Laredo, with its blend of western comedy and high drama, is one of the best television westerns to be found. Laredo premiered in prime time as an episode of The Virginian and was such a big hit, with its wonderful cast, gorgeous color photography, western ambiance and tight, serio-comic scripts, that it was immediately signed for a full season.
Season 1 Ep. 8: The Golden Trail
Captain Parmalee sends Reese on a mission to pickup a special shipment and bring it back to Laredo. Reese brags about the mission before he leaves leading several people to believe it’s the $100,000 in gold shipment that everyone’s heard rumors about. After he picks up the shipment in a wagon Reese is challenged for it by the Baker Gang, Sheriff Wes Cottrell and his deputies, Ma Burns and her daughter Flame and an Old Timer, who just wants to see what $100,000 in gold looks like. Reese outwits them all until everyone but the Old Timer join forces, surround Reese and force him into a shoot-out. Meanwhile, Chad and Joe have been sent out to find out why Reese is two days late. They arrive during the gun battle and help Reese. The strongbox has been penetrated by bullets and the contents, 36 bottles of limestone Tennessee sippin’ whiskey for Parmalee’s private stock, is leaking out. Only 1 bottle is left for Reese to deliver to the Captain. Can he do it without breaking it?
Laredo combined action with humor to tell the tales of three Company B Texas Rangers. Reese Bennett is older then his two partners, Chad Cooper and Joe Riley. Reese is in his forties and was previously a Union Army Officer. Chad was in the Border Patrol during the Civil War but is originally from New Orleans. He joined the Rangers to search for the gunrunners who helped ambush fellow border patrolmen. Joe was a gunfighter who was at times on the wrong side of the law and joined the rangers as protection from a sheriff or two. Chad and Joe love to tease Reese about his age. They had a Gunga Din like camaraderie.
They are lead by Captain Parmalee who was stern and disciplined. He would send them on their missions and many times was not amused by the shenanigans they got into. Erik Hunter joined them in the second season. Veteran actor Claude Akins played Ranger Cotton Buckmeister in 5 different episodes but never officially became part of the cast. The pilot, “We’ve Lost A Train”, appeared as an episode of The Virginian in April of 1965.
Reese’s horse Cactus was mentioned in several episodes. Chad’s horse was Amigo, which was Peter Brown’s own horse in real life.
Cast and Crew:
Neville Brand, Peter Brown and William Smith
Director: William Witney and others
Production Company: Universal TV
Original Air Date: 1965
Audio & Video: Mono – Color
AAdditional details in:
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Filed Under: Laredo