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The Dukes of Hazzard

Season 1 Episode 1

One Armed Bandits

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 26, 1979 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Bo and Luke Duke steal Sheriff Coltrane's illegally imported slot machines, and run the 'one armed bandits' themselves, donating the profits to the local orphanage, which is under threat from Boss Hogg.

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  • Bo and Luke Duke steal Sheriff Coltrane's illegally imported slot machines, and run them themselves, using the profits to save the local orphanage, which is under threat from Boss Hogg. A terrific start to a classic TV series...moreless

    Ahh... 'The Dukes of Hazzard', nothing quite like it. I was one year old when 'Dukes' began airing here in the U.K., in March 1979 (less than two months after it debuted in the States, in the wonderful days before $ky nabbed everything new), so literally grew up with the series. Coming at the end of the 1970s, the decade that saw the 'Outlaw' movement at it's height, it capitalised on that whole "good ol' boy" way of life seen in so many Burt Reynolds films and the like. (Interestingly, there are several references to Burt Reynolds in these early episodes; surprising to think that he'd go on to play Boss Hogg in 2005's insultingly poor movie!). As you might know, 'Dukes' was a TV reworking of creator Gy Waldron's 1975 b-movie 'Moonrunners', which featured many identical and similar characters and concepts. I recently managed to get a copy of this film and it's a fascinating comparison.

    We only had a video recorder by the time quite late episodes were shown in the U.K., and sadly my father had long since taped over the few recorded episodes I had with James Bond films! Other than a few ropey episodes recorded in the early 1990s (see below), I didn't have access to the complete series was it was finally released season-by-season on DVD in 2005. So now I've decided it's finally time I sit down and watch the series right through – heck, I haven't seen some of those late episodes for almost 25 years! As I make my way through, I shall review each one (as in, give my thoughts on each episode; some contributors seem to get confused that ''review' means to simply give an overview of the plot ;) ).

    Although I love all periods of 'Dukes' (even the infamous Coy and Vance phase of the fifth season!!), I have to say, it is these original five episodes that I truly love. Although still essentially a comedy, they are more comedy-dramas that do not play simply for laughs, and have a much more rustic, in a way almost "gritty" feel, as opposed to the purely child-orientated, slapstick-heavy offerings that sadly took their toll on late(r) episodes.

    This first episode sums up what the series is all about. Bo and Luke, the "two modern day Robin Hoods", steal Sheriff Rosco's illegal slot machines and donate to the money from them to the poor, in this case the struggling Hazzard orphanage.

    The casual viewer will notice a number of differences with this and the next four episodes compared to what the series would soon become. Filmed in the real-life Covington, Georgia (they would move to the familiar Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood after completion of the fifth episode, "High Octane"), things have a more 'rough-and-ready' feel to them than the family-friendly proceedings would soon become the norm; several characters are noticeably not yet on form – Cooter, is much more of a wild man (at the beginning of this episode, he has stolen the Sheriffs car!), and no character is more of a contrast to their later self than Sheriff Rosco, much more hard-edged than the bumbling loon he would soon morph into. Boss Hogg takes a back seat for most of this one, with Rosco seeming to be the key organiser behind the slot machine racket.

    The pacing of this one is great, and does not sag at all. The climatic car chase through town is wonderfully orchestrated (as opposed to the often generic chases of later episodes), and I love how, even in the middle of an edge-of-the-seat pursuit, Bo and Luke still spend their time bickering – something that sadly did not continue for long as the production rate increased and such little touches were very much lost.

    For some reason, Cooter is driving (a replica of) 'Starsky & Hutch's car in this episode, with no apparent reason given. I've heard a few possible theories as to why it's here over the years, but not even life-long hard-core fans such as yours truly seem to know the real reason; either way, it never appears again in the series.

    'The Dukes of Hazzard' was a huge hit when shown here in the United Kingdom. It was one of those family shows that *everyone* liked; children my age liked it, my father loved it, my Mom didn't mind me watching due to the strong morals; heck, even my grandparents and assorted aunts and uncles often tuned in (my late Grandmother loved Uncle Jesse)! It's so sad that we don't have any truly family shows like this nowadays.

