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  • Haven't seen it since the 60's , but somehow my sister found a kid's T-Shirt with a couple of horses and Mackenzie Raiders printed on it a couple of years ago!!!

    How a T-Shirt of a 50's American western series that hasn't been shown on Australian TV in 40 odd years turns up in 2nd hand store in Brisbane, Australia I don't know but my boy now wears it around .

    Though my memory grows dim it was a good series although they always had to stop their pursuit at the border and that did irk me at the time , if I can remember that it still must!

    With a lot of 50's television westerns now getting released on DVD I hope they get around to releasing some episodes and I hope I am not disappointed if they do .
  • Finally!I have been trying to find info on this show for some time. I recalled it from the late 50s and reruns in the 60s probably because my father was in the 4th Cavalry,in the 1930's tho not in Texas,by then they were at Ft.Meade,S.D. but still mounted. Glad to see the info and that Richard Carlson was the Colonel,always did like him. I do recall a rather odd bit of uniform/costuming info unless I am confusing with another show.I remember the hats worn by the Raiders as having "plumes" or rather ostentatious feathers.Not a bit of US Cav kit I ever recall as proper but more reminiscent of Confederate Cavalry.The show ran late nights for quite some time in our broadcast area in syndication.
  • During the 1950s there were a plethora of television series produced that were based upon characters from the "Old West". Unlike many other examples of that genre, however, the central figure in "Mackenzie's Raiders", was not only a real character but, if anything, the real character was far more interesting than his screen portrayal. There really was a Ranald (sic) Mackenzie and his real Army career was, if anything, UNDERSTATED in this television representation. John Ford's well known film, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", included the famous line, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." However, in the case of Ronald Mackenzie, the facts were far more remarkable than anything depicted in the television series.

    Described by General Ulysses S. Grant as "The most promising young officer in the Army", the REAL Ranald Mackenzie was a Corps Commander in the Union Army at the age of only 24 years. Wounded six times during the Civil War (including the loss of part of his right hand, for which the Native Americans dubbed him, "Bad Hand"), Mackenzie spent the next 18 years after the end of that conflict on active service in the West, much of it in action of one sort or another. In fact, taking into account both his service in the Civil War and in the West, It has been alleged that MacKenzie spent more of his Army carrier in actual combat than any other soldier in U.S. history. Incidentally, note that actor Richard Carlson clearly depicted Mackenzie with all five fingers on his right hand. which indicated that Carlson's depiction of Mackenzie was clearly inaccurate even from that aspect alone.

    Unlike the far better remembered George Custer, Mackenzie did NOT lead his troops into disaster. Quite the contrary, Mackenzie was a very successful military commander. So, why is Mackenzie so little remembered today? The reason probably lies in the fact that, during the last five years of his relatively brief life, Mackenzie descended into a state of madness. His condition became so bad that the Army had to retire him from active service, and he spent the last five years of his life in and out of insane asylums. Looking back over the extraordinary carrier of this remarkable soldier, one cannot help speculating that he might well have been suffering from a form of what we now call "post-traumatic stress disorder", a term that did to exist in the 19th century, and that the medical profession of the day knew nothing whatever about.
  • General Ranald Slidell Mackenzie was indeed a real historical figure. His tragic end, in which he descended into madness, has obscured his outstanding record of achievement. While I remember this show from when I was a boy, it did not do justice to the real man. Mackenzie brought peace to the southern plains, accomplishing in a few short years what Texans had tried to achieve for three generations. While commanders like Custer, George Crook, and Nelson Miles are better remembered today, Mackenzie and his crack regiment, the 4th Cavalry, deserve to be remembered and at least equally well known. Not only did Mackenzie stop the predatory raiding of the Comanches, he dealt with them equitably in peacetime. He was most proud of having stopped wars without spilling blood. He deserves better than to remain obscure.
  • This was my favorite television series when I was a kid,almost 9 when this splendid production ,hit the screens .I've seen it until 1961 or 1962.

    Also liked Cisco Kid,77 Sunset Street,and others.

    But Ranald Mackenzie was a Super-Real-Heroe of Paramount importance,to us , more than Superman or Batman.

    The presentation and End of the series was devastating,very exiting with all mustangs galloping in a cavalry charge,soldiers with sable in hand, advancing towards their enemies at their best speed to engage in close combat.

