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 tv westerns in colour (color) !

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chris



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PostSubject: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:19 am

Noticed a recent post from Westernut enquiring if Cheyenne was ever filmed in colour. Someone correctly replied it wasn't , none of the Warner Bros westerns of the period were. However thought I might expand the topic a little  and list those that did switch from monochrome -

These early ones were always colour

The Cisco Kid - didn't switch but was the first TV western, if not the first filmed series for TV, to be done in colour. Actually this was no great foresight by the producers but an economy measure.Cisco episodes were shot back to back, sometimes three on the go at once, utilising the same actors in different roles. Speed was therefore of the essence. The producers found they could acquire 16mm colour stock cheaper than 35mm black & white. An advantage was that this let more light into the camera & enabled them to shoot faster. They assumed however, that it would only be seen in black & white so no colour consultation was done to match or co-ordinate the shots & the film was just processed as if were black & white.Hence when viewed today people grumble about the poor colour, it was never intended to be seen that way.

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon- Always filmed in colour,although a couple of episodes only survive in monochrome.

Judge Roy Bean - All in colour.

Bonanza - Always in colour

The following all switched as colour came in

Wild Bill Hickock

Branded - As they anticipated colour coming in, the opening
credits + a few episodes in S1 were shot in colour- All from S2

Daniel Boone - from season 2

Death Valley Days

Gene Autry - Experimented with two colour episodes in the first season,The final season was all in colour, albeit Cinecolor. Never liked this format as everything looked orange & green, and once it begins to fade faces look like they have copper poisoning.

Gunsmoke - from season 12

Laramie - from season 3 + The pilot episode was in colour

Lone Ranger - The final season

Tales of Wells Fargo - Final Season

Wild Wild West - from S2

Wagon Train - Season 7 but suffered the indignity of returning to black & white for the final season.

Zorro was colorised as was 'Wanted Dead or Alive' with less than stellar results.

A few segments of Wyatt Earp were colorised to make up a TV
movie in the 90's.

After about 1965 all new westerns were in colour.

Chris
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cap123ny
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:56 am

Great information as always, Chris. Thanks!
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iain
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Chris, 

I'm thinking you might have the answer to a couple of questions.  I've just completed the first series of Cheyenne, and was pretty disappointed to note that the theme tune at the beginning was missing.  Which series did this appear in?

Years ago, sometime in the mid-50s in Scotland, I'm fairly sure that Gunsmoke wasn't called Gunsmoke.  It was called Gun Law.  Is this just a figment of my childhood imagination, or is there any truth to this?

Thanks,

Iain
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westernnut
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PostSubject: the same   Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:09 pm

Iain,
Complete agreement Pal,I was shocked that the First Season of Cheyenne didn,t have the theme that we know/remember,well,bad news Iain,neither has the Second season,which I,m halfway through.
So Chris my ole Pard,a double whammy,from Iain and me,WHEN did the Cheyenne theme song surface?????
Davy,westernnut.
ps,I,m not sure about your Gunsmoke question Iain,but if anybody does know,it will be Chris.
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tomgoldrup
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:19 pm

Iain---I believe Gunsmoke was originally released in England under the title of Gun Law; it was always Gunsmoke in USA, but titles change on release to other countries, example The Apaloosa with Marlon Brando was released in England and Australia as Southwest to Sonora.
   As for the original theme for Cheyenne it was (as I remember) there from the first season. It may be like The Rebel with Nick Adams....The song sung by Johnny Cash has been deleted from the dvd release (altho he is listed in credits) but it is missing due to sme sort of copyright problems with the song so the dvd release has other music. I suspect that may be the same problem why the Cheyenne song is missing.
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westernnut
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PostSubject: good explanation    Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:22 pm

Tom,
Good explanation Pard,I speak for Iain here,we both knew it was the theme tune,but it wasn,t the Cheyenne song!!!which maybe came later,but that dreaded word,"copyright",probably comes into play,if they had used the theme song from the start it would have cost more because of copyright,aye,GOOD EXPLANATION Tom.
Davy,westernnut.
ps,since I,m on the subject,I have a copy of Cheyenne Season 2,it stands the test of time very well,AND,I do agree with you,what a terrific fist-fight between Clint and Leo Gordon in the Vengeance is Mine episode,good storytelling with a lot of guest stars,and some great western character actors,I,m halfway through it,and I am enjoying it greatly!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:36 pm

Keeping original music attached to a series release is always tricky. Multiple rights involved usually. One of my favorite TV shows was "Tour of Duty" about Viet Nam. When it was finally released, all of the original music was replaced.
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:11 pm

Well guys here are your answers -

The theme tune to Cheyenne didn't start till Season 2 from the 2nd episode on.(Entitled The Long Winter'.)

