Spin and Marty

Spin and Marty is a series of television shorts that aired as part of The Mickey Mouse Club show of the mid-1950s, produced by Walt Disney and broadcast on the ABC network in the United States. There were three serials in all, set at the Triple R Ranch, a boys' western-style summer camp. The first series of 25 eleven-minute episodes, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, was filmed in 1955. Its popularity led to two sequels — The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1956 and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1957.

Spin and Marty
Spinmarty032.jpg
David Stollery (left) as Marty Markham and Tim Considine as Spin Evans introduce the series
Genrechildren's serial
Created byLawrence Edward Watkin
Written byJackson Gillis
Directed byWilliam Beaudine Sr.
StarringDavid Stollery
Tim Considine
Harry Carey Jr.
Annette Funicello
Roy Barcroft
J. Pat O'Malley
Country of originUSA
No. of episodesThe Adventures of Spin and Marty (1955): 25
The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty (1956): 23
The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957): 30
Production
Executive producerBill Walsh
Running time11 minutes per episode
Release
Original networkABC
Picture formatblack and white
Original releaseNovember 4, 1955 (1955-11-04) –
December 13, 1957 (1957-12-13)

The serials were based on the 1942 novel Marty Markham by Lawrence Edward Watkin.[1] The shows' success led to a reprinting of Watkin's novel in 1956 and the Spin and Marty comic books of the late 1950s. Spin and Marty aired as reruns on the Disney Channel until September 9, 2002. The first season's 25 episodes with bonus material were released on DVD by Disney in 2005.

Premise and major charactersEdit

The serials were based on the 1942 novel Marty Markham by Lawrence Edward Watkin.[1] The serialized Disney television adaptation starred David Stollery as the rich, orphaned Martin "Marty" Markham and Tim Considine as the poorer Spin Evans, the most athletic and popular boy at the Triple R Ranch. When the pampered Marty first arrives at the ranch in a chauffeur-driven limousine, his contemptuous dismissal of the dude ranch as a "dirty old farm" and evident fear of horses result in his ostracism by the other boys, led by Spin. By the end of the first season, however, Marty overcomes his fears and wins acceptance, becoming close friends with his erstwhile foe, Spin.[2] Supporting roles include Sammy Ogg as their jokester sidekick Joe Simpson, and B.G. Norman as Ambitious, Marty's first friend at the Triple R.

The second season adds Annette Funicello and Kevin Corcoran to the cast as Annette — from the Circle H — and Moochie, respectively. The third season adds Darlene Gillespie, and quickly turns into a showcase for song and dance sketches as part of a "Let's put on a show!" storyline reminiscent of Mickey RooneyJudy Garland movies.

All three serials also had Roy Barcroft as Triple R owner Col. Logan, Harry Carey Jr. as popular counselor Bill Burnett, and J. Pat O'Malley as Perkins, Marty's butler and the Triple R's assistant cook.[3] In the first two serials, Leonard Geer played Ollie, the wisecracking (and wise) stablehand in charge of the horses.

ProductionEdit

Disney's producer was Bill Walsh and the screenplay was written by Jackson Gillis. The director was William Beaudine.[2] Budgeted at $600,000 (equivalent to more than $5 million in 2021), filming for the inaugural season's episodes began at the Golden Oak Ranch in June 1955 and wrapped in September, while the juvenile cast members were on summer vacation from school.[2] The shows' success led to Disney reprinting Watkin's novel in 1956, which is available for online viewing.[4]

MusicEdit

The series featured a couple of songs, the "Triple R Ranch" song ("Yippee Yay, Yippee Yi, Yippee Yo"), as well as a song about "Slue-Foot Sue" ("Buckaroo"), named for Pecos Bill's tragic love story. Among the musical pieces featured in the third series was a cover of the Disney song "Nowhere in Particular" by Perkins and Sam the cook.

RemakeEdit

A TV movie focusing on updated versions of the eponymous characters, The New Adventures of Spin and Marty: Suspect Behavior, was made in 2000. However, it bore almost no resemblance to the original. It was based on the Paul Zindel novel The Undertaker's Gone Bananas.[5] Stollery and Considine made cameo appearances.

Home mediaEdit

The first season's episodes with bonus material were released on DVD by Disney on December 6, 2005, as part of The Walt Disney Treasures series. Hosted by Leonard Maltin, it includes the complete first season of 25 episodes, plus bonus features such as interviews with David Stollery, Tim Considine, and Harry Carey Jr., on the 50th anniversary year of the series' original telecasts. Maltin wrote of Considine's and Stollery's roles, "The key to the serial's success was ... Tim and David seemed genuine, and boys and girls related to them. The series may seem low-key to a modern generation raised on video games and the Internet, but it was that unhurried pace and simple storytelling that captured the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation".[6]

Comic bookEdit

 
"Their day of fun was masked in dangers", the September 1958 cover of Dell Comics' Spin and Marty series, picturing David Stollery and Tim Considine

Western Publishing published comic book adventures of Spin and Marty beginning in 1956, first under Dell Comics Four Color title (#714, 767, 808, 826), then under their own title (#5-9), then in Four Color again (#1026 and 1082).[7] The comic books continued even after the television series had ended, such as issue number 7 in September, 1958 (pictured): Stollery and Considine, by then 17-year-olds, are depicted on the cover in their Spin and Marty characters, as they confront danger at the Triple-R Ranch. Disney included this cover with its 2005 DVD release. Gold Key Comics would later reprint some of these stories in their titles, such as the Walt Disney Showcase comic book issue of 1975, "The Treasure of Old Fort Resolute".[7]

Disney LegendsEdit

In October 2006, Stollery, Considine and Corcoran were all honored as Disney Legends.[8] Funicello had been so honored in 1992.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Watkin, Lawrence Edward (1942). Marty Markham. New York: Henry Holt. LCCN 42021068.
  2. ^ a b c "Spin and Marty review". Atlas Communications. June 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
  3. ^ Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful World of Disney Television. New York: Hyperion Books. pp. 187, 189, 191. ISBN 0-7868-6359-5.
  4. ^ Watkin, Lawrence Edward (1942). Marty Markham. Disney.
  5. ^ Firebrand Productions Past Projects Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ Leonard Maltin (narrator) (2005). The Adventures of Spin & Marty (DVD). Walt Disney Productions.
  7. ^ a b "Comic Art Collection (Reading Room index, "Spin" to "Spiridione")". Michigan State University Library. Archived from the original on March 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  8. ^ "Sir Elton John, Joe Ranft Headline Disney Legends Award". AWN Headline News. 2006-10-09. Archived from the original on 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  9. ^ Disney Legends - Annette Funicello

External linksEdit