Hondo: The Complete Series
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Based on the character created by Louis L’Amour and the John Wayne film of the same name, Hondo depicts the adventures of former cavalry scout Hondo Lane (Ralph Taeger) and his dog, Sam (himself), as he tries to broker a peace between the white settlers and the Native Americans fighting to keep their land and way of life. Ex-scout, ex-Confederate officer, and widower of a massacred Apache bride, Hondo has the right mix of perspectives needed to troubleshoot the dangers found in the lawless and powder-keg atmosphere that envelopes the Arizona Territory of the 1870s. Aiding Hondo is frontier widow Angie Dow (Kathie Brown), her son Johnny (Buddy Foster), grizzled sidekick Buffalo Baker (Noah Beery Jr.), Apache Chief Vittoro (Michael Pate), Colonel Crook (William Bryant) and Captain Richards (Gary Clarke). Notable guests include Robert Taylor, Nick Adams, Annette Funicello, Robert Reed,Claude Akins, John Carradine and Farley Granger.
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Hondo, the TV series, was created by the legendary Andrew J. Fenady who also created The Rebel, another classic TV Western that starred Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma.
Like Johnny Yuma, Hondo Lane was a former Confederate soldier who drifted West following the Civil War. There he met and married a beautiful Native American woman who was later killed in a massacre conducted by the US cavalry. This horrifying experience led to Hondo wandering the West with his faithful dog Sam.
There were times when Hondo worked as a scout for the US Army, with the objective of trying to heal the wounds between the Indian Nations and the military. This goal was often met with varying degrees of success. At other times Hondo dealt with Western themes such as fighting outlaws, fortune hunters, and other spoilers of the frontier.
Hondo was based on the landmark Western novel by Louis L'Amour, and also on the classic John Wayne 1953 hit motion picture. But Hondo the TV series has a personality all its own. Much of it is easy going with some swatches of humor thrown in. So everything in this series is not always bleak and bloody.
Ruggedly handsome Ralph Teager is the amazing actor who perfectly portrays the character of Hondo Lane. His sidekick is Buffalo Baker portrayed by the well-seasoned character actor Noah Beery, Jr.
Beery appeared in countless Western motion pictures and television episodes in a very long career. Both Hondo Lane and Buffalo Baker make a memorable team; and that team, of course, also includes Sam the dog.
This Warner Archive release has been greatly anticipated for years and is long overdue. But now this obscure, and very entertaining family-friendly series from the 1960's has finally arrived on DVD and is a cause for celebration. And, best of all, the complete 17 episode series is presented in glorious color. ABC was the last of the three major television networks to provide 100% color programming in the mid-1960's, and the color production values in Hondo are outstanding.
So grab your hat, put on your buckskin jacket, and saddle up for some good, old fashioned Western adventure. Rest assured Hondo Lane, Buffalo Baker, and a big yellow dog named Sam will see to that.
Could it look better? Yes, there's room for improvement but given the limitations of the the. Existing film stock and less than ideal storage, this may be it. The good news is this is the best I've ever seen it on home video -- it's a significant upgrade on the DVD issue. Since it's 2D Blu-ray release the question regarding a 3D release has been answered with unfulfilled rumors. If it happens, It'll be a day one purchase for me. ITM, I'm delighted to have this release. The image and sound quality is very good.
Hondo is a very good, taunt story, well acted with John Wayne in the title role. One of his better roles actually. Geraldine Page, Ward Bond, and James Arness all acquit themselves well in this WarnerColor, 1.85 widescreen film. The film still plays well and holds your interest throughout its length. Highly recommended.
Ep 1: Hondo and the Eagle Claw ( Robert Taylor, Jim Davis, Gary Clarke, Randy Boone )
In post Civil War Arizona territory, a former Confederate officer, Hondo Lane, becomes a scout attached to Fort Lowell. Apache are attacking soldiers and settlers. He also meets a pretty young widow and her son.
