The Deputy: 1959-1961
DVD | Box Set
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Henry Fonda, Read Morgan, Phil Tully. Silver City needs a lawman who's willing to do whatever it takes to keep the peace-and they found such a man in Chief Marshall Simon Fry. A forgotten treasure of frontier law with notable guest stars including James Coburn, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Redford and more! 12 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1959-61/b&w/5 hrs/NR/fullscreen.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are twelve episodes on three discs with more episodes coming from the second season. There are a few differences in cast between the two seasons. The first season had an aging town Marshall, Herk Lemson (Wallace Ford) & Clay's sister, Fran (Betty Lou Keim). In the first season Clay owned a general store & that was how he made a living. He was assisted in running it by his sister. In one episode his store is burned down & he's left without his main source of income. The second season finds him taking over as the town Marshall of Silver City, gone is his sister & the aging Lemson. Also added to the cast was the character of Sarge (Read Morgan) who helped McCord in his duties.
As to Henry Fonda, I don't know how or why he got roped into doing this series. It's reminiscent of his movie, The Tin Star, yet there are some differences. In the vast majority of episodes Simon Fry would appear for two or three minutes at the beginning of the show & then the same thing at the end of each show. In these twelve episodes only once is Simon Fry the main focus. So for Fonda this had to be an easy gig.
As to the quality of these episodes, buyer beware. They haven't been remastered & the quality of the video is only so-so. As other reviewers have mentioned two of the episodes are in such bad shape that there is a disclaimer at the beginning of those particular episodes. The rest are watchable but there are a lot of problems in the film.
There are some good guest stars in these episodes, the biggest one is Robert Redford though he was still several years away from star status. There's also James Coburn who already had a name but had yet to achieve star status. There are Edgar Buchanan, Alan Hale, Jr. (Skipper from Gilligan's Island), Elisha Cook, Jr. & Whitney Blake.
This set is overpriced but, fortunately, I got it through another seller through Amazon & it was considerably less. The product info lists that this set is 414 minutes; I have no clue where that figure comes from. The episodes put together are approximately 300 minutes; there aren't any bonus features, even if you throw in the logos & show opening you still don't get close to 414 minutes. Unless you're a big fan of The Deputy my recommendation is that you should pass on this set.
Now that I have started watching the set I must add I should have rated it Zero Stars and I wish I had returned the product without taking the wrapper off. I don't know how NBC-Universal ever allowed their name to be associated with this. Adding insult to injury, the quality is so-so on most episodes, even with Timeless' claim to be using the best available source material and state-of-the-art processing. Two of the paltry 12 episodes have disclaimers apologizing for the poor quality! The episodes 'Man of Peace' and 'Hidden Motives' both have the warning and the first is so dark and blurry it's hard to watch. Also, the episodes run no more than 23-24 minutes each so they are probably edited versions. That makes for a total of 288 minutes, not approx. 418 as claimed. Timeless has some hard to find series on dvd, but if you want to see them I suggest subscribing to Netflix. That way you are not stuck with such lousy products.
An update. I just finished watching the twelve THE DEPUTY episodes. I enjoyed them but most are not the best shows. I especially had hoped to get a copy of the one where the deputy broke the unbreakable moral code and purposely killed a man by purposely shooting him in the back, but it wasn't one of them. Also, the inclusion of the two episodes with VERY poor picture quality is inexplicable. Several years ago one of the cable stations played THE DEPUTY and plenty of good quality episodes exists.