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TV Westerns - Gunsmoke vs. Bonanza

Did anyone here at DL watch either of these shows? What was the better show and why? Any other TV westerns that you watched?

by Anonymousreply 24September 17, 2023 5:17 PM

My mom was a fan of both, so we watched them every week. As a kid, I enjoyed Bonanza more, but, based on occasional reruns I see now on services like Pluto, I think Gunsmoke is by far the better, in terms of plotting, grittiness, and dramatic tension (and what gay didn’t love Miss Kitty and her beauty mark? Poor Amanda Blake died of AIDS, supposedly contracted from her bisexual husband.)

by Anonymousreply 1August 30, 2023 4:46 PM

Although it was before my time I enjoy Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker. I have a few of the seasons on DVD. Love his hairy chest.

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by Anonymousreply 2August 30, 2023 6:05 PM

I liked the Burt Reynolds years of Gunsmoke.

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by Anonymousreply 3August 30, 2023 6:07 PM

I enjoyed the Bonanza theme song.

by Anonymousreply 4August 30, 2023 6:08 PM

Pernell Roberts

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by Anonymousreply 5August 30, 2023 6:12 PM

I didn't know Miss Kitty had a gay following.

by Anonymousreply 6August 30, 2023 6:15 PM

As a kid, I watched Bonanza, not Gunsmoke. Miss Kitty was a turnoff. How about The High Chaparral and The Big Valley? The latter was the best of all.

by Anonymousreply 7August 30, 2023 6:18 PM

Lee Majors in The Big Valley

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by Anonymousreply 8August 30, 2023 6:27 PM

Little Joe

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by Anonymousreply 9August 30, 2023 6:34 PM

There was no escaping westerns when I was a kid, there were so many of them. I watched The Lone Ranger, Zorro and Wagon Train (even though they never reached their destination.)

by Anonymousreply 10August 30, 2023 6:38 PM

Gunsmoke is timeless.

Bonanza, Wagon Train, Laramie, Big Valley, High Chapparel, Rawhide, Maverick, The Rifleman, Have Gun, Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive and The Virginian are all classics. Not a dud in the bunch. I could watch them all on an endless loop. And probably a few more that aren’t immediately coming to mind. But nothing compares to Gunsmoke.

by Anonymousreply 11August 30, 2023 6:39 PM

Wild Wild West was better than both of them.

by Anonymousreply 12August 30, 2023 7:18 PM

Robert Conrad.

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by Anonymousreply 13August 30, 2023 9:45 PM

I loved High Chapparel and Big Valley but rewatching it now, Rifleman is the most timeless.

by Anonymousreply 14August 30, 2023 10:23 PM

Bonanza instantly made Michael Landon a heart throb.

by Anonymousreply 15August 30, 2023 11:46 PM

I think "Gunsmoke" was the gold standard and remains the greatest TV western of all time (at least in my opinion). The acting and writing were consistently first-rate, a remarkable feat for a show that ran 20 years. A close second for me would be "The RIfleman," chiefly due to the marvelous work done by Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford.

By the way, "Gunsmoke" has two surviving cast members: Roger Ewing, who played Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood, and Buck Taylor, who played Newly O'Brian.

by Anonymousreply 16August 31, 2023 5:59 AM

High Chapparral - I loved Billy Blue - PING!!

by Anonymousreply 17August 31, 2023 7:23 AM

I heard a line in a movie (Tinmen?) once that Bonanza was a show about a 50 year old man with three 47 year old sons.

by Anonymousreply 18August 31, 2023 7:54 AM

[quote]I heard a line in a movie (Tinmen?) once that Bonanza was a show about a 50 year old man with three 47 year old sons.

Lorne Greene continued that tradition in the movie "Earthquake,:" in which he played the father of an overweight Ava Gardner, who looked older than he did.

by Anonymousreply 19August 31, 2023 8:11 AM

[quote] Landon was the only original cast member who was wig-free throughout the series.


by Anonymousreply 20August 31, 2023 2:36 PM

[quote] How about The High Chaparral and The Big Valley? The latter was the best of all.

I haven't seen High Chaparral, but used to watch The Big Valley re-runs when I was a kid. I remember wanting to go by Barbara Stanwick's home in Beverly Hills when my mom used to drive us around looking at stars homes. I thought she actually lived in the house from The Big Valley.

by Anonymousreply 21September 4, 2023 4:26 PM

I don't remember much of Gunsmoke but from the comments here I'm going to watch an episode. Bonanza was must-see T.V. but I liked Rawhide more. I found the tempestuous relationship between Rowdy and Gil very erotic.

by Anonymousreply 22September 4, 2023 6:12 PM

Bonanza had the best looking cast.

by Anonymousreply 23September 17, 2023 4:56 PM

No love for "The Virginian"? Ran for 9 years, 249 episodes (and they were 90 minutes, very unusual for US TV). And starred the ultra-handsome James Drury.

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by Anonymousreply 24September 17, 2023 5:17 PM
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