Combustible Celluloid

Wanted: Dead or Alive - Season Two (1959-1960)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Let's Go

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Wanted: Dead or Alive - Season Two on DVD

I checked out four episodes of this new 4-disc box set. "The Healing Woman" (1959) features a teleplay written by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson, two incredible genre writers with tons of good material in their resumes. "The Empty Cell" (1959) includes the unlikely duo of DeForest Kelley ("Star Trek") and Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man). "Angela" (1960), co-stars Warren Oates as a thug. And "The Monster" (1960) stars Martin Landau as a renegade circus performer with a killer elephant. All four are professionally done, good-looking (the great cinematographer Stanley Cortez, of The Magnificent Ambersons and The Night of the Hunter, shot at least one episode), but rather plain. Steve McQueen plays Josh Randall, a bounty hunter with an unusual, sawed-off gun (called a "Mare's Leg"). McQueen is superb, but his method mumbling offsets the more workaday aspects of the production. As far as Western television shows go, Sam Peckinpah's "The Rifleman" is sillier, but a lot more fun.

DVD Details: Released by BCI Eclipse, this box set contains 32 episodes (each with an optional French language track) and a featurette, "The Women of Wanted: Dead or Alive."

Starring: Steve McQueen, Warren Oates, Martin Landau, Lon Chaney Jr. DeForrest Kelley, Bek Nelson, Fay Spain, etc.
Written by: D.D. Beauchamp, Mary M. Beauchamp, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, etc.
Directed by: Thomas Carr, etc.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 800 minutes
Date: August 15, 2007

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