Jack Garner's Plan B: 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp: Season Two,' starring Rochester native Hugh O'Brian

12:52 PM, Apr 30, 2013


As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:

THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP: SEASON TWO. Rochester native Hugh O’Brian (born Hugh Krampe) starred in this successful 1950s TV Western, playing the legendary lawman. Though Season One is available, Season Two is more definitive — it’s when Earp moves onto Dodge City, where his reputation was built (at least on TV). The five discs include all 39 half-hour episodes of the popular show, which joined Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Cheyenne, and others to make the Western genre the mainstay of TV drama in the 1950s and early ’60s. You may notice Earp sporting an eye patch in a handful of early episodes. O’Brian had cut his eye in an auto accident, but continued working like a trooper. Another oddity is the show’s soundtrack, sung and hummed (in the early years) by the a capella Ken Darby Singers. In the show, O’Brian encounters Western legends like Bat Masterson and Ned Buntline, and sports his mythical Buntline Special revolver (with its 12-inch barrel). O’Brian is now 88 and has a website with Wyatt Earp information and fan material at hughobrian.me.

Cast: O’Brian, Mason Alan Dinehart III, Denver Pyle, Hal Baylor.

Jack’s rating: 8.

New on DVD This week:
Silver Linings Playbook, The Guilt Trip, Star Trek: The Next Generation — Season Three, Broken City, Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Best of Both Worlds (Blu-ray), Funny Girl (Blu-ray), Not Fade Away, Strictly Ballroom (Blu-ray).

Next Week

: Jack Reacher, The Great Escape
(Blu-ray), Mama, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., 30 Rock: Season Seven, An Officer and a Gentleman (Blu-ray), Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights (Blu-ray), and Gunsmoke: Eighth Season.