CTVA Western - "Overland Trail" (Revue/NBC) (1960) William Bendix, Doug McClure

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
"Overland Trail" (1960)    "Checkmate" (1960-62)
"The Virginian" (1962-71)   "Search" (1972-73)   "Barbary Coast" (1975-76)

 
Overland Trail (1960)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:  B.J. Townsend, James Beer
references:
Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
OTscriptcover.jpg (94316 bytes)
(Script Cover - Artist Kleng Rude)
Stagecoach Production
Overland Stage-Bilben Production
filmed in Hollywood at Revue Studios,  MCA tv exclusive distributors
for
NBC (Sundays 6:00pm)
Executive Producer Nat Holt (all episodes)
Produced by Samuel A. Peeples (all episodes)
Associate Producer Frank Price

US Western series 1960  17 episodes x 60 min black-and-white
starring
William Bendix
as Frederick Thomas Kelly
Doug McClure
as Frank "Flip" Flippen

OverlandTrail2.jpg (33361 bytes)

Premise: Adventures of a stagecoach driver and his young assistant.

'Overland Trail' theme music by Jeff Alexander

see - "The Virginian" episode guide

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1.1 Overland Trail: PERILOUS PASSAGE
7Feb60 NBC Sun

1,2 Overland Trail: THE O'MARA'S LADIES
14Feb60 NBC Sun

1.3 Overland Trail: WEST OF BOSTON
21Feb60 NBC Sun

1.4 Overland Trail: THE HIGH BRIDGE
28Feb60 NBC Sun

1.5 Overland Trail: WEST BOUND STAGE
6Mar60 NBC Sun

1.6 Overland Trail: ALL THE O'MARA'S HORSES
13Mar60 NBC Sun

1.7 Overland Trail: DAUGHTER OF THE SIOUX
20Mar60 NBC Sun

1.8 Overland Trail: LAWYER IN PETTICOATS
27Mar60 NBC Sun

1.9 Overland Trail: THE VIGILANTES OF MONTANA
3Apr60 NBC Sun

1.10 Overland Trail: FIRE IN THE HOLE
17Apr60 NBC Sun

1.11 Overland Trail: MISSION INTO MEXICO
24Apr60 NBC Sun

1.12 Overland Trail: FIRST STAGE TO DENVER
1May60 NBC Sun

1.13 Overland Trail: SOUR ANNIE*****
8May60 NBC Sun

1.14 Overland Trail: THE BARON COMES BACK
15May60 NBC Sun

1.15 Overland Trail: ESCORT DETAIL*****
22May60 NBC Sun

1.16 Overland Trail: THE RECKONING
29May60 NBC Sun

1.17 Overland Trail: MOST DANGEROUS GENTLEMAN
(final episode)
5June60

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This series dealt with the exploits of the Overland Stage Line as its
Concord Coach made its regular runs, competed for franchises, and
established new branch lines along the Overland Trail from Missouri to
California.  The company was run by Frederick Thomas Kelly, a former
railroad man from Brooklyn, New York, and his assistant driver and shotgun
rider Frank Flippen (who was better know as Flip, but his name "should have
been 'Trouble' with a capital T").  Kelly had taken Flip under his wing
after finding him as a fourteen year old boy in a Cheyenne Indian camp and
was "more like a big brother (to him) than a boss."

Along their route some legends of the West were re-written as Kelly and
Flip encountered such historic figures as Belle Starr, Cole Younger,
Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Cattle Kate, Crazy Horse, Porfirio Diaz,
and President Ulysses S. Grant.

Many of the duo's adventures occurred when Kelly tricked Flip in to doing
things his way or tried to teach him a lesson in life even if it had to be
"the hard way" and "even when it hurt."  I'd like to say, judging from such
episodes as "Daughter of the Sioux," "Lawyer in Petticoats," "Mission Into
Mexico," "Sour Annie," and "Escort Detail,  in my
opinion, Mr. Kelly succeeded in bringing Flip up well.

Some trivia:
Some of the "six up" team horses were Choctaw, Midnight, Moose, Dixie and Maybelle.
Choctaw was possibly a lead horse since he was yelled at in more episodesthan the others.

Doug McClure's Flip occasionally said "yo" instead of yes.  TV Western fans
may remember "yo" as Trampas' (also played by Mr. McClure on the long
running series "The Virginian") "signature" word.(bj)

Five star episodes for me (bj) were:
#13 "Sour Annie" for acting and directing as the range of emotional
performance was superb by both Doug McClure and Mercedes McCambridge.
Directed by William Witney, written by B.L. James.
#15 "Escort Detail" for story.  Setting aside the fictionalization, this
was by far the most "mature" episode of the series as it dealt with the
philosophy of war and the desire for forgiveness and peace between races.
Written by B.L. James, directed by Lesley Selander.

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Overland Trail's production is very interesting.  At first, when they show
the title on the screen, the production is credited to Stagecoach
Productions.  Now at the end between the acting credits and production
credits is this screen devoted entirely to the production company.  It
reads this way:
An Overland Stage-Bilben Production (all in capitals at the top of the
screen).  Then under this are two "signs"--the one as you look left reads
"filmed in Hollywood at revue studios" (lower case) and the sign to the
right says "mca tv exclusive distributor" (again in lower case). (bj)

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TV guide Vol. 8, No. 30, July 23 1960, Issue #382
"Overland Trail"--(NBC Sunday nights--this guide was from TN and SC, so
I guess that would be central time?  which was 6:00 p.m.) "...in that
series McClure has been sharing honors with William Bendix, who plays the
superintendent of a stagecoach line opening up the West.  Essentially,
Overland Trail is just one more hour-long filmed Western.  Filling the
Sunday time slot vacated by "Riverboat" when it moved to Mondays, McClure and
Bendix have bucked Indians, outlaws, rival stage lines and some stiff TV
competition--"Lassie" and "Dennis the Menace" on CBS and "Maverick" on ABC.
McClure blames the show's failure on the ruggedness of that competition." 
....."(McClure) owes his presence in Overland Trail to a featured part in a
"Schlitz Playhouse" comedy, starring Bendix, which was filmed two years
ago...A year later, when Revue Studios was casting Overland Trail, Bendix
remembered McClure and suggested him for the role of Flip Flippen... " 

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William Bendix was born January 14, 1906, in New York, New York, and died
December 14, 1964, in Los Angeles, California.  Cause of death:
Complications of lobar pneumonia and malnutrition.(information on Mr. Bendix
provided by Mark Harrison)

Doug McClure was born May 11, 1935, in Glendale, California, and died February 5, 1995,
at his home in Sherman Oaks, California.  Cause of death:  Lung cancer.

OverlandTrail1.jpg (21772 bytes)

OT_DougMcClure.jpg (62258 bytes)

OTKellyandFlip.jpg (67581 bytes)

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