Watch Wanted: Dead or Alive
- 3 Seasons
Wanted: Dead or Alive was a western television series that aired on CBS from 1958 to 1961. The show starred Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall who takes on dangerous assignments to track down fugitives in the Wild West. Randall is a skilled marksman and uses a customized sawed-off Winchester rifle, which he carries in a holster on his right hip.
The show's premise is simple: Randall is hired by clients who want to bring criminals to justice or collect a reward. The episodes usually start with Randall receiving a new assignment, and then he sets out to track down the target. Along the way, he faces various obstacles such as outlaws, Indians, and treacherous terrain. But with his wits, physical skills, and trusty rifle, he always manages to catch his prey.
Wanted: Dead or Alive was notable for its realism and grittiness. The show did not shy away from depicting violence and death, which was unusual for a network program at the time. McQueen's performance as Randall was also a departure from the typical heroic cowboy archetype. Randall was a flawed character who often used questionable methods to get his job done. He was not afraid to play dirty or intimidate people to get information. This made him a more compelling and complex character than other western heroes of the era.
The show's supporting cast was also noteworthy. Wright King played the role of Jason Nichols, a newspaper reporter who often accompanied Randall on his missions. Nichols provided a moral center to the show and was the only character who challenged Randall's methods. Olan Soule played the recurring character of Toby, a stable hand who provided comic relief and sometimes assisted Randall in his tasks.
The show's production values were impressive for the time. The episodes were shot on location in California and Arizona, which lent authenticity to the Western setting. The show also had a memorable theme song, written by the composer Richard Markowitz, which became a hit song and was covered by various artists.
Wanted: Dead or Alive was a popular show during its run, and it has remained a cult classic among fans of the Western genre. The show's legacy extends beyond its three-year run, as it helped launch McQueen's career as a leading actor. McQueen went on to star in several iconic films like The Magnificent Seven, Bullitt, and The Great Escape.
In conclusion, Wanted: Dead or Alive was a groundbreaking Western television series that set itself apart with its realistic portrayal of violence, a flawed hero, and impressive production values. The show has remained a beloved classic among fans of the genre, and its influence can be seen in later Western shows like Gunsmoke and The Rifleman. Steve McQueen's performance as Josh Randall was a defining moment in his career and helped establish him as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
Wanted: Dead or Alive is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (152 episodes). The series first aired on September 6, 1958.