Ep 2: Hondo and the War Cry ( Michael Rennie, Robert Taylor, Gary Clarke, Randy Boone )
An Army captain blames Vittoro's people for an attack on a mine committed by renegade Indians
Ep 3: Hondo and the Singing Wire ( Iron Eyes Cody)
An Apache is cutting new telegraph wires as soon as they are put up, and Hondo tries to stop him and find out why he is so determined to cut them.
Ep 4: Hondo and the Superstition Massacre ( Robert Reed, Nancy Malone )
When Hondo meets the surveyor who has come to check for gold at Superstition Mountain, he viciously attacks him---the man led the raid in which Hondo's wife was killed.
Ep 5: Hondo and the Savage ( Charles McGraw )
While watching a beautiful stallion being tracked by two white horse traders Hondo witnesses an Apache brave appear hidden buried from beneath dirt and shrubs catch the stallion before the two white horse traders.
Ep 6: Hondo and the Apache Kid ( Nick Adams, Farley Granger )
While under escort of two Army soldiers from the fort to Yuma, Arizona to be tried for murder, the Apache Kid overcomes the soldiers and escapes. Hondo and Buffalo Baker are dispatched to bring the kid in.
Ep 7: Hondo and the War Hawks ( John Carroll )
When the cavalry decides to confiscate the guns of the Apache, Chief Vittoro vows to resist. Hondo becomes involved when he encounters unscrupulous weapon dealers.
Ep 8: Hondo and the Mad Dog ( James McArthur, Royal Dano )
A trooper holding a grudge against Hondo vows revenge. He takes advantage of a rabies outbreak and Hondo's dog is at risk.
Ep 9: Hondo and the Judas ( Forrest Tucker, Rick Nelson , John Carradine )
A rebel Colonel, thought to be dead, surprises his comrades by bringing them back together for a final crime. Hondo rejoins the group, unaware of the Colonel's plan to get revenge on whoever ambushed him.
Ep 10: Hondo and the Comancheros ( Fernando Lamas )
When Angie Dow is kidnapped and held hostage by a band of Hispanic outlaws, the Comancheros, led by lustful and arrogant ringleader, Rodrigo, Hondo must gather enough money to pay the ransom amount of 3,000 dollars to rescue Angie and bring her home.
Episode 11: Hondo and the Sudden Town ( Gene Raymond, Rod Cameron )
An aging mayor is convinced by his scheming advisor to participate in a scheme in the founding a never-heard-of town by finding silver in an abandoned silver mine.
Ep 12: Hondo and the Ghost of Ed Dow ( David Brian, Chris Alcaide )
Ep 13: Hondo and the Death Drive ( Alan Hale Jr, L Q Jones )
Hondo is ordered by the government to bring a flock of sheep to Indians on the reservation. On the way Hondo and his companions run into opposition from a local cattle boss and his posse.
Ep 14: Hondo and the Hanging Town ( Dan O’Herlihy, Gary Crosby, Morgan Woodward )
Hondo and Buffalo Baker are tasked with escorting a soldier to a town to face a murder charge. A priest was killed and local tempers are high. Along the way, they meet up with Professor Phineas Blackstone, alias of a former prosecutor who convicted an innocent man.
Ep 15: Hondo and the Gladiators ( Claude Akins, Jamie Farr )
Hondo takes on the job of protecting a government peace envoy to the Apaches but he's distracted. He's distraught by the abduction of his beloved dog Sam by a scoundrel intent on turning the gentle dog into a pit fighter
Ep 16: Hondo and the Apache Trail ( Nick Adams, Annette Funicello )
Hondo is escorting the vicious killer Apache Kid to an army post for trial when he escapes. Tracking him, Hondo sees more destruction caused by the murderer and swears to Chief Vittoro that justice will come in the Indian fashion.
Ep 17: Hondo and the Rebel Hat ( Jack Elam )