Laredo (TV series)

Laredo is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from 1965–67, starring Neville Brand, William Smith, Peter Brown, and Philip Carey as Texas Rangers. It is set on the Mexican border around Laredo in Webb County in South Texas. The program presented 56 episodes in color. It was produced by Universal Television. The series has a comedic element, but like another NBC series that premiered in 1965, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, it was an hour in length, had no laugh track, and characters were not infrequently killed in it, thus going against three unofficial rules for sitcoms at the time.

Laredo
Laredo (TV series).png
Title card
GenreWestern
StarringNeville Brand
William Smith
Peter Brown
Philip Carey
Theme music composerRussell Garcia
ComposerStanley Wilson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes56
Production
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time60 minutes
Production companyUniversal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 16, 1965 (1965-09-16) –
April 7, 1967 (1967-04-07)
Chronology
Related showsThe Virginian

The pilot episode of Laredo aired on NBC's The Virginian under the title, "We've Lost a Train" (April 21, 1965; season three, episode 30). In 1969, the pilot was released theatrically under the title Backtrack. Three episodes from the first season of the series were edited into the 1968 feature film Three Guns for Texas.[1][self-published source?]

SynopsisEdit

Laredo combines action and humor with the focus on three fictional Texas Rangers. Ranger Reese Bennett (Brand) is older than his two partners, Chad Cooper (Brown) and Joe Riley (Smith). Reese was previously an officer of the Union Army during the American Civil War. Originally from New Orleans, Chad was in the Border Patrol during the war, and joined the Rangers to search for gunrunners who had ambushed fellow border patrolmen. Joe was a gunfighter, who was at times on the wrong side of the law. He joined the Rangers to obtain protection from a sheriff. Chad and Joe tease Reese about his "advanced" age; he was in his 40s.

The three Rangers are led by the stern and disciplined Captain Edward Parmalee (Carey). The character of Ranger Erik Hunter (Robert Wolders) joined the others in the second season as Erik Hunter, while Ranger Cotton Buckmeister (Claude Akins) worked with Reese and the others in five episodes.

Peter Brown recalled that the producers of the show wanted the three stars to have the same relationship and camaraderie as did the stars of Gunga Din, and had Brand, Brown, and Smith watch the film three times.[2]

