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    The Adventures of Jim Bowie

    The Adventures of Jim Bowie

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    ABC (ended 1958)
    This series recounts the exploits of the legendary frontiersman, adventurer, plantation owner, and entrepreneur, Jim Bowie. It takes place primarily in the Louisiana Territory (recently purchased from the French) in the 1820's and early 1830's, before Bowie's permanent move to Texas (then part of Mexico) and his untimely death at the Alamo in 1836. He encounters many historical figures of the era, such as Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, John James Audubon, and Davy Crockett. Produced by Louis Edelman, based on the novel "The Tempered Blade" by Monte Barrett. The rousing theme song was by Ken Darby and The King's Men. As to the pronunciation of Bowie's name, people pronounced it bow-ee in Louisiana, but boo-wee in Texas.moreless
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    Zorro

    Zorro

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    ABC (ended 1959)
    In 1919, a novelist named Johnston McCulley wrote a book entitled The Curse of Capistrano, which starred a fantastic swordsman named Zorro. McCulley had no idea what a phenomenon he had created. Zorro, a.k.a. Don Diego de le Vega (Originally known as Don Diego Vega) was a masked hero, fighting tyranny in Spanish California. In "The Mark of Zorro" starring Douglas Fairbanks (1920), and later a remake starring Tyrone Power, Zorro proved that he was not limited to novels. Actually, he and the screen were made for each other. Yet Zorro had yet to reach his peak. The character became a true classic when Walt Disney created a television series, starring Guy Williams as Don Diego/Zorro. This version was quite different from the novels. For starters, he was de le Vega instead of Vega. And more importantly, in the book Diego was a great swordsman and everyone knew it! Instead, Diego was cruel and hateful towards the lower classes, making so no one would ever suspect he was Zorro. Walt Disney changed that, and made several other changes as well, creating the Zorro we all know and love. But, after disputes between Disney and ABC, Zorro was cancelled forever, with the exception of a few hour long episodes of "Disneyland" which later became known as "The Wonderful World of Disney." With reruns, and of course The Disney Channel, Zorro was able to ignite another spark of adventure in the hearts of viewers everywhere, young and old. But, with "Vault Disney" having been taken off the air, it seems that again networks have done what Garcia could not, and that is cause Zorro to end his mascarade. But who knows, maybe someday Zorro will get his chance again to ride against tyranny, fighting soldiers and evil-doers for yet another generation. The Zorro theme song used throughout the series was written by Norman Foster (words) and George Bruns (music).moreless
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    Zane Grey Theater

    Zane Grey Theater

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    CBS (ended 1961)
    Welcome to the Zane Grey Theater guide at TV.com. Zane Grey Theater were adaptations of short stories and novels of the West by author Zane Grey, when the material began to run out stories from other authors were used. Host Dick Powell introduced the episodes and starred in several himself. Wonderful tales of the Old West laden with history and adventure. The opening and closing orchestration was conducted by Harry Lubin, the song was called "Way Out West". There were five episodes which became series' of their own, they include: "Trackdown" which aired 3May57; "The Rifleman" which aired 07Mar58; "Black Saddle" which aired 23May58; "Johnny Ringo" which aired 05Mar59; "The Westerner" which aired 26Mar59. Stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lloyd Bridges, Eddie Albert just to name a few, appeared throughout the series. A Classic!moreless
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    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

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    ITV (ended 1958)
    The Adventures of Robin Hood series, intended primarily for children, featuring Robin of Locksley and his merry men in Sherwood Forest, who protect England from the evil machinations of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham, while good King Richard is away at the Crusades. An unusual television series at the time in that it frequently re-used the same actors in different roles, or different actors in a recurring roles.moreless
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    The Adventures of Spin and Marty

    The Adventures of Spin and Marty

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    Disney Channel (ended 1955)
    This show aired as a part of "The Mickey Mouse Club."
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    Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans

    Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans

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    (ended 1957)
    Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans was set in New York's Hudson Valley during the French and Indian war in the 1750's and depicted the adventures of Hawkeye and his Indian blood brother, the last member of the Mohican tribe. The series based on stories by James Fenimore Cooper.moreless
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    Casey Jones

    Casey Jones

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    (ended 1958)
    Casey Jones chronicles the adventures of John Luther 'Casey' Jones, the engineer on the "Cannonball Express" during the 1890s.

    Casey Jones was very loosely based upon the real locomotive engineer by the same name, who died on a foggy and rainy night when his train slammed into a stalled freight train. A popular song made him a legend, immortalizing his heroic efforts to stop his train and save lives.