    Considering how popular it was here, amazingly it's never been repeated by any mainstream channel. Although I think they might have repeated the first season as part of the original run, when the series ended the BBC never reran it – rather sad considering some of the other rather weak imported shows they've ran over and OVER again!

    Bearing that in mind (and it being long before the internet became common place, which would have allowed fans to share private off-air recordings at least), it wasn't until October 1992 that I finally got my hands on a few 'Dukes' episodes that I was able to record; our next-door neighbours had cable TV installed. By chance I was playing around with the aerial on my portable TV and found that, somehow, the cable TV signal was leaking through the wall (nothing illegal, it was quite literally a stray signal!!) A couple of weeks later, Sky One began running a package of 'The Dukes of Hazzard', consisting of the first 60 produced episodes, running up to the episode "The Fugitive" (made as part of the third season). The quality was often poor considering the 'stray' source, and if the episodes were available to buy back then, I certainly would have done so. That first week I watched "One Armed Bandits" on my portable TV; by the next episode, I had devised a far stronger set-up, and had it hooked up to the family video recorder to record! Not bad for a nerdy schoolboy; All that simply because I loved (and still love) 'The Dukes of Hazzard' so much.

    So anyway, there we go, the first episode of a classic. A solid pilot outing, I give this one a definite 10/10. (Oh, and bear with me, not all of my reviews will be SO DARNED LONG!!) =)moreless
  • What a Great Show this one is!

    In the Dukes of hazzard: One Armed Bandits Bo and Luke Duke high jack a truck full of slot machines. They hide them at thier barn. When Uncle Jesse find them he is madder than a hornet nest. Uncle Jesse is a Red Neck Rebel and makes Moonshine but does not like to steal anything. Bo and Luke use thier Hot Cousin Daisy Duke as a decoy so they can steal the truck. Daisy is in jail and Bo and Luke have to bust her out.

    When this 1st Episode was out on TV they didnt think it would be such a hit. That is why after the 1st few Episodes the Dukes try thier best to be good folks and try to get them bad guys and keep them selfs out of the Pokey. This is one of the few Episodes that do not follow a true storyline as much as it should. However everything does run smoothly and there is no part I would have taken out. The part I like best is when they steal all of the slot machines and then use them to raise money for the kids with out a family.moreless
  • Bo and Luke get caught up in Boss Hoggs stolen slot machine's. Rosco is trying to win the re-election for sheriff, Bo is tring to woo a girl that came back to town to help save the orphanage, and Jesse still has a little colour in his grey hair.moreless

    It's obvious in this 1st episode that the characters are not 100% developed but well established just the same. Even though Rosco laughs funny as he always does he never actualy says "I love it...I love it!!" Uncle Jesse has brand new looking cover-alls and doesn't wear is red hat, you can still see he has a touch of blonde hair.

    Boss Hogg has a smaller part than usual and really adds no plot to this 1st episode and doesn't come into character till some episodes later. Bo, Luke and Daisy are bang on right from the get go. When Daisy's in jail and Luke comes to visit her, Enos has to let him in. To see Enos standing there drooling over Daisy's legs in that shot is just to funny. Great stuff.

    Rosco isn't the bumbling screw-up he turns out to be later on in this 1st episode. Like Boss he needs more time to get into what we see in later episodes. Cooter doesn't drive around in his tow truck but rather a Ford LTD just like Starsky & Hutch. Daisy has her yellow car and no jeep...yet.

    No usual bad guys in this episode, it just revolves around the usual gang and the girl Bo is trying to score with, who is more interested in saving the orphanage, so Bo and Luke use the stolen slot machines that they stole from the original crooks to set up around town and use the proceeds to donate to the orphanage in Roscos's name. Rosco doesn't find this out till the end when he's tricked by Enos and the boys to the orphanage where a surprise party awaits, and a sure land slide of votes to be re-elected as sheriff.

    Needless to say Bo does get the girl. One last thing...if some little kid spit pop all over the inside of my car I'd tan his backside!!!!moreless
  • The one that started it all!

    Who would have thought that this show would go on to have such great success. The TV critics didn't give it much of a chance with all the lousy reviews. But the show found a niche with viewers like myself, at the time 10 yrs old, who enjoyed watching car chases, car crashes, and the misadventures of the local police department. Actually I am lying we all watched because of Daisy and the now world famous Dasiy Dukes.moreless
  • The First Adventure!

