Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DVR-TiVo-Or whatever recording device strikes your fancy-alert!


Once again, TDOY turns your attention to the Encore Westerns channel (if you subscribe…if not, scroll down to the last paragraph) for a classic episode from the dean of TV westerns, Gunsmoke. EW has “Us Haggens” scheduled at 7:00am tomorrow and features a historic first meeting between two of the show’s main characters—or as we like to refer to it around Rancho Yesteryear, “When Festus Met Dillon.”

Matt (James Arness) is on the trail of a man named “Black” Jack Haggen (Denver “Uncle Jesse” Pyle), who shot and killed a Dodge City farmer in cold blood, and he’s helped in his quest by the man’s nephew (Ken Curtis)…who has reasons of his own for wanting to hand over Jack to the long arm of the law. (“Might be a bigger joke on the kinfolk, though, if I was to bring him in to get him hung…they’d just never get over it if I was to do a thing like that.”) Originally telecast on December 8, 1962 and penned by veteran Gunsmoke scribe Les Crutchfield, “Haggens” would inspire a sequel in “Prairie Wolfer” (01/18/64) (though Curtis made another guest appearance between these shows as a different character)—this one written by another Gunsmoke vet, John Dunkel. (“Wolfer” boasts the distinction of being the only episode to feature Matt, Kitty [Amanda Blake], Doc [Milburn Stone], Chester [Dennis Weaver], Festus, Quint Asper [Burt Reynolds] and bartender San Noonan [Glenn Strange] at the same time.) From that point on Festus maintained a continued presence in Dodge, and eventually took over as the marshal’s deputy at the start of the 1964-65 season when Weaver left to star in the ill-fated Kentucky Jones.

“Haggens” is one of the episodes featured on the DVD box set Gunsmoke: The Directors Collection (while “Wolfer” is available on Gunsmoke: 50th Anniversary Collection) so if you don’t subscribe to Encore Westerns it might be available for rental at Netflix, ClassicFlix.com and other fine online places. (And if you miss recording “Haggens” tomorrow the channel will repeat it on November 11 at 7:06pm EST.)

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2 comments:

Edward Copeland said...

What? No mention that Shout! Factory also is answering the dreams of all Larry Sanders by FINALLY putting out the complete series in 17 disc set Nov. 2. It's pricey, though discounted at their site, and you get a Larry Sanders baseball cap. Before, all that was out was the first season and a compilation of certain episodes from all the seasons, including ones already released in the season 1 version.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

What? No mention that Shout! Factory also is answering the dreams of all Larry Sanders by FINALLY putting out the complete series in 17 disc set Nov. 2.

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