Appreciating Richard Boone of the Western
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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.