Laredo (TV series)

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

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 about Laredo in Webb County in south Texas. The program presented fifty-six 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.

The pilot episode of Laredo aired on NBC's The Virginian under the title, "We've Lost a Train" (April 21, 1965; Season 3, 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?]

Synopsis[edit]

Laredo combines action and humor with the focus on three fictitious Texas Rangers. Ranger Reese Bennett (Neville Brand) is older than his two partners, Chad Cooper (Peter Brown) and Joe Riley (William 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 forties.

The three Rangers are led by the stern and disciplined Captain Edward Parmalee (Philip 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]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Guest cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1: 1965–66[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Lazyfoot, Where Are You?"Paul StanleyTeleplay by: Calvin Clements
Story by: Lewis Reed & 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 DobkinTeleplay by: Edward J. Lasko
Story by: Edward J. Lasko & George Bast
December 30, 1965 (1965-12-30)
1616"The Calico Kid"Lawrence DobkinTeleplay by: Gene L. Coon
Story by: S.S. Schweitzer
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 WitneyTeleplay by: Gerry Day
Story by: Gerry Day & B.W. Sandefur
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 2: 1966–67[edit]

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. SpringsteenTeleplay by: Joseph Bonaduce & Jay Simms
Story by: 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. MooreTeleplay by: Joel Murcott
Story by: Alvin Boretz
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 NelsonTeleplay by: Brian Barstu and Tom Adair & John Elliotte
Story by: 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 episodes[edit]

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 wing, and the boy proves helpful when gunslingers try to occupy Laredo.

"The Calico Kid" focuses on a character used eleven 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 3-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).

John Russell appeared as Robert in the episode "Enemies and Brothers" (1967), reuniting him with his Lawman former co-star Peter Brown.

DVD releases[edit]

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]

As of May 2016, Laredo is airing on the GetTV network.

References[edit]

  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 links[edit]