Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day | TigerDroppings.com

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Kafka
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Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


Have Gun - Will Travel



TV had never seen a western hero quite like Richard Boone's Paladin before Have Gun - Will Travel mosied onto screens in 1957. Paladin -- no other name is ever given -- is a rather dandyish fellow who quotes Virgil and avidly attends Shakespeare productions as well as the opera. Living in a suite at the plush Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, he enjoys good food, fine wine, expensive cigars and the company of beautiful women



To pay for all this high living, West Point grad and Civil War vet Paladin (the word, incidentally, is defined as "A paragon of chivalry; a heroic champion; a strong supporter or defender of a cause") hires himself out as a gunfighter to whoever will pay his $1000 fee.



But Paladin, as his name suggests, is a man of old-fashioned honor who lives by his own code. He may even change sides if he feels his opponent's cause is just.









Sounds a bit like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, doesn't he? Have Gun Will Travel was actually conceived as a modern-day private eye series set in contemporary New York. But P.I.s were out of fashion and cowboys were at the height of their popularity, so the writers re-imagined the concept for the old west. And in the process made a TV star out of craggy-faced Richard Boone, as well as creating a new and iconic archetype for the genre.



The cultered yet deadly, empathising yet stubbornly independent Paladin is a facinating character, and the show's scripts are often of an extemely high quality; among the show's writers were Frank Pierson (Cool Hand Luke; Oscar winner for Dog Day Afternoon) Frank Gilroy (Pulitzer Prize winner for The Subject Was Roses), and Sam Peckinpah (who should need no introduction for western fans).

I haven't seen anywhere near all the HGWT episodes. Last time I checked there were a couple of seasons worth of DVDs at the Goodwood library. Here are some of the more interesting episodes available on YouTube:

"The Outlaw"
LINK

Charles Bronson guest stars. Paladin has to bring in a wanted killer whom he gradually comes to respect -- but a clash of wills leads to an inevitable showdown.



"The Protege"
LINK

Paladin teaches a young man to use a gun and stand up against a bullying thug -- but does he teach the young man too well?

"The Predators"
LINK

Another bring-'em-back-dead-or-alive story, with the great character actor Richard Jaeckel as guest star.

"Squatter's Rights"
LINK

While Paladin protects widows, orphans, damsels in distress, etc... like any conventional horse opera hero, his unique character often gives the show a moral complexity seldom seen in westerns. This episode, for example, starts off like a standard evil-rancher-versus-loveable-homesteaders story, but Paladin's attitudes and actions may surprise you.

"The Hanging Cross"
LINK

Paladin's softer, gentler side is shown in this early, atypical Christmas episode. Written by Gene Roddenberry, who would go on to preach similar sermons on Star Trek.

"Genesis"
LINK

The first episode of the final season, where we learn Paladin's backstory and how he came to be "a knight without armor in a savage land", as the closing theme song puts it.

A tidbit of trivia: Supposedly the show was originally to be called simply Paladin, but the network was afraid the audience wouldn't know what the hell a "paladin" is. And so... Have Gun - Will Travel was born.








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constant cough
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Lafayette
Member since Jun 2007
35459 posts

re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


quote:

TV had never seen a western hero quite like Richard Boone's Paladin before


I've never seen Richard Boone as a hero anywhere before.






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Kafka
New Orleans Saints Fan
Remembering The Alamo
Member since Jul 2007
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re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


quote:

I've never seen Richard Boone as a hero anywhere before


now you know where to look











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Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
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re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day








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Blue Velvet
Colorado State Fan
Kenai, Alaska
Member since Nov 2009
15525 posts

re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


lulz





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Leauxgan
UConn Fan
Brooklyn
Member since Nov 2005
17185 posts

re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


Business Cat meme lol







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Kafka
New Orleans Saints Fan
Remembering The Alamo
Member since Jul 2007
71258 posts

re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day








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Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
33524 posts

re: Western Fans -- YouTube Pick Of The Day


:didnotexpectthat:

ETA: Good thing you posted that here and not on the OT; you'd be harassed for the rest of the day.



This post was edited on 2/18 at 3:59 pm


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