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Gunsmoke or Bonanza...discuss

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cinemalover
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Gunsmoke or Bonanza...discuss

Postby cinemalover » April 3rd, 2008, 12:30 pm

Growing up as a boy in the 60's there were two very long running western dramas on, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. As a kid I preferred Bonanza. I found that I could identify with Hoss or Little Joe and all their adventures around the Ponderosa (how could I ever forget Hoss in the hotcake eating contest?). I rarely watched Gunsmoke, and when I did it rarely absorbed my attention. Now, as a "mature" adult, I find that I love the Gunsmoke series, and while I still appreciate Bonanza, it seems so shallow when stacked up against the more mature drama of Marshal Matt Dillon.

Any thoughts....
Chris

The only bad movie is no movie at all.

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » April 3rd, 2008, 12:58 pm

I loved Bonanza at the time (I was just the right age to fall in platonic love with Michael Landon). Now, though, I don't even like it - it's so simplistic and the production values are so tacky. I suppose at age 11 or 12 I didn't know any better. (But I still love you , Eugene - I mean Michael - wherever you are.)

However, I have never been able to get into Gunsmoke - I don't know why. It just doesn't "speak" to me. I often start to watch the reruns these days, but I haven't yet been able to stick with an entire episode. Dennis Weaver was the only thing that made Gunsmoke palatable to me, and I haven't caught any of the earlier ones that he was in.

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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » April 3rd, 2008, 1:23 pm

We seldom watched Bonanza and always watched Gunsmoke, preceded (or was it followed?) by Have Gun, Will Travel. Then, as now, Bonanza doesn't provide much in the way of drama or enjoyment for me.

Why no Bonanza? Because my mother and I wanted to watch The Ed Sullivan Show, which was in the same Sunday night time slot, for the rock'n'roll bands and comedians (me) and the musical stars and dancers (Mother). Didn't Gunsmoke (and Have Gun, Will Travel) follow Sullivan on Sunday on CBS? Watching those two shows were the only TV my father (a devoted fan of the Western) and I watched together. Whether it's a maturation of taste or merely nostalgia, I still prefer those over Bonanza.
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Postby movieman1957 » April 3rd, 2008, 1:42 pm

I'm in Judith's camp on this. When I was a kid I loved "Bonanza." I didn't really get to watch "Gunsmoke." For a long time I waited for "Bonanza" in reruns and then I wasn't quite so impressed. It didn't matter whether it was Pernell Roberts or David Canary it didn't hit me the same way. Judith nails many of those reasons.

What I've seen of "Gunsmoke" I find it more interesting now. Probably because I had not seen them. Although in some sensse they are similar. Same characters always with the same problems (never mind the same clothes) and always with a happy ending. Chester and Festus were to whiny for me to take as deputies. Too much always the same. However, they ran along time so nobody minded.

I did enjoy the "Gunsmoke" movies ok. No big deal but they maybe were truer westerns than the shows.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby stuart.uk » April 3rd, 2008, 2:22 pm

i prefered Bonanza as a tv series, but thought the Gunsmoke movies wiped the floor with the Cartwrights in the 90s

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Postby mrsl » April 3rd, 2008, 2:45 pm

Like Movieman, Judith says it all for me. Since discussing Gunsmoke here on this thread, I've found it on TVLand and watched a few times, but it just doesn't hold me. For one thing, I cannot swallow the relationship between the Sheriff and Miss Kitty. Why would a Sheriff be so close to the person whose place of business is responsible for housing most of the trouble makers in his town?

Anne
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Postby mrsl » April 3rd, 2008, 3:09 pm

Hhhhmmmmpp! :wink:

Anne
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Postby ChiO » April 3rd, 2008, 3:17 pm

JohnM said:
Have Gun, Will Travel preceded Gunsmoke when they both aired on Saturday nights. They followed The Jackie Gleason Show and The Defenders. Have Gun... went off the air, and Gunsmoke moved to Mondays.


Thanks for clearing the cobwebs. Yes, CBS provided me with a full Saturday night -- learning how the Miami Beach audience is the greatest audience in the world, watching my favorite lawyer show, & watching my favorite Western (HGWT). When HGWT went off the air & Gunsmoke moved to Monday, I believe my watching ratcheted down (though that was also probably about the age where I had better things to do like sitting in my room with the door shut listening to music and vowing never to be like my parents).
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Postby cinemalover » April 3rd, 2008, 3:39 pm

In retrospect I have always enjoyed the support cast that they surrounded James Arness and Amanda Blake with in Gunsmoke. Whether it was Dennis Weaver as Chester, Milburn Stone as Doc, Glenn "Frankenstein" Strange as Sam, Ken Curtis as Festus, Buck Taylor as Newly or even Burt Reynolds as Quint, they all added layers to a show that helped keep it fresh over a period of 20 years. An amazing accomplishment for any drama.
Chris



The only bad movie is no movie at all.

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Postby Dewey1960 » April 3rd, 2008, 3:53 pm

Why would a Sheriff be so close to the person whose place of business is responsible for housing most of the trouble makers in his town?

'Cause she was a durn fine woman.


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