Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 TV WESTERNS

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chris



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PostSubject: TV WESTERNS    Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:25 am

A couple of years back, I think on the 'old' forum ,I posted a list of TV westerns available on DVD. Things have moved on quite a bit since , & I thought it might be time to revisit & update that list. Sandy has suggested a separate thread so here we are.

I would like to expand the last list to include items available on the 'gray' market. There are many western series which will never see the light of day on official releases & the only way to view them would be via this method. I don't endorse or approve of the illegal copying of copyrighted material but in the real world it is a common occurence.In many instances the actual copyright is hazy or the holders simply don't care or no company is interested in releasing the product.

A few points first - Picture quality - You will seldom get studio picture quality from a 'gray' release. This is not to say it is unacceptable but individuals generally have no access to studio prints & their copies are mostly from old television broadcasts , many from the days of video. At best they may have some old 16mm prints.

Remastering/Restoring - Actually restoration ,done professionaly,is a time consuming & expensive process & can involve chemical baths , frame by frame picture cleaning & sharpening of images etc. It needs high end equipment usually only found in film studios. Indeed, even the studios don't necessarily bother restoring much of the product they put out on DVD due to cost. Remastering doesn't really mean much other than the film has been transferred from one medium to another, that is taking a print from a film & copying onto a disc. Unfortunately the word 'remastering' is often used to suggest the image viewed has been improved, it may have been but it is a lot different to restoration.

Price & availability - If you are looking for 'gray' product check out Ebay,IOffer etc. Dealers on these sites offer old material not officially released. They usually claim it is 'public domain' to cover themselves, which mostly is not true. My experience has found that price is no guide to quality. One dealer will simply copy another's product & the sets offered will have exactly the same content.

If available I would always go for the official release, many items on offer at the aforementioned sites or at film fairs ,are just copies of legitimate releases. There are also several site on the internet offering 'gray' market material. I strongly advise you check them out carefully before parting with any money. In particular beware of companies that do not include an address & phone number.

There is one particular outfit , Garcia Media, that has several attractive looking sites on the net. They used to go under various names 'DVD Donkey, ALLMYFavouritesDVD, & a multitude of others.Prices are high.They are very shady, operated out of Canada until busted & now seem to send their discs via China. Poor quality, broken discs , many customers having their credit card details compromised. After a while, they simply close down & restart under another name.To identify them watch out for their terms.If they say anywhere that you may need to contact your credit card company if you cannot use your card on their site ,it is because the card company has a'warning flag' against them & won't process your purchase unless you confirm. If in doubt about any company feel free to ask in this forum.

Lastly when viewing old TV shows from the 50's & 60's bear in mind that they were made for a different medium than today. TV sets of that period were 15" to 26" & programmes were shot with that in mind. Unlike feature films which of course, were made for the big screen. Consequently when viewing a 50 year old TV show on a giant plasma screen the imperfections are going to show up a lot more.

Anyway long & rather obvious speil over - my next post will start the list.

I don't actually claim to be an expert on all things TV western, apart from having a large collection. No I haven't watched them all so will be happy to see amendments , suggestions ,corrections & comments.


Regards

Chris


Last edited by chris on Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tinhorn

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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:36 pm

I recently bought the first season of Wanted Dead or Alive, the TV Western starring Steve McQueen as bounty hunter Josh Randall. The DVD was distributed by Mill Creek Entertainment. I watched the first 2 episodes, and they are very good quality.

Get a good look at the bad guys in the first episode: Nick Adams and Michael Landon!
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cap123ny
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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:20 pm

There are two of my favorite series that are only (so far) available on the "gray market", High Chaparrel and Stoney Burke. We can only hope for official releases.
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:23 am

Cap

High Chaparral has been released in Germany (region 2). The 4th season is actually due out next week. Quality is very nice & to my knowledge uncut.

There is a dual soundtrack , the original English & German, no subtitles.
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westerngal
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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:29 am

Talking about TV Series.


For those interested,

I just received a e-mail from Amazon. Those who want to purchase the New TV Series "Hell On Wheels" , you can now pre-order it either on regular DVD
$ 27.99 or Blu-ray $31.49. I saw it on High Def. so I will be ordering it on Blu-ray. It comes out on May 22, 2012.

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Nightlinger

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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:10 pm

Remastering film is being tought here in Rochester, NY at the George Eastman House. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get a guided tour through the film archives and it was interesting to see how film is stored and preserved today. Temperature controlled rooms and a process for bringing the temp up for viewing so that there is no condensation on the film and tons of stills and other things relating to film. I have often wondered if it would be feasible to see what public domain films they have and could they be produced for sale. Directors like Spike Lee and Martin Scorcese have some of their films stored here.
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Chain Lightning
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PostSubject: The 2nd Season Of Laramie On Dvd   Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:12 pm

Howdy Pards!!