Season 1 rotated as  part of an anthology series with two other WB shows 'Casablanca' & 'Kings Row' but Cheyenne turned out to be the hit series & the others were dropped.The first season episodes were only 40 odd minutes long as the remaining time Warners used to promote their films & such. From S2 it became a 50 minute show. So the theme on Season 1 is in fact, as was originally broadcast. I believe the first episode of S2 was actually a leftover from S1.

The DVD's issued by WB all have the correct theme.

Tom is correct about 'The Rebel'. There are copyright problems with the Johnny Cash song which is why it has been replaced with another theme in re-runs. If Timeless issue it as I believe they may they have said they will try & restore the original theme.

Davy, your memory is intact.'Gunsmoke' was titled 'Gun Law' in the UK .It had a different opening title of a gun pointing at the screen and going off, then a lot more shots till the screen was filled with gunsmoke .Don't know why they retitled it. Eventually they reverted to the 'Gunsmoke title but I'm not sure when.

Chris
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iain
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:42 am

Thanks Chris, great information.  I remember now the different opening, which I think was a better one than Dillon facing the man on the street.  It had a lot of impact.

Iain
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westernnut
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PostSubject: memory   Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:52 am

Chris,
GREAT STUFF Pard,as always!!!
I do remember the opening title scene,the gun firing then the smoke,I agree with Iain,that was much better than the "other one".
I mentioned that I was halfway through Season 2,well I watched the other half last night,but,it wasn,t season 2!!!!!!
I think this disc is a compilation from diffirent seasons because ONE episode had the theme song that Iain referred to.
Six episodes of Cheyenne,50 minutes each episode,virtually all good thought out story,s,aye,some maybe taken from other films/storys,lots of guest stars,good values,made in the mid to late 50,s,
MY HOW WE,VE PROGRESSED SINCE THEN!!!!!!!
Aye Pards,I know I,m biased about Cheyenne,but,my description could be used about ,virtually,ALL of our fave western tv series!!!!!!!Those were the Days.
Davy,westernnut.
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iain
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:53 am

Davy,

I've been hitting the old TV series hard recently, mainly Cheyenne Series 1 and all of Gunsmoke Series 1.  They are all incredibly simple and innocent, and share so many similarities.  Cheyenne is more outdoorsy than Gunsmoke, and relies on stock footage and places which I think are nowadays suburbs of Los Angeles like Calabasas and Agoura Hills.  

I know that Cheyenne has a special place for you, but I find the stories in Gunsmoke so much better.  They pack into 25 minutes more than Cheyenne manages in 40 minutes.  Don't get me wrong, I like Cheyenne, but for me James Arness is better at being Matt Dillon than Clint Walker is at being Cheyenne.  Also, Cheyenne doesn't have Miss Kitty, and... well, let's just say that she still catches my eye.

On to Maverick Series 1 next.

Iain
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:30 pm

Jim and I have been watching episodes of Bordertown & Tombstone Territory and enjoying these two shows...one from the late 1980's and the other the mid 1950's/ Have the first five seasons of Gunsmoke and I agree...they pack good, tight stories into thhose 25 minutes...as did Rifleman & Zane Grey Theatre. But I do also enjoy Cheyenne a lot. Remember we used to watch that each week (along with our parents) whether homework from school was finished or not.
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PostSubject: agree entirely   Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:01 pm

Tom,
I agree entirely with your Cheyenne comment,Clint/Cheyenne was my "growing up period",this western tv series will always hold a special place in my heart,for the reason you give,My Mum and Dad and ME watching Cheyenne in the comfort of our HOME.
Iain,I aint disagreeing with you,I actually believe you caught what was diffirent about Cheyenne/Gunsmoke,one was mostly outdoors,the other mostly indoors,both had good storys out-in,and as we all know,that,s what makes them,storytelling.
Funny thing,Chris might be able to help,two of the Cheyenne episodes,that I have,bill Ty Hardin,yet he aint in either????
Does it tell us something that Cheyenne Seasons 2/3/4 are still very expensive to buy???does this mean that they,re still selling well???
I got my Cheyenne Season 1 quite cheap,$16 plus p&p,and I TREASURE IT!!!!for the reason Tom gave,Happy HAPPY FAMILY MEMORY,S
Keep the info coming Chris,and a wee question for you Pard,
any idea/thoughts on WHY Cheyenne has not been released over here??????? Rawhide is available over here???
Davy,westernnut.
ps,I have Rawhide Season 1 still in the cellophane!!!! just having it is "enough",ha! same with Have Gun Will Travel,
How SPOILT were us boomers????? thats ONLY 3 western tv series I,ve mentioned,ha!!!!!
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:30 pm

To pick up on a couple of points - Tom , you mentioned your 'DVD release of 'The Rebel' did not have the original Johnny Cash theme. Well there hasn't been a DVD release of The Rebel'. What you have there is a homemade bootleg taken from TV showings, probably Encore or TV Land. As mentioned Timeless are working on an official release.

