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Maverick: Season 1

263 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Maverick: The Complete First Season

James Garner shows how the West was won -- in a card game! -- in the comic adventures of Maverick. Wisecracking ladies' man Bret Maverick (Garner) and his more serious brother Bart (Jack Kelly) -- two handsome bachelors on the loose in the Wild West -- have more success at the game of poker than the game of love. Yet they keep trying their luck in one frontier outpost after another. And though cardsharps Bret and Bart would just as soon slip out of town quietly as face a gunman, when it's time for a showdown, don't bet against a Maverick.


One of the most consistently entertaining shows from Television's Golden Age, this witty meta-Western has lost little of its oomph over the years, thanks to the easy, slightly amoral charm of James Garner, as a hero whose speed on the draw isn't half as important as what's going on underneath his hat. Created by Roy Huggins (The Fugitive), the series follows the adventures of Bret Maverick (Garner), a professional gambler who travels across the plains and prairies looking for the next big game. As the show's popularity increased, the saga expanded with the introduction of Bret's brother Bart (Jack Kelly), a slightly more conservative figure who nonetheless shares his sibling's knack for capitalizing on a double-deal. Admittedly, this introductory season does take a while to distinguish itself from the run-of-the-mill oater, with the first half-dozen episodes functioning as more-or-less traditional genre fare. (The combination of Garner and legendary director Budd Boetticher, however, makes viewing far from a chore.) Once it finds its groove, though, look out, as the show settles into an amiable blend of comedy and action that has rarely been equaled. Throughout these 27 episodes, the wandering nature of the premise allows Maverick to amble into an impressive variety of situations, including ghost stories, adventures at sea (the Bret and Bart combo episode "The Wrecker," based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson), tense saloon standoffs ("The Quick and the Dead," featuring Gerald Mohr as a spooky Doc Holliday), and courtroom dramas (the superb "Rope of Cards," which also introduces Bret's highly addictive variation on solitaire). Entertaining as the plots could be, however, Maverick proves to be at its best when it kicks back and allows its title characters to ply their trade at the tables, especially when the competition includes one of the show's unusually strong female characters, particularly the recurring foil (and fellow cardsharp) Samantha Crawford, played by the delightful Diane Brewster. (Garner, as in the later Huggins-created The Rockford Files, displays particular energy when paired with a costar who gives as good as she gets.) While this compilation features little in the way of extras, Western fans should find it pleasure enough to watch a series whose softly ironic charms have been often imitated, but never quite duplicated. When it's cooking, living on jacks and queens seems like the ideal way to go. --Andrew Wright

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: James Garner, Edwin Reimers, Jack Kelly, Diane Brewster, Jr. Efrem Zimbalist
  • Producers: Roy Huggins, William T. Orr, William L. Stuart, Coles Trapnell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 1350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AAF3FK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By McGillicutty on May 31, 2012
Format: DVD
After all these years, the celebrated first full season of the classic Western series "Maverick" finally makes it to DVD. This was the series that made James Garner famous and shaped much of his image that audiences enjoyed in his second TV hit "The Rockford Files" as well as films such as "The Great Escape" and "Support Your Local Sheriff".

When "Maverick" first appeared in 1957, it immediately set itself apart from most Western series thanks to its somewhat lighter approach and the magnetic character that Garner had created. While the first episodes of the season are generally more serious in tone than what "Maverick" became famous for, the sheer entertainment value and strong story telling is apparent right from the get-go with the pilot episode "War of the Silver Kings" which demonstrated the ability of Bret Maverick to quickly think on his feet.

The first seven episodes feature only James Garner, but it was taking too long to shoot each episode to fulfill the contract so they brought in Jack Kelly as Bret's brother Bart Maverick and they began splitting episodes. Kelly brought a much needed addition to the series with his unique personality and style which worked well with Garner. The series then began taking on the somewhat lighter tone that made "Maverick" famous.

