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88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Wonderful
Was it really 1971? I can still remember the opening credits from way back then when the series aired on BBC 2.
This is the classic comedy western series. It's timeless because it's set in the West. Some of the music is a bit 70's, but for the most part it could have been filmed any time.
The chemistry between Pete Duel and Ben Murphy is excellent.
If you...
Published on 7 Aug 2007 by Dodster

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it seems like only yesterday.....
The 70's brings back many happy memories of days gone by and this series is one of many that trigger such things. However, it seems that as the decades have passed we have fallen into the slipstream of a faster and quicker-paced style of life and living - particularly in our viewing habits. Like it or not, we have become accustomed to the cut and thrust of movie and TV...
Published on 25 Jun 2009 by Colin F. Darlington


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88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Wonderful, 7 Aug 2007
By 
Dodster (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Was it really 1971? I can still remember the opening credits from way back then when the series aired on BBC 2.
This is the classic comedy western series. It's timeless because it's set in the West. Some of the music is a bit 70's, but for the most part it could have been filmed any time.
The chemistry between Pete Duel and Ben Murphy is excellent.
If you haven't watched it before, the premise is a couple of likeable rogue robbers have the opportunity to go straight and earn amnesty. The only problem is they have to stay straight for a year and only they, the governor and an old friend, now turned sheriff, can know about it.
The Series revolves around their escapades and efforts to achieve this while still being on the most wanted list.
If this genre is for you, it pushes all the buttons. It also comes highly recommended in the family entertainment category. Buy it or rent it, but watch it!
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119 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alias Smith and Jones - First Season, 24 Jun 2007
By 
steveacoustic (Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I'd give this six stars if I could. I was fifteen when Alias Smith and Jones first hit BBC2 and the memory has stayed with me ever since. It was an instant success and the cheerful, self-effacing style of AS&J was irresistable. (I read somewhere that at its height the BBC was receiving 5,000 letters a week demanding more episodes and rapid re-runs).

For the first time we had a Western series that featured two amiable rogues as the lead characters. The level of scripting and the storylines were, for the most part, very original and highly intelligent, but what carried the series was the free-wheeling approach of the late Pete Duel (as Hannibal Heyes) and Ben Murphy (Kid Curry). Some of the stories involved quite sophisticated "stings", making it almost a Western version of the present-day Hustle, and clearly AS&J was closely modelled on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (and a good premise at that).

Watching the pilot episode is just so uplifting and reminded me just how good some US television can be; it's not all about designer suits and hairdos. And essentially, unlike many old TV series, AS&J has not dated. It looks great, it's funny, uplifting and so fresh in its approach. I'm not sure that anything's come near it since. The only negative point is that the sad and untimely death of Pete Duel cost the series a key player after he'd filmed around 32 episodes. The dozen or so that followed were of a similar quality but it wasn't easy to replace him, although Roger Davis made a gallant effort.

I could start quoting memorable one-liners or dialogues from the series. I'll resist the temptation and just affirm that this is, without reservation, an excellent series. Buy it and enjoy it!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you review a classic? - Just buy and enjoy, 31 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Like many this is a nostalgia trip, but as this 70's series was set in the 19th century as westerns are it doesn't look that dated, and it still retains the charm from all those years ago - if you loved it then, you'll love it now - a real feelgood programme without being too sickly - just buy it and enjoy one of the best US series ever made.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make 'em Like This Any More!, 21 Aug 2009
This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This was the must-see show that saw the homework pushed to one side for 50 glorious minutes. It's so long ago, that I used to watch it on black and white tv the first time around. Though many of us watched it again and again on later reruns and probably have a few woolly VCRs around - well apart from the later series (WHY are we waiting?!!), you can ditch those into the nearest charity bag.

Butch and Sundance showed the way for tv westerns to go - the genre had been hugely popular in the early 60s, largely thanks to the "new" ITV channels, who imported many shows such as Maverick. Constantly evolving with the times in which they were made, later favourites such as The High Chaparral emerged (and why is that not out on DVD, pray tell?) then Butch and Sundance blew us all away with it's fun take on the legend, and inspired tv producers to do something similar with AS & J

The real-life tragic death of Pete Duel left us with these matchless classics. Though Roger Davis did a great job, he could not hope to match Pete Duel's comic but thoughtful charisma. As for the super-gorgeous Ben Murphy - who now is probably retired (what a thought!) - posters of him adorned many a teenage bedroom up and down the land, and he was, in his time, as popular with the teen set as David Cassidy! What a guy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Feb 2010
By 
Andy O'Boogie (Widnes, Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this when it first came out (in the 70's?) and it is still good to watch. 14 episode plus the 2 part pilot. Pete Duel and Ben Murphy worked so well together. It's a tragedy what happened to Pete Duel he was such a talented actor. The western was very popular in the 60's and 70's. In my opinion this was the best. The quality of the DVD picture is excellent (as long as you set your TV to 4:3!!).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on Series 2!, 9 Aug 2009
By 
uk pensioner (Northwood, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
A timeless classic now, fondly remembered from the initial broadcasts by us Baby Boomers. The storylines are simple tales of the triumph of good over evil, well scripted, beautifully set and cast, and wonderfully filmed. No gratuitous violence (and little enough gunplay), fast moving, and just sufficiently tongue-in-cheek to be fun for the family.

