Category Archives: DVD Release

“Barbary Coast” starring Doug McClure being released as a 4-disc set this June

285185RLJ Entertainment are preparing a June 3rd release of Barbary Coast on DVD! This 4-disc set with English subtitles will be priced at $59.99 SRP. The short-lived series from 1975 had 14 episodes, which included appearances by Michael Ansara, Lynda Day George, John Vernon, Bill Bixby, Pat Hingle, Lance LeGault, James Cromwell, Marcy Lafferty (Shatner’s wife at the time), Joan Van Ark, William Daniels, Francine York, Martin E. Brooks, Joseph Campanella, Tige Andrews, Severn Darden, Gretchen Corbett, Bernard Fox, John Dehner, and Judy Strangis. Package art isn’t available yet, but here’s the studio description of the title:

Golden Globe winner William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal) is Jeff Cable, an undercover agent patrolling the wild streets of 1880s San Francisco. Filled with casinos and saloons, this bustling slice of post-Gold Rush California runs on corruption, greed, and violence. And it’s Agent Cable’s job to crack down on the numerous criminals who have made a home there. Even top public officials can’t be trusted, so Cable weaves elaborate ruses to uncover the Barbary Coast’s many plots.

He also relies on the slick but beleaguered Cash Conover (Doug McClure, The Virginian), proprietor of the Golden Gate Casino. Conover reluctantly puts his business and well-being on the line for Cable time and again. The charismatic pair often find the cards stacked against them, but that doesn’t stop them from having a rollicking good time as they police a town mired in vigilante justice. Also starring Richard Kiel (The Spy Who Loved Me), this Emmy-nominated series is a playful take on traditional Westerns with a terrific cast.

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The Virginian (1946)

TCM have recently released The Virginian (1946) starring Joel McCrea as part of a DVD set. The Paramount film, based on the Owen Wister novel, is a simple tale of romance, friendship, duty and justice. There are few shades of grey. Brian Donlevy, suitably dressed in black, plays the evil Trampas who serves as a bad and ultimately tragic influence on The Virginian’s friend Steve Andrews (Sonny Tufts) who turns to cattle rustling.

Joel McCrea is effective as The Virginian but the film belongs to a very effective Sonny Tufts as Steve and the beautiful Barbara Britton as Molly Wood. She provides the centrepiece of the film and the contrast between East and West. Her disgust at the brutality of the Old West is tempered by her love for The Virginian. The film benefits from excellent technicolor cinematography by Harry Hallenberger and an uplifting, optimistic atmosphere from director Stuart Gilmore. Although it lacks depth in places it is still preferable to the bleak, dismal 2000 TNT production.

Text copyright Paul Green 2012

“Die Leute Von Der Shiloh Ranch” The Virginian DVD Release Season One

German fans of The Virginian will be pleased to see the release of the German edition of Season One on DVD on October 14, 2010. The softcover edition of my book A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 was released in Germany in May 2010 and makes the perfect companion to the DVD. They’ve even used the cover photograph (reversed) from my book on the DVD cover design. 🙂

James Drury “The Long Chase” Alias Smith and Jones DVD Release

One of James Drury’s first roles following the cancellation of The Men From Shiloh was the third season premiere episode of Alias Smith and Jones, “The Long Chase” (3:01). James Drury had previously featured as a guest star on the AS&J pilot episode playing Sheriff Lom Trevors. Once again he plays a sheriff, but this time it’s Sheriff Tankersley who is given the run around by Hannibal Heyes (Roger Davis) and Kid Curry (Ben Murphy) in a effort to restore the reputation of their long-time Bannerman Agency detective “friend’ Harry Briscoe (J.D. Cannon).

Timeless Media are releasing seasons 2 and 3 of Alias Smith and Jones in a 6 DVD set in June 2010. More information can be found on my Pete Duel Weblog.

The Virginian First Season DVD

Amazon now have The Virginian DVD listed on their site for pre-order.  The entire first season on 10 DVDs for $71.99 complete with tin packaging.  NTSC Region 1 Format (USA & Canada). 

