• jan_lcs17 May 2006
    Outstanding Series!
    Noble but flawed and very human heroes, credible villains, realistic story-lines and family dynamics. "High Chaparral" had high adventure, powerful drama, some of the funniest moments on television and tender romance. This series combined brilliant actors, writers, producers and directors. Together, they brought memorable characters, 1870s Arizona & Mexico to life. Thirty years after it aired, I still remembered episode plots and dialog. The remarkable thing is, so could many other fans!

    People all over the world love High Chaparral -- its themes and characters are universally appealing. New generations of fans have discovered it in re-runs. Hopefully, remastered, uncut DVDs will be released soon -- this treasure should be preserved and enjoyed, not forgotten.
  • nathan-11031 July 2003
    Some of the finest viewing that television has ever offered.
    This television series originally aired on NBC on Friday nights from 7:30 to 8:30 PM for almost its entire run. It ran right before another one of television's greatest programs, "The Name of the Game." I used to wonder if the reason I remembered this show with such admiration was due to the age that I was when the show originally ran, but recently seeing it again, I have to say that it stayed with me so long because it's just a fantastic show.

    The show is centered around the character of John Cannon, played flawlessly by Leif (pronounced "Life") Erickson, and his brother Buck, played by Cameron Mitchell. Also in the cast were Linda Cristal as John's wife Victoria, Henry Darrow as Victoria's brother Manolito, and Mark Slade playing John's son Billy Blue Cannon.

    When I was just a kid in grade school, my cousins and others I knew were tuned in to ABC's Friday night line-up, which was quite popular at the time. I couldn't tear myself away from this show though, and it's difficult to explain why without revealing too much about it. Let's just say that the stories were impeccably written and directed, doing much the same thing as Bonanza would do, alternating between high drama and humor. A good example of this is an episode entitled "The Firing Wall." If you ever get to see this series, keep an eye out for that episode. My personal favorite is an episode called "Champion of the Western World." Fun episode! The casting was perfect. Every regular cast member really seemed to like the characters they were portraying. Henry Darrow was outstanding in giving his character real depth and range of emotion. Cameron Mitchell also did some really fine work in this series. In fact, when you get right down to it, they all did!

    I could go on about this show by using all the known adjectives, stupendous!, wonderful!, ect..., but if you're reading this, then you probably already share a certain amount of the same enthusiasm that I have for this show. If you're reading just out of curiosity however, then if you ever get the opportunity to do so, by all means, treat yourself to one of the finest programs that television has ever offered.
  • vlammetje23 May 2006
    Outstanding Western
    When I was a child, watching The High Chaparral was something the whole family was looking forward too. We would sit on the couch at least 15 minutes before the broadcast started and were 'glued' to the screen during the whole show. The rest of the week we would talk about what happened. Almost 40 years later the show hasn't lost anything of it's charm, my children love it. It is not just an 'adventure' western. Teenagers identify themselves with the troublesome relationship of Blue and his father John. There is something in it for everyone.

    It has a wonderful cast, Leif Erickson as patriarch John Cannon, Cameron Mitchell as his brother Buck, Mark Slade as his handsome blue-eyed son Blue, Henry Darrow is a playful Manolito, and Linda Cristal the beautiful Victoria. The Bunkhouse boys add a little extra to this series, Don Collier, Bob Hoy, Ted Markland, Roberto Contreras and Jerry Summers are a treat to watch.

    All actors are outstanding and their characters are so believable, that you forget you are watching a TV series. You are 'there', with the heroes in the Arizona Territory , fighting their fights, crying their tears, and laughing their laughs.

    It was and is one of the most realistic Westerns series. Apaches were often played by Apaches, Mexicans by Spanish speaking actors. The heroes sweat, get tired, upset and the aren't infallible.
  • tom_jeffords13 November 2003
    My favorite TV western
    I remember The High Chaparral from when I was a child and rediscovered it as an adult from reruns. What is most noticeable about THC as opposed to other TV westerns are two things; it was actually filmed outdoors instead of on a soundstage, unlike large chunks of other TV westerns such as Rawhide and Gunsmoke and especially The Big Valley. Because of this the show and the actors have an authentic dirty and sweaty look to them appropriate to the period and place. I mean hey, cattle ranching in Arizona now is hard, sweaty and dirty, think about how is was before running water. The other thing I liked about it is that not only did the recurring characters not always get along, some of them flat out just didn't like each other. Kind of like in the real world and unlike other TV westerns. These distinctive features along with superb acting, writing, and technical work (just watching the shows makes me want to sweat) adds to up to one heck of a show.
  • Reginald D. Garrard20 June 2006
    Seldom seen but memorable western
    From David Dortort, one of the producers of the popular "Bonanza," "The High Chaparral" told the story of two families, The Cannons and The Montoyas, brought together by a marriage of convenience. Leif Ericson played "John Cannon," the patriarch of the family that lost his wife when they were making their way west. Linda Crystal played "Victoria," the headstrong daughter of Don Sebastian de Montoya (Frank Silvera) and brother to Don Sebastian's equally assertive son, Manolito (Henry Darrow). Mark Slade played John's son, "Blue," while perennial heavy Cameron Mitchell played John's brother "Buck." Rounding out the cast were frequent western performers Don Collier and Rodolfo Acosto.

