Thursday, December 9, 2010


Before I get into today's post, check out this interview at Miss Houston, or Hawk for short, a romance writer, maintains a blog site which is always interesting and informative.

Saturday afternoon I watched some episodes of Branded on a DVD. Chuck Connors was the star of this old TV series, which had a two-year run. In these, Connors was unceremoniously kicked out of the Army for cowardice in the battle of Bitter Creek, He wanders around with everyone calling him a coward, but he finally gets a chance to clear his name in a daring operation against a band of Mexican bandidos that he leads into a trap. He was hand-picked by President Grant to do the job that may brand him a taitor, in addition to coward, by joining up with the bandidos in hopes of preventing an all-out war with Mexico.

The first episode was in black and white, and the acting was melodramatic in some instances, but I can see why he was the Rifleman and played in so many other movies and TV shows. Overall, I thought the acting was good and there was some comedy with the bandidos making it fun to watch. An enjoyable two hours on a cloudy afternoon.

Mr. Connors was born in Brooklyn in 1921 and grew up an athlete, playing basketball for Seton Hall until he went into the Army in 1942,  serving as a tank instructor in Kentucky and at West Point until his discharge in 1946. He played one year as the center for the Boston Celtics and then played baseball, being selected by the Dodgers who sent him to a farm team. He played for the Dodgers in the majors for a very short while and then was traded to the Cubs, who sent him to the Angels farm team in LA, where he got his big break into the movie world. He passed away in November 1992.

I liked to watch him in the Rifleman.


  1. What a career some men had before they fetched up in the movies. No longer true today when actors start on that path before they're out of their teens.

  2. I watched the first season of THE RIFLEMAN last year (along with the equally terrific BAT MASTERSON) and see why it is rated so high among fans of the genre. I tried watching BRANDED and just didn't care for it.

  3. I loved Branded. I was probably the first kid in the class to learn the words of the song... 'All but one man died, there at Bitter Creek.'

    Loved the Rifleman too, but seeing re-runs in recent years has tainted the memory. The explosive opening is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, and I love Paul Fix's character Micah, but that sappy mouseketeer kid of Lucas McCaine's spoils it a little.

    Btw - wonderful interview Oscar. You did fine.

  4. Ron, The younger ones are spoiled and innocent.

    David, I haven't watched 'em since their original TV appearances, but I still like him in that. The intro to the Branded episodes drove me nuts, same thing over and over.

    Thanks, Valance. About all I remember is that I liked the series and the action of the Rifleman.