"Alias Smith and Jones" debuted on ABC in January 1971, little more than a year after the release of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and that's hardly coincidental. The series was undoubtedly an attempt by Universal to cash-in on the success of the Paul Newman-Robert Redford megahit. The resemblance series co-star Ben Murphy had to the man with the blue eyes wasn't coincidental either. But "Alias Smith and Jones" was created by Roy Huggins, the man who gave us "Maverick," which one could say inspired "Butch..." so if anyone had the right to pattern a series on that movie, it was Huggins. Besides, this series achieved what the overrated "Butch" only aspired to. It had wit and style, was well-written, and had a first-rate cast. There was a solid chemisty between Pete Duel and Murphy, and the guest stars were also well chosen. I have fond memories of this show, although its quality deteriorated somewhat in February 1972 when Roger Davis took over for Duel (who died on New Year's Eve 1971 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound). It would be nice to see it released on video or at least added to the lineup on TV Land.
Oh my god, this episode was really quite terrible and cringworthy to watch! The acting was very bad but it matched the writing. The appearance of Pete from Fall Out Boy was just silly and the way as many of the characters could just be in a scene with him learning how to cook or kissing him due to believing it was dream!?!
Glen A. Larson has been known to take succesful movies and "creating" a new TV series from its core concept. (Battlestar Galactica/Star Wars, BJ and the Bear/Smokey and the Bandit, Automan/Tron.)
This was his first, taking the success of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and cleaning it up for last 60's prime time, what with the "nortiuous outlaws but never killed anyone, so they're really OK guys" bit.
However, the result is really quite good. The two leads have good chemistry and banter, the plots are very well contructed, and the guest stars are a lot of fun.
I suggest watching Butch & Sundance before watching the series again, it's very interesting to see what was lifed and what was not (there's even a line in B&S "Which am I, Smith or Jones?" when they attepmt to go straight.)
I'm watching the whole series on the Western Channel now, and enjoying it (note, the Pilot and the Day They Hung Kid Curry are 90 mins, and not part of their syndicated package. Hunt the Internet for those until a DVD is released one day.
I first watched this show with my dad the day I got my wisdom teeth pulled. I had heard of the title, but had no idea what is was about. Being a big Western buff, I fell in love with this show...the chemistry between Pete Duel and Ben Murphy made the show..cheesy scripts and all. It was like the "Love Boat" of the early 70's..fun to see who would be in the next episode. From Jack Cassidy to Sally Field to even Sorrell Booke ("Boss Hogg"), Alias Smith and Jones was a fun show I have just discovered...32 years after the last episode aired. I hope it is released on DVD so my dad and I can watch it for years to come.
I have very fond memories of this show, along with my brother. As young boys, sat in front of the fire drying off on bath-night, eating crisps and bread'n'butter, glued to whatever was in store for the intrepid duo. I cannot recall any individual show, but I do remember that they were all enjoyable to watch. The whole series for me was excellent - hard to explain why.
So without viewing each episode on this website, I look forward to the release of the DVDs - in the knowledge that I shall be 'glued' to the tv again in later life.
Yup, I agree entirely with mal2pool. AS&J looks as good as ever and I'm enjoying the re-runs on ITV4 hugely. They'll be over all too soon of course, with five episodes a week being broadcast. I've got the DVDs but it's somehow even better to watch them on live broadcast. Such quality scripting, dialogue and acting.
I love this show, I watched it from the very first episode to his (Duel's)last, but couldn't make myself watch more than a couple with Roger Davis. Pete Duel was a great actor, and to this day has many fans, many new ones after the DVD came out in 2007.
Watching this show with my family was the
greatest joy and I for one have not seen
many shows on TV today that had the same
quality as this one did. It had comedy,
drama and action, without having to screen
your children from watching. With the death of
Pete Duel the show had to scramble to do
something with the series and made the decision of using Roger Davis in the coming seasons but
Pete's fans didn't really take to the change.
We felt sorry for Davis because he is a very good actor himself but Pete had such a following that no one gave him much of a
chance. The series ended but fans for years
kept Pete alive by having meetings (alot online)
and writing the networks until they put the
series back on, on such sites as TV Land and
then finally in 2007 put it on DVD. I hope everyone
has a chance to see this great show.
