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DVD Review: The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp – The Complete Season One

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One of the few TV westerns from the golden age of television to actually feature a story arc instead of stand-alone weekly installments, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is at last available in as a complete season set (previous DVD issues — as well as VHS releases — only contained an assortment of randomly picked episodes).

The storyline of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp – The Complete Season One (1955-1956) begins with a twenty-something Wyatt Earp (played to the hilt by the rough-and-tumble Hugh O’Brian) arriving in Ellsworth, Kansas to start a job as a lawman — a job he really doesn’t want, but is nonetheless forced to take when the local hoods leave him no alternative. Marshal Earp quickly starts to make a name for himself with law-abiding citizens and outlaws alike, and Season One follows Wyatt from Ellsworth to Wichita and finally onto Dodge City in the season finale (oddly enough, he never runs into Matt Dillon), bringing much excitement and good old fashioned western TV fun with him every step of the way. And somehow he even always manages to run into a young lad by the name of Bat Masterson (Alan Dinehart III), to whom the marshal gives invaluable lessons.

A title that has been on many a western fan's wish list for far too long, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp – The Complete Season One finally hits DVD courtesy Infinity Entertainment, SFM Entertainment, and Falcon Picture Group. All thirty-five half-hour episodes are fit snuggly onto five discs (although some scholars claim that a few episodes are out of order) and Infinity, SFM, and Falcon have promised that the remaining five seasons are due to be released on DVD in the future. All of the episodes have been digitally restored and remastered and are presented in the standard television format of 1.33:1 with mono stereo sound accompanying (no subtitles or Closed Captioning is available). The picture quality is a vast improvement over the older Rhino “Best of” DVD set in 2005, but some episodes are still in better shape than others.

No special features are included with this set, but that hardly distracts one from picking up this classic television series.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.