I only wish the studio would get a move on and release the next series - what on Earth are they waiting for?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as I remember, 4 Aug 2009
This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this series as a young teenager. Now I'm watching it with my own young teenager and we both love it. It's rare for a show that is almost 40 years old to stand up so well. The scripts are witty and intriguing, the two stars play it perfectly - tongue in cheek but not too knowing a send-up of the genre - and the guest stars are clearly having a whale of a time. I'd forgotten how many strong and independent female characters Smiths & Jones encounter. How long till they release series 2 and 3?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars remember this, 14 Feb 2010
By 
A. Schofield (bradford west yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
after watching this all most 40 years ago i was delighted to find it on dvd and even the fact that its all those years old i fell in love with it all over again realy enjoyed seeing it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "That's a good deal.", 10 July 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
"The governor can't come flat out and give you amnesty now. First you have to prove you deserve it."
"Ah. So all we have to do is just stay out of trouble till the governor figures we deserve amnesty."
"But in the mean time, we'll still be wanted."
"Well, that's true. Till then only you, me and the Governor will know about it. It'll be our little secret."
"That's a good deal?"

Producer Glen A. Larson made a successful career out of repackaging hit movies as TV shows, keeping just enough distance from the originals to stay out of court - The Fall Guy was a hybrid of Hooper and Steve McQueen's The Hunter, Battlestar Galactica a combination of Star Wars and Wagon Train while Alias Smith and Jones was a likeable combination of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Maverick (the latter's producer, Roy Huggins, was also aboard the show, while James Garner's replacement on the show, Jack Kelly, would appear in a second season episode, Night of the Red Dog).

Universal's Season One boxed set contains the first pilot movie and all 14 episodes, though not the TV movie written and produced by Roy Huggins, The Young Country, which inspired the show after some very substantial reworking. The original lead in that version was Roger Davis as a conman in the Old West, with his sidekick played by Pete Duel, who would go on to star in the new pilot and would ultimately be replaced by Davis after his suicide. The Maverick elements were still much in place, but it was presumably new producer Larson who came up with the brainwave of turning it into a weekly Butch and Sundance. Ben Murphy may have been cast for his resemblance to then then-hugely popular Ryan O'Neal, but he's clearly playing the Sundance Kid-lite - fast with a gun though he's never killed anyone, good with cards but not the kind who plans ahead - with the remarkably charismatic Pete Duel in the Butch Cassidy-lite role as the fast-talking, wisecracking brains of the outfit. Not that it mattered: the two leads played off each other well with an easygoing screen chemistry and the show was good natured and funny as it saw its two outlaws, more conmen than outlaws, tired of being on the run, strike a secret deal to earn an amnesty if they can prove to the governor that they can stay out of trouble for a year or two. Each week they would naturally find themselves in a situation where the threat of their true identity being revealed, being blamed for the crimes of others or being forced to break the law again would have to be cleverly averted. It may have been cheekily derivative - they even talked of going to Bolivia in one episode - but it was also a lot of fun.

The first season introduced a few characters that would return throughout the show's run - feuding ranchers Burl Ives and Cesar Romero and their ongoing attempts to steal a bust of Caesar from each other, J.D. Cannon's hapless Bannerman Detective Agency operative, Sam Jaffe's high class conman Soapy Saunders, and the various members of the Devil's Hole Gang (no relation to Butch and Sundance's Hole in the Wall Gang, naturally), who had no inclination to go straight and weren't always too understanding about their erstwhile leaders' change of heart. A decent roster of guest stars included James Drury, Forrest Tucker, Earl Holliman, Susan Saint James, Susan Strasberg, Slim Pickens, Alan Hale Jr, Royal Dano, John McGiver, Keenan Wynn, L.Q. Jones, Geoffrey Lewis, Patrick MacNee, Juliet Mills, Judy Carne, Tom Ewell and Joan Hackett, who appeared in The Young Country as Clementine Hale, a character who would be played in subsequent seasons of Alias Smith and Jones by Sally Field. The plots are fun and breezy and often surprisingly clever, with the format allowing a surprising amount of variety in the kind of stories it could tell. The central hook was always trying to keep their real, but that could allow them to deal with crooked gamblers and con men, tracking down murderers, held hostage by stagecoach bandits, acting as tour guides for dubious archaeologists, going undercover to capture a Mexican bandit, involved in treasure hunts or even be roped in by lawmen to help capture Hannibal Heyes or Kid Curry.

The only extra on the set is an audio commentary by Glen Larson on the hour-and-a-half pilot, but all of the episodes boast particularly good picture quality, making it a shame that it clearly didn't sell enough for Universal to release the two remaining seasons themselves. They're both available in the US on a region-free NTSC six-disc set from Timeless Media, but on that set there's a huge jump down in the quality of the transfers, which are highly variable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alias Smith and Jones revisited, 15 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
When I bought this it was because we'd been talking about old series that me and my mates used to love. I've bought other old stuff which when watched has dated but still been interesting to watch on those terms. Alias Smith and Jones however hasn't dated in the same way. I don't know why, possibly because they're designed as humourous stories with a little bit of adventure, but they still work well at keeping you engaged and entertained. This is also probably due to the fine casting of Ben Murphy and Pete Duel who work as well as a partnership as any two actors you've seen. Their friendship looks genuine. definitely worth buying
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Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD]
Alias Smith and Jones: Series 1 [DVD] by Fernando Lamas (DVD - 2007)
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