    The episode that started it all. I would say this is part of TV history.

    The characters introduction is absolutely perfect with the help of the narrator.

    The story is simple and filled with funny, exciting moments already showing what was coming in the future.

    All the actors seem comfortable in their roles already giving them the personality we all love.

    And of course there\'s that red bikini that Daisy wears. My God, that is one of my favourite scenes of all time.

    It\'s easy to see that this was a show destined for success. It had likable characters (even the bad guys are bad in a goofy, sympathetic way) played by a charismatic cast and a whole lot of action. More importantly the show had a heart of gold, it was friendly and after it ended it made us feel good.

    This episode is the perfect example of all this.

    A good start to a fantastic show!

Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle

Uncle Jesse Duke

John Schneider

John Schneider

Bo Duke

Tom Wopat

Tom Wopat

Luke Duke

Catherine Bach

Catherine Bach

Daisy Duke

James Best

James Best

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltraine

Sorrell Booke

Sorrell Booke

Jefferson Davis (J.D.)Hogg

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • Cooter utters his often used phrase "Shoot fire and save box matches" for the first time in this episode.

    • This episode holds the record for the number of times the General Lee's Dixie horn is be heard in a single episode - four times. It is heard once during the chase after the stolen Police car at the start of the story, twice in the scene in the junk yard, and once more as the car drives away in the last shot.

    • The guitar used in the opening introduction (not yet a shot of Waylon Jennings) was acoustic.

    • During the car chase near the end of the episode when Bo and Luke are driving round the town square, there is another General Lee parked in the street. It is visible almost in the middle of the screen.

    • The Untouchables once had an episode with the same title as this one--One Armed Bandits.

    • Hazzard County is said to be in Georgia, but there is no such county now or ever in Georgia. There is, however, a town in Kentucky named Hazard.

    • In the chase scene in the beginning, Cooter changes between 3 different police cars, first he has a Dodge Monaco with the confederate flag plate in the middle of the bumper, then he has a car just like but it has the plate on the passenger side of the bumper when he does the jump before the General Lee does it. And the he switches to a Dodge Polara, which has a smashed up rear quarter panel and a fenderbender in the front and then thats one car that he flips in the construction zone. A similar thing happens during the chase scene in the end. Rosco and Enos switch between the those 3 cars too.

    • At the junkyard, General Lee honks it's horn once, and starts a second time - when it stops after the first two notes! Later, after Bo and Luke are back in the car, the horn finishes the last 10 notes.

    • In the final chase with Sheriff Rosco chasing the Duke Boys, there are several continuity errors with the General Lee's windows, with there being none at all in some shots, other shots having the glass panels towards the back of the car, and a couple of (rare) shots of all of the windows wound up.

    • At the start of the story, when the Sheriff's car crashes, the General Lee skids to halt next to it, with the glass panels towards the back of the car, behind the doors, present. Next is a shot of Bo, then in the following shot the General is now slightly further back than where it stopped before, and the glass panels have suddenly disappeared.

    • On the long pan shot of the General Lee on the way to the Boar's Nest, look very carefully at the telegraph poles along the left side of the road - a man (possibly a member of the production crew) can be seen standing up against one of the poles, standing in the middle of nowhere.

    • At the surprise party for Sheriff Rosco at the end of the story, the banner can seen to have Rosco mis-spelt "Roscoe" with an 'e' on the end (a common error in Dukes literature). Presumably someone noticed this error, as on the close up, the 'e' is conveniently hidden by a balloon.

    • When Daisy says "Hey, again," to Rosco, the scene is during nighttime! Look at the shadow on the roof of the car.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Bo: If you had tuned this car instead of chasing women last night,
      we'd already have him.
      Luke: Not with you asleep at the wheel.

    • Luke: Watch out for that mailbox!
      (Bo runs over four mailboxes)
      Bo: What mailbox?

    • Uncle Jesse: Why would you let Cooter borrow your car?! Next time just run it off a cliff and save gas.

    • Luke: You borrowed my car this morning. What'd you do with it?
      Cooter: Oh, I used it to run the sheriff off the road to make him mad.

    • Cooter: This here's Crazy Cooter talkin'. Turkey coming right down my alley. Gobble gobble.

