F Troop: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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F-Troop: The Complete First Season (DVD)
As the Civil War comes to a close, an inept clerk in the army, Private Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry - Mama's Family), is promoted after leading a charge on horseback and helping to turn the tide of battle. What no one knows, however, is that Parmenter had lost control of his horse and it was running in the wrong direction! Now a captain, Parmenter is sent to take charge of Fort Courage, a small frontier post manned by F Troop, a bumbling band of misfits who enjoy the easy life and want to keep it that way. They get along with the neighboring Hekawi Indians who are so unwarlike they claim they invented the peace pipe. The two must sometimes fake fights just to keep up appearances - but F Troop never has to fake the laughs! First released in 1965, this hilarious comedy from William T. Orr (77 Sunset Strip, Maverick) about the Wild West also stars the Emmy®-nominated Larry Storch, Forrest Tucker, Melody Patterson and more.]]>
F-Troop belongs to the ranks of television's great military slacker comedies, including Sgt. Bilko and McHale's Navy. Ken Berry was promoted from bit player to leading man with his role as clueless and clumsy ("I fall down a lot") Wilton Parmenter, who is put in charge of the frontier post Fort Courage after a display of inadvertent Civil War heroism. "He's the pigeon we always dreamed of," enthuses Sgt. O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker), who runs "O'Rourke Enterprises" with his sidekick Corporal Agarn (Larry Storch). Most episodes involve O'Rourke and Agarn's get-rich schemes that ultimately backfire. The show's great (albeit politically incorrect) comic conceit is the Hekawis, the decidedly un-bloodthirsty Indian tribe who makes tourist souvenirs, not war. "We invent peace pipe," proclaims Chief Wild Eagle (Frank DeKova), whose broken English and anachronistic vernacular (similar to Joey Bishop in Texas Across the River) provide most of each episode's biggest--and, in these more enlightened times, guiltiest--laughs.
F's troupe also includes Melody Patterson as Wrangler Jane, who has a hankerin' for "Will" ("I told you, Jane, not in front of the men"), James Hampton as bungling bugler Dobbs, Joe Brooks as nearsighted look-out Vanderbilt, cowboy star Bob Steele as gung-ho Alamo survivor Duffy, and venerable character actor (and Rocky and Bullwinkle's "Fractured Fairy Tales" narrator) Edward Everett Horton as Hekawi medicine man Roaring Chicken. Among the more memorable guest appearances include Zsa Zsa Gabor as a gypsy who attempts to fleece Agarn in "Play, Gypsy, Play," and Don Rickles (!) as Chief Wild Eagle's excitable, warlike son in "The Return of Bald Eagle." The episode, "Reunion for O'Rouke," contains the classic bit about how the Hekawis got their name. F-Troop debuted in 1965 and lasted but two seasons. It broke no television ground and was never nominated for an Emmy. A single-disc compilation of six episodes is also available, but Baby Boomers who remember F-Troop fondly will want to enlist for a full season. It's old school, flat-out funny. -Donald Liebenson
- 34 episodes on six discs
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Top customer reviews
In my early 50's now, I decided that I re-watch certain TV programs that I liked from years ago. The seasons were much longer back then. It took me about 3 years to watch every Addams Family episode. I started back in '09, and finished just recently. My replacement was F-Troop. Again, I have fond memories of the program. But would I enjoy it the same as I did four decades ago? The answers, yes. Even more so because as an adult I can understand the jokes better. I also have a better appreciation of all the work that was put into the half hour long comedy (not filmed before a live audience). Ken Berry's comedic timing is brilliant. Forrest Tucker plays a superior straight man to not only Berry, but Larry Storch, and the rest of a very funny cast. Oh...got to love Wrangler Jane (actress Melody Patterson). Very much the professional and only sixteen years old when filming started.
Here's the main question. When viewing now, did it age well? Yes...any major network or cable channel could broadcast it now. Much of the comedy is timeless, and understood worldwide. A trip and fall routine is a trip and fall routine. The town drunk did a lot of great ones. As did Ken Berry. Lite on his feet being able to dance. Considered a triple threat; actor, singer, and dancer. The show is really a period piece. "The end of the Civil War was near..." -- no cell phone size embarrassing situations; "look how BIG that one is."
The DVD: Pristine picture -- excellent audio. Plenty of episodes so you get your money's worth. The pilot will hook you for sure. Knowing a little about the Civil War and Indians in general does help, especially with getting some of the jokes. I love the running gags; watch tower falling down...
American Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio Dot EU
This show was from the era when shows, especially 1/2 hour comedies, had 30-25 episodes to a season, so that's why even though this only ran two seasons, we have 65 awesome episodes to enjoy! I never understood why this had such a short run. My dad and all his friends loved this show and I remember him telling me about it often.
It's great to have this on DVD. The casting and direction are exquisite and you rarely stop laughing.