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Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete Second Season

4.7 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Professional gunfighter Paladin (Richard Boone) was a West Pointe graduate who, after the Civil War, settled into San Francisco's Hotel Carlton were he awaited responses to his business card: over the picture of a chess knight "Have Gun" "Will Travel"Wire Paladin, San Francisco.]]0]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

Episode for episode, the second season of Have Gun, Will Travel (1958-59) is even better than the first. With a bona fide hit on their hands, CBS didn't mess with success, and these 39 episodes pushed ratings even higher with sharp direction (mostly by first-season veteran Andrew V. McLaglen), a wide variety of attention-grabbing plots, and intelligent, sensible dialogue. All of the first season's strengths are carried over, and while 41-year-old star Richard Boone (as the refined gunslinger-for-hire Paladin) is rarely given a serious test of his talents, he commands his role with depth, humor, and impressive displays of physical agility. (By comparison, series regular Kam Tong had almost nothing to do this season; he's relegated to routine duty as Paladin's Chinese hotel valet "Hey Boy.") Future Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry hit his stride this season, writing nearly a dozen episodes including the playfully spooky "The Monster of Moon Ridge," and other contributors included novelist Irving Wallace and Bruce Geller, who would later create Mission: Impossible! And while McLaglen helmed the vast majority of episodes, Have Gun set a TV milestone when Ida Lupino (with "The Man Who Lost," featuring Jack Elam) became the first woman to direct for a TV Western series.

The "Wire Paladin" production notes provided with each episode are thoroughly researched, providing extensive guest-star credits and making wide-ranging connections between Have Gun and many other TV series, films, and serials of the '40s, '50s, and '60s, especially Roddenberry's Star Trek. Among the noteworthy guest stars are Lon Chaney Jr., Charles Bronson, Harry Morgan, Joseph Calleia, Harry Carey Jr., Suzanne Pleshette, Morey Amsterdam, Vincent Price, Edward Platt, and many stalwart character players from TV's golden age. The season starts well with "The Manhunter" (in which Paladin is forced to kill a young gunman and faces the wrath of his vengeful family), and Paladin's unique brand of frontier justice is memorably dispensed (along with generous quotes from Shakespeare, Milton, etc.) in such highlights as "The Man Who Wouldn't Talk" (with Bronson), "The Ballad of Oscar Wilde," "The Moor's Revenge" (with Price), "The Scorched Feather" (with Chaney) and several others. The opening credits are slightly modified as the season progresses, and Paladin's travels take him into the mountains (for some outdoor adventures late in the season) and even to Alaska, the series' most distant destination. Image quality suffers in later episodes (some mastered from vintage kinescopes or murky syndication prints), but the fact that all 39 episodes are fully intact is a blessing to anyone with fond recollections of this superior TV Western. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • All 39 episodes from the 1958-1959 Season
  • Behind-Scenes-Episodic Information

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Boone, Jacques Aubuchon, Perry Cook, Ben Wright, Edward Faulkner
  • Directors: Andrew V. McLaglen, Buzz Kulik, Ida Lupino, Lamont Johnson, Paul Stanley
  • Writers: Albert Aley, Bruce Geller
  • Format: Mono, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Closed-captioned, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 993 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006Z2L1A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,098 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete Second Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 13, 2005
Format: DVD
CBS and Paramount Home Video present "HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (1958-1959), featuring Richard Boone as Paladin in his clad black wearing a pistol and holster custom made stamped with a silver chess-set knight which was his was his theme song "reads the card of a man, a knight without armor in a Savage Land"...a graduate of West Point and a veteran of The Civil War, who makes his headquarters at the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco...fighting for the underdog at a price of $1000, sometimes giving his fee away whenever the situation comanded it so for the needy...this role for Mr. Boone catapulted him to stardom and made the series a cult favorite.

First time on DVD with all 39 Original Episodes of Season Two...with guest stars noted:

Disc One (Episodes 40 - 45)

THE MANHUNTER (guest stars: Joseph Calleia, Martin Balsam, David Whorf & Stephen Colt )

IN AN EVIL TIME (guest star: Hank Patterson)

THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T TALK (guest stars: Charles Bronson & Harry Carey Jr.)