    What set the program apart from other "sagebrush sagas" of the period were its strong portrayals of Native Americans, as well as non-condescending looks at life among our Mexican neighbors. Set against the sprawling American southwest, the stories were engaging, filled with brilliant character studies, along with typical western situations.

    It had a great casting coup by having black actor Frank Silvera assay the role of Don Sebastian. Silvera made a career out of playing a variety of "ethnicities," a tribute to his talent, as well as his "chameleon-like" appearance.

    Another noteworthy bit of casting would be that of Crystal, Darrow, and Acosto, all Hispanic actors.
  • bfm_101714 May 2005
    Best of the TV Westerns
    The High Chaparral was the best of the many TV westerns. Bonanza was equally excellent, especially in character development. The difference for me was the quality of the writing in High Chaparral. This show compelled me to visit Tucson, Bisbee, and surrounding Southwest Arizona and Mexican locations several times. Tucson seems like a second home to me.

    The use of the landscape, the development of distinct characters such as John Cannon, Victoria, Manolito, Don Sebastian, and especially Buck, and the treatment of Native Americans in story lines was the most balance I have seen in this genre. Native Americans, especially the Apaches, were presented as having good and bad people, just as the whites were presented, good and bad. I particularly think the actors were outstanding - Cameron Mitchell, Frank Silvera, and Henry Darrow especially.

    This show unfortunately does not show up on TV much at all, and I'm afraid it will disappear as more years go by. I can't believe it is not on DVD, especially since there's so much bad stuff on DVD, why not put something quality like this out? Next time it is on, I'll be sure to record as many as I can for viewing later when it's gone for good. Like the old West, this show may have seen it's last sunset. Too bad.
  • klmp39475 June 2007
    The High Chaparral is now under investigation for release 2008 on DVD
    The High Chaparral is now under investigation for a release 2008 on DVD by Paramount/CBS! This is really good news for all of us that have been waiting for this wonderful TV Western series to be released on DVD. For me it has been the best ever TV Western series. I grew first up with the old classic Bonanza and the Cartwrigh brothers, in the beginning of the sixties. But when this series began to be sent on Swedish television, I were sitting in my chair waiting the program to appear on Friday evenings. It had all a real western series should have. The people that were playing their rolls were almost perfect to this and still they are before my eyes. It was very realistic and had all different kinds of episodes included. It were a very good show of how the life were in the western during the time the shows happened.This is the first western TV series not played in a studio, but in open air. I can already hear the The High Chaparral melody when I am waiting for the worldwide release of this wonderful show. The dust from the horses and ....well all...If you like westerns your only need to see The High Chaparral. And then you will agree! This is western when it is as best as it can be. Paramont/CBS- Hurry up we are waiting!!! If you would like to be updated with very good information about the show, go to the website for The High Chaparral - you will have most of what you want there.
  • bmeskunas30 January 2005
    Why Isn't This Western Available on DVD?
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was an expensive western for the producers to deliver and it shows. Unlike other shows of its time and genre, the creators of The High Chaparral tried to move away from shallow hero/villain stereotypes and tired shoot-em-up story lines. The result was a brilliant - albeit short-lived - television series. In reality, this was more a family drama than a western.

    I can recall growing up on re-runs of this show in the 70's ... my friends and I all watched the show religiously and used to make believe we were characters in it.

    I remember an interview someone did with Michael Landon once ... this was right before "Little House" came out. Anyway, I remember his trashing "The High Chaparral" because the central figure, the patriarch John Cannon, was always quarreling with his son, Billy Blue. Mr. Landon insisted America didn't want to see this type of realism. He may have been right to a point, but I think it WAS this realism that made the show memorable. All of the main characters were lovable yet they were all far from perfect. Meanwhile, many of the villains had qualities that made the viewer identify with them. The lines between "good" and "bad" were hopelessly blurred on this show ... much like they are in real life. Add to that the realism of the Arizona desert, the dust, the sweat and the sun in their eyes and you felt like you were there. This was no small accomplishment for a show that came along in the sixties.