CastEdit

Main castEdit

Guest castEdit

EpisodesEdit

Season one: 1965–66Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Lazyfoot, Where Are You?"Paul StanleyStory by : Lewis Reed & Calvin Clements
Teleplay by : Calvin Clements
September 16, 1965 (1965-09-16)
22"I See By Your Outfit"Harvey HartJohn D.F. BlackSeptember 23, 1965 (1965-09-23)
33"Yahoo"David Lowell RichJohn D.F. BlackSeptember 30, 1965 (1965-09-30)
44"Rendezvous at Arillo"Harvey HartCalvin ClementsOctober 7, 1965 (1965-10-07)
55"Three's Company"Bernard McEveetyJohn McGreeveyOctober 14, 1965 (1965-10-14)
66"Anybody Here Seen Billy?"Lawrence DobkinJohn McGreeveyOctober 21, 1965 (1965-10-21)
77"A Question of Discipline"R.G. SpringsteenArchie LawrenceOctober 28, 1965 (1965-10-28)
88"The Golden Trail"Earl BellamyGene L. Coon & Bloise N. CoonNovember 4, 1965 (1965-11-04)
99"A Matter of Policy"R.G. SpringsteenEdward J. LaskoNovember 11, 1965 (1965-11-11)
1010"Which Way Did They Go?"Leon BensonGerry DayNovember 18, 1965 (1965-11-18)
1111"Jinx"Paul StanleyJohn D.F. BlackDecember 2, 1965 (1965-12-02)
1212"The Land Grabbers"R.G. SpringsteenRic HardmanDecember 9, 1965 (1965-12-09)
1313"The Pride of the Rangers"Tony LeaderJohn McGreeveyDecember 16, 1965 (1965-12-16)
1414"The Heroes of San Gill"Paul StanleyCalvin ClementsDecember 23, 1965 (1965-12-23)
1515"A Medal for Reese"Lawrence DobkinStory by : Edward J. Lasko & George Bast
Teleplay by : Edward J. Lasko
December 30, 1965 (1965-12-30)
1616"The Calico Kid"Lawrence DobkinStory by : S.S. Schweitzer
Teleplay by : Gene L. Coon
January 6, 1966 (1966-01-06)
1717"Above the Law"Richard BenedictJohn McGreeveyJanuary 13, 1966 (1966-01-13)
1818"That's Noway, Thataway"Howard MorrisVincent Bogert & Gene L. CoonJanuary 20, 1966 (1966-01-20)
1919"Limit of the Law Larkin"William WitneyRic HardmanJanuary 27, 1966 (1966-01-27)
2020"Meanwhile Back at the Reservation"Bernard McEveetyJohn D.F. BlackFebruary 10, 1966 (1966-02-10)
2121"The Treasure of San Diablo"William WitneyStory by : Gerry Day & B.W. Sandefur
Teleplay by : Gerry Day
February 17, 1966 (1966-02-17)
2222"No Bugles, One Drum"Earl BellamyJohn D.F. BlackFebruary 24, 1966 (1966-02-24)
2323"Miracle at Massacre Mission"Bernard McEveetyJohn T. DuganMarch 3, 1966 (1966-03-03)
2424"It's The End of the Road, Stanley"Leon BensonGene L. CoonMarch 10, 1966 (1966-03-10)
2525"A Very Small Assignment"Paul StanleyEdward J. LaskoMarch 17, 1966 (1966-03-17)
2626"Quarter Past Eleven"Irving J. MooreJohn D.F. BlackMarch 24, 1966 (1966-03-24)
2727"The Deadliest Kid in the West"Leon BensonGerry DayMarch 31, 1966 (1966-03-31)
2828"Sound of Terror"William WitneyJohn McGreeveyApril 7, 1966 (1966-04-07)
2929"The Would-Be Gentleman of Laredo"Earl BellamyJohn T. DuganApril 14, 1966 (1966-04-14)
3030"A Taste of Money"William WitneyJohn D.F. BlackApril 28, 1966 (1966-04-28)

Season two: 1966–67Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
311"The Legend of Midas Mantee"Hollingsworth MorseGerry Day & B.W. SandefurSeptember 16, 1966 (1966-09-16)
322"The Dance of the Laughing Death"Jerry HopperFred FreibergerSeptember 23, 1966 (1966-09-23)
333"A Double Shot of Nepenthe"Abner BibermanGene L. CoonSeptember 30, 1966 (1966-09-30)
344"Coup de Grace"R.G. SpringsteenWilliam Raynor & Myles WilderOctober 7, 1966 (1966-10-07)
355"The Land Slickers"Sherman MarksWilliam Hellinger & Clint YoungOctober 14, 1966 (1966-10-14)
366"Finnegan"Alexander SingerEdward J. LaskoOctober 21, 1966 (1966-10-21)
377"Any Way the Wind Blows"John EnglishJohn McGreeveyOctober 28, 1966 (1966-10-28)
388"The Sweet Gang"Ezra StoneWalter BlackNovember 4, 1966 (1966-11-04)
399"One Too Many Voices"William WitneyJohn McGreeveyNovember 18, 1966 (1966-11-18)
4010"Road to San Remo"Irving J. MooreCalvin ClementsNovember 25, 1966 (1966-11-25)
4111"The Last of the Caesars - Absolutely"R.G. SpringsteenStory by : Jay Simms
Teleplay by : Joseph Bonaduce & Jay Simms
December 6, 1966 (1966-12-06)
4212"A Prince of a Ranger"Charles R. RondeauJoseph BonaduceDecember 9, 1966 (1966-12-09)
4313"Oh Careless Love"Charles R. RondeauGilbert RalstonDecember 23, 1966 (1966-12-23)
4414"Leave It to Dixie"Abner BibermanMarty RothDecember 30, 1966 (1966-12-30)
4515"The Seventh Day"Irving J. MooreStory by : Alvin Boretz
Teleplay by : Joel Murcott
January 6, 1967 (1967-01-06)
4616"Scourge of San Rosa"Joseph PevneyCalvin ClementsJanuary 20, 1967 (1967-01-20)
4717"The Short, Happy Fatherhood of Reese Bennett"Ezra StoneLeonard Praskins & Barbara MerlinJanuary 27, 1967 (1967-01-27)
4818"The Bitter Yen of General Ti"Charles R. RondeauJohn T. DuganFebruary 3, 1967 (1967-02-03)
4919"The Other Cheek"Ezra StoneGene L. CoonFebruary 10, 1967 (1967-02-10)
5020"Enemies and Brothers"Gene NelsonStory by : Tom Adair & John Elliotte
Teleplay by : Brian Barstu and Tom Adair & John Elliotte
February 17, 1967 (1967-02-17)
5121"Hey Diddle Diddle"William WitneyGerry DayFebruary 24, 1967 (1967-02-24)
5222"The Small Chance Ghost"Richard BartlettMarty RothMarch 3, 1967 (1967-03-03)
5323"A Question of Guilt"Leo PennJoseph BonaduceMarch 10, 1967 (1967-03-10)
5424"Like One of the Family"Robert GistJohn McGreeveyMarch 24, 1967 (1967-03-24)
5525"Walk Softly"William WitneyEdward J. LaskoMarch 31, 1967 (1967-03-31)
5626"Split the Difference"Alan RafkinPaul MasonApril 7, 1967 (1967-04-07)

