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Tate

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Oct 30, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Tate is a unique western in many respects, although it aired as a summer replacement for only one season. One of the only westerns ever produced on video tape, not film, Tate stars David McLean (well known as The Marlboro Man in countless commercials) as Tate, a veteran of the Civil War who wanders the west looking for work as a bounty hunter and gun-for-hire, much like Paladin in Have Gun-Will Travel. Tate cut an imposing figure, his left arm covered in black leather from his finger tips to the elbow from a gunshot wound suffered in the War. This three DVD set contains all thirteen well-crafted episodes of Tate, with appearences by many outstanding guest stars, including Robert Redford, Warren Oates, James Coburn, Martin Landau, Royal Dano, Leonard Nimoy and one episode directed by the great actress Ida Lupino.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David McLean
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Timeless Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WM8IJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tate" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on January 5, 2008
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Timeless Media Group has done Western lovers a huge favor by releasing episodes from some classic television Westerns that have been largely forgotten. They released collections for Cimmarron City (starring George Montgomery), The Tall Man (Barry Sullivan), Laredo (Neville Brand, Peter Brown, William Smith, Phillip Carey), Riverboat (Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds), and the fantastic Restless Gun (John Payne).

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.
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"Tate" qualifies as one of the most off-beat western television dramas. This black & white oater with David McLean who gained fame as the Malboro man in cigarette commercials and also died from lung cancer. Think of the character that Sam Elliot played in "Thank You For Smoking," and you'll understand the comparison. "Tate" is a really neat show. The rugged, lonesome protagonist is a Civil War survivor, except his left arm hangs uselessly, blasted by an explosion in the war, and he wears his crippled limb in black leather sheathe with strap around his neck. David MacLean reminded me of Cliff Robertson. I don't know if Sergio Leone ever watched the show, probably didn't, but the hero dresses like a spaghetti western hero in a couple of episodes, sometimes even wearing a serape to conceal his lame limb. Naturally, he is super-fast on the draw.

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.
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Tate lasted only 13 shows, but they are good ones. Stories are even better than in most of the western series. David McLean is a rugged actor who fits well into his role. I am sure many weaker series lasted much longer. I remind that my star system is a bit stricter than those of many others. I reserve five stars to a few select films and series.
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There is no remastering done here, but the picture still is pretty good. I love this series, and it's probably my favorite western of all time. Why, I cannot really put a finger on. There's a lot of uniqueness to it. It's pretty moody and of course Tate having only one workable arm makes things different. It's also philospohical quite a bit. It reminds me a lot of Have Gun Will Travel, but Tate while being a bounty hunter as well, doesn't have a lavish pad like Paladin did, nor did he have a Hey Boy.

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.
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