Bearcats! The Complete Series
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Bearcats!: It's 1914, and mercenaries Hank Brackett and Johnny Reach are in search of action, adventure, and more than a little profit, as they travel the American Southwest in their Stutz Bearcat! These men-for-hire take on varied and often vague assignments for a wealthy clientele, with the amount charged determined once the job is complete. No matter how difficult or dangerous, you can count on the Bearcats to come through!
This rip-roaring adventure series starred Rod Taylor (The Birds, 101 Dalmatians, Inglorious Bastards) as Hank Brackett and Dennis Cole (The Young and the Restless) as Johnny Reach. Color
Top customer reviews
Rod Taylor and Dennis Cole manage to inject a bit of humor into many of the episodes without ever crossing the line into campiness.
Yes, a couple of episodes have holes in their plots big enough to drive a Stutz Bearcat through...but it's easy to forgive them and just enjoy the action and interplay between the stars.
The car itself is a joy to look at. Famed Hollywood car customizer-builder George Barris made two for the series and they certainly look the part...he had a real '14 Bearcat to model them on. They have hand formed metal bodies on custom chassis and are powered by 60s Ford powertrains. The first car built (and the one used in most of the filming) had a 4 speed (you can see the gear shift lever in many shots), the second had an automatic transmission. Happily, both survive...the one has lived in my garage for the last 15 years.
The quality of the DVD transfer is outstanding, with excellent picture and sound.
It's great fun and a great value...enjoy.
It was an intriguing premise, one that would seem to offer a world of potential story-lines. However, most of the episodes pivoted around one of three plot devices: Villainous German agents up to World War I style intrigue (even though America hadn't even entered the war yet), villains who got their hands on a major piece of dangerous military weaponry, or villains who would take innocent people hostage (sometimes individually, sometimes collectively) as part of a wider scheme. Each episode climaxes with Hackett and Breach riding in to the rescue, guns blazing and music blaring on the soundtrack.
Especially by today's standards of TV storytelling, the stories are often paper thin, and most episodes contain obvious filler material to stretch the show out to fill approximately 48 minutes or so of TV time. To be sure, the scripts got better as the series went along.Several of the episodes touch on moral and ethical concerns, such as a town that engaged in mob-style justice or a law-and-order judge who finds the tables turned. Issues which were prevalent at the time are also touched on, if sometimes obliquely, such as Vietnam and Native American rights. One episode features a Che Guevara-style figure.
Also noteworthy is how the directors and cinematographers who worked on the show made great use of the wide-open vistas and classic Western scenery provided by filming the show in the Arizona desert. Most episodes feature several panning and tracking shots, including aerial shots, that are cinematic in scope. Small wonder one or two of the directors who worked on the show, including Richard Donner, went on to have feature film careers. The action sequences are also first-rate, and are often of a scope not normally found on network TV, especially of that era. At times the show even shows influences of "revisionist" Western directors such as Sergio Leone and Sam Peckenpah (without, of course, the graphic violence they were know for, while "Bearcats!" does try to push some boundaries, it is still a primetime network show).
Rod Taylor, a movie star who's work spanned Disney comedies ("101 Dalmatians") classic science fiction ("The Time Machine"), Hitchcock horror ("The Birds") and classic action adventure ("Dark of the Sun") successfully transfers his skills and charisma to the small screen, and elevates every scene he's in. Dennis Cole has a charming screen presence and handles the physical requirements of his role well, but his acting range is, as they say, limited. Typically the villains are played by the stock company of actors who made a living guest-starring on TV shows in the q970s -- John Vernon, Leslie Nielsen, Keenan Wynn, William Smith.
This Timeless Media Group DVD does not contain the series' pilot movie, "Powderkeg," presumably because of rights issues. There are no extra features, which is fine with me, I rarely watch them anyway. The picture quality is generally fine, occasionally, especially in bright-lit outdoor shots, the film does show its age. The audio quality is excellent, which I have found is not always the case with DVD offerings of TV shows fromn the 1960s and 1970s.
Best episodes: "The Devil Wears Armor," "Bitter Flats," "The Feathered Serpent," "The Hostage," "Assault on San Saba."
Recommended for: Fans of action adventure TV shows from the 1960s and 70s, especially westerns or quasi-westerns, which deliver hours of honest escapist entertainment.
I always loved this very short lived series and it's a joy to revisit it again courtesy of this set.
Please avoid the MOD DVD of 'Powder Keg', (the series pilot) which is being sold on Amazon. It is produced by a different company and is of very poor video quality indeed. What a shame that Timeless were unable to include it on this 3 disc set....
BEARCATS THE COMPLETE SERIES is well worth the purchase on the other hand, and they've done the series complete justice. No extras, but who cares? Its a solid few hours of entertainment and the picture quality, as I say, is outstanding considering the age of the material.
Good cast, plots & great physical FX
Rod Taylor is superb
Done in era as 60s movies: The Professionals & The Wild Bunch.
Like the Stutz Bearcat.
2 bad show had only 2 season run I think
Be neat if they used a private RR Train to haul Stutz around for some mission BUT train dated to 1914.
:Love the Lewis machine gun etc
But the stuff they use per mission would weight down Stutz big time.
all the equip they need ( minus guns & ammo & grenades or TNT).
Classic like Wild Wild West, OK music score
Unique Neo Western,.