Well, this set wuz just released on the 7th of February and I wuz thinkin bout havin my daughter git it fer me fer Father's Day. I checked Amazon.com yesterday and they're gittin bout 30.00 bucks fer it. On my weekly trip to Walmart today, I jest happened to glance at the available t.v. series on dvd, when lo and behold, there fer 17.96 wuz the 6 dvd set of the 2nd season of my all time favorite western series, Laramie!! Since it wuz such a steal and since it wuz the last one on the shelf, I grabbed it faster'n a rattler strikes. The cover is almost exactly like the cover art on the 1st season, except Slim and Jess' positions are reversed. Upon arriving back home, I popped dvd 1 into the ole player to sample the video and audio quality and just like the 1st season, the video is crisp and clear and the audio is also good. There are a few blemishes as you might expect on 53 year old film, that hasn't been digitally restored, but Timeless Media has done an excellent job of cleaning them up and putting them on dvd. The 1st episode is Queen Of Diamonds with the gorgeous Julie London and the next episode I sampled wuz The Long Riders with Dan Duryea. This set includes a tribute to John Smith,(real name Robert Errol Van Orden) with photos of his early career and an interview with Robert Fuller, who played Jess Harper on the series. There is also a tribute by Mary Brown, who founded The Western Festival in honor of John Smith. There are 33 episodes in this b/w set, including Ride Into Darkness, which is" supposed" to be from the 1st season. There are over 27 hours of programming in this set, featuring some of the greatest guest stars from Hollywood's golden years. A bit of trivia that I was dismayed at hearing!! According to the narrator of the John Smith tribute, after the series cancelled, John Smith landed a role with John Wayne in Circus World, which was directed by one of our favorite directors, Henry Hathaway. According to him, Hathaway disliked John Smith so much, that Hathaway swore Smith would never work in Hollywood again. It was 2 years before Smith landed even small parts in a few t.v. series and by 1975 , he was out of Hollywood. There is a clip of Smith from the 70's series, Marcus Welby M.D. and it is obvious that Smith had become a hard drinker. This tall, blonde, handsome star of Cimarron City and Laramie died from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 63 in 1995!!

Ed
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tomgoldrup
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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:10 pm

Ray met John Smith once (they shared the same agent back in the 1970's) and Smith told Ray that he was trying for a comeback and was having a difficult time.
I have heard from so many actors that worked with Henry Hathaway that (although he put out some great movies) he was a real ###@@***!!! guy to work with. He always picked out someone in the film to grind into the dust and I guess that was the lot for John Smith in "Circus World." Hathaway tried it with Dennis Hopper and told him he wouldn't work again (but history proved Different) and on "Sons of Katie Elder" he picked out my cousin Jeremy Slate to go after, but Jeremy had a stop put to it fast. He was a great friend with Martha Hyer who was working in the film and she asked him one day why he was so down, and explained it was Hathaway always going after him and she talked to her husband, who happened to be Hal Wallis that was producing the film, and Wallis put the brakes on Hathaway. But he (Hathaway) always picked out one guy to go after.....sort of like John Ford did at times, but I heard Hathaway was much worse.
Thanks, Ed, for the update on the second season of Laramie. I want to get it but will have to look for a WalMart (none in the county that I live in). Just watched an episode last night from the first season that co-starred three folks I had the opportunity to know (Lyle Bettger, Anthony Caruso, & Robert Knapp) and two other great western veterans, Arthur Space & Zon Murray. It is one of my favorite TV westerns, and it is a shame what Hathaway did to John Smith's career.
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:22 am

Forthcoming TV Westerns

Cimarron City - Complete series Timeless (March)
Gene Autry Series 3 & 4 " (Apl)
Maverick - Season 1 Warners (May)

+ 3 more from Timeless

Riverboat - Complete Series (May)
Wagon Train - Series 5 (May)
The Virginian - Series 6 (May)
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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:04 pm

Glad to see that Maverick is finally starting to be released. And the complete series of Cimarron City. I have the earlier release from Timeless and it was a good show....looking forward to having them all. THanks, Chris, for the update.
Just wondering...are you gonna make it to the Memphis show this year. If so, maybe we can spend a bit of time jawin' the fat, as they say.
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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:09 am

Tom, you can order the Laramie online through Walmart and have it shipped to your Walmart store and pick it up- free shipping to your Walmart.
Here is the link:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/19795528

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PostSubject: Re: TV WESTERNS    Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:47 pm

Hi Sandy: Thanks. But there is no Walmart in the county that I live in. The closest is probably 30 miles or so away so with the price of gasoline out here (back to within a couple of pennies of $4 for regular) it will end up costing about the same as getting it from Amazon. Maybe when I get out to Ray's in May I can get it from Walmart there.
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