Destry (TV series)

Last updated
Destry
John Gavin Destry 1964.JPG
Gavin as Harrison Destry.
Based onthe character created by Max Brand
Starring John Gavin
Theme music composerRandy Sparks
Opening theme"Destry"
performed by The Ledbetters
ComposersJerry Goldsmith (three episodes)
Cyril J. Mockridge (one episode)
Morton Stevens (one episode)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
ProducerFrank Telford
Running time60 minutes
Production company Revue Studios
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original network ABC
Picture format Black and white
Original releaseFebruary 14 (1964-02-14) 
May 8, 1964 (1964-05-08)

Destry is a Western television series starring John Gavin that originally aired on ABC from February 14 until May 8, 1964. Destry was based on the classic James Stewart Western, Destry Rides Again , and a subsequent remake, Destry , starring Audie Murphy. This series was a midseason replacement for 77 Sunset Strip .

Contents

Premise

In the original films the main character is Tom Destry, a Western lawman who is expert with a gun but still prefers to use non-violent means to settle problems with outlaws. In the television series John Gavin portrays Harrison Destry, son of Tom, who had been a lawman until he was framed for a crime and jailed. Destry therefore follows Harrison after his release from prison as he wanders the West in search of the people who framed him.

As in the earlier feature films, many comedic situations arise as Destry goes to great lengths to avoid violence whenever troubles confront him. Gavin, in describing his character, stated, "To Destry, a hero is a man who thinks slower than a coward. While his father died with his boots on, Destry believes it is better to live with his boots on." [1]

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"The Solid Gold Girl"TBATBAFebruary 14, 1964 (1964-02-14)
2"Destry Had a Little Lamb"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1964 (1964-02-21)
3"Law and Order Day"TBATBAFebruary 28, 1964 (1964-02-28)
4"Stormy is a Lady"TBATBAMarch 6, 1964 (1964-03-06)
5"The Nicest Girl in Gomorrah"TBATBAMarch 13, 1964 (1964-03-13)
6"Big Deal at Little River"TBATBAMarch 20, 1964 (1964-03-20)
7"Go Away, Little Sheba"Gene NelsonTeleplay by: Gene L. Coon
Story by: Tom Seller
March 27, 1964 (1964-03-27)
8"Deputy for a Day"TBATBAApril 3, 1964 (1964-04-03)
9"Ride to Rio Verde"TBATBAApril 10, 1964 (1964-04-10)
10"Blood Brother-in-Law"TBATBAApril 17, 1964 (1964-04-17)
11"Red Brady's Kid"TBATBAApril 24, 1964 (1964-04-24)
12"The Infernal Triangle"TBATBAMay 1, 1964 (1964-05-01)
13"One Hundred Bibles"TBATBAMay 8, 1964 (1964-05-08)

Production

1964 Destry John Gavin.jpg

In October 1963, the Los Angeles Times reported that Destry would be rushed into production to use John Gavin. [2] The new series was assigned the broadcast timeslot of the recently cancelled 77 Sunset Strip . [3]

Some of the guest stars cast for Destry included Chris Alcaide, Med Flory, Ron Hayes, Roger Mobley, Stuart Randall, Barbara Stuart, and Olive Sturgess. Gavin in his role as the son of Tom Destry, was the fifth actor to play the character "Destry", following the film stars Tom Mix, James Stewart, Audie Murphy, and Joel McCrea. In a 1963 interview, Gavin described the character's personality and reflected on the role's importance within the context of his acting career:

When I came to Universal, they were making 40 pictures a year. I walked through the gate, was given a contract, and immediately the number of pictures dropped to eight or nine a year. I'm not complaining because I was given good roles... roles with scope and breadth. But I wish I could have been put in 40 or 50 roles before making my 'first' picture, do you know what I mean? Doing a series now is like putting the cart before the horse. I'm glad to be doing 'Destry' now though because of the experience. My gosh, I've shot more film in the last five weeks than I have in my entire life... It's a role I can play with a great deal of naivete. Destry is the sort of man who if he sees trouble will ride around it. He says the difference between a hero and a coward is that a coward can think faster.... Hopefully Destry is not always a fool or a clown. He's wandering the west for a few years and he's pretty wise, not brilliant or intelligent but he's been kicked in the head a few times and he knows what's going on. [4]

Reception

During the original broadcast of the series, the Los Angeles Times described Destry as "lacklustre...a routine, second-grade hoss opry", while The New York Times judged it to be the "pedestrian telling of an awkward adventure". [5] [6] Television audiences apparently agreed with those assessments, for Destry never attracted a sizable audience and was cancelled after just 13 episodes. Gavin blamed that lack of success, at least in part, to the departure of the network executive who had commissioned the show. [7]

Home media

On September 6, 2011, Timeless Media Group released Destry- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. [8]

Related Research Articles

<i>Destry Rides Again</i> 1939 film by George Marshall

Destry Rides Again is a 1939 American Western film directed by George Marshall and starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart.

Jack Webb American actor, producer, director, and writer

John Randolph Webb was an American actor, television producer, director, and screenwriter, who is most famous for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday in the Dragnet franchise. He was also the founder of his own production company, Mark VII Limited.

<i>77 Sunset Strip</i> Television series

77 Sunset Strip is an American television private detective drama series created by Roy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith, Richard Long and Edd Byrnes. Each episode was one hour long including commercials. The show ran from 1958 to 1964. The character of detective Stuart Bailey was first used by writer Huggins in the 1948 film I Love Trouble.