    Casey Jones starred Alan Hale, Jr. almost a decade before his most famous role as the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Bobby Clark was Casey Jones, Jr. while Dub Taylor played Wallie Sims and Eddy Waller was Red Rock Smith. Also featured was Mary Lawrence (aka Mary Laurence) as Casey's wife Alice.moreless
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    I Led Three Lives

    I Led Three Lives

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    (ended 1957)
    Herbert Philbrick leads three lives. By day he is an advertising executive in Boston. His other jobs are as an undercover agent and a counter spy, in this anti-communist cold war spy series.moreless
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    The Gene Autry Show

    The Gene Autry Show

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    CBS (ended 1956)
    Episodes: 78 (b&w)/15 (color) Gene Autry is one of America's favorite cowboys in history, and The Gene Autry Show was one of the first television shows in America, premiering in 1950. Gene Autry, a.k.a. The Singing Cowboy, been featured in a ton of western movies with Smiley Burnette. Later, a good friend, Pat Buttram became Gene's sidekick and were also featured movies together. Then in 1950, Gene Autry and Pat Buttram made "The Gene Autry Show" The Gene Autry show last from 1950 to 1956 with 91 successfull episodes. Seasons 1-4 were in B & W, Season 5 was in color. The Gene Autry Show was produced by Flying A Pictures, Gene's own television production company, which was also the name of his ranch on the show. The Gene Autry Show is now in reruns and can be viewed on the digital cable channel, Westerns Channel. The Gene Autry Show was about a singing cowboy, and his deputy partner, Pat Buttram who ride the west to help kids, women, men, or other misfourtunate people and bring the outlaws to justice. Gene Autry was always the upright person, recognized by the fans who adored him, while his partner Pat Buttram was clumsy, a lousy cook, and just plain careless. Together, they made a great team and a dynamic duo for western TV. The Gene Autry Show was originally knowned as "Melody Ranch", possibly because Gene is the Singing Cowboy afterall. Episodes: 78 (b&w)/15 (color) The Charcters Gene Autry: The title character of the show. Rides through the west singing on his horse, Champion. Gene Autry is a U.S. Marshal. Pat Buttram: Gene Autry's sidekick who, can't hold a cake without falling into it, can't cook a burger without burning it, and can't play a whistle without swallowing it. Sometimes on the show (only in the early episodes) he was also knowned as Pat Jensen, Patrick Smith, and Hap Wallace. He loves to eat, and wishes he had a girl (he did in real life though) Champion (aka Champ): Gene's loyal horse. Really smart too, he once noticed a waterhole was poisoned while Gene didn't know at first. Little Champ:Champions's son. (season 5 only) Show Notes: *All of Gene's sidekicks (Pat, Tiny, Sagebrush, Chill) always wear the same outfit...tan 10-gallon hat, a blue and white plad shirt, leather vest, and kacky pants. *Before Pat Buttram, Gene's sidekick was Smiley Burnett. *Pat Buttram's real life wife, Sheila Ryan has played characters on the show before. *The reason why Pat had a little "hiatus" on the show (with Tiny, Sagebrush, and Chill Wills as the sidekicks) was because of a horrible misfire of a cannon during the filming of the show. *The Gene Autry Show later had a spin-off called ""The Adventures of Champion"" in 1955.moreless
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    The Lone Wolf

    The Lone Wolf

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    (ended 1955)
    Michael Lanyard, better known as the Lone Wolf, is a rapscallion gentleman who travels the world to fight the proponents of crime. This one-season syndicated series was released during the 1954-1955 season and produced 39 episodes. moreless
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    Mackenzie's Raiders

    Mackenzie's Raiders

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    (ended 1959)
    Colonel Mackenzie of the 4th cavalry regiment is given orders by the president to defend the border between Texas and the US from anyone trying to get into or out of Mexico.moreless
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    26 Men

    26 Men

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    (ended 1960)
    Twenty-Six Men was based on true official files of the Arizona Rangers in the final days taming the old west. In 1901, a law enforcement organization was formed, known as the Arizona Rangers, consisting of twenty-six men: a captain, a lieutentant, four sergeants, and twenty privates. The Rangers preserved and maintained law and order in the Arizona Territory, making arrests of criminals in any part of Arizona. As one of the original members reportedly recalled: "The reason there was only twenty-six of us was because the Territory couldn't afford no more." The series, incidentally, was shot on location in Arizona, and many residents of Tulsa and Phoenix played supporting roles.moreless
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    Speedy Gonzales

