James Garner ________ Incidental Images

“I don’t like to watch me on the screen. I don’t think I’m very good.”
– James Garner 

Most everybody else had a different opinion.

There was a purity about James Garner – as plain and pure as the driven rain.
People sensed it … and liked it.



Some Trivia: 

Lost his mother when he was 5, and he & his two brothers were split up & sent off to live with relatives.He has two brothers, Jack Garner & Charlie Bumgarner. Jack died in 2011 and Charlie died in 1985.

Before he was an actor, he had 75 odd jobs including pumping gas to modeling men’s clothing.

Had both knees replaced.

Had quintuple heart bypass surgery.

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990.

Had helped organize Martin Luther King’s famous “March on Washington” civil rights demonstration, four years before going to Vietnam. (1963).

March on WashingtonMarch on Washington 2March on Washington 4March on Washington 3Garner and NewmanGarner and FootballGarner KoreaGarner CowboysGarner Race CarJAMES GARNER - JENNIFER GARNERGarner Star

James Garner ________ Western Icon Passes

James Garner

April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014 

Who was that tall dark stranger there … ?

Maverick Banner

Leaving things a lot better than when he found it … 

Western Heritage Awards

James Garner Bronze Wrangler Award

1996 Won Bronze Wrangler Television Feature Film / Streets of Laredo (1995)
Shared with: Suzanne De Passe (executive producer), Robert Halmi Jr. (executive producer), Larry McMurtry (executive producer), Diana Ossana (executive producer), Larry Levinson (producer), Joseph Sargent (director), Sissy Spacek (principal actor), Sam Sheppard (principal actor)

Inducted Hall of Great Western Performers

In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Golden Boot Award

James Garner Golden Boot

Academy Awards, USA

1986 Nominated Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role / Murphy’s Romance (1985)

James Garner Murpy's Romance

Screen Actors Guild Awards

James Garner Life Achievement Award

2005 Won Life Achievement Award

2005 Nominated Actor Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role / The Notebook (2004)
1999 Nominated Actor Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries / Legalese (1998)
1996 Nominated Actor Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries / The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise (1995)
1995 Nominated Actor Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries / The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994)

Golden Globes, USA

James Garner Golden Globe

1995 Nominated Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV / Breathing Lessons (1994)
1994 Won Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV / Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
1991 Won Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV / Decoration Day (1990)
1987 Nominated Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV / Promise (1986) For playing “Bob Beuhler”.
1986 Nominated Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical / Murphy’s Romance (1985)
1985 Nominated Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV / Heartsounds (1984)
1982 Nominated Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical / Bret Maverick (1981)
1980 Nominated Golden Globe Best TV Actor – Drama / The Rockford Files (1974)
1979 Nominated Golden Globe Best TV Actor – Drama / The Rockford Files (1974)
1978 Nominated Golden Globe Best TV Actor – Drama / The Rockford Files (1974)
1964 Nominated Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actor – Musical/Comedy / The Wheeler Dealers (1963)
1958 Won Golden Globe Most Promising Newcomer – Male Together with John Saxon and Patrick Wayne.

Primetime Emmy Awards

James Garner Emmy

1994 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special / Breathing Lessons (1994)
1993 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special / Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
1991 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special / Decoration Day (1990)
1989 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Drama / Comedy Special Hallmark Hall of Fame
Shared with: Peter K. Duchow (executive producer), Daniel Petrie (producer)
For episode “My Name Is Bill W. (#38.3)”.
1989 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special
Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) For episode “My Name Is Bill W. (#38.3)”.
1987 Won Primetime Emmy Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special
Promise (1986) Shared with: Peter K. Duchow (executive producer),
Glenn Jordan (producer), 
Richard Friedenberg (co-producer)
Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special / Promise (1986)
For playing “Bob Beuhler”.
1985 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special / Heartsounds (1984)
1982 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / Bret Maverick (1981)
1980 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / The Rockford Files (1974)
1979 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / The Rockford Files (1974)
1978 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / The Rockford Files (1974)
1977 Won Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / The Rockford Files (1974)
1976 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series / The Rockford Files (1974)
1959 Nominated Primetime Emmy
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series / Maverick (1957)

James Garner Bambi

Bambi Awards

1999 Won Honorary Bambi Lifetime Achievement
1977 Won Bambi TV Series International / The Rockford Files (1974)

Golden Apple Awards

1987 – Male Star of the Year / Promise (1986) – Shared with James Wood

James Garner Laurel Awards

James Garner Statue

Thanks Jim …. you are missed already.