In the end of the Classic American Western tv shows during the early '70s came this gem. In the history of wild west tv shows this could rate along with Cimarron Strip as the best ever made. Cimarron Strip more action drama this show had style and humor. A very hip show for young people at the time. It brought the long hair generation back to westerns. I was a little grasshopper at the time but could watch this with my big sister in high school. Mom and dad had Gunsmoke we had Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. Two outlaws of the ole west trying to set things right but to no evail. A laugh every week with the adventure they are on you can't wait for next time to bring them into your home. Very slick comedy with action and well written plots. I have never believed that Pete Duel killed himself. The chemistry between the two really made the show click. Now in Feb 2007 1st season dvds will be released to main stream video stores. Brisco County Jr one of the few westerns produced since then is great but more like a Wild Wild West with more humor. I think the scifi cult show Firefly picks up the style like Smith and Jones. Firefly has the feel of Alias Smith and Jones. Good guy outlaws who help folk in need when they can with humor and action. In the os Battlestar Gallactica I always thought that Apollo and Starbuck had the same chemistry as Heyes and Curry. Great American heroes of the Ole West who never shot anyone.
Alias Smith and Jones was my favorite show when I was 9 years old. When Pete Duel died, as a kid I was shocked. Now I watch the show with my 9 year old and it brings back memories. A classic show that could have ran for years if Pete hadn't died.
I think the show is great. I also think the actors on the show where great and so where the guest stars on the show. That show also thought good lessons. I think the kids today can learn something from this show. I think this show should be on DVD.
I think Alias Smith and Johns should be put on DVD. The people who worked on the show and get the show on air are great people. They should have there show put on DVD to show what they have done. Also show that the writers of this show did a good job with this tv show. I think you should put Alias Smith and Johns on DVD to show that you are proud of what they came up with and to show that they have alot of people who like watching Alias Smith and Johns.
A classic. I rememeber watching Alias Smith and Jones as a kid when it was still on ABC. I still remember my shock to this day when I heard that Pete Duel had killed himself and still remember wondering how the show could contimue without him. I still wonder what's up with the money hungry folks at Universal Television?? Why have they not released this show on DVD? Come you guys in the marketing department need to get it together and release this fine show on DVD, I am waiting to buy my boxed set when you do.
Pete Duel and Ben Murphy are excellent in their portrayal of bad guys turned good. Episodes with Sally Fields are tops, and the sexual subtext between the three makes for interesting, eye-brow-raising television. Pete Duel could have become an acting legend. He is very similar to Jude Law. Great humor and good drama. Sexual \"straight-guy\" tension between characters very similar to the later \"Starsky & Hutch\" series.
Although some episodes begin to seem all too familiar as the series progresses, Pete Duel and Ben Murphy make watching this show a delight. DARK SHADOWS\' Roger Davis does an acceptable job replacing Pete Duel, but the chemistry is not the same.
Alias Smith and Jones is my favorite TV show of all time. It's a wonderful mix of comedy, drama, action, wit, and charm. The chemistry between the two initial lead actors Pete Duel and Ben Murphy is unmatched in television history. When replacing Duel after his death, Roger Davis performed admirably in an extraordinarily difficult situation. And, all three actors were not only talented but also great to look at.
Alias Smith and Jones also had strong semi-regular characters (in particular,Kyle Murty and Harry Briscoe as played by the wonderful Dennis Fimple and J. D. Cannon, respectively) and talented guest stars. Roy Huggins, the show's executive producer and primary writer (as John Thomas James), was one of the best talents in television. The scripts are a strong point of the show. There are witty lines and great stories and through-out it all our heroes remain as "pretty good bad men."
Great show. Great Chemistry. Great guest stars. Hot Actors. Tragic situation. Other than the 70s fashion that pops up on some of the women guest stars, this program is not at all dated and is just as fun to watch now as it was 30 plus years ago. Watch it.
Alias Smith and Jones was a light-hearted Western. It starred Pete Duel and Ben Murphy as outlaws trying to go straight. The scripts were uneven, some very good, some not so good. The series featured excellent guest stars such as Cesar Romero, J.D. Cannon, Will Geer. Duel's gifted acting talent shone in this show and Ben Murphy held his own opposite him. The show is pure entertainment and deserves a second look by critics who initially dismissed it.
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