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The Adventures of Champion (Film Chest Restored Version)

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Adventures of Champion ran for one season on CBS from 1955 to 1956. A total of 26 half-hour episodes were produced by Armand Schaefer for Gene Autry s Flying A Productions and directed by serial and western veterans George Archainbaud, Ford Beebe and John English. Familiar cowboy faces abound, including Roy Barcroft, Glenn Strange, George J. Lewis and Francis McDonald.

12-year-old Barry Curtis plays Ricky North, who lives on Uncle Sandy s ranch in the American Southwest near a herd of wild horses led by the wild stallion, Champion. Champ only allows his friend Ricky to ride him bareback. The German shepherd, Rebel, helps his two pals survive their weekly adventures. The characters of Ricky, Rebel, Champ and Sandy originated in a 1949- 50 radio serial that became a comic book for Dell from 1951 to 1955, so young fans were familiar with the premise long before the TV series.

The 23 Episodes included are as follows:

Disc 1
Episode 1 - The Saddle Tramp
Episode 2 - Crossroad Trail
Episode 3 - Salted Ground
Episode 4 - The Medicine Man Mystery
Episode 5 - Lost River
Episode 6 - Renegade
Episode 7 - Canyon of Wanted Men<BR Episode 8 - Challenge of the West

Disc 2
Episode 9 - The Outlaw's Secret
Episode 10 - Hangman's Noose
Episode 11 - King of the Rodeo
Episode 12 - A Bugle for Ricky
Episode 13 - The Stone Heart
Episode 14 - The Deer Hunters
Episode 16 - Johnny Hands Up<BR Episode 17 - Black Kachina

Disc 3
Episode 19 - Rails West
Episode 21 - Andrew and the Deadly Double
Episode 22 - Bad Men of the Valley
Episode 23 - The Return of Red Cloud
Episode 24 - Brand of the Lawless
Episode 25 - The Die-Hards
Episode 26 - Calhoun Rides Again


Product Details

  • Actors: Barry Curtis, Jim Bannon, Champion
  • Directors: George Archainbaud, Ford Beebe, John English
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Collector's Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Film Chest
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2014
  • Run Time: 599 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HATF81A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,036 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Adventures of Champion (1955)

Ricky North, an orphan living with his Uncle Sandy, had a knack for finding trouble and adventure in the desert Southwest of the 1880s. His best friends were Blaze, his German Shepherd, and, of course, Champion, a stallion who leads a remuda of wild horses, but always responds to Ricky's whistle in time of need. Ricky was the only human whom Champion would allow to ride him. The 12-year-old Ricky was played by Barry Curtis, a talented child actor who had, undeservedly, relatively few credits. Uncle Sandy was played by Jim Bannon, a handsome actor who earlier played Red Ryder in a series of B-westerns and looked every inch a lanky, broad-shouldered cowpoke who could lend a hand when Ricky and his preternaturally intelligent animal friends couldn't handle the bad guys by themselves.

Ten of the 26 episodes are included in this Timeless Media issuance. Unlike most of Timeless' other DVDs for 1950s television series, the prints are somewhat battered, though certainly viewable. As in other juvenile western programs created by Gene Autry's Flying A Productions, the episodes include plenty of hard-riding action with solid direction and good acting from both the principals and the rogue's gallery of character actors that fill out the cast. The episodes include in the set are:

1.01 The Saddle Tramp (co-starring Francis McDonald and Chris Alcaide)
1.02 Crossroad Trail (Stanley Andrews, Tom Irish and Lee Van Cleef)
1.03 Salted Ground (Hal K. Dawson and Tristram Coffin)
1.04 The Medicine Man Mystery (Myron Healey and Harry Harris Sr.)
1.10 Hangman's Noose (Hank Patterson and Frank Fenton)
1.13 The Stone Heart (James Best, Bill Henry and Barbara Bestar)
1.
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After viewing more episodes, I have modified my review. The quality of the picture is fair to almost good for an older TV show, and the stories are worth the trip if you like old fashion good guys over bad guys TV series material. An episode called the deer hunters starts off with bad guys trapping a fawn in a snare trap, which the boy discovers, which should give you a clue to the types of shows. By the way, this is noted in the description as being in color but it is in actually B/W so be aware, if you dislike black and white features. At this low price, all things considered, it isn't a bad investment. I would have rated it higher if the picture quality was better.
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Format: DVD
Amazon mix reviews for different versions of titles and even on different formats and its something they need to stop.
Previous releases of Champion have all been appalling . The UK set appears to have been filmed off a monitor as you can actually see the sides of the screen at times.
It would appear that Champion has not been preserved very well over the years . Every release including the new one has 3 episodes missing so maybe there are no surviving copies of these anywhere.
Quality wise this is the best so far although it still ranks as disappointing in comparison with better known shows of the same era. Champion was shot on 16mm so that's a minus point and dvd doesn't handle grain very well and whoever authored these discs didn't seem to do much to improve these shortcomings so there are many imperfections . However the Film Chest Version is better than all the others and its definitely worth a purchase but don't let the " restored in HD" byline get you too excited . The state of many of these prints are rough to say the least. Mine came from Amazon Canada and Disc 1 showed the layer separation issues suffered by early dvd releases of The Terminator and other titles . My other 2 discs were fine but I do wonder if long term these discs may fail to play
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This is another wonderful oldie. The little boy is so cute and so grown up (as children were back then). It is an innocent show about a boy and his animals that help him along in his adventures. The uncle comes second and helps Sandy when he gets into trouble. Like Sandy said in one episode..."You're always getting into some sort of trouble!" I love the way things were back then - so innocent and carefree. These episodes had some wonderful character actors, such as Lee Van Cleef and James Best. What a wonderful Show!

On the quality of the DVDs, they were viewable but obviously not at the quality most professional DVDs are done, but I won't complain about that because i'm just glad we have these to watch. I do hope Timeless Media will someday release the rest of these episodes on a DVD, or even better yet...that a complete episode DVD set will be done with remastered film...
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This was an excellent production for the young TV fans. It had great morals for the younger audience. Violence was kept to a minimum with a lot of good values and lessons for the audience. Even though there were 23 episodes of the 26 produced this is a good one to own. Remember this is a Gene Autry production.
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THERE ARE SEVERAL VERSIONS OF THIS SERIES LOOK FOR THE ONE IN TIN PACKAGE AS I ORDERED FROM DIFFERENT PICTURE AND ONLY GOT DISC 2 NOT DEALERS FAULT DVD WAS SEALED AND ONLY ONE DISC INSIDE LOOKED ON BACK OF DVD BOX SAID DISC 2 AND 5 EPISODES SO READ CAREFULLY BECAUSE FRONT OF DVD SAYS 2 DISCS ON BOTTOM RIGHT YOU WONT GET TWO
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