    I am absolutely bewildered as to why other (and, in my view, inferior) westerns ARE available on DVD but this one still isn't. Why is Paramount continuing to miss the boat?
  • crazylayupper2317 September 2005
    best western series ever
    The High Chaparral was the best western series ever. It 'touched' many interesting subjects. One of them is the relationship between it's family members. The difficult relationship between Blue and his father John, was portrayed in a very convincing way by the extremely talented actor Mark Slade and Leif Erickson. It reminded many teenagers of their own problems with their parents, and was no doubt one of the reasons of the popularity of the series. Blue's relationship with his Uncle Buck (Cameron Mitchell) was one of warmth and understanding, allowing the actors to show a different side of 'their' character, often leading to humorous scenes, but also deeply emotion scenes. The inter cultural relationship between John and his wife Victoria was something very few other TV series dared to touch in the 60's. In many ways 'The High Chaparral' was ahead of it's time, and according to it's numerous fans 'timeless'. It's a pity there were only 3 seasons with the original cast. I would have loved to see more of it.
  • kylemcd7716 November 2002
    Excellent TV show
    This show is one of the best TV shows I have ever seen, and definitely the best western.

    This show is ahead of it's time in many ways. I wasn't even born when this show had it's original run but saw it on re-runs during the 80's and 90's and the show still held up to modern TV shows. Where most old TV shows tend to seem a bit dated 25-30 years down the track High Chaparral is still top quality viewing. The stories are well written and the acting is quite good.

    The way that the Apache aren't just portrayed as mindless savages is also a very modern outlook. If the show is ever re-run again I will make a point to watch every episode.
  • susis12 April 2003
    Most Excellent Western
    The High Chaparral was an excellent western. The show had it all-- superb acting, awesome writing, great storylines, characters that had a sense of humor, and gorgeous horses.

    Cameron Mitchell was clearly outstanding as Buck Cannon. Never one to back away from a fight, Buck always came to the rescue when needed.

    Henry Darrow also did a wonderful job of portraying Manolito Montoya.

    Although other westerns were on the air longer than The High Chaparral, I loved this one more than the other ones that did run longer. The characters were more lovable and more believable.
  • cga_dancer25 August 2006
    Best Western Show Ever
    I used to watch this show back in the seventies and I loved every minute of it, unfortunately that was before the VCR or the DVD. I anxiously waited for Saturday night to come around so I could find out what had happened to Big John and Victoria, it was a big night in our house when it was High Chaparral night. I have not come across it since even though I subscribe to the Lonestar channel, I even remember the theme music. If anyone knows of any channel that shows it or where you can download it, let me know. Besides Alias Smith and Jones, which is a comedy/western, I have never come across another western show that was better or more entertaining than High Chaparral.
  • mundsen29 June 2006
    about as good as television gets
    'Bonanza' was a soap. "Chapparal" was a great period drama, telling us as much about its own times as the times it portrays.

    In hindsight, this is the grand-daddy of American ensemble drama: the prototype from which all subsequent triumphs have flowed - Hill Street, NYPD Blue, St. Elsewhere, even 'Lost'.

    It's very difficult for me to think of a prior US drama series such real GRUNT in the writing. The characters are splendidly rounded; the relationships are excellent and interesting. Hell, the POLITICS are interesting. (Leif Erikson vs. Linda Cristal. Cor. It's like the 60's zeitgeist in a bottle. But not nearly as clonky as 'Star Trek').

    The acting was, as I recall, pretty much impeccable (within the conventions of the time). The Mitchell / Darrow double act is simply iconic.

    Reading the headings of the other messages posted here, it's interesting to see what a respectful, affectionate international audience this has.