Likewise Davy, there has been no compilation of Cheyenne released other than a 3 episode sampler put out by Warners some years back. Since then they have released S1 & the next 5 seasons in their MOD programme, although if you get in early you get pressed discs rather than DVD-R's. So it seems you also have a home made bootleg.

Season 1 - As mentioned alternated with 'Kings Row' & 'Casablanca' as part of Warner Bros presents.
Season 2 - Alternated with WB anthology series 'Conflict'
Season 3 - Alternated with season I of 'Sugarfoot'.
1958/59  - Walker in dispute with Warners, 'Bronco brought in as replacement & alternated with 'Sugarfoot .
Season 4 Walker returned & alternated with Sugarfoot & Bronco.
Season 5 -  Alternated with Bronco & Sugarfoot. as the Cheyenne show.
For the opening credits a silhouette of the 3 stars & a snippet of each of the theme tunes was played. This is probably what you have on your discs.
Season 6 - Alternated with Bronco
Season 7 - As Cheyenne.

All played on ABC.

In the UK of course they played on different stations. Cheyenne & Maverick were ITV whilst  Bronco & Sugarfoot were BBC. Actually in those days ITV was divided up into different regions, major programmes were networked whilst each region bought in its own shows. Therefore Cheyenne & Maverick would play on different days & timeslots depending on where you lived. In fact 'Sugarfoot' first played in the Midlands region only, under that title. When BBC acquired it from S2 they retitled it Tenderfoot as they thought 'Sugarfoot would be a meaningless title to British viewers. Still had the 'Sugarfoot' song though.

As mentioned already, the Cheyenne theme song started in S2. 
The 'Sugarfoot' theme was from an old Randolph Scott western of the same name (1951).
It was an instrumental on the earliest episodes & lyrics were added later.
The Maverick theme was also instrumental for the first season. Lyrics were added from S2.
There were 3 versions. The first was only used in the episode 'They Day They Hanged Bret Maverick'. A second version was used until S5 when a more brassy version took over. This last piece is sometimes edited on to the first season episodes in syndication. 

Of the other Warner westerns 'Lawman' played in various regions in the UK. Don't recall if it ever played my area (London) but possibly did for a while.

'The Dakotas' played my area, I think ITV.

'Colt 45'. Only a handful of episodes were screened here by the BBC. They seemed to think it was a juvenile series & it went out in 'The Childrens Hour' under the title 'The Colt Cousins' !

'The Alaskans' never played in the UK.

As for DVD releases in the UK -3 seasons of Rawhide have been released. The 4th season was scheduled then pulled. May come out at a later date. Very unlikely you will see Cheyenne released here unless someone licenses it. They probably think there is no market for old b/w westerns & its largely forgotten having no TV exposure here for nearly 50 years.

Finally there were a couple of crossover episodes in the Warner westerns. Most notably the Cheyenne segment 'Hadleys Hunters' where Cheyenne, Bronco & Sugarfoot all tem up to defeat the bad guys.
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Cole Thornton



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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:54 pm

Any word on when a Colt .45, Lawman, Bronco release might be forthcoming? 77 Sunset Strip? Bourbon Street Beat? Hawaiian Eye?
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:57 am

You never know with Warners. I suspect they will appear eventually. I know some work has been  done on  'Bronco' in relation to music clearances. The detective series have multiple music clearance issues as Connie Stevens used to sing in virtually every episosode of Hawaiin Eye, & Sunset Strip had a lot of nightclub sequences with scraps of music which all has to be cleared.
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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:06 am

Cole, it took Warners half a century after the end of Maverick's run to issue Season one of that great show.  Season Two came out this year (and a geat box it is, the show's best season IMHO).  Who knows when and if those other WB shows will ever get a DVD release?  Maybe Chris has some info. 

BTW, the Cheyenne episode Chris refers to above is actually "Duel at Judas Basin."  "Hadley's Hunters" is a Jack Kelly Maverick episode from Season 4 in which Clint Walker, John Russell, Peter Brown, Will Hutchins, Ty Hardin and Ed "Kookie" Byrnes pop up in cameos.

I've been missing Lawman since Encore Westerns took it off.  I have a dozen or so episodes saved on the DVR.


Last edited by Art Pepper on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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chris



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PostSubject: Re: tv westerns in colour (color) !   Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:44 am

The final season of Cheyenne is out Nov 12. Maverick S3 & Sugarfoot S2 came out in the last few weeks. All available via Warners MOD programme & you csan get them through Amazon.

I understand Warners will release more material next year inc. 'Bret Maverick' & 'Young Maverick'

Chris
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