    Speedy Gonzales

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    The WB
    Speedy Gonzales is the famous Warner Bros. cartoon Mexican mouse part of WB's long running Loony Tunes. The toon mouse was created by Robert Mckimson and Friz Freleng (until redesigned by Hawly Pratt) and first aired in the 1953 cartoon Cat-Tails for Two. He was originally voiced by Mel Blanc, who created Speedy's famous call "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba (which is spanish for "Go on! Go on! Up!Up!). Speedy is always seen wearing a large yellow sombrero, a red bandana, and white shirt and pants. He gets is name from being the fastest mouse in all of mexico (though he runs faster than any human can too). There have been forty six Speedy Gonzales cartoons made so far, and many of the lovable Loony Tunes characters are featured in them - such as Sylvester the cat. The 1955 the Speedy animated short won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (cartoons). In recent years, the Speedy Gonzales cartoons sparked controversy for their depiction of stereotypes against latin americans, and thus taken off the air. However due to their popularity within the Latin community, they were brought back with a disclaimer.moreless
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    The Cisco Kid

    The Cisco Kid

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    (ended 1956)
    The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho roam the old west looking for people to help.
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    Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett

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    ABC (ended 1955)
    The classic Walt Disney series featuring the life of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, starring Fess Parker (Daniel Boone) and Buddy Ebsen (Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones) as the legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett and his best friend, Georgie Russell.

    The series followed their adventures through the Indian Wars, Davy's tenure in Congress, travels down the Missisippi River, and the last stand at the Alamo.

    The five episodes of the series aired as segments of "Disneyland"; in 1954 and 1955. Later, they were re-edited and packaged into the theatrical releases Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. In 1989, Disney launched a revival series, with Tim Dunigan and Gary Grubbs. Though good in its own right, it never reached the popularity of the original Fess Parker episodes.

    The popularity of the shows made the "Ballad of Davy Crockett" a chart-topping single and inspired children across the country to sport coonskin caps.moreless
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    The Public Defender

    The Public Defender

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    CBS (ended 1955)
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    Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion

    Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    Welcome to the Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion guide at TV.com.
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    Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe

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    (ended 1959)
    Welcome to the Ivanhoe guide at TV.com.
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    H.G. Wells' Invisible Man

    H.G. Wells' Invisible Man

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    ITV (ended 1959)
    Welcome to the H.G. Wells' Invisible Man episode guide at TV.com. A series produced in the 1950s from ITV in the UK, this show was remarkable for its time for the special effects and action storylines. It is the story of a scientist who's pursuit for the secret of invisibility causes an accident where he himself becomes invisible. While trying to cure himself, he is drafted by the government to solve crimes and conduct secret spy missions. After broadcast in the UK, the series had a successful run on CBS in the USA.moreless
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    The Buccaneers

    The Buccaneers

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    ITV (ended 1957)
    Swashbuckling UK Export Of The Mid-50s –

    Robert Shaw stars in this well-made, rousing British adventure series of the mid-50s. Taking place in the early 18th century, in the British Caribbean colony of New Providence (The Bahamas), episodes revolved around ex-pirate raider Dan Tempest (Shaw), who has accepted a pardon from King George, and the job of defending the islands, in his trusty ship 'The Sultana', along with a rag-tag, but hearty Crew of reformed ex-buccaneers, also pardoned by The King.

    For the first two thirds of the run of the series, Peter Hammond appears, as Lieutenant Edward Beamish, of The Royal Navy. Left in charge of New Providence, by original Colonial Governor Woodes Rogers, the young, efficient, but inexperienced Beamish works together with Tempest in the fight against not only the various pirate raiders who still plague the Caribbean, but against the Spaniards, with whom, the British are at war. Some episodes found Tempest, Beamish, and the Crew of the Sultana facing the infamous pirate known as Blackbeard, and at other times, outwitting the devious Van Brugh – A rich, greedy New Providence plantation owner who often consorted with the various shady characters who came to the island, from time to time. For the concluding third of it's run, the series assumed a slightly different format, with Tempest and Crew sailing off the Eastern seaboard of the continental Colonies, dealing with various sinister elements, sometimes returning to their old buccaneering ways, as they helped the Colonial Farmers and Merchants in a kind of Robin Hood-like fashion.

    Produced by Weinstein Productions, and Sapphire Films, Ltd.., and filmed entirely at Twickenham Studios, in London, The Buccaneers was soon brought to the USA by CBS, who premiered it on the evening Saturday, September 22nd, 1956, at 7:30 PM, EST. Despite it's overall good quality, however, it didn't catch on with the viewing public. Scheduled opposite NBC's popular People Are Funny, it was cancelled after a single 39-episode season, and it's last prime time telecast was on September 14th, 1957. It was replaced, the following week, by the soon-to-be phenomenally popular Perry Mason.

    With a dependable supporting cast – Which included a kind of repertory company of players, who appeared often, in various roles – Excellent sets, costumes, acceptable-for-the-time special effects, and plenty of action – Including expert swordplay – This well written and directed sea-going, swashbuckling adventure series is well worth a look.moreless
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