Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wanted: Dead or Alive. From Season 1. With Steve McQueen.
This show is new to me. I thought I would share. Wanted: Dead or Alive, is a Western television show starring Steve McQueen that ran for three seasons from 1958 to 1961.
McQueen's first break would not come in film, but on TV. Elkins contacted Vincent M. Fennelly, producer of the Western series Trackdown, to have McQueen try out for the part of a bounty hunter, Josh Randall, in a pilot for a Trackdown companion series. McQueen performed as the Randall character in an episode of Trackdown, working with Robert Culp, after which McQueen filmed the pilot episode. The pilot was approved for a series titled Wanted: Dead or Alive on CBS in September 1958. In the interviews included in the DVD of "Wanted", Trackdown's star Robert Culp takes credit for bringing McQueen out to Hollywood and for getting him the part in The Bounty Hunter. He also claims to have taught McQueen the "art of the fast-draw", adding that, on the second day of filming, McQueen beat him. Like many of Culp's claims, it is not supported by the evidence. Randall's special holster held a sawed-off 44.40 Winchester rifle nicknamed the "Mare's Leg" instead of the standard six-gun carried by the typical Western character, although the cartridges seen in the gun belt were dummy 45.70, chosen because they "looked tougher". Along with the negative image of the bounty hunter (noted in the three-part DVD special on the background of the series) this added to the anti-hero image along with a mixture of mystery that made this show stand out from the typical TV Western. Ninety-four episodes, filmed at Apacheland Studio from 1958 until early 1961.