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  • If Dale Robertson had come along about ten years earlier he would have been a great cowboy hero and Herbert J. Yates no doubt would have had him in his stable of western heroes. But he came along just as the B western was going out of business on the big screen and quite frankly he was a much better actor than some of the B cowboys. He did some serious B films, never quite getting stardom on the big screen, though some of the films were good.

    The small screen treated him better with the Tales Of Wells Fargo series in which Dale's character of Jim Hardie narrated his exploits in tracking down those who would rob from his employer the Wells Fargo company.

    I think the series was good because it called for Robertson to be a detective as well as a cowboy hero. The scripts were intelligently written given the constraints of developing characters in only thirty minute episodes for the most part.

    In the last season the show was expanded to sixty minutes, but the producers also decided to give Robertson's character Jim Hardie a ranch and something of a home life. It never seems to cease, a perfectly good format, tinkered with and then cancellation.

    Still Tales Of Wells Fargo gave Dale Robertson his career role, at least the one this fan remembers him best for. And he was a left handed draw, the most well known one on television until Michael Landon as Little Joe Cartwright came along.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ah yes, another classic TV Western I used to watch regularly as a kid back in the late Fifties. Courtesy of Timeless Video, I've been able to catch up on the adventures of Wells Fargo special agent Jim Hardie over the past few months.

    The series ran from March, 1957 to September, 1962, the sixth and final season expanding to a one hour format after leaving the normal Monday night time slot (8:30 to 9:00PM) and airing on Saturdays (7:30 to 8:30 PM). The series opener offered an interesting element; on the barrel of Hardie's gun were imprinted the words 'Be not afraid of any man that walks beneath the sky. Though you be weak and he be strong, I will equalize.'

    In that first episode, the guest star was Chuck Connors who a year later would appear as 'The Rifleman' and begin his own five season Western series run. Interestingly, Connors portrayed an outlaw, and the showdown occurred between him and Hardie while Connors was perched on top of a telegraph pole! Connors returned nine episodes later as the outlaw Sam Bass, with another familiar face as part of the Bass gang - future Little Joe Michael Landon, wearing a mustache! In another Season I episode, 'Leave it to Beaver's' Dad, Hugh Beaumont shows up as the outlaw Jesse James, along with one of the Dead End/East Side Kids, Bobby Jordan.

    That's a good part of the fun watching these old shows today, and that's seeing who shows up in the stories. Another episode had Robert Vaughn as Billy the Kid, and if you were around at the time, it seemed like the prolific character actors of the era showed up in just about every TV Western at one time or another. Names like Leo Gordon, Claude Akins, Denver Pyle, Paul Brinegar, Don C. Harvey and Edgar Buchanan just to name a few. A few others like Dan Blocker (Bonanza), Jack Elam (The Dakotas) and Steve McQueen (Wanted:Dead or Alive) wound up starring in their own series, along with Connors and Landon mentioned earlier.

    The thing I liked best about Dale Robertson's character Jim Hardie is that he could never be persuaded by arguments of moral equivalency. Hardie was the personification of doing the right thing at all times, he couldn't be bribed or sweet talked, and his word was bond with whoever he dealt with. But you know, that was a different time and place, and individuals like Jim Hardie seem to be a rare commodity today, especially in entertainment media. I guess I'm being a little wistful and nostalgic here, just thinking back on the good old days.
  • Tales of Well Fargo was a well-written, satisfying western drama that followed the exploits of Jim Hardie, Wells Fargo Agent. In early episodes, he served as narrator/agent & later became a rancher and part-time Wells Fargo agent.

    Dale Robertson was very good in this series, with a toughness tempered with a sense of humor. The format allowed for a number of interesting stories and characters. I haven't seen this one on DVD yet, but look forward to owning the shows when available.

    William Demarest (of My Three Sons) was especially good as a supporting co-star. Check this one out, its good, clean fun !
  • The Western Encore channel has only just recently begun to show "Tales of Wells Fargo" here in January of 2016. I haven't watched this black and white cowboy show since it originally aired on network television back in the late Fifties and early Sixties. I must admit that I am really enjoying watching Dale Robertson as the Wells Fargo special agent or troubleshooter. The show brings to mind "Have Gun, Will Travel." Hardie, like Paladin, is a man who would rather use his wits and wiles before resorting to his fists or weapon. Like Paladin, Joe Hardie, travels all over the west and into Canada, tracking down highway agents, frauds and thieves.
  • The western-adventure series "Tales of Wells Fargo" premiered on NBC's Prime Time schedule as a mid-season replacement on March 18,1957 where it became one of the network's biggest hits that started in a era filled with television Westerns. Out of the 200 episodes that this series produced only actor Dale Robertson(who played special agent Jim Hardie for Wells Fargo) was with the series throughout it's entire six season run in all 200 episodes. Out of the 200 episodes only Seasons 1 through 5 produced only 166 black and white episodes that ran 30 minutes in length(with commercials)airing from March 18,1957 until July 10,1961. Only the first five seasons aired on Monday nights in prime time at the 8:30 eastern/7:30 central time slot where it produced 166 black and white episodes. In the sixth and final season of the series saw a change in production when NBC moved "Tales of Wells Fargo" from Monday nights to Saturday nights to an earlier time slot where the show expanded to a full hour and was what NBC would say "The Following Program Is Brought To You In Living Color" and this time new cast members were added. The sixth and final season which moved to Saturday nights at the 7:30 eastern/6:30 central time slot where 34 color episodes were produced airing from September 30,1961 to June 2,1962.

