Thursday, February 9, 2017

Old Time Radio: The Six Shooter (1953)

By the early 50's, radio was rapidly losing ground to television. Seeking to find any means to market new shows, networks went so far as to recruit some of Hollywood's top stars for radio shows.

One such case was NBC calling upon James Stewart for The Six Shooter, which lasted just 1 season (1953-4). Stewart was cast as Britt Ponsett, who, in fact, was the prototypical lone wolf Western hero. Ponsett traveled from town to town, looking for work, and finding trouble instead.

Three years after the series ended, Revue Studios resurrected the show as The Restless Gun, which we reviewed a ways back. John Payne top-lined, but the lead character was renamed Vint Bonner, even though series creator Frank Burt was a creative consultant on the show. Restless Gun also lasted 1 season, although Stewart would appear as a Ponsett-esque character himself when GE Theatre adapted an earlier radio Christmas episode.

Let's give a listen to the episode, "Jenny":

Rating: B+.


Samuel Wilson said...

The "Restless Gun" thing was such a late change for the TV show that early scripts (many probably adapted from radio episodes) constantly remind us that Vint Bonner's nickname is "the Six Shooter." I guess for TV they wanted to underscore the wandering-hero angle rather than the violence that could be taken for granted.

hobbyfan said...

Not so much probably, Sammy, but very likely adapted, much like "Dragnet". They wanted "Restless" to stand out from the rest of the Westerns, but that failed, just as much as "Six Shooter" probably suffered from constantly wandering from one time slot to another, more than the format.