The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

In Streets of Laredo we see mainly 3 standard rifles – plus a couple of oddities. There are others long guns, but their appearance is too brief to mention.

Streets of Laredo Rifles

Firstly we have the Winchester 73′ rifle – ‘the rifle that won the West’? Combined with the Colt 45 pistol, these are backbone of many a Western Film and probably a good chunk of Old West history as well.

James Garner (Captain F. Woodrow Call) carries two rifles (not sure why .. but Why Not?): a Winchester 73′ and a 1860 Henry Rifle Brass Frame .45 LC.

Streets of Laredo Garner and Rifles

Streets of Laredo Garner with Yellowboy
Woodrow / Garner with his Henry
Streets of Laredo Garner with Yellowboy 2
Garner using the Henry – folding sight.

Ned Beatty (Judge Roy Bean) and his Winchester 73
Streets of Laredo Ned Beatty with Winchester 73'

Between drinking and hanging people the Judge shoots things.

Streets of Laredo Ned Beatty with Winchester 73' 2

George Carlin gets ready to demonstrate the ‘Yellow Boy‘.

Streets of Laredo George Carlin with Yellowboy 2

Hang on to your ears.

Streets of Laredo George Carlin with Yellowboy 2

The 2 Unusual Weapons

Streets of Laredo Smith and Cannon
Smith and Cannon

Charles Martin Smith and Cannon? Sounds like a Law Firm. And he’s got the guns to back it up.

Streets of Laredo Holland & Holland Paradox

The first of the 2 unusual weapons that I spoke of, is the The Holland & Holland Paradox shotgun (well named).

From the Internet Movie Firearms Database (http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Holland_%26_Holland_Paradox)

“The Holland & Holland Paradox was an interesting design. It was a smoothbore until the end of the bores where there was rifling … The 8 and 10 gauge shotguns were considered to be the most effective against Elephant, Cape Buffalo ect, but lacked the accuracy and range of a rifle. The Paradox design was a compromise which offered improved performance from the smoothbore design … “

In other words, Charles Martin Smith is carrying an elephant gun. Sheesh.

This weapon eventually contributes to the demise of our main antagonist.

Thanks to my brother Richard for finding this information.

Don’t ask me what the pistols are though … he never pulled ’em.

Charles Martin Smith seems to have a fondness for shotguns:

Streets of Laredo Smith and Shotgun
Charles Martin Smith with shotgun in The Untouchables – 1987

That other weapon is claimed to be a Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle with Scope.

Streets of laredo  Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle
Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle – without scope

Apology: I lost my sources for this reference. I do recall the the individual who recognized this rifle said that this weapon did not exist in the era of Streets of Laredo. I would not be surprised as we find this quite often in Westerns (and other movies) where technology from the future is imported to the past. Most often nobody cares or notices, but some Gun and Western history fans/experts do take note. 

Streets of Laredo Alexis Cruz and rifle

Alexis Cruz with Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle

The only thing I can say for sure it that if Joey Garza (Alexis Cruz) takes a liking to your gun, you better just give it to him. And run away. Fast.

But it might not do any good.

The Guns of Laredo … an interesting mix.

The Guns of Laredo … Part 2 … the Handguns

Bob Dylan

Streets of Laredo contains most your standard Western gunfare: Yer Colt 45, Yer Winchester ’73, and Yer double barrel shotgun ….

But it also has 2 unique weapons – plus another that’s fairly uncommon.

I was not able to locate any resources that specifically itemized the Guns in Streets of Laredo. It took considerable detective work to discover the identity of at least 2 of the firearms. A Thank You goes to my brother Richard who identified the mysterious and unusual shotgun carried by Charles Martin Smith.