    "Tales of Wells Fargo" was the brainchild of creators Frank Gruber and Gene Reynolds where Nat Holt served as executive producer of the series and was produced by Earle Lyon and Al C. Ward which produced a total of 200 episodes airing from March 18,1957 until June 2,1962. Actor William Demarest(later of "My Three Sons" fame)joined the cast in the final season of the series. "Tales of Wells Fargo" as a series was a well written satisfying western that followed the exploits of special agent Jim Hardie, agent for Wells Fargo who served during the first five seasons as narrator/agent and later on became a rancher while still protecting the law and order for Wells Fargo.

    Big name directors from Earl Bellamy, Sidney Salkow, R.G. Springsteen, to William Witney, Christian Nyby, William F. Claxton, to George Waggner, Boris Segal and Gene Nelson contribute to some of the great episodes. Writers were Samuel A. Peeples, James Brooks, Gene Reynolds, Dwight Newton, D.D. Beauchamp, Ken Pettus, Barney Slater, Jack Turley, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Price, to Louis L'Amour and A.I. Bezzerides. "Tales of Wells Fargo" was produced by Revue Studios(the same studio that brought you "Wagon Train" and "The Virginian") for NBC Television.

    The guest star roster consisted of Chuck Connors, Michael Landon, Hugh Beaumont, Robert Vaughn, Dan Blocker, James Coburn, Claude Akins, Denver Pyle, Jack Elam, Edgar Buchanan(who appeared in six episodes). Other guest stars were Nick Adams, Charles Bronson, Eddie Albert, John Dehner, Royal Dano, Martin Landau, Simon Oakland, Jan Merlin, Celia Kaye, to Jack Nicholson, Paul Fix(who appeared in six episodes), Buddy Ebsen, to Ray Teal, Lee Van Cleef among others.
  • As a child, I watched this series and enjoyed it very much. It had all of the aspects of the old "B" westerns, but the acting and writing was so much better. Dale Robertson made a number of "B" movies in his time and I believe that this series was the best of the group. Up until a few years ago, it was hard to find any of the episodes in this series. So, I am glad that it is now being shown on cable TV and the quality is really better than when I watched them many years ago.
  • Although my wife was P'OD'd with Starz Western ( TV ) substituting Gunsmoke ( one of her favorites)with " Tales of Wells Fargo" , We've come to accept " Jim ( DON'T F With Me ) Hardie " as the main focus in the TV show. Just love him...What a MAN !!! Especially loved his " ELVIS" hairdo The background narration was a real plus, unlike all the other shows of the era.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first three seasons of the show earned the series a 10-star rating as they were near perfect. The show had a winning formula with Robertson, a tight filmed 30 minute show and Robertson's to the point narrations at the beginning and end of the show. Seasons 4 and 5 were pretty good but for some reason they dropped Robertson's narrations from most of the episodes. There was also a drop-off in the quality of the teleplays. Season 6, the final season, saw the show expanded one hour, Hardie becoming sort of a part-time employee of Wells Fargo, and the addition of several regulars to the show. The new regulars came abroad to support Hardie's ranch, which became a big part of most episodes. They also a side-kick for Hardie but even the actor playing the part realized there was nothing to the role but holding the rein's of Jim's horse and quit after 13 episodes. All of the changes could not save the show because the 1961-62 season saw hold sale cancelling of westerns, which included Tales of Wells Fargo. It still plays on the Encore's Western channel minus season 6 if you want to see a really good western series from the heyday of Westerns.
  • (IMO) - "Tales Of Wells Fargo" was a first-rate TV Western of the late-1950s that was just as entertaining and action-packed as was the ever-popular "Gunsmoke" of that same era in boob-tube history.

    Not only did "Tales Of Wells Fargo" clearly have a sizable budget to work with (which really helped to bring honest period authenticity to this production) - But, on top of that - There was also some real intelligent thought put into this program's scripts, as well (which certainly kept the story-lines interesting and believable without being unnecessarily padded by irksome filler scenes).

    And, as an added bonus - I, personally, thought that actor, Dale Robertson (who played the character of cowboy/agent, Jim Hardie) was a very welcome asset to the overall success of this particular TV Western from yesteryear.
  • Outstanding sets, props and locations of yesteryear. Dale Robertson a first rate horseman and solid fellow throughout. No grey areas here, goodly principles stands over evil. This show holds to Christian and clearly depicts moral code rather than ,,,the satanic designs of the creatures crawling about hollywood today
  • The shot used for end credits is a train moving away from us through a grassy valley. This is the same end shot used originally in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". Trivia question could be "What famous classic Western movie has the same ending shot using a train? Clue: "Shot" is in the film title
  • Dale was real and easy to go along with him on the trails. Plots were intriguing. And dale's horse was really talented. Watch every night on grit tv
  • I read some of the glowing reviews and can't believe some folks actually thought this show depicted the "real west." Dale Robertson's neatly cleaned and pressed clothes were a joke, his hat was right off the shelf at the local Western wear store. One bad guy got shot in the leg and instantly fell over dead. Bad guys stood out in the open during a big gun fight, and of course got shot, killed with one shot. In short there seemed to be no attempt to be realistic. Even the dialog was filled with all the standard movie clichés. Really sad.
  • lmroth2 October 2020
    Watched through all of season 1-4 plus some episodes of season 6. Great cast and mostly good stories and characters. However episode 201 Belle Starr used the exact same story as in 434 Pearl Hart (with only neglectable differences). Season 6 is still watchable even though it lost most of the magic due to the unfortunate changes.
  • lilsheba200129 December 2017
    First off it wasn't made in the late 50's it was made in 1961. Secondly I had no idea this show even existed. I watched it out of curiosity since I work for Wells Fargo and it's horrible acting and direction. Yikes. I'm sorry I watched the one episode I did!