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alias smith and jones - pete duel, ben murphyAlias Smith and Jones is a 1970s western and one of the earliest projects of Battlestar Galactica creator Glen Larson, who wrote and produced this pilot episode. Now finally available on DVD, it's a show which shows its age gracefully, and is still able to charm and enchant.

Unfortunately, most people tend to remember the tragic circumstances surrounding the series—star Pete Duel (Hannibal Heyes) took his own life in the middle of the second season. Another actor was quickly hired to take his place, but of course the show was never the same, and it floundered with audiences soon after.

It's been difficult to catch repeats of the series on TV in recent years—my memories of this show are fond, but faded, so it's fabulous to see it yet again. This isn't your typical western—it's not terribly gritty or violent, but instead has a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm, and often boasts of storylines which stray at least a little from the predictable.

The DVD picture is a bit "noisy" and with more than a few scratches and hairs, but there are subtitles, and the picture is very sharp. It comes in attractive packaging and is well worth the relatively modest price. The first season DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Not from N. America but still want to watch the DVDs? It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive! (Link opens in new window.)


pete duel

"Two pretty good bad men"—The series pilot starts out with Heyes and Curry (Pete Duel and Ben Murphy) attempting to rob a train, accompanied by their gang. Times are changing and the team starts to realize that robbing trains and cracking safes is not as easy as it used to be. This is the first scene in the pilot episode.

Download iPod version of this video clip. (25 MB H.264 M4V file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

 

 

 

meet lom - pete duel, ben murphy

"Howdy Lom"—Discouraged by how difficult and dangerous it is becoming to maintain an outlaw lifestyle, Heyes and Curry visit their old friend Lom (James Drury, in a particularly bad toupee), who is an outlaw-turned-lawman. They hope to get in on the amnesty deal offered by the Governer, and believe that Lom may be of assistance.

Download a high quality XviD AVI video clip (66.2 MB). Right-click to download file to hard drive. This is a high resolution video file from the commercial DVD (available at Amazon.com). It has been cleaned up a little (some of the noise has been removed), but you will be able to see how sharp and clear the DVD picture is from this video. How do I play this video?

 

Download the iPod version of this clip. (25.4 MB, H.264 MP4 file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

walk -ff ben murphy

"Walk off"—Heyes and Curry try to lay low in town, while waiting for their friend the Sheriff to negotiate an amnesty deal with the Governor. But sometimes it's difficult to keep a low profile . . .

Download iPod version of this video clip. (19.2 MB H.264 MP4 file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

earl holliman - alias smith and jones

"I wrote it!"—Heyes and Curry take a job in a most unlikely place—the local bank—while still waiting for news from Lom about their amnesty deal. Working as a teller at the bank, Heyes encounters a familiar face . . .

Download iPod version of this video clip. (17.4 MB, H.264 M4V file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

jailed - pete deuel, ben murphy

"And it took a friend to take us down."—Heyes and Curry (aka Smith and Jones) are suddenly (and for no discernible reason) detained by Sheriff Lom's deputy (Forrest Tucker). The boys lament their fate behind bars.

Download iPod version of this video clip. (14.8 MB, H.264 M4V file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

dynamite - alias smith and jones, duel, murphy, glenn larson

"We are dealing with a Brooker 404"—After freeing themselves from jail, the boys (convinced of Lom's betrayal) decide to rob the local bank on the same night that Lom is scheduled to return from his visit with the Governor. Unbeknownst to Heyes and Curry, their associates, the Hole in the Wall gang, have similar ideas about the bank . . .

Download iPod version of this video clip. (24.1 MB, H.264 M4V file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

end pilot alias smith and jones

"Yahoo!"—Lom returns on the late night train to find that the bank was blown up, but that Heyes and Curry have prevented all attempts to steal the bank's money and have been labeled heroes by the bank owner. Ignorant (but suspicious) of the boys' activities during his absence, Lom spells out the terms of the deal with the Governor. This is the final scene of the pilot episode.

Download iPod version of this video clip. (10.6 MB H.264 M4V file—playable with Quicktime 7, VLC Player, iTunes, or a Video iPod.)

 

alias smith and jones

Alias Smith & Jones DVD is available at Amazon.com

There are four DVDs in the set, with a total of 15 episodes (first season of the show), totalling 13 hours and 2 minutes of playtime. Glen Larson (creator of the show) gives a commentary over the pilot episode. The picture quality is very sharp, but a bit too dirty and grainy in parts. Overall, the quality is more than satisfactory. English subtitles are included.

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