The Handguns:

Most of the main characters use handguns at some point Streets of Laredo – including Sissy Spacek and Sonja Baca.
The handgun of choice appears to be the famous Colt 45 – either long or short barrel.

streets of laredo GUNS

streets of laredo Alexis Cruz with Colt

Alexis Cruz

streets of laredo Sonja Baca with Colt

Sonja Baca

streets of laredo Ned Beatty with Colt

Ned Beatty

A Colt Refused

Near the beginning Episode 1 (of 3) of Streets of Laredo, James Garner (Captain Woodrow Call) is offered a pearl handled Colt by his employer – which he refuses – upon advice there may ‘strings attached’.

streets of laredo colt in a case

 Uncommon Gun Number One

Smith and Wesson top loading handgun

Randy Quaid, who plays the very surly John Wesley Hardin in Streets of Laredo, brandishes a nickel plated handgun that looks almost too grand to be a ‘shootin’ iron’ of the Old West.
But there it is. This gun was not easy to for me to identify and I’m still not certain I have it right, but I’m going with a:

Smith & Wesson Schofield 

Subsequent editions of a successful weapon design often remain or appear almost identical to the original – even over years of production – with only minor refinements. Or can be copied by other Manufacturers.
In other words, they aren’t easy to identify. So this is just a guess on my part.

Randy Quaid with Smith and Wesson

Randy Quaid

Top Breaking handguns.

When you consider that the ‘top breaking’ feature (similar to double barrel shotgun) of this handgun appears to be make loading and unloading quicker and easier, you’d think they would have been more popular, but it seems the side loading style of the Colts was more common. I do not know who originally invented this design, but it was clearly used by other manufacturers as well – including Colt.

Randy Quaid with Smith and Wesson 2


The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

James Garner Westerns: Streets of Laredo: the Cast

Casting Director, Lynn Kressel won Casting Awards for Streets of Laredo. Let’s see why …

James Garner


Nothing much needs to be said about James Garner as a Western Film Actor He’s an icon.

Garner’s Westerns

Maverick  with Jack Kelly 1957-1962 TV
Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend with Randolph Scott / 1957 Movie
Alias Jesse James
with Bob Hope 1957 Cameo as Maverick Movie
Duel at Diablo: with Sydney Poitier 1966 Movie
Hour of the Gun with Jason Robards 1967 Movie
Support Your Local Sheriff with Jack Elam and Walter Brennan 1966 Movie
Sledge with Dennis Weaver and Claude Akins 1970 Movie
Support Your Local Gunfighter with Suzanne Pleshette 1971 Movie
Skin Game with Lou Gossett 1971 Movie
Nicols with Stuart Margolin 1971-1972 TV
The Castaway Cowboy 1974 Movie
Young Maverick with Charles Frank 1979 TV
Bret Maverick  with Ed Bruce 1981-82 TV Movie
Murphy’s Romance with Sally Field 1985 Movie
Sunset with Bruce Willis 1988 Movie
Maverick with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Coburn and others 1994 Movie
Streets of Laredo – 1995 TV Mini-Series

Sam Shepard


Sam Shepard seems to have Western written all over him – so we’re bit surprised that he hasn’t been in more. Yet I believe All the Pretty Horses is massively under-rated and may fare better in time. The Assassination of Jesse James … ??? the jury is still out. Thunderheart is well known – an entertaining enough movie … but a good Western? Blackthorn could have been Classic, but poor support acting let it down.

Verdict? Streets of Laredo is probably the best Western Sam has ever done. And he’s damn good in it.

Shepards’s Westerns

1978 Days of Heaven – with Richard Gere
1992 Thunderheart – with Val Kilmer and Grahame Greene
1995 Streets of Laredo with James Garner
1999 Purgatory with Eric Roberts and Randy Quaid
2000 All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon
2005 Bandidas with Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck
2011 Blackthorn
1994 Silent Tongue / Writer / Director
2014 Klondike with Richard Madden

Randy Quaid


Randy Quaid has been in at least 2 notable Western: The Missouri Breaks and The Long Riders – both pretty highly regarded by most Western Movie fans – some holding them as Minor Classic in quality. In Streets of Laredo he plays the famous gunslinger John Wesley Harding.

Quaid Westerns 

1976 The Missouri Breaks with Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando
1979 The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang
1980 The Long Riders with Dennis Quaid, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Stacy Keach …
1999 Purgatory wtih Sam Shepard
2004 Home on the Range with Judi Dench, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rosanne Barr …

Sissy Spacek


We probably think Sissy Spacek has been in a few Westerns because she did Coal Minors Daughter (1980) and has done some Country Music singing and writing. But not so. Despite a ton of great work in her acting career, Sissy has done no real Westerns.

She’s in a great one this time though.

