Updated: Nov 25, 2019
There are so many great western movies and I have only just begun to start talking about them but today I wanted to touch on
a few great TV westerns. Growing up I loved watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, Wild, Wild West, and Maverick.
Now, I want to be clear, I was not born when all of these first aired on TV but I did see some in reruns and even bought a few later on VHS . . . I am that old.
Maverick was one of the TV shows I absolutely loved and still do to this day. As much as I love Sean Connery, I have to say I am thankful he turned down the role of Maverick because I just can't imagine anyone doing a better job than James Garner.
Garner came from Norman, Oklahoma and was one of the few actors who seemed to be able to go back and forth between TV and movies without any consequences to his career. He played Maverick in movies and in the series and was even featured in the Maverick comic books.
In the first season, Garner stared alone as Bret Maverick for the first eight episodes but was then joined by Jack Kelly as his brother Bart. Both were wayward cardsharps with somewhat questionable morals at times but who always came though in the end.
In the third season, Garner left the series due to a legal dispute but soon went on to a successful movie career. He later returned to TV for another beloved series, The Rockford Files. In the late 1970s, there was a was an attempt to revive the Maverick series. Garner and Kelly reprised their roles as the Maverick brothers in a made for TV movie, The New Maverick, this was intended to be a pilot for a new series titled Young Maverick
In 1994, Warner Brothers produced a Maverick remake staring Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick and James Garner making an appearance has his father. The film also brought back writer Roy Higgins from the original series.
If you haven't seen the original Maverick series, you should defiantly treat yourself to this show and be sure to check out some of James Garners western movies as well. Two of my favorite are Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter. In the films, he plays similar fun-loving, wisecracking cowboys as his Bret Maverick character.