    • Luke: I love your shortcut.
      Bo: Cute. They must've changed it since the last time a girl chased me through here.

    • Uncle Jesse: The chance of you two producing an offspring is up there with hogs producing beef

    • Boss: Rosco, With your image right now if you were the only man running.
      Rosco: I'd come in second.
      Boss: You'd come in second.

    • Daisy: You all right?
      Bo: I'm okay.
      Daisy: Now, Bo, why did you step in like that? I'm gonna get charged for two beers.
      Bo: Believe me, honey. I'm not gonna do it again.

    • Balladeer: Just the good old boys, never meaning no harm. Beats all you ever saw been in trouble with the law since the day they was born. Straightening them curves, flattening them hills; someday the mountain might get them but the law never will. Making their way the only way they know how; that's just a little bit more then the law will allow. Just the good old boys, would'nt change if they could, fighting the system like two modern day robin hood.

      Opening credits song

    • Bo: You know, if you weren't my cousin, I'd marry you.
      Daisy: Never stopped anybody in this family before.

    • Bo: What do you think?
      Luke: I think I'm tired of you always getting us into trouble and me having to think a way out.

    • Balladeer: If Sheriff Rosco runs the county, Boss Hogg runs Rosco.

    • Luke: Cooter Davenport, you ain't got the sense the good lord promised a turkey.

    • Luke: Try not to lose him, ok?
      Bo: It wouldn't be much of a chase if we do.

    • Bo: Grab that sign.
      Luke: You grab it.
      Bo: I can't, I'm driving.
      Luke: Oh, is that what you call it?!

    • Luke: When I got up the biggest thing on my mind was rabbit hunting.
      Bo: And then the hound dog runs off.
      Luke: And my car is taken.
      Bo: And now we're chasing the sheriffs car. Ain't you glad we ain't in the big city where life gets complicated? Pay up.
      Luke: Do you mind waiting till this is over?

    • Balladeer: This is Bo and Luke Duke; they're cousins and they fight the system.

    • Boss: I wish them Duke boys was on my side.

    • (Bo and Luke are chasing Cooter, who has stolen the sheriff's car. They drive along a road that is under construction, and narrowly miss a JCB.)
      Luke: Bo, you drive like my Aunt Fanny whips apple butter.

  • NOTES (23)

    • The first five episodes were shot on location in and around Covington, Georgia, in November and December 1978. The series was only planned as a mid-season replacement, with just nine episodes planned. After completion of the fifth episode, "High Octane", Warner Brothers executives saw enough potential in the series that they moved production to California, in order to streamline filming.

      In these very early episodes, there are a number of noticeable character differences - Cooter is a wild rebel who often breaks the law; Rosco is a more hard-nosed, bitter lawman; Boss Hogg is more gruff and serious, and the Dukes are not so "clean cut" in nature. As the series found it's "family friendly" footing, many of these characteristics would evolve or be toned down.

    • This is the only episode where we actively see a number of deputies working at the Police Station. Ordinarily it would only be Rosco and Enos (Enos replaced by Cletus in the third and fourth seasons). On occasions, such as "car race" episodes, we would see auxiliary deputies, but they were not permanent. (Note however, that several other early episodes make indirect references to other deputies - in the next episode, "Daisy's Song", for example, Boss and Rosco discuss Rosco's deputies, with Rosco insisting that none of them are honest, except for Enos).

    • The series premiered in the United Kingdom on BBC One on Saturday 3rd March 1979, at 9 pm (it would soon be moved to an earlier time slot to cater to its many younger aged fans).
      This is less than two months after the show debuted in the US - long before satellite channels were around to poach the rights!

    • James Best almost turned the role of Sheriff Rosco (P.) Coltrane down because he said he didn't want to do a "gang thing" for a TV show, believing 'The Dukes' to be a suburban street gang.

    • The early General Lees, as seen in this episode, has an additional artwork design that soon disappeared; A small Confederate flag is a cross design with another flag, on the trunk of the car (just above the CB aerial). This was dropped after the series moved to the Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood.

    • According to commentary by Catherine Bach and John Schneider on the season 1 DVDs, the hands playing the guitar at the start of the first few episodes are in fact not Waylon Jennings. However, they cannot remember to whom they belong.