THE HANGING OF ROY CARTER (guest stars: Robert Armstrong, Francis McDonald, John Larch & Scott Marlowe)

(Screenplay: Gene Roddenberry)

DUEL AT FLORENCE (guest star: Dean Harens, Bonnie Bolding, Charles Gray, John Alderson & Hank Patterson)

THE PORTEGE (guest star: Peter Breck)

Disc Two (Episodes 46 - 51)

THE ROAD TO WICKENBURG (guest stars: Harry Carey Jr.
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By A Customer on August 30, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This supurb set of DVDs, some of the greatest television of all time, has one minor defect that I point out only for those interested in such triva. The last episode on disk three, listed as "Treasure Trail", is really "Hunt the Man Down". The second episode on disk four, listed as "Hunt the Man Down", is "Treasure Trail". The "Wire Paladin" in both cases refers to the episode that should be there rather than to the episode that is there.
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Format: DVD
I took a chance on the first season box set of "Have Gun, Will Travel" as I was too young to have seen it in it's original 1957-63 run. Oddly enough, it was only sporadically aired on the stations I grew up with and I never received the chance to view more than an occasional episode. Thankfully, with the release of the first two seasons, I can now witness first hand the wonderful acting of Richard Boone, the taut, tightly plotted dramas penned by writers of high caliber (Gene Roddenberry, for one) as well as the wonderful, atmospheric and atypical music composed by Bernard Herrmann.

If you've purchased season one, you'll definitely want this set. The picture quality is comparable here, i.e. most episodes have good to excellent contrast and appear reasonably fine-grained, though a few episodes (just like in season one) appear a bit worse for wear. One thing that consistently noticeable is that the outdoor scenes are generally sharper and more middle toned for contrast whereas interior shots are often grainier, featuring a somewhat higher level of contrast. This is moderate and does not detract from the viewing experience, given the vintage of this material.

Check out the [...] web site and you'll see that according to one erstwhile reviewer, approximately half of the 39 episodes in season two rate 3-4 stars, much like season one. Menu set up is the same for season 1, furnished with the usual and enlightening bits of trivia about the writers and guest stars. Fans of the show will note that the Johnny Western ballad appears in the closing credits for every show for this season (as well as all seasons subsequent), while die hard fans will be able to detact the lowered, more muted staccato used whenever the camera closes in on Palladin's business card. All in all, one of the best values available where classic TV on DVD is concerned.
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Believe it if you can, but once upon a time TV aspired to reveal what we ought to be rather than what we are. TV once created heroic figures that exalted the best of what it means to be human, instead of degrading the human spirit by showing us at our worst and most depraved. And then they add insult to injury by calling it "reality TV." Like that is what human nature is really like. Well, HGWT is the other side of that coin. It makes you believe in yourself, and that people can be more and better than they are, if only they try hard enough to be. It makes you realize that one man with purpose and clarity can make a difference. Not just because he is there to serve as an example. But because most people want and need and can't be happy until what they ought to be, they are. HGWT is not just a story of one man with courage who cares. It's about the best of us.
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"HGWT" season 2 takes even more risks than season 1. Due to this fact, it is not as consistent. That said, many of my favorite episodes come from season 2.

I'll put it this way. Season 1 is almost exclusively 3, 4, and 5 star episodes, IMHO. Season 2 has more 5 star episodes. "In an Evil Time," "The Road to Wickenburg," "Treasure Trail," "The Protege," "Heritage of Anger," and "Maggie O'Bannion" come to mind. Unlike season 1, season 2 has some real clunkers, as well. "The Tafetta Mayor," "Juliet," and "The Long Hunt" don't even feel like they were originally written for "HGWT." Norma Crane, who may give the best "HGWT" performances by an actress in "Ella West" and "Episode in Laredo," can't save the unholy mess that is "The Tafetta Mayor."

Once again, Richard Boone IS Paladin. Boone eventually learned to stop resenting his eternal identification with this character. (Think how lucky he was compared to Clayton Moore, for cryin' out loud!) Honestly, watching seasons 1 and 2 consecutively over a month convinced me that Boone may be the most underrated actor of the 20th century. Don't believe me? Take the Pepsi challenge and buy seasons 1 and 2. (That said, even Boone and Crane can't stop the trainwreck that is "The Tafetta Mayor." 25 minutes of my life that I'll never get back...)

Technically, the DVDs themselves are little better than season 1. The volume levels within the episodes are more consistent, but otherwise, it's more of the same. For more details, see my review of season 1. The short version follows...

The external art is gorgeous. That is, the slipcover and the individual cases have a crisp and attractive layout.

Once again, the trouble starts when the disc is put in the player.
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