Case Number 25565: Small Claims Court

BONANZA: THE OFFICIAL FIFTH SEASON

Paramount // 1963 // 1821 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // April 20th, 2013

The Charge

"Got one of them mangy, no-good, hair-lifters, I did." -- Calamity Jane

The Case

That's a mud-caked, salty-tongued Stefanie Powers (Hart To Hart) inhabiting the spirit of real-life gun slinging legend Martha "Calamity" Jane Canary, in just one of the thirty four Cartwright family adventures bundled into Bonanza: The Official Fifth Season.

* "She Walks In Beauty"
* "A Passion For Justice"
* "Rain From Heaven"
* "Twilight Town"
* "The Toy Soldier"
* "A Question Of Strength"
* "Calamity Over The Comstock"
* "Journey Remembered"
* "The Quality Of Mercy"
* "The Waiting Game"
* "The Legacy"
* "Hoss And The Leprechauns"
* "The Prime Of Life"
* "The Lila Conrad Story"
* "Ponderosa Matador"
* "My Son, My Son"
* "Alias Joe Cartwright"
* "The Gentleman From New Orleans"
* "The Cheating Game"
* "Bullet For A Bride"
* "King Of The Mountain"
* "Love Me Not"
* "The Pure Truth"
* "No Less A Man"
* "Return To Honor"
* "The Saga Of Muley Jones"
* "The Roper"
* "A Pink Cloud Comes From Old Cathay"
* "The Campaneros"
* "Enter Thomas Bowers"
* "The Dark Past"
* "The Pressure Game"
* "Triangle"
* "Walter And The Outlaws"

Miss Jane and Little Joe (Michael Landon) make an awfully cute couple, but she's actually intended for a tubercular, Georgian dentist named John Holliday (Christopher Dark, Suddenly), better known as "Doc." Yep, that Doc Holliday!

The Ponderosa ranch plays host to several (once) living legends this season, namely Charles Dickens (Jonathan Harris, Lost In Space), the infamous French pirate Jean Lafitte (John Dehner, The Doris Day Show), and a youthful Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider), perfect in the role of baby-faced bounty hunter Dev Farnum.

Would you believe Marlo Thomas (That Girl) as a Chinese mail-order bride? That's a rhetorical question, of course, and extremely P.C. viewers with high blood pressure concerns are hereby advised to skip this embarrassment entirely. Fortunately, not all of this season's female guest stars are so ill-served. Gena Rowlands (Gloria) barn-storms as a femme fatale who threatens to destroy the brotherly bond between Adam (Pernell Roberts) and Hoss (Dan Blocker) in the first-rate opener, "She Walks In Beauty." Likewise, Inga Swenson (Benson), triumphs as Ben's short-lived second wife (and Hoss' mother) in the excellent flashback adventure, "Journey Remembered."

Paramount's restoration of this towering TV western continues to amaze, with audio and visuals only minimally diminished, despite five decades. In keeping with tradition, Bonanza: The Official Fifth Season comes generously stuffed with extras, including vintage NBC bumpers and Chevrolet commercials (the 1964 line is rolling out), photo galleries, commentaries from series historian Andrew J. Klyde, and a rare Andy Williams Show clip featuring Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker as guests.

Well, what's everybody waitin' for? Gee up!

The Verdict

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2013 P.S. Colbert; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 97

Perp Profile
Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)

Running Time: 1821 Minutes
Release Year: 1963
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentaries
* Featurettes
* Photo Galleries

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0052451/combined