    Not a single merchandise has been marketed in our country,not even a T-Shirt . I feel this is the moment to release DVD copies since we're around 56 years old or more , so what are you waiting for ? will be dead in a couple of decades,hurry up DVD distributors.

    Alex Piacentini Buenos Aires Argentina
  • I remember watching this with a little friend of mine from nursery school. We were 4 or 5 years old, but already experienced in running around pretending to shoot at each other and imaginary Indians and bad guys. (I was already fairly sympathetic to Indians in westerns, thanks to my Mom, who had explained some basic history to us). I liked the theme music, too.... I have only given it a 7 out of 10 rating, since I think it was probably not distinguished by great stories or extraordinary acting, but as a young fan, I was a devoted follower, and was crushed when it was canceled. It would be nice to see it on Nick or TVLand, or on DVD, but it's probably not in the cards, alas.
  • Marlburian13 September 2017
    I've spent the last few weeks viewing 38 episodes on Youtube (one appears not to have been uploaded). Annoyingly a third or so of the latter episodes lack their final minute or two of plot.

    The series compares well enough with other TV westerns of the 1950s period that I vaguely recall, though I would like be able to see the apparently-lost "Boots and Saddles" before saying which is best.

    The latter did have rather more vivid characters whom I can still recall 60 years later, whereas Colonel Mackenzie is supported by a somewhat drab cast: the succession of junior officers look mostly the same and the personalities of the two NCOs most often seen never develop. Perhaps having a civilian scout appearing regularly would have helped - Chiricahua Corporal Killeagle appears in the penultimate episode and could have featured in earlier ones.

    At least there very little contrived love interest (though in one episode the colonel does have to deal with an infatuated lady admirer), and now and then a familiar face appears: Doug McClure, Jack Elam, Morris Ankrum, John Doucette and - before stardom as Mr Spock - Leonard Nimoy.

    One might carp at patrols away from the fort for several days with no apparent supplies - or did they live off the land? And each episode commences with the voice-over announcing that Mackenzie's illegal forays into Mexico risked death by hanging - so why do the soldiers not wear civilian clothing? One might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb! Still, I did enjoy the 850 minutes of viewing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    DURING THAT PERIOD of roughly 1957-68, the Western truly ruled the airwaves. At one point there must have been 50+ series going on the 3 networks; and we tried to watch 'em all! IN ADDITION TO those on CBS, NBC and ABC, we had all of those that were living in Syndicationland. Distributed to local stations on a market basis, the shows would be seen at different days and times in the various cities they contracted with; sometimes in the early slots and in other venues after the late news programs.

    THE APPARENT KING of the suppliers in this syndicated method was Ziv Television Productions. Their pre-eminence in the field was supported by such titles as: THE CISCO KID, I LED 3 LIVES, SEA HUNT, SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE and HIGHWAY PATROL. To this distinguished roll call of TV history, was added MacKENZIE'S RAIDERS.

    STARRING THE DURABLE Richard Carlson, the series had a most interesting premise. It is a Western with the subject of the U.S. Cavalry's having a great deal of problems along the Rio Grande; where Bandits from Mexico are preying on towns and people North of the river. Following their plundering, the bad guys return south to the sanctuary of their own country; international law being their benefactor.

    ENTER THE SECRETARY of WAR who, through the Army's Chain of Command, give secret orders to Colonel Ronald S. MacKenzie. THe Colonel was to secretly head up covert actions with his men; crossing the Rio Grande in pursuit of these banditos and were to take whatever means necessary in eliminating the need for further complaint by the U.S. citizenry. In short, it was a sort of an ongoing "Commando" action.

    WE WELL REMEMBER scenes with Mr. Carlson & Company, out on night maneuvers, their faces darkened; albeit in full uniform. The stories were as varied as could be expected with such a thin premise; but, the filming of the horsemen in pursuit of and dealing with the wrongdoers were well done and action-full.

    AS WAS THE rule with all ZIV Television Productions, MacKENZIE'S RAIDERS sported good music. In both the area of the Opening & Closing theme and the incidental music it was memorable.*

    BEING BASED ON a real person and incident, could not help to keep the show in production for more than its initial season of 1958-59. Oh well, Go Figure!

    NOTE: * As examples of our point about memorable musical themes, just consider the following series' themes: SEA HUNT, HIGHWAY PATROL and SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE. In some cases, the music is more remembered than the series.