Decent Western roles are tough to find for female actors- mainly because most Westerns are written by – and for – men. But McMurtry is different and Streets of Laredo includes 3 great roles for the ladies – one of which is also an excellent role for a child female actor. Good job Mr. McMurtry.

Wes Studi


Wes Studi is another actor that has well established himself as a Western Film Icon. His first 2 Westerns are undeniable Westerns ClassicsDances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans.
Most everything else he’s done is quality work as well.

Wes Studi Westerns

1990 Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner
1992 The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis
1993 Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman
1995 Streets of Laredo
1997 Crazy Horse with Ned Beatty
2005 Into the West with Russel Means
2005 Miracle at Sage Creek with David Carradine
2005 The New World with Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale
2007 Seraphim Falls with Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston
2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
2008 Comanche Moon with Val Kilmer
2009 Trail of Tears
2011 Hell on Wheels with Colm Meaney
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West (post-production)
2014 Palominas (pre-production)

Charles Martin Smith

STREETS OF LAREDO Charles Martin Smith

We wouldn’t normally think of Charles Martin Smith as being a Western Actor but, incredibly, Smith has appeared in at least one bona fide Western Classic: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and two other worthy Westerns: Culpepper Cattle Co. and The Spikes Gang. That’s 3 out 3 Chuck – Not bad for a green horn.

In Streets of Laredo, Smith plays the ‘everyday man’ – that’s you and me – the guy we’re supposed to relate with. His character can’t handle the rugged and vicious Western world he suddenly finds himself in – and makes us wonder if we could cut it either. Possibly not.

Charles Martin Smith Westerns 

1972 The Culpepper Cattle Co.
1973 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
1974 The Spikes Gang

Sonia Braga


Brazilian actress and International Film Star, Sonia Braga has 75 film credits to her name. 
And when you see here performance in Streets of Laredo, it’s hard to believe she too has no Westerns among them.
She was 
Nominated for NCLR Bravo Award 1996 for her performance in Streets of Laredo.

Ned Beaty


In Streets of Laredo, Ned Beaty is well recognized – even with his Santa Claus beard. Beaty is another actor we are surprised to find has made very few Westerns – in his long career where he has appeared in over 100 films – and has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, an MTV Movie Award and a Golden Globe Award; he won a Drama Desk Award also.

But he’s done a couple.

2011  Rango
1996  Crazy Horse
1994  Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart
1975  Gunsmoke (TV)
1972  The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean with Paul Newman

George Carlin


You might have to shake your head for a second when you see George Carlin in Streets of Laredo. The second surprise is that he does a hell of job. Completely believable and in command of his part. Makes you wish he’d done more.

Vanessa Martinez

STREETS OF LAREDO Vanessa Martinez

Vanessa Martinez is that 3rd female role I was talking about – playing Sonia Braga’s blind daughter. She is superb – and we wonder why we haven’t seen more of her either ??

Alexis Cruz


An unlikely badguy we may think – almost baby faced. But Cruz is ominous and lethal as the psychopathic killer tracked by Garner. Yet another actor we’ve seen little of since Laredo.
Though still active in TV and Film, Cruz seems to have fallen from view. 

Alexis Cruz Westerns:

1997 The Brave (A Western?) I note this here because it Stars Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp.


An impressive cast. In an excellent production.

James Garner Westerns: Streets of Laredo: Awards

Felt like I better mention that Streets of Laredo did justly claim a few awards:


Emmy Prime Time

Nominated for Primetime Emmy Award 1996

Nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries or a Special
Lynn Kressel (casting director)
Nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries or a Special
An Emmy Award recognizes excellence in the television industry.

American Society of Cinematographers, USA award

Won American Society of Cinematographers, USA 1996

Won ASC Award Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Mini-Series
Edward J. Pei

ASC membership has become one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a professional cinematographer.


Nominated for Casting Society of America, USA 1996

Nominated Best Casting for TV Miniseries 
Lynn Kressel

Lone Star Film Festival Award

Won Lone Star Film & Television Award 1996

Won Lone Star Film & Television Award
Best TV Teleplay Larry McMurtry Diana Ossana For Dead Man’s Walk
The Lone Star EMMY Chapter
represents the best and brightest television and media professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Texas’ 19 television markets.

NCLR Bravo Awards

Nominated for NCLR Bravo Award 1996

Nominated Outstanding Individual Performance in Made for Television Movie or Mini-Series
Sonia Braga
The NCLR Bravo Awards honor the actors and directors who promote positive portrayals of Hispanics in the media.
The NCLR Bravo Awards are the predecessor to the Alma Awards.


