Bonanza

Season 1 Episode 1

A Rose for Lotta

2
Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Sep 12, 1959 on NBC
7.0
out of 10
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37 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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A Rose for Lotta
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In the series opener, Ben refuses to sell the Ponderosa's timber to Alpheus Troy and his business cartel that wanting it for mine building. They enlist the aid of actress Lotta Crabtree to lure in a Cartwright son so they can kidnap him and force Ben to sell. Joe is captured when he goes to call on the attractive Lotta, but Troy doesn't realize how formidable the Cartwright family can be.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Rich mine owners bring Lotta Crabtree, a famous actress, to town to lure one of Ben's sons into their clutches. They plan to hold a son for ransom to force Ben to sell them timber for their mines.moreless

    7.5
    This is the series pilot and, while it is certainly very entertaining, the main characters, with the exception of Little Joe, don't act much like they do as the series developed. Ben is a little too "over the top" in his emotions, Hoss is a goofball and Adam is sort of a jerk, at least in the first part of the episode. Fortunately, the characters evolved pretty quickly after this first installment.



    The character of Little Joe is much like we see him in the other early episodes. He is quick to escort Lotta back to town, even though he should know not to go into town alone, with the silver barons out to get Ben. He has a great fight scene in Lotta's room, when some of the silver barons' henchmen come to abduct him. He even uses a parasole that Lotta tosses to him as though it were an rapier. He gets away from the bad guys and spends the rest of the night hiding from them, ending up at a little french restaurant with Lotta. His character is a lot of fun to watch in this episode and Michael Landon did a great job in portraying him.moreless
Dan Blocker

Dan Blocker

Eric "Hoss" Cartwright

Lorne Greene

Lorne Greene

Ben Cartwright

Pernell Roberts

Pernell Roberts

Adam Cartwright

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Joseph "Little Joe" Francis Cartwright

George Macready

George Macready

Alpheus Troy

Guest Star

Barry Kelley

Barry Kelley

Aaron Cooper

Guest Star

Willis Bouchey

Willis Bouchey

George Garvey

Guest Star

Victor Sen Yung

Victor Sen Yung

Hop Sing

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Yvonne De Carlo, who portrayed Lotta Crabtree, was about 37 at the time of this episode, the real-life child actress Lotta Crabtree would only have been 11 or 12. (At the beginning, the series was set in 1859.)

    • The cast sang the lyrics for the Bonanza theme in a scene to run at the end of the fourth act. However, it was so laughably ridiculous that it was cut and never made it on the air. This outtake featuring the Cartwrights' warbling has been shown since, but not as part of the series.

    • Adam makes a crack to Joe about "Your French Quarter mother" and the two get into a fight. In future episodes the topic comes up again. What is Adam implying about what Marie did before she met Ben?

    • Joe tells Lotta that his mother's name was Felicia. This is changed in later episodes to Marie.

    • Hop Ling is Hop Sing's father.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Yvonne DeCarlo was best known as Lily Munster, Herman's wife, on The Munsters (1964-1966).

    • For the first 10 episodes, the ending credits were scrolled over the familiar Ponderosa map with a (very) slightly different instrumental version of the Bonanza theme.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Lotta Crabtree (1847-1924)
      When Bonanza began, the year was 1859, thus making Lotta 12-13 years old at this time. Even though she had started her career as a singer and dancer she would've been too young for even Joe Cartwright to consider.

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