Old Show is New Again
Cimarron Strip
by Phil Boatwright

The Cimarron Strip, the border region between the Kansas Territory and Indian Territory, was a dangerous place in the late 19th century, and it was up to one man to keep the peace: the tough-as-nails U.S. Marshal Jim Crown (Stuart Whitman).  CIMARRON STRIP: THE COMPLETE SERIES makes its DVD debut on May 27th, 2014, in a collector's set including all 23 feature-length episodes - over 27 hours of classic Western action - on 8 DVDs.

Airing on CBS from September 1967 to March of 1968, the series was produced by the creators of Gunsmoke, and was one of only three 90-minute weekly Western series that aired during the 1960s (the others are The Virginian and, for one season, Wagon Train) and the only 90-minute series of any kind to be centered primarily around one lead character.
Set in 1888 as the frontier was closing, U.S. Marshall Crown was assigned to protect Cimarron and surrounding areas, following a stint cleaning up Abilene.  Arriving to find that the local sheriff had resigned, it falls upon Crown to keep law and order in a lawless land.  With a star turn by Whitman, a memorable theme from Oscar®-winning composer Maurice Jarre (multiple Academy Award® nominee and winner for Doctor Zhivago, A Passage to India) and guest stars including Beau Bridges, David Carradine, Seymour Cassel, Joseph Cotton, Robert Duvall, Victor French, Mariette Hartley, Darren McGavin, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Oates, Slim Pickens, Suzanne Pleshette, Denver Pyle, Telly Savalas, John Saxon, Tom Skerrit, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Voight, Tuesday Weld and many more, it's a series that will forever be remembered as one of the 60s classic TV Westerns. 

Exclusive Interview with Stuart Whitman 


Stuart Whitman (The Commancheros, The Mark, Murder, Inc.)
Percy Herbert (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Mutiny on the Bounty)
Randy Boone (The Virginian, Country Boy)
Jill Townsend (Poldark, The Awakening

PREVIEW REVIEW: Well, here I go, giving away my age, but I remember this program from my youth. I loved the hummable theme song, the remarkable opening sequence as the marshal rode hard and fast across our television screens. It was good TV, strong on drama, mostly good scripts, and interesting characters.

The studio was kind enough to send me a copy of the series (no, that doesn’t affect my review), and I’ve been going through several of the episodes. I’m glad to tell you it holds up as involving entertainment. The lead is a decent man, trying to bring law and justice to a wild and wooly area in Kansas (although it becomes clear soon on that this series is definitely not shot in Kansas. If I’m not mistaken, the Rocky Mountains are not in Kansas.) Moral messages take center stage and you will always be surprised at who shows up in an episode. Before they reached stardom, people like Robert Duvall, Telly Savalas, Jon Voight and many others did a lot of television. Plus, if you are a real buff of the western, you’ll see countless character actors who appeared in many classic oaters.

Trivia: Richard Farnsworth, so memorable in The Straight Story, Comes a Horseman (nominated for an Oscar), The Grey Fox and The Natural, appears in a small role (a much younger man) in the episode “The Battleground.”

But here’s a hint. For some reason, the pilot of the series is not the opening episode in the collection. I suggest first viewing the segment entitled “The Battleground” on Disc 2. That was the pilot and it does a great job of introducing the series’ main characters as well as offering a solid performance by guest star Telly Savalas. After that, watch “The Roarer” with Richard Boone and Robert Duvall on Disc 3. It’s a good script and Mr. Boone is terrific in it.

I love old shows of quality and I find Cimarron Strip to be rootin’-tootin’ drama set in the Old West.