Sunday, December 18, 2016

WKRLEM: Another old school western where almost everyone grew up to be more famous than the Star of the show.

Here is an old school western called "Tate; Bounty Hunter."  See if you can recognize the big names who play bit parts in this shoot em up that was a summer replacement for the old Perry Como show. I mean guess them before the final credits. One is really obvious but a couple of others not so much.

This is an interesting dark series. This was just about the first show with a handicapped hero who had a dead arm from the Civil War.  The atmosphere just seemed very interesting to me. Sort of a film noir western if that makes any sense. It has a elderly Irish poet with a ripe young wife. Two bounty hunters. Shoot outs. And a really great coat that the hero has that I wish I owned today. I had one like it in the 1970's. Man I miss that coat.

Do you remember this one ed?


edutcher said...

Yes, I do.

It got a very big play when it premiered.

David McLean, who played Tate (don't believe he was a bounty hunter, IIRC the show was just called "Tate"), was one of those actors who was always in everybody else's show.

The overcoat was in the style of an old Army overcoat.

edutcher said...

PS The new title may have something to do with some element of the show that was very non-PC.

What's one of the things everybody who saw it remembers about "The Rebel"? The song, of course, and its singer; "The Rebel" was the first time a lot of america heard a gut named Johnny Cash.

Well, the song always opened with a few bars of "Dixie". we can't have that, so now old reruns play some vaguely Westernish music instead.

As I recall, when the opening credits ran, they went Tate, As Portrayed By David McLean.

edutcher said...

s/b "The Rebel" was the first time a lot of America heard a guy named Johnny Cash.

ampersand said...

Alan Thicke,
Bernard Fox,
and Zsa Zsa makes three.

Third Coast said...

I grew up watching these early westerns, but I never saw this one. Per Wiki, it aired from June 8 until September 14, 1960, which was pretty much summer vacation time which meant us kids probably weren't watching a lot of TV.
Even when I knew the bad guy was Robert Culp, he still wasn't recognizable for some reason.

Dad Bones said...

Wells Fargo and Tate were both worth the time to watch them. Good picks, Trooper.

William said...

Robert Redford actually got better looking as he aged. There is something larval and unformed about him here.....The old smithy had a young wife, and that was not a plot complication. Strange, but good choice to have Louise Fletcher as the young bride. She didnt complicate the role with sexual magnetism......Quicksand was a far more prevalent risk in those days. I haven't seen anyone trapped in quicksand in decades. The recovery time for bullet wounds was also remarkably quick back then.......This plot would not have passed muster with any of the robots in Westworld, but they're trained to involve you in the plot.......To get the full television viewing experience of such a show, you need a vertical roll and adjustable rabbit ears. They helped to distract you from the plot holes.

AllenS said...

William mentioned quicksand, and just in case you happened to end up in quicksand, here's how to get out --


chickelit said...

"The Rifleman," quicksand scene

chickelit said...

If you have to get stuck in quicksand, get stuck with a girl who looks like that.

deborah said...

Thanks, Allen. I didn't know this:

"Quicksand most commonly occurs in:
Tidal flats
Swamps and marshes
Near lake shores
Near underground springs

William said...

I wonder what the statistics are for death by quicksand. I have never read about anyone dying in quicksand. In movies only bad guys die by quicksand.......On the other hand there are lots of May-December marriages in Hollywood. That might be the back story behind the successful marriage seen here. I like the fact that the woman says that when her husband croaks, she hopes to have many children by him in order to carry on his memory......I also liked the way the hero gunned down Robert Redford and didn't take the trouble to get off his horse before proceeding to the next plot point.....The past is a different country.

Trooper York said...

I thought this was a very interesting episode. There was a lot going on for the short time it was on.

To recap for those of you too lazy to watch it. Robert Redford who is about 13 in the show gets gunned down by Tate who has a whitered arm in a sling. He claims that Tate murdered his father with a shotgun and also wounded his sister who was on deaths door. He says he is going to kill him or if he misses he has hired a bounty hunter to track him down. He insists on shooting it out and gets killed.

Tate rides out of town but there is a storm brewing and he stops at a stage way station. Travelers often stopped in such places that had replacement horses for the stage coaches and eeked out a living from Wells Fargo. It is run by an elderly Irishman and his ripe young teenage wife who has a baby. Tate admires him because he read his poetry in the local newspaper and they laugh and chat and even arm wrestle. The wife gives Tate a blanket and sends him off to the barn. You can see the attraction but she flatly states that she loves her husband and wants to have a bunch of kids to remember him by after he passes. It is the classic film noir cuckold situation that does not happen. The wife is played by a ripe young Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched) who was looker back then.

In the barn there is a bounty hunter played by an unrecognizable Robert Culp from I Spy fame who plays a holly roller who has the hots for the wife and is about to act on it but is stopped by Tate. He thanks him for it believe it or not.

There are a lot of themes at play here that are very nuanced and interesting. A far superior product to the dreck you get today.

It is amazing how standards in TV drama have fallen when a nondescript summer replacement show is far more nunanced and deep than multimillion dollar network offerings. Jeeez.

Trooper York said...

I think you could make a great black and white western today but it will never happen.

Methadras said...

Damn, I didn't realize Nurse Ratchet was so damned cute.

William said...

Ibsen and Freud were afraid to take up the subject, but it's a well known fact that young women like to marry old men and have as many children as possible before widowhood sets in. It's one of those dark libidinal urges that people are afraid to speak of openly.........The show was entertaining but not by design. Robert Redford wasn't Robert Redford in his appearance. He didn't have a star presence, but, on the other hand, he didn't imitate Brando or James Dean so give him credit for that. Robert Culp didn't achieve fame and fortune by playing religious fanatics and you can see why. Louise Fletcher had one great role, that of Nurse Ratched. She created that role years before Hillary was in public life so credit must be given for her creativity. She had an uncanny ability to project sexual chilliness. There was a little of that in her role here. Of the three stars, she's the only one whose performance is aligned with her later stardom.