The Rebel (TV series)
Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma
|Created by||Andrew J. Fenady
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||76|
|Running time||25 minutes
|Production company(s)||Celestial Productions
Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (filmed at the studios of Paramount Pictures)
CBS Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution (current)
|Original release||October 4, 1959 – June 18, 1961|
The Rebel is a 76-episode American western television series starring Nick Adams that debuted on the ABC network from 1959 to 1961. The Rebel was one of the few Goodson-Todman Productions outside of their game show ventures. Beginning in December 2011, The Rebel reruns began to air Saturday mornings on Me-TV.
The series portrays the adventures of young Confederate Army veteran Johnny Yuma, an aspiring writer, played by Nick Adams. Haunted by his memories of the American Civil War, Yuma, in search of inner peace, roams the American West, specifically the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas Plains. He keeps a journal of his adventures and fights injustice where he finds it with a revolver and a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun.
Nick Adams was the star and only regular actor of this series. He was involved in the show's design, inception, and writing, along with the producer, Andrew J. Fenady, who appeared twice in the series, once as United States Army General Philip Sheridan in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox", with George Macready as General Robert E. Lee. John Carradine appeared in two episodes as Elmer Dodson, the newspaper editor in Johnny Yuma's hometown, fictitious Mason City, Texas, who encourages Yuma to keep a journal of his travels.
John M. Pickard, formerly of the syndicated Boots and Saddles television series appeared three times on The Rebel, including the role of Sheriff Pruett in "Run, Killer, Run". Hal Stalmaster played Skinny in the 1959 episode "Misfits," including Malcolm Cassell as Billy the Kid and Hampton Fancher as "Bull". The young "Misfits" enlist The Rebel's "help" to rob a bank and in their mind live thereafter a life of leisure. Leonard Nimoy was cast as Jim Colburn in the 1960 episode "The Hunted", the story of an innocent man on the run from a posse which does not know that Colburn was acquitted by a jury.
Olive Sturgess guest-starred twice on The Rebel, as Jeannie in "The Scavengers" (1959) and as Charity Brunner, a woman in search of her missing miner husband, in "The Pit" (1961). In the second episode, Sturgess's real-life six-month-old nephew, Leonard Sturgess, played the baby required in the script.
Other guest stars
The first episode, "Johnny Yuma", is set in early 1867. It shows Johnny Yuma returning to his hometown nearly two years after the end of the war. His father, Ned Yuma, the sheriff, had been killed by a gang that took control of the town. Dan Blocker of "Bonanza" fame plays the gang leader. This episode is when Yuma gets his shotgun.
The third episode, entitled "Yellow Hair" has Yuma captured by the historical Kiowa chief Satanta, played by native Mexican Rodolfo Acosta, whose fictional adopted white daughter is played by Carol Nugent, Nick Adams' wife.
Several place names mentioned throughout the episodes clearly place the action in post-Civil War Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Forts noted in episodes, such as Fort Griffin and Fort Concho, were actual frontier Texas outposts of the late 1860s and are now state historic sites; they are markers for viewers as they follow the ill-defined travels of Johnny Yuma. In a first-season episode, Yuma encounters rag-tag rebel CSA soldiers in the corrupt mining town of La Paz, Arizona. The actual town of La Paz was the seat of Yuma County between 1862 and 1870; it stood in the Confederate Arizona Territory which existed briefly during the Civil War. Nothing remains of La Paz but crumbling foundations and a historical marker.
In "Vicious Circle", Yuma identifies the Confederate unit he served in as the 3rd Texas, but does not indicate the branch of service. Other episodes show saddlebags stenciled with CSA and an old uniform jacket with yellow collar and cuffs, indicating his regiment was likely the 3rd Texas Cavalry.
After the show's original run on ABC finished in June 1961, it was picked up by NBC and reran as a summer replacement series from June to September 1962.
The show’s theme song, "The Rebel" alias "The Ballad of Johnny Yuma", was composed by Richard Markowitz, with lyrics by Andrew J. Fenady. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. It was recorded by Johnny Cash, but it was not released as a single until April 1961, in June, shortly before the show went off the air. Nick Adams recorded the theme, which was released on Mercury Records (#71607) by March 1960. During syndication, the theme song was replaced by generic instrumental music, also by Richard Markowitz.
- ""Johnny Yuma at Appomattox", September 18, 1960". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- ""The Bequest", September 25, 1960". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- ""The Hunted", November 6, 1960". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Mike Fitzgerald. "Olive Sturgess". westernclippings.com. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- ""Yellow Hair", The Rebel, October 18, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
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