|Itchy shoulder can set off an itchy trigger, see?|
Josh Randal: You want your friend here to keep spoiling, don't step out of line.
Civil War veteran Josh Randall (Steve McQueen of The Blob, The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery, Never So Few, The Great Escape, Nevada Smith, The Thomas Crowne Affair, The Getaway, Papillon, The Towering Inferno and The Hunter) is a bounty hunter by trade and brings the horse thieves and back shooters in dead or alive. A lone operator in a sea of despicable men he roams the countryside on horseback looking for profitable outlaws. The pilot episode has him visiting the local US Marshall Jeff Wilcox (John Cliff of Riverboat, Bat Masterson, Oklahoma Territory, Maverick, Perry Mason and That Darn Cat!) looking for one Andy Martin's bounty when he is ambushed but Andy's younger brother who cold cocks him with a pistol and then drills the Marshall.
|It's NOT ALRIGHT since I picked that fight!!!|
Randall wakes up with a headache and a plethora of accusations and he probably sprung this outlaw and got double-crossed. Vengeance isn't so much swift in this town but they put an express land in it. Randall clocks the two loud mouths, rides out of town and goes after the Martin boys to clear his name and avenge his friend Wilcox. What treachery will be waiting for him along the way? Will the Martin brothers have a gang to match Randall? Interesting trivia in this, prior to being Little Joe via Bonanza, Michael Landon is a back shooter in the pilot episode and doesn't look a day over I Was a Teenage Werewolf era.
With influences like John Wayne of the big screen totting a 30.30 carbine rifle with longer barrel, custom action to chamber rounds faster or a maple wood stock to make it lighter. This show took a different spin on this old thing that has armchair historians crapping themselves in anger. It's just poor research, people. Randall's Mare is a sawed off 1892 Winchester 94 which is his primary firearm giving him more rounds in a gun fight. Now the Weekend Gunslingers got their spurs in a knot about the show being set in 1870's and therefore Randall's weapon does not exist yet and then they go on endlessly about the practicality of that chopped down rifle used like a club and blah blah blah. Sorry McQueen is prettier than you, fellas but you really need a hobby.
The theme of the anti-hero was not uncommon for the latter 50's and early 60's with TV and Movies but this is possibly the first truly likable anti-hero. Josh has been pinned down in some box canyon giving away the better chunk of his earned money to the families of the victims or just to see the victim gets a proper burial. Helping folks under siege from an Indian attack (I will be hard pressed to find a true Native American in the lot), bandits holding up banks or even a good old fashion train robbery, Randall has the uncanny ability to be the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Could have something to do with the writing of course.
|Take it, Phil. I'm inbred and illiterate, remember?|