Joseph Gallison is an American actor who worked on television soap operas for twenty-seven years. He is probably best known for his role as Dr. Neil Curtis on Days of Our Lives (1974-1991).

Richard Long (actor) American actor (1927–1974)

Richard McCord Long was an American actor best known for his leading roles in three ABC television series, including The Big Valley, Nanny and the Professor, and Bourbon Street Beat. He was also a series regular on ABC's 77 Sunset Strip during the 1961–1962 season.

Warren Oates American actor

Warren Mercer Oates was an American actor best known for his performances in several films directed by Sam Peckinpah, including The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). Another of his most acclaimed performances was as officer Sam Wood in In the Heat of the Night (1967). Oates starred in numerous films during the early 1970s that have since achieved cult status, such as The Hired Hand (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), and Race with the Devil (1975). Oates also portrayed John Dillinger in the biopic Dillinger (1973) and as the supporting character U.S. Army Sergeant Hulka in the military comedy Stripes (1981). Another notable appearance was in the classic New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs (1977), in which he played the commander of the American forces in the country.

John Gavin American film actor and a former Ambassador to Mexico

John Gavin was an American actor who was the president of the Screen Actors Guild (1971–73), and the United States Ambassador to Mexico (1981–86). He was best known for his performances in the films Imitation of Life (1959), Spartacus (1960), Psycho (1960), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), playing leading roles in a series of films for producer Ross Hunter.

Edd Byrnes American actor

Edward Byrne Breitenberger, known professionally as Edd Byrnes, was an American actor, best known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip. He also was featured in the 1978 film Grease as television teen-dance show host Vince Fontaine, and was a charting recording artist with "Kookie, Kookie ".

Will Hutchins American actor

Will Hutchins is an American actor most noted for playing the lead role of the young lawyer Tom Brewster, in the Western television series Sugarfoot, which aired on ABC from 1957 to 1961 for 69 episodes.

George Marshall (director) American actor, screenwriter, producer and film and television director

George E. Marshall was an American actor, screenwriter, producer, film and television director, active through the first six decades of film history.

Willard Waterman

Willard Lewis Waterman was an American character actor in films, TV and on radio, remembered best for replacing Harold Peary as the title character of The Great Gildersleeve at the height of that show's popularity.

Venetia Stevenson is an English-American film and television actress.

Mari Blanchard American actress

Mari Blanchard was an American film and television actress, known foremost for her roles as a B movie femme fatale in American productions of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Kathie Browne American actress

Jacqueline Katherine Browne was an American film and television actress.

Catherine McLeod

Catherine McLeod was an American actress who made over 60 television and movie appearances between 1944 and 1976. She memorably portrayed the one woman whom James Garner's character Bret Maverick wanted to marry on the 1957 ABC/Warner Brothers television series Maverick, in the episode "Rage for Vengeance."

<i>Yellowstone Kelly</i> 1959 film by Gordon Douglas

Yellowstone Kelly is a 1959 American Western film based upon a novel by Heck Allen with a screenplay by Burt Kennedy starring Clint Walker as Luther Sage "Yellowstone" Kelly, and directed by Gordon Douglas. The film was originally supposed to be directed by John Ford with John Wayne in the Clint Walker role but Ford and Wayne opted to make The Horse Soldiers instead.

Louis Quinn

Louis Quinn was an American television and film actor, best known for his role as Roscoe, the comic relief racetrack tout, from 1958 to 1963 in the ABC/Warner Brothers detective television series, 77 Sunset Strip.

<i>Destry Rides Again</i> (novel)

Destry Rides Again is a 1930 western novel by Max Brand. One of Brand's most famous works, it remained in print 70 years after its first publication. It is the story of Harrison Destry's quest for revenge against the 12 jurors whose personal malice leads them to wrongfully convict him of robbery.

Harry Harvey Sr. American actor (1901-1985)

Harry William Harvey Sr. was an American actor of theatre, film, and television. He was the father of actor, script supervisor, and director Harry William Harvey Jr. He is best known for his performances on The Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957), and The Lone Ranger (1949).

Carleton L. Young, known as Tony Young, was an American character actor in film and television. In 1961, he starred at the age of twenty-three in the title role of Cord in the 12-episode CBS western television series Gunslinger.

References

  1. "Gavin Rides THE 5TH DESTRY". Chicago Tribune. February 8, 1964. p. C20.
  2. "'Destry' Rushed". Los Angeles Times. October 10, 1963. p. E12.
  3. Adams, Val (January 1, 1964). "A.B.C.-TV TO DROP '77 SUNSET STRIP' / Also Discontinuing 3 Other Series Before April". The New York Times, p.41. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  4. MacMinn, Aleene (March 15, 1964). "Gavin's first series". Los Angeles Times. p. E3.
  5. Smith, Cecil. "'Destry' Ride Less Than a Gallop". Los Angeles Times February 15, 1964, p. B2.
  6. Gould, Jack (February 15, 1964). "TV Review: New Destry Rides Into U.S. Living Rooms". The New York Times. p. 49.
  7. Ballinger, Don (September 18, 1965). "WHY? 36 more TV shows get the ax; Here are some of the reasons". Chicago Tribune . p. A10.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Additional reading