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Askew Review 15

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HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL: Season One
. Six DVD set. 1957/58. Western. Not Rated. Residing in San Francisco not long after the end of the Civil War, Paladin offers his services for those who need it. Whether its gun fighting, protection, or bounty hunting, Paladin (Richard Boone) is up for the job and will travel the Wild West for anyone who will pay his price.
           
Consisting of 39 episodes, Have Gun Will Travel Season One has me eagerly awaiting the release of season two. In my years of reviewing DVDs, I honestly do not recall watching every minute of any of the box sets I’ve reviewed, until now. Although I’ve never been a big fan of westerns, HGWT has many charming (a word I hate to use) qualities, including many bouts of fisticuffs and gunfights. Each episode (approx 25 minutes each) is well written, well shot, and the acting is purdy damn good. As a character, Paladin is a mysterious fellow. Not too much is revealed about his past, but you know he’s one educated and sophisticated mofo of a gun slinger. One interesting bit about Paladin’s past; as a child, he spent many years in Boston ’s Scollay Square (now Government Center ).   God, if I were a kid in the 50s and saw this show on tv, I would have wanted to be Paladin- sans his truly odd looks as Boone is perhaps the oddest looking lead man in the history of television. Concerning Boone, I must write that never before in my life have I ever seen so many needless and out of place butt shots (non-naked). I truly feel that the directors intentionally placed Boone in certain positions and angled camera shots in order to give the viewer an eyeful of Boone’s bucket! Once I noticed the bumbum shots, I couldn’t believe how many times it was happening throughout my viewing. Select episodes guest star many popular/noticeable Hollywood talent: Charles Bronson (who’s episode The Outlaw is probably the best of the bunch), Jack Lord, Angie Dickenson (who was an absolute babe!), June Lockhart, Jack Albertson, Denver Pyle (Uncle Jesse from Dukes of Hazzard), John Carradine, James Best (if you don’t know who he is, then yer just a dipstick). Writers include a pre Star Trek Gene Roddenberry and Sam Peckinpah. Each episode is accompanied with background info and guest star profiles. I found the guest star profiles intriguing and always read them before each show so I could keep an eyeball out for the subject. After all, HGWT is almost 50 years old and I dare you to pick out Angie Dickenson without knowing she’s a guest star. Although I had heard from some of my older relatives about how much they enjoyed this show growing up back in the day, I was still relatively surprised at how much I dug Have Gun Will Travel. Season Two, where are you? – Denis “Paladin” Sheehan

 

 

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