    • Daisy becomes the first Duke to successfully escape from the Hazzard County Jail in this premiere episode. Bo and Luke would have to wait a few episodes longer.

    • In the early episodes there are very few scenes between Boss and Rosco as opposed to later when the two would become almost inseparable. Both men went their own way and had their own scams although it was made clear that Boss was the one in charge.

    • Ernie W. Brown, who appears here as Dobro Dullyn, would later appear in three episodes as Longstreet B. Davenport who tookover the Hazzard garage during Cooter's temporary "absence."

    • Neither Ben Jones nor Sonny Shroyer is billed in the opening credits in this series premiere episode. Shroyer would not be there until Season Two. Jones would be listed starting with the show's third episode.

    • The first General Lee was labeled "Lee 1" by Warner Bros. It is jumped over Rosco in this episode and can be seen at the end the opening credits. When this episode was filmed, the crew forgot to film the scene where Bo & Luke load the slot machines into the General Lee and drive away. By this time, the car had already been jumped! Watch carefully when the boys load the machines into the trunk. The car is heavily damaged as a result of out-of-order filming (the jump comes later in the episode). This same car is painted green with a #71 on the side in episode 4 ("Repo Men"), and survives yet today!

    • We learn that Boss Hogg is married to Rosco's sister, when he says to Rosco that he's paid any debt he ever owed to him by marrying her. We first see the character, Lulu, in the fourth episode, Repo Men.

    • Bo wears a brown / deep red colour t-shirt in this episode, not the blue colour he normally wears when he had a t-shirt.

    • Sheriff Rosco Coltrane's middle initial, 'P', wasn't used until the 2nd season.

    • In this episode, Cooter is seen to be driving a car identical to that associated with Starsky & Hutch (even complete with white stripe down the sides). It is the only episode of the series that the car is ever seen in.

    • In the very early episodes, there are a number of deputies, but by the second season, there only appeared to be Sheriff Rosco and Enos (later replaced by Cletus).

    • In this episode we see the Hazzard Police Station, a completely different building which would be used later (the Police Station was later part of the Court-House). Although we see the interior of this Station in a couple of early episodes, this is the only time we see the exterior of it.

    • The early paint-job of the General Lee had two small flags (a common C.B. logo) on the trunk above the C.B. arial. This would be painted out within a couple of episodes. Early versions of the car also had glass panels to the back of the side windows which were not used later (in several scenes, the glass panels can be seen to disappear and re-appear with different shots).

    • The first five episodes of the series were filmed in Covington, Georgia, before filming moved to the Warner Brothers lot in California. Covington would later be the location where the NBC police drama In the Heat of the Night was filmed.

    • In this and other early episodes, the General Lee seems to belong more soley to Bo. In later episodes, it would be well known that it is evenly owned by Bo and Luke. (Luke is mentioned to have a car in this episode, which Cooter "borrowed", but we never see it).

    • There are several elements in this and other early episodes, such as Boss calling Rosco / Rosco calling Enos "Jackass" (which would evolve into "Dipstick"), Enos being known as the oldest virgin in Hazzard County, and in this story, the Dukes using an inflatable doll in their jail-break of Daisy, which would be toned down as the series found it's feet as a family show.

    • There are some subtle but noticable differences with this and the first few episodes of the series from what it would become later. Probably the most noticable difference is with Rosco, who though not too smart, is not yet quite the bumbling buffoon he would evolve into. Here, rather than taking his orders from Boss Hogg, he is more his own boss, and just needs approval from Boss Hogg for his plans. We learn that he was embittered by being cheated out of his pension, and so became crooked to get all he could (something which would be totally forgotten by the 2nd season). The other noticable difference is Cooter. Far from the clean-cut character he would be in later seasons, he is much rougher here, (he steals the Sheriff's car in this episode), and would probably work for anybody if the money is right (there is no hint of him owning a garage in this episode).

    • Much of the premise The Dukes Of Hazzard was inspired from creator Gy Waldron's 1974 film Moonrunners. The movie even had characters called Uncle Jesse, Cooter, Sheriff Coltrane, and Waylon Jennings as the Balladeer. There was even a stock car, not named 'General Lee', but named after his horse, 'Traveler'. Ben Jones (Hazzard's Cooter) also had a role, as a federal agent.