Won Western Heritage Award / Bronze Wrangler 1996

The Bronze Wrangler is an award presented annually by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to honor the top works in Western music,film, television and literature.

Television Feature Film
Suzanne De Passe
 (executive producer)
Robert Halmi Jr. (executive producer)
Larry McMurtry (executive producer)
Diana Ossana (executive producer)
Larry Levinson (producer)
Joseph Sargent (director)
James Garner (principal actor)
Sissy Spacek (principal actor)
Sam Sheppard (principal actor) 



James Garner Westerns: Streets of Laredo: Cast

James Garner Westerns con’t: Streets of Laredo / 3 part mini-series 1995 / Part 1

Capt. Woodrow F. Call: I will not tolerate rude behaviour!”

Fortunately, Streets of Laredo is chock full of rude behaviour.

I selected this version of the very famous song The Streets of Laredo by Ed Bruce (http://www.edbrucemusic.com/) (writer of “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had“) because Bruce is a close friend and co-hort of James Garner. And I like it.


Larry McMurtry’s Streets of Laredo • Official Trailer • Miniseries


I have no problem understanding what people like about McMurtry’s writings: Lonesome Dove (1986 Pulitzer Prize winner) etc. of which Streets of Laredo is part of his enduring saga of Woodrow Call – and others – It’s the people in his stories. They are fully realized and believable. Real. And we like them and admire them. His people are honest, hard working, caring, loyal, honest … good people. Not perfect in any way – but good. They have standards and they have a code – and they stick by – and stick together. We come to care about them and relate quite a bit with them – I hope. McMurty’s stories are good too – filled with these interesting characters and his great knack for excellent dialogue. No problem finding quotes in his writing.
Streets of Laredo is excellent. Streets of Laredo Banner Streets of Laredo starts out with a coyote howling in the sunset and plaintive death march of the song Streets of Laredo … giving a sense of loss – that something is ending rather than beginning. And in the opening scene we see the no longer young Woodrow Call (Garner) preparing for a journey … his last quest ??

Streets of Laredo James Garner Banner


They don’t usually make many posters and such for TV events (tell that to Game of Thrones) so we often have to rely on DVD covers and the like for any promotional images. As such:





Notice anything about one of these DVD images?
It’s reversed. Yes. This is something that you encounter
very often on the internet – reversed images. Why? I don’t know.
It’s annoying. For one thing it’s dishonest. Secondly, sometimes
you can’t tell which is the honest/correct/original image.
Why do people do this? It can’t be done accidentally.
It’s a head 
scratcher … ??


I rate it an 8 out of ten
SOL Rotten Tomatoes
“54%” !!??? – that’s insane.

I was completely caught up in this gritty Western.

James Plath's picture
James Plath
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – 12:00 am
” … a considerably better-than-average Western . . . even if it isn’t quite the same caliber as “Lonesome Dove.” It hooked me right from the beginning, and that’s worth something. Like the best mini-series, “Streets of Laredo” depends upon strong characters to make the difference, and they do.”
Alexis Cruz does a fantastic job as the child killer, but so does Randy Quaid as John Wesley Hardin and Ned Beatty as the self-appointed law west of the Pecos, Judge Roy Bean. Even comedian George Carlin turns in a decent performance as grizzled carryover from “Lonesome Dove.”
Bottom Line: As a stand-alone mini-series, “Streets of Laredo” merits a high 7 to a low 8 out of 10. As a sequel? It’s probably not going to satisfy anyone looking for consistency from film to film. But I think the first point trumps the second. Always.”


If interested in finding Streets of Laredo you’ll have no problem – it’s freely available on YouTube – all 3 parts in blazing Hi Res that you can watch right on your computer – though I downloaded it and Rose and I enjoyed watching it on her big screen TV.

That’s enough for today …

Coming Up …
Streets of Laredo: The Cast

‘Maverick’ … a clip

Found this clip today … when I shoulda found it yesterday!!

Anyway … nice clip on Garner and original Maverick Series.

James Garner Maverick

Leaving things a better place than he found itGarner: Leaving things better than when he found it.

James Garner Maverick 2
The gals ‘got it’ …

James Garner Maverick 3

Garner: “I didn’t know what I was doing.”