The perfect companion to my 290 page softcover edition (10 x 7 inches) for sale through Amazon and all major online bookstores or direct from my publisher McFarland & Co.  It’s also available for immediate download as a Kindle ebook from Amazon for $14.99. 

Here’s the blurb from my publisher describing my book. 

“On September 19, 1962, The Virginian made its primetime broadcast premiere. Based on the 1902 novel by Owen Wister, The Virginian had already been through four movie adaptations when Frank Price mentioned the story’s series potential to NBC. In need of a western to compete for the genre’s huge audience share, the network gambled money and resources on Price’s recommendation. Filmed exclusively in color, The Virginian became TV’s first 90-minute western series. By 1967, the show had broken into the Nielsen rating’s top ten, and NBC’s gamble had paid off. Immensely successful (in spite of a rough fourth season which almost spelled the end for the series), The Virginian ran for nine seasons, becoming television’s third longest running western.

This work documents the creative history of The Virginian. It investigates the original inspirations for the main character and follows the story through various motion picture adaptations. The primary focus, however, is The Virginian’s transformation into television. Personal interviews with executive producer Frank Price and actors, James Drury, Gary Clarke, Roberta Shore, Randy Boone, Sara Lane and Pippa Scott provide insider details. The book also looks at the ways in which the show changed over time. An extensive episode guide includes title, air date, guest star(s), writers, producers, director and a brief synopsis of each of The Virginian’s 249 episodes along with a detailed list of cast and production staff. An appendix provides a cross-section of collectibles available from internet auction sites and memorabilia dealers.”

Reviews of my book from The Virginian cast and producers: 

James Drury – The Virginian
“I really enjoyed your book.  It is comprehensive and a valuable resource for anyone interested in studying The Virginian.”

Randy Boone – Randy Benton
“In my humble opinion the book was very interesting and very well written.  I was fascinated.  Thank you for writing the book.”

Sara Lane – Elizabeth Grainger
“My husband is reading the book avidly and loving it.  It’s a wonderful book.”

Frank Price – Executive Producer
“I am very impressed with it. You did a great job of research on The Virginian and it is certainly apparent in the book.  It is a work that reflects your high standards.”

Joel RogosinThe Virginian Producer, Writer & Director
“I’m pleased to have added your wonderfully detailed and nostalgic book to my shelves.  Congratulations on this remarkable effort!  I’m having a great time leafing through it.  All in all, what a treat!”

Re-mastering The Virginian

I recently came across this comment by Outlaw Territory writer Skipper Martin on the Newsarama.com website.  He has excellent taste!

“Oddly enough, I’m having a new love affair with the western right now thanks to my day job.  I’m currently re-mastering the 1960’s classic “The Virginian” television series starring James Drury at Universal Studios.  I can honestly say I’m now an official fan of the wonderful Doug McClure in his signature role of Trampas.  Truly excellent show!”

Copyright © 2009 TechMediaNetwork.com All rights reserved.

The Virginian on DVD

According to reports from James Drury himself The Virginian will be released on DVD by Timeless Media. Timeless DVDs can be costly. The color season of Wagon Train is currently selling for $119.98 on their site. Therefore eight seasons of The Virginian plus the ninth season –The Men From Shiloh might end up costing you approx. $1,080. If you break it down it costs approx. $3.75 per 75 minute episode. But the DVD set will also include new filmed intros by James Drury. Pricing hasn’t been set so this is conjecture based on the pricing of the Wagon Train 75 minute season which also includes cast interviews and a 16 episode b/w DVD.

Value for money will ultimately depend on the quality of the print. But it should be better quality than the bootleg copies recorded from TV broadcasts currently for sale on the internet.

If you can’t afford the DVD set then you can always watch The Virginian on Encore Westerns next year for $12.99 a month. Whatever your choice always remember your most important purchase to accompany your viewing pleasure and fill you in on the production background to various episodes – my book. 🙂