Selected episodesEdit

In "The Would-Be Gentleman of Laredo", with Donnelly Rhodes as Don Carlos, three swindlers use Reese Bennett as a dupe in a land-fraud scheme by which they claim ownership of most of Laredo.[3]

In "Meanwhile Back at the Reservation", Joe Riley comes across Grey Smoke, an Indian boy portrayed by then 14-year-old Kurt Russell, who has been working for an outlaw gang. Joe and Chad take Grey under their wings, and the boy proves helpful when gunslingers try to occupy Laredo.

"The Calico Kid" focuses on a character used 11 years earlier in the syndicated Western series Buffalo Bill, Jr. In the Laredo version, the Kid is Sam Lowell, who has matured in to a respected citizen of the fictional town of Guarded Wells, Texas. Chad and Joe try to help Lowell continue the deception of his true identity. Meanwhile, a businessman plots to steal gold bullion from the bank while the citizenry is distracted.[3]

In "The Golden Trail", Jeanette Nolan is cast as "Ma Burns", who investigates the progress of a gold shipment that Reese Bennett is supposedly transporting from St. Louis to Laredo. Jim Davis appears in this episode as a sheriff.[3] Nolan also appeared as Martha Tuforth in "It's the End of the Road, Stanley" (1966) and as Vita Rose in "Like One of the Family" (1967).

Lane Bradford was cast five times in different roles: as Three-finger Jake in "Rendezvous at Arillo" and as Amos Slaughter in "Which Way Did They Go?" (both 1965), as Ben Slick in "The Treasure of San Diablo" and as Charley Smith in "Road to San Remo" (both 1966), and as Lyle in "Walk Softly" (1967).

DVD releasesEdit

Timeless Media Group released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 on November 24, 2009. The 12-disc box set features all 56 episodes of the series, as well as bonus features.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brian W. Fairbanks (November 2005). I Saw That Movie, Too: Selected Film Reviews. Lulu.com. pp. 401–. ISBN 978-1-4116-3535-7.
  2. ^ p. 31 Brown, Peter & Sturt, Alesx The Fastest Gun in Hollywood 2013 Wild Horse Press
  3. ^ a b c Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 115-116
  4. ^ Lambert, David (2009-09-24). "Laredo - Timeless Release of The Complete Series as a 12-DVD Set this November". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.

External linksEdit