The Dukes of Hazzard

Season 1 Episode 1

One Armed Bandits

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 26, 1979 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
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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...

    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!!) =)
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • This was the beginning of a great show.

    This was the beginning of my favorite show of all time. It starts out by introducing the Duke boys (Bo and Luke who are introduced as cousins who fight the system) who are chasing a sheriff’s car in a big Orange car named the General Lee. The person in the patrol car is Cooter who stole Roscoe's (the local corrupt town sheriff) patrol car. Then we meet Uncle Jesse the clan patriarch. He is seen in the Duke farm while they are eating breakfast. Then we meet Daisy there cousin who works at the Boar's nest owned by County Commissioner J. D. Hogg. Who is more corrupt then Roscoe. They are brining in illegal slots machines. Which are then stolen by Bo and Luke and given to the local clubs to help the orphanage. They get Daisy out of jail when she was arrested for robbery. There we meet the only honest lawman Enos Straight. He ends up helping the Dukes give credit for saving the orphanage to Roscoe. Who is running for reelection and gets reelected because of this.
  • This was a brilliant way to start off the series

    Well in the begining Bo & Luke are chasing the Sherrif's patrol car which was stolen by Cooter. They notice that a slot machine fell out after Cooter flipped it. They than set out to hijack a fertilizer truck (using Daisy as in a bikini to coax them out) with the slot machines in them. They then put all of the slot machines in the frat clubs and clubs to raise money for the orphanage which is gonna be foreclosed by Boss to make a shopping center. In the end the dukes give the credit to Roscoe for saving the orphanage , thus getting Roscoe re-elected
  • Welcome to Hazzard County! The first episode of this famous series, and it's terrific! Spectacular!

    The first Dukes of Hazzard episode ever, and it's a winner!

    We are introduced to Hazzard County, and it's famous residents - the Duke Boys, Bo and Luke. They fight the system. (Whenever they ain't fighting amongst themselves, of course!) They drive around in the famed car we all know and love - The General Lee!

    The episode opens with Bo and Luke chasing Cooter in a Hazzard patrol car, (Cause the sheriff confiscated Cooter's car, which in turn is actually Luke's car he drove) and soon catch him, after a spectacular crash! But then they find some slot machines in the backseat. Turns out they are being illegally transported into the county by none other than Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane! (Guhk, guhk, guu!)

    So Bo, Luke, and their sexy female cousin Daisy (OOOOWWWWW, SHE'S HOT, DAMN IT!!!) come up with a plan, and soon hijack the truck bringing in the slot machines. But soon their Uncle Jesse, (the Duke patriarch) finds the hidden machines, and orders them to return them, but Bo and Luke say if they show him gambling isn't all bad, then . . . (I haven't a clue now!)

    So they put machines up all over in different parts of the county. Rosco soon finds some in one shop while he breaks there. He brings county commissioner Boss Jefferson Davis "J.D." Hogg to see, who is surprised. Soon, Daisy gets chased by Rosco and is arrested.

    Luke and Bo soon come up with a scheme to get Daisy out, and she escapes, scot-free! But the reason why Bo and Luke are doing this is because Bo wants to help a friend - a girlfriend - of his to save an orphanage from being destroyed.

    In the end, when Rosco catchs them at the orphanage, he's very surprised to see that there's a banner saying "Thank you, Sheriff Rosco", and soon, a celebration erupts! Bo and Luke came up with a scheme so it make it that Rosco saved the orphanage with the money from the slot machines, which leaves Boss Hogg pretty furious.

    So ends episode one of the greatest TV series I've ever seen! Wish the show was still running though.
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