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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars7
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2011
I watched this show on PBS and enjoyed every bit of it. I loved watching the westerns that dominated tv during my childhood. And this show discusses many of my all-time favorites: Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, Big Valley, Daniel Boone,Maverick, etc. etc. Many of the great stars of these series are interviewed: Robert Conrad, James Arness, Linda Evans, Ed Ames,James Garner, etc. Many of those interviewed are sadly no longer with us including Fess Parker (in his last interview) Peter Graves and Robert Culp. Out of all the Pioneers of Televsion episodes I viewed, this was by far my favorite. I only wish that the show ran twice the length of time that it did. I discussed it with several of my friends from work who also grew up watching tv westerns during the same period that I did and they loved it as well. My only even vague criticism was that during a little trivia segment at the end of the show, it was listed that Clint Eastwood played Rowdy "Gaines" in Rawhide. Any serious tv western viewer knows that Clint played Rowdy Yates. But this is a trivial fault. If you loved tv westerns, you will greatly enjoy this show. As stated previously, I did.
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on March 6, 2015
Covers Western genre from then to today: main focus: Big Valley, Rifleman, Maverick, & Wild Wild West, Gunsmoke
But on West didnt cover uniqueness of show though Western: gadgets, bad guys, his private train, guest stars,
Treated West like part of plain jane Western genre which it wasnt.
Show didnt cover impact when Color TV came out & effect on Westerns then.
Did mention High Chapperal.
& Daniel Boone & Davy Crockett.
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on September 12, 2011
This was great for the amount of time spent. It left out alot of our favorites such as The Virginian. There was only an acknowledgement of Rawhide, touching on Wagon Train. To do justice to the classic TV westerns it needed to be longer and more in depth. It left us wanting more and feeling like we overpaid for what we got.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2011
This is a great review of some of the best TV westerns of the 1960s era. It is most disheartening to know that the western genre, which dominated TV from 1955-75, has seen its stars quietly die-off with hardly a passing handshake. These great stars, who brought warmth, morality, adventure and imagination to millions of youth in that twenty year span, are leaving the range quickly. One can recapture their essence here, with interviews of the stars and their celebrity guest stars. The series interviews performers such as James Arness (Gunsmoke), Mitch Vogel (Bonanza), Linda Evens (Big Valley), Johnny Crawford (Riffleman), and many more. The show discusses how these programs sought justice on many levels, including race relations. This is a very well done touchstone, bringing insight into the stars lives as well (Linda Evens real mom died while she played Audrea Barkley, and a caring Stanwick became her mom thereafter; Mitch Vogel, who played the 4th Cartwright son Jamie from 1970-73, speaks of his fondness for Dan "Hoss" Blocker; and both Ed Ames & Rosie Grier reflect on the their parts as an Indian and ex-slave, respectively, on "Daniel Boone".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
This was a very good documentary about early TV Westerns. It was good to see a compilation of westerns from the early days of tv and into it's heyday years .
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
I mainly purchased this - because I love "The Rifleman". The Amazon listing is a bit off - has Nothing to do with William Shatner (that I know of). Kelsey Grammer is the narrator. Running time is something over 50 minutes. It's not totally chronological. There is some about The Rifleman and short interview with Johnny Crawford. Several interviews with actors -- some of which are recently gone.
I wish they'd mention who is gone and when the interview was recorded -- but they didn't. After about the first 2/3rds it talks about race in the Westerns -- which does NOT interest me at all. At the end there are some still photos -- and some short trivia that I find interesting. By the way - the plastic DVD case -- is paper thin -- and couldn't be much cheaper. If the above were done differently -- I would have given this 5 stars. Scott M.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
All the Pioneers of Television series are a way of going back in time to an era when TV didn't have to have four letter words in every other sentence to maintaine a decent rating. The same can be said of motion pictures of this time period.
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