
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two of the most wanted outlaws in the history of the West, are popular "with everyone except the railroads and the banks", since "in all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone". They are offered an amnesty on condition that they stay out of trouble for a year and that they don't tell anyone about it. With a view to keeping their noses clean they adopt the identities of Smith and Jones and use all of their ingenuity keeping out of the way of the law.Written by
Kid Curry's wanted poster reads as follows: "Kid Curry. Reward $10,000. Offered by Midwest Railroad for the capture dead or alive of Kid Curry. Age, 27, height, 5 feet 11 inches. Weight, 165 lbs. Dark blonde hair, blue eyes and even features. Medium build. He is the leader of one of the worst bands of desperadoes the Territory has ever had to deal with. The above reward will be paid for his capture or positive proof of his death. Dead or Alive! Kid Curry." Hannibal Heyes' wanted posted is identical except for the different name and that his personal description reads: "Age, 29, height, 5 feet 11 inches. Weight, 168 lbs. Dark brown hair, brown eyes and even features. Medium build." See more »
During the entire show, Heyes and Curry have either one pair of saddlebags each, or nothing at all, yet they continually appear in different recurring outfits, including heavy coats, suits (with matching hats), and different vest/jacket combinations. See more »
I'll always wonder: had he lived, could Pete Duel have rescued the TV Western from oblivion? Gunsmoke and Bonanza, the hoary old legends of the genre, already were teetering on their ancient last legs, with but a few more seasons to be squeezed out of them, when, out of the blue, as I remember it, came Alias Smith and Jones, whose fresh and jokey episodes became pretty wildly popular, especially with young people (that would be the likes of *me*, as I was 16 at the time). Alas, as others have already noted, Pete Duel committed suicide just as the series was hitting its stride. (The story of Duel's death made headlines across the country in a way contemporary viewers of TV dramas cannot imagine.) Roger Davis came in as a replacement and the series slid right downhill immediately thereafter--although I did like the episodes with Michele Lee. At any rate, about the only TV Western afterward to generate anything similar to Alias Smith and Jones' excitement was Kung Fu. Sidenote: James Garner's marvelous, and utterly forgotten series, Nichols, should have been the next great Western after Alias . . .
What made Alias Smith and Jones tick? I always thought it was a sleek updating of what had already been a semi-comic TV Western success a few years earlier, Maverick. In fact, you can spot touches of the Bret Maverick characterization in both Heyes and Curry, along with some similar story lines and plot developments. Not to mention the lifting of the "five pat hands" trick, which Bret Maverick employed more than once. All of which should not be too much of a surprise, however, as Roy Huggins was instrumental to both series.
Otherwise, watch out for the handful of episodes with Slim Pickens. "Exit from Wickenburg", the one where Slim works as the crooked bartender of a saloon/casino, is a masterpiece. It just wouldn't be a proper 1960s Western without Slim popping up every now and then.
What a pity that Pete Duel succumbed to his demons. What a loss for network TV, the Western, and the many fans of Alias Smith and Jones. Who knows what could have been . . . .
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