James Garner Western Filmography …

I thought it would be rather easy to throw something together for James Garner. Not so !! Just the Maverick stuff itself seemed like a small industry – with TV Series, spin-offs, Movies, Mini Series … etc.

Let’s get started:

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend with Randolph Scott / 1957
first Western. Pretty well any Western with Randolph Scott is either very watchable or Classic.

Shoot Out at Medicine BendScott and Garner

Maverick / TV Show

“Who is the tall dark stranger there … ??”

Why it’s Maverick of course ! Most likely Bret Maverick (James Garner)

Mavericks: Bret (James Garner) and Bart (Jack Kelly)
Maverick Banner
Maverick TV Show – Opening Banner
Jack Kelly, Beau Maverick (Roger Moore) Garner
Jack Kelly, Beau Maverick (Roger Moore) and Garner

After Garner left the show during the 3rd Season …
It just wasn’t the same.
Maverick – in Film and TV – went through a few permutations and convolutions over the years and will need to be covered in more depth later.


Garner made a cameo appearance in the Bob Hope Western Comedy
Alias Jesse James.


Couldn’t find any pics of James so I’m inserting Gloria Talbott instead. Yeah.

Duel at Diablo: Garner with Sydney Poitier / 1966

Duel at Diablo

I don’t know much about this movie .. will have to catch up.

One of My Favorites: Hour of the Gun / 1967

Hour of the Gun

Garner is  scary stern as Wyatt Earp
and Robards is brilliant as Doc Holliday.

Support Your Local Sheriff / 1966
comic talents were exploited often:

Support Your Local Sheriff
Garner, Bruce Dern (in jail) and the awesome Jack Elam


Sledge / 1970

What happens when you mix spaghetti with beef?
You get Sledge.

Claude Akins, Dennis Weaver, Garner

Some decent people in here.


More comedy …
Support Your Local Gunfighter / 1971

Support Your Local Gunfighter
Lovely Suzanne Pleshette – Garner


Skin Game
Garner and young Lou Gossett team up


Nichols … I liked it, but it didn’t stick


Disney calls:

Castaway Cowboy
Garner probably did more Comedy Westerns than anyone


Not everything worked:
Young Maverick – TV Show / 1979
Starred Charles Frank as Ben Maverick. Really.
Lasted 8 episodes.

The New Maverick
1979 / Made for TV movie attempted to kick-start Young Maverick TV show


Then … suddenly:
Murphy’s Romance / 1985

Murphy's Romance
 … a gem


Was this a Western ? I believe I spot a car in there.
Garner as legendary lawman Wyatt Earp (again) and Bruce Willis as legendary Western actor Tom Mix,
but I’m not sure.



Maverick – the movie / 1994
Garner, Gibson and Jodie Foster and James Coburn and Graham Greene
and others …
Garner appears as the much rumoured “Pappy” …
Gibson reprises Bret.

Maverick Movie

A fun movie – good cast

Then …

Streets of Laredo – 3 part mini-series … also a Great Cast:
Garner, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Ned Beatty, Randy Quaid,
Wes Studi, Charles Martin Smith …
and Alexis Cruz does a good job as the villain. 

Streets of Laredo

______________________Shepard, Garner, Spacek_____________________
will cover this better – later.

Whew !!!


Maverick: The TV Show
Hour of the Gun
Streets of Laredo

Murphy’s Romance (1985) …

 You’ve Got a Friend / Carole King

” I haven’t been to a movie since the Duke died.”
– Murphy (James Garner)


Brother Bruce (I have 4 Brothers – one Sister) was asking about Murphy’s Romance – and though I have it posted as one of MY FAVORITES, I haven’t done anything with it. So I’ll take that as a nudge to get something done.

Murphy’s Romance is questionable as a Western I guess. Well it is in the West – Arizona. And it has James Garner. And cowboy hats and horses. It’s Western feel to be sure. Just not Old West. Nobody gets shot or hung …. or nuthin’.  it’s just a damn good movie. One of the great ‘Feel Good’ movies of all time and one of my ‘guilty pleasures’ that I’ve watched many times. That also makes it a Classic by my definition – Western or not.


James Garner

I’m billing James over Sally because James garnered a Best Actor Nomination (Academy Awards) for his  role as Murphy Jones. He’s just great here.
Trivia says that Marlon Brando and Paul Newman were both considered for Garner’s part. Glad they didn’t get it.

MFW MURPYHY James Garner
James Garner – Nominated for Best Actor – 1985

But Sally gets top billing on all the posters and such. She’s great also.

Poster Tag: “Just when you think you found the right guy, someone even worse comes along”

Poster .. 3 versions

Sally Field

Sally Field - 2 Oscars
2 Oscars / 1979: Norma Rae / 1984: Places in the Heart
MFW MURPYHY James and Sally
There’s no formula for magic

The Murphy’s Romance Trailer (below) is a bit Murky.
You’d never guess the movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography.
Was 1985 really that long ago?

Production / Wikipedia

Sally Field and director Martin Ritt had to fight Columbia Pictures in order to cast Garner, who was viewed at that point as primarily a television actor despite having enjoyed a flourishing film career in the 1960s (and more recently having co-starred in the box office hit Victor/Victoria opposite Julie Andrews two years earlier).

Columbia didn’t want to make the picture at all, because it had no “sex or violence” in it. But because of the success of Norma Rae (1979), with the same star (Field), director, and screenplay writing team (Harriet Frank, Jr. and Irving Ravetch), and with Field’s new production company (Fogwood Films) producing, Columbia agreed. But, Columbia then wanted Marlon Brando, or someone with “greater box-office allure,” to play the part of Murphy, so Field and Ritt had to insist on Garner.

Filming took place on location in Florence, Arizona and the town’s preserved Main Street appears throughout the movie.

“6.8” ??! – that’s waaaay too low.
Yeah !

Carole King / Musical Score for Murphy’s Romance

MURPHY ROMANCE Garner, Field, Brian Kerwin, Corey Haim
Garner, Field, Brian Kerwin, Corey Haim


Corey Haim
1971 – 2010

Corey Haim