That’s OK Jim … we did.

James Garner Westerns: Maverick

Maverick Theme Song

Written by composers David Buttolph (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics).
Sung by ? “a male chorus”.

Maverick Lyrics

(Go ahead … sing along)

Who is the tall, dark stranger there?
Maverick is the name.
Ridin’ the trail to who knows where,
Luck is his companion,
Gamblin’ is his game.
Smooth as the handle on a gun.
Maverick is the name.
Wild as the wind in Oregon,
Blowin’ up a canyon,
Easier to tame.

Riverboat, ring your bell,
Fare thee well, Annabel.
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin on jacks and queens
Maverick is a legend of the west.

Riverboat, ring your bell,
Fare thee well, Annabel.
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin on jacks and queens
Maverick is a legend of the west.
Maverick is a legend of the west.

(Natchez is in SW Mississippi)

Maverick TV Banner

“Nuthin’ up my sleeve … ”
Garner never needed to cheat. 

James Garner and Jack Kelly
James Garner (Bret Maverick) and Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick)Mavericks

In the first 7 episodes of Maverick, James Garner starred alone. Then Jack Kelly was brought in. The series employed an unusual format: Garmer and Kelly appeared alone in some episodes – then together. Kelly was good, but there was never any doubt who had the charisma: Garner was the Star. And when he left during Season 3, the series definitely declined in popularity.


MAVERICK: A Genuine Classic Western – TVRAGE http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-4399

From the Golden Age of the 50’s era, “MAVERICK” can be classified as one of the best Western TV series during this period. ABC network channel produced the whole 5 season of this show from 1957-1962 with very outstanding and definitely top-class episodes every week. James Garner playing as Bret Maverick really portrayed his role very well as the smooth and stylish man of the Western culture. I remember, many girls fantasize him for being so attractive and all men want to be like him. His character as Bret was so modish, calm with no pressure that has great sense of humor, a poker champion, and most of all physically strong. What’s more interesting in his character is, he chose to use his intelligence over his power. Most episodes show the funny side of James Garner that why the public viewers commended his role as Maverick with these unique qualities!  Review posted on Monday, July 15th 2013 at 1:53 am

Maverick IMDB
A solid “8”

Maverick wanabees …. 

Mavericks ...

Not fast enough boys … 

James and Jack Garner
James and brother Jack Garner

Comics …

Maverick Comics


Westerns – popular in the 50’s 

File:Warner Brothers television westerns stars 1959.JPGPhoto of all the Warner Brothers Studio television western stars who had programs on ABC. From left: Will Hutchins (“Sugarfoot” Brewster-Sugarfoot), Peter Brown (Johnny McKay-Lawman), Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick-Maverick), Ty Hardin (Bronco Laine-Bronco), James Garner (Bret Maverick-Maverick), Wayde Preston (Christopher Colt-Colt .45), John Russell (Dan Troop-Lawman).

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

Lancaster as Earp – the ‘Grin’ and the Grim


In rebuilding my ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral‘ page I got to thinking about Lancaster’s portrayal of Wyatt Earp. In earlier films Lancaster had become famous for his trademark smile – which he is said to have referred to as “the grin” – most obvious in ‘Vera Cruz’ (one of My Favorite Westerns). Therefore his stoic and stern portrayal of Wyatt Earp in ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ is a stark and deliberate contrast. Was Earp really like this? Because this same humorless image of Earp is carried on through most of the other popular Earp Films: ‘Hour of the Gun‘; ‘Tomestone’ and ‘Wyatt Earp’. Only Henry Fonda‘s portrait of Earp in ‘My Darling Clementine‘ (1946) seems to put a more human face on Earp. Director John Sturges (‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’) continued with this strict image of Earp in ‘Hour of the Gun’ (1968) which starred James Garner as Earp. Garner’s ruthless portrayal of Earp is even more striking because of Garner’s usual soft and often comedic persona from the ‘Maverick’ TV series. It is safe to say however, that Sturges wasn’t very concerned with a historical portrayal of Earp (Lancaster doesn’t even sport a mustache) or the gunfight at the OK Corral. But it seems ironic that the film that makes the greatest effort to paint a historical document of Earp (Lawrence Kasdan‘s ‘Wyatt Earp’ starring Kevin Costner as Earp) is probably the least popular of five films.