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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Rawhide: The Complete Fifth Season'
(Clint Eastwood, James Murdock, Eric Fleming, Paul Brinegar, et al / 8-Disc DVD / NR / 2012 / Paramount)

Overview: 'Rawhide: The Complete Fifth Season' continues the tale of Gil Favor, trail boss, and Rowdy Yates, his assistant, as they drive cattle across the old West. Along the way they meet up with adventure and drama, but it's nothing that Clint Eastwood cannot handle!

DVD Verdict: Wow, never expected to see this incredible series packaged in this manner! Ergo, Season 5 of the American Western series that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network from 1959 to 1965 has just been released as a 2-Pack DVD Box-Set Factory-sealed together in Volume One and Volume Two style you can also purchase each Volume separately, but that doesn't make much sense given this sealed-together twofer!

Anyway, moving onto the show itself, and with only three more seasons to go to complete the series, 'Rawhide' was the fifth-longest-running American television Western. Beaten only by eight years of Wagon Train, nine years of The Virginian, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke, it still ranks high when all TV western series' are discussed.

In these 29 Season Five episodes all manner of mayhem is thrown at our band of dusty warriors. In the season opener, 'INCIDENT OF THE HUNTER,' the drovers recount past misdeeds after recognizing a bounty hunter amoung them; in 'INCIDENT OF THE DOG FACES,' a vengeful Comanches order Favor to turn over three soldiers seeking shelter among the drovers; in 'INCIDENT OF THE RELUCTANT BRIDEGROOM,' one of my favs, after drinking drugged beer, Rowdy wakes to find himself married to a jealous saloon-owner's girlfriend; in 'INCIDENT OF DECISION,' a real thought-provoking episode, a crippled teen, who wants to be a drover, unwittingly supplies bandits with information to help them sieze the herd; in 'INCIDENT AT CROOKED HAT,' a would-be gunman, a rich cattleman's brother, identifies a drover as the fastest gun alive; and in the season-ender 'INCIDENT AT ALKALI SINK,' after an improvised wedding in the camp, a former soldier faces desertion charges from his bride's brother.

And man, there were some great, high profile guest stars this season! Names such as: Madlyn Rhue, Michael Ansara, Nehemiah Persoff, Ceasar Romero, Robert Loggia, Walter Slezack, Pat Crowley, Lon Chaney, Ed Nelson, Ruta Lee, Beverly Garland, James Gregory, Robert Middleton, Susan Oliver, Harold J. Stone, Edward Andrews, John Larch, Patty McCormack, Fay Spain, R.G. Armstrong, Claude Akins, Keenan Wynn, John Ireland, Mark Stevens, Gregory Walcott and many more came to play in the wild west for our enjoyment! These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.