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But the other collection they have released would be even easier to overlook. A 13 episode series aired as a summer replacement with a possibilty to be a midseason replacement. Shot on tape instead of film. The star was famous as the Marlboro Man on TV commercials (and would eventually die of lung cancer). A gunfighter hero with only one arm. The series, called Tate, never caught on. And all we have to remember it by are these 13 episodes.
But what a great Western Tate was, and it is great to be able to enjoy the series almost fifty years later. David McLean played Tate, who fought with the Confederacy during the Civil War and lost the use of his left arm at Vicksburg. After the war, he covered the arm is black leather, put it in a sling, and went to work as a gunfighter for hire/bounty hunter. With only a Kansas City PO Box for an address, Tate rode all over the West, hoping to make enough money to afford surgery that a St Louis doctor said might help his arm.
McLean's Tate was very much like the typical genre-issue gunfighter, but in some ways he was very atypical. Like most, he was fast on the draw, hired out to good guys only, was nice to kids and women, and figured out a way to win every time. But unlike other gunfighters of the time, he could be crusty, harsh, and at times unpleasant - kind of precursor to the Man With No Name and other 60's-70s era gunfighters.
Tate would have made a great 60's Western. Too bad it never had the chance, but at least we have this collection to remember it.
Each episode opens with Tate displaying his celerity with his six-shooter. "Tate" belongs in the same league as "The Prisoner." Tate himself is a gunslinger and doesn't cry about his choice of profession or behave in a politically correct fashion. He has his own sense of uncompromising values, and he sticks with those values. He isn't an indiscriminate killer. You've got to be right and have some legal stance before he'll accept your money, but once he accepts the money, he doesn't back down. He has no sidekick and carried a sawed-off shotgun as back-up. He doesn't call his horse by a nickname. The shows are half-hour in length and there is nothing gratuitous in them. They are concise, tight, and they do some pretty alarming things. The one that I just took a break from opens with a jealous man killing a saloon girl with a double-barreled shotgun. There is ZERO humor in the show. It's all about business. There are no recurring characters, except Tate.Read more ›
There's one episode that particularly stands out for me, and it highlights two actors other than Davis McLean. The first is Peggy Ann Garner, who was very pretty, which reminded me of Audrey Meadows quite a bit. The other is a man with no name, literally. He is a gunfighter who is so eager to make a name for himself, that he dies without anybody knowing his name (told you it was philosophical). He must ask Tate his name at least three times, but Tate refuses to tell him, and the kid only recalls the name because he sees Tate's slinged arm when Tate got angry. Emphasis is also made on the town itself being a place in the middle of nowhere, almost as if it too has no name.
The show lists a William Tennant playing the part of "Will Smith" but there is nobody named that in the episode (neither Will or Smith). It must had been the name the show gave to the unnamed gunman. Also, while the gunman wears a jacket that looks like something you see in westerns quite a bit, a buckskin type perhaps, the saloon girl wears a jacket that looks an awful lot like a black leather bomber jacket, which is such a contrast to her flowery dress fanning out beneath it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great western, a shame there wasn't more episodes made. Excellent picture, I don't think anyone that likes the old westerns would be disappointed with this series.Published 11 months ago by Robert S Cooper
great western from the early 60s very good show . any one in the family can watch nothing dirty here.Published on February 13, 2014 by clinton
This was a summer series about a one-armed gunslinger who travels around the west doing good deeds even though he has to kill a few folks along the way. Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by Frank Acierno
Better than most the westerns of that era and the reproduction is excellent. A very good western and McLean is excellent. I would recomment it for any TV western collection.Published on November 30, 2012 by Valmorep
This 1960 summer replacement series TATE is, like the TV series BRENNER, a breath of fresh air to watch on DVD. Read morePublished on April 11, 2011 by michael mcginney
I am very pleased with my purchase of the series Tate. It shipped quickly, and I enjoyed watching every episode.Published on February 9, 2011 by Barb
This series is a cut well above the average TV western. A Civil War veteran, with an insured arm, wamders through the west fighting evildoers. Read morePublished on December 28, 2010 by Roger Long
"TATE", I believe never made it to Australia during or after its short run,
however viewing it 50 years on I am very impressed with it. Read more
After watching a couple of the episodes from disc one, I must say I am impressed with this short-lived series. Read morePublished on August 14, 2010 by Michael Long