This 27 episode collection on 7 DVDs is moderately priced and well packaged, though there are no extras whatsoever which is a little sad considering the long wait for this series to come to DVD. There is a small insert which gives a basic description of each episode and highlights the noteworthy guest stars. Otherwise, this collection is fairly bare bones though it does have some highly entertaining episodes such as the aforementioned "War of the Silver Kings".
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117 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Harry Brewer on September 4, 2007
Format: DVD
This was one of the best westerns that was ever on tv. James Garner is the highlight in the series. Maverick was serious & irreverent at the same time. This is one series that Warner Bros. ought to release on dvd. There were many classic episodes from this series, way too many to mention here. C'mon Warner, just do it! There are way too many out here waiting to gobble this one up!

We have 124 episodes in the original Maverick & it was actually aired for five seasons, the last one only producing 13 episodes. James Garner was only in the first three seasons, Jack Kelly (though not casted originally) appeared in all five seasons, Roger Moore did one season (the fourth), while Robert Colbert appeared in two episodes the fourth season. James Garner was the real star & Maverick launched his career. Surprisingly, Roger Moore (James Bond) did well in his one season as cousin Beau.

If Warner Bros. ever decides to release this on dvd we will be in for a treat. I, for one, would buy this even if it is a single set. C'mon everybody... let's flood the airwaves at WB asking for this!

For those interested: About 50 episodes are available for viewing at [...] but downloading is not available. Their delivery system is not particularly good though, video will stop multiple times for several seconds. It's better than nothing.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Tim R. Niles on March 18, 2008
Format: DVD
I bought every available episode of "Maverick" as offered by Columbia House ($25 for 2 episodes) - I think about 50 total - and it was wonderful. After a while the plots seem to be recycled, but to watch James Garner take the TV western where it had never gone before was amazing to review as an adult, 50 years later. Physically, Garner did not look 29 at the start of the series nor his acting seem that of someone relatively new to acting for film/TV but he was extraordinary from the start.

I stumbled into looking for the DVDs and was amazed that they have not been released.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ted E. Limpert on June 21, 2009
Format: DVD
It's true that James Garner was the main star of Maverick. He created a unique western hero whose first instinct was to avoid confrontation and conflict whenever possible. This instinct produced situations full of real humor which was never successfully duplicated on other television shows. In fact, it was only successfully recreated in James Garner's two classic western comedies, "Support Your Local Sheriff" and "Support Your Local Gunfighter," both of which had the Maverick humor without Maverick. Glenn Ford's "The Sheepman" also had that rare kind of real humor. Unlike some of the other viewers, I always enjoyed Jack Kelly's episodes, too. His scripts seemed to be first-rate reproductions of old B-movie mysteries, and Jack Kelly's Maverick always solved the mystery and got the girl at the end. Warner Brothers should release the entire series on DVD.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Guenzel on April 21, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My thanks and my congratulations go out to the folks at Warners for releasing, at long last, the MAVERICK series. It was long overdue but I am glad they finally went ahead with the project. We can hope - and say it with our wallets - that other seasons follow quickly.

It was charming to read some of the comments of the "baby boomers" who were telling Warner to please release this series before they all died out! I second their words. But I would add this: all of my children (we had a large family) positively adore that series because they could sense right away its quality. I was able to scare up a half dozen episdoes of the series and they just watched them over and over. When they heard the great news about this upcoming release they were ecstatic. In fact, all ten of my children have already pre-ordered the set along with their aging Dad.

So, hats off to Warner - and may the rest of the series follow soon. And may they also bring back other classic Warner shows like the highly entertaining 77 SUNSET STRIP. And for those of you unfamiliar with MAVERICK I can highly recommend that you give this one a try. Its fine writing, breezy direction and charming performances will, I know, provide you with hours of solid entertainment.
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maverick season 1
Maverick was produced in 1957, years before color broadcasting was the norm.

Amazon states: "Format: Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC."

And that's a good thing! Much prefer B&W to color. Imagine Ansel Adams in color--never would have made it as a photographer.
Jul 11, 2012 by odious_m |  See all 4 posts
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