Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater: Complete Season One (1956-1957)
Strangers and a 'Zane'
By Jeffrey M. Anderson
Buy Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater: Complete Season One on DVD
I was very excited when I heard that VCI Entertainment would be
releasing "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater" on DVD, since two of my
favorite Western directors, Sam Peckinpah and Budd Boetticher, had
worked on a few episodes. Sadly, neither of them are represented in this
first season, which includes 29 restored episodes on 4 DVDs. At the
time, Zane Grey was as much a household name in the realm of Westerns as
Stephen King is today for horror. I'm not exactly sure what Dick Powell
had to do with this, since he rarely worked in the genre himself, but
his weekly introductions for the show are meant to be humorous and
somewhat educational (he also appeared in a few episodes). Several of
these unconnected episodes were based on actual Grey stories, but as the
series progressed, original stories were written. This collection
includes appearances by such stars as Jack Lemmon, Sterling Hayden,
Walter Brennan, Ida Lupino, David Niven, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance,
Ralph Bellamy, Lloyd Bridges, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Astor and cult
actors like DeForrest Kelley, James Best, Gloria Talbott, John Forsythe
and Ralph Meeker. The DVD quality is clear and sharp, though the picture
verges on too dark; the sound leaves a bit to be desired (probably due
to the condition of the original elements) and there are no optional
subtitles or captions. Future television mogul Aaron Spelling was a
voracious writer for this show. I look forward to future seasons on DVD,
which should include the original inspiration for the great Chuck
Connors TV show, "The Rifleman."
With: Dick Powell, Robert Ryan, Cloris Leachman, Ida Lupino, James Whitmore, Ray Collins, Jack Palance, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Lemmon, Sterling Hayden, Walter Brennan, David Niven, Robert Ryan, Ralph Bellamy, Lloyd Bridges, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Astor, DeForrest Kelley, James Best, Gloria Talbott, John Forsythe, Ralph Meeker
Written by: John McGreevey, Luke Short, Arthur A. Ross, Harold Swanton, Aaron Spelling, Otis Carney, Frederick Louis Fox, etc.
Directed by: Felix E. Feist, Bernard Girard, John English, Robert Florey, etc.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 870 minutes
Date: June 29, 2009