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Appreciating Richard Boone of the Western

have gun

For starters the western has always been my favorite genre if I am forced to pick just one. With the availability of western television shows turning up on DVD it has allowed me to see many of the shows from yesteryear. I grew up watching mainly reruns of Bonanza and Gunsmoke mixed in with as many of the genre’s movies as I could catch on Sunday afternoons and late night television.

richard-boone-in-big-jake-(1971)

Richard Boone was primarily the bad guy in most of the movies I would see him in. Big Jake and Hombre spring to mind. But what a bad guy!

“My Momma taught me to remove my hat and my cigar in the presence of a lady. Whatever else I take off depends on how lucky I get.”

richard boone

Then there was Rio Conchos, A Thunder of Drums, The Shootist and even playing Sam Houston in The Alamo. When Boone is on camera it’s hard to notice anything or anyone but him outside of The Duke.

big-jake3-www.freevintageposters.com

Richard Boone3

I knew he had done the Have Gun Will Travel series but until it began to turn up on DVD I had never once seen an episode. I am now through the first five seasons and loving every minute of it.

richard boone 3

Having a chance to see many of the westerns from the golden age of television thanks to DVD releases I have to say that Boone as Paladin has to be my favorite leading man/character from the small screens western craze.

richard boone 1

His Paladin is a man among men. Tough minded, articulate, a ladies man. He’s a James Bond for the west without the gadgetry while at the same time able to play chess and quote Shakespeare. Boone’s equally at home in his San Francisco hotel dressed as a city slicker or clad in black on the western frontier. He’s a gunfighter with honor that commands respect from both the characters he encounters and from us the viewers.

If you haven’t seen Boone as the famed Paladin, do so now.

Richard Boone Sitting in Movie Chair

16 Comments »

  1. A really great actor I’ve come to admire and appreciate more and more over the years.
    I fully agree with your recommendation for Have Gun Will Travel – a first rate example of how good the western could be on television.

    • I was tempted to get into the casting, writers and directors involved but didn’t want to take the focus away from Boone so will revisit the theme next year after I finish season 6 which I just acquired.
      It’s really a fascinating character that Boone delivers in this.

  2. Very nice post. I too love Boone and HGWT, Paladin’s a real gentleman cowboy, handsome, elegant, tough. I have a really interesting bio on Boone with a CD in it, and a book on the serie (I forget if I showed you).

  3. Love me some Richard Boone. I’ve sang his praises as Paladin on my TV site in the past, but have yet to do him justice for his movie roles. Think you covered most of the great ones here. He’s also terrific as the head baddie in THE TALL T with Randolph Scott. Such a terrific, grizzled, manly presence, as you say, he dominates nearly ever scene he’s in. Nice post!

    • Thanks for agreeing on the presence of Boone. Tall T a good one as well. I love trying to recall my first memories of actors and with Boone it might be as the big game hunter on the network premiere in 79’s The Last Dinosaur.

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