    Great theme-tune. GREAT, GREAT theme.
  • rcj536518 October 2013
    Outstanding series from the people who brought you "Bonanza"...The High Chaparral
    This television series originally aired on NBC-TV on September 10,1967 as part of its Sunday Night Lineup of shows where it aired at 10:00e/9:00c right after the long-running "Bonanza",and faced stiff competition with "Mission:Impossible",and the "ABC Sunday Night Movie" for all 28 color episodes of Season One that aired from September 10, 1967 until March 31,1968. Then from Season Two onward the network moved the series to a different time slot from Sunday nights to Friday nights for the remainder of its four-year run from September 20,1968 until the series finale on March 12,1971 where it aired at 7:30e/6:30c on its Friday night schedule(where it replaced the action-adventure series "Tarzan" after 2 seasons and 57 episodes) right before another one of television's greatest programs,"The Name Of The Game",and the wildly popular science-fiction series "Star Trek". "The High Chaparral",was produced by David Dortort,the creator of the successful "Bonanza" television series where Dortort was the creator and executive producer that ran for four seasons and produced 98 episodes all in color.

    The show revolved around "Big" John Cannon(Leif Erickson),a rancher who lived in the Arizona Territory in the 1870's. He ran the ranch with his brother Buck Cannon(Cameron Mitchell),and son Billy "Blue Boy" Cannon (Mark Slade). Blue Boy's mother Annalee(Joan Caulfield)was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow,and John Cannon then married Victoria Montoya(Linda Cristal),the daughter of the powerful neighbouring rancher Don Sebastian Montoya(played by Frank Silvera,who was one of several African-American actors who played "ethnic" roles for this series)in what is initially a marriage of convenience. His marriage to Victoria brought her brother Manolito Montoya(Henry Darrow) into the picture,and he also not came to live with the family but becoming a hired hand for the ranch. The stories for this series were impeccably written and directed by some of the best in the business while the series was filmed entirely on location. While doing much the same as "Bonanza" would do alternative between high drama and humor with the mix of action-packed and high adventure each week.

    The guest stars that were on "The High Chaparral" were some of Hollywood's best ranging from William Windom to Adam West along with Scott Brady, Anthony Caruso, Chief Dan George, Roberto Contreras, Dennis Cross, John Dehner, Paul Fix, Ron Foster, Yaphet Kotto, to Connie Hines, Cesar Romero, William Conrad, Joanna Moore, Dub Taylor, Barry Sullivan and Morgan Woodward. Even Robert Loggia and Ricardo Montalban made guest appearances on this show. Several episodes of this series do stand out as sheer brilliance were the two-part pilot episode "Destination Tucson",and to "The Arrangement" not to mention "The Firing Wall",and "Champion of the Western World","A Time To Laugh,A Time To Cry","A Man To Match The Land", not to mention the two-part episode "The New Lion of Sonara".

    When this series was canceled on March 12,1971 after 98 episodes,the powers that be at NBC-TV moved the show around different time slots resulting in its cancellation where it went opposite two powerhouse shows "The Wild,Wild West",and "The Brady Bunch" were it got clobbered on that same Friday night schedule. On September 12,1971, the show that replaced "The High Chaparral" after four seasons was the Jack Webb produced drama "The D.A." starring Robert Conrad(formerly of "The Wild,Wild West" fame),and on January 22,1972,the show that replaced both "The D.A.",and "The High Chaparral" was the comedy "Sanford and Son".
  • katiagor18 September 2009
    Talented Cast
    I recently watched recordings of this western and thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The cast was wonderful. But I was especially impressed with the talents of Henry Darrow and Cameron Mitchell. A couple of episodes showcase their comedic talents and are a scream. This western holds it own today - much better than Bonanza in my opinion. The writing was good and the location settings make for a much more realistic presentation. And the conflicts with the Apache and the whites are more historically presented. Some of the episodes are better than others, of course, but the series holds up well 40 years later. It's not on the level of Lonesome Dove but LD was a mini series and not episodic TV from the late 1960s. I do wish old westerns had refrained from false eyelashes and excessive makeup on the women. But this show is wonderful. Makes me want to see other work by Cameron Mitchell and Henry Darrow especially as they really did steal the show!
  • louiepatti14 October 2004
    Gritty, Realistic Western/Mild Spoilers
    Warning: Spoilers
    Each decade seems to have a favorite genre, and in the 1960's, it was westerns that saturated the airwaves. Some of the more popular ones included Gunsmoke, Bonanza and The Big Valley. However, this later entry to the western genre was far and away the best. The High Chaparral learned from the mistakes of its predecessors and achieved a gritty, realistic feel to it that made it superior to shows of its ilk. It didn't have three sons to play rotating romantic leads nearly every week. The cast was well-chosen and professional; no histronics but just great acting. The writing was intelligent, the problems believable, and the clash of white, Mexican and Indian cultures was portrayed with sensitivity and realism.

    The premise was simple yet effective: a family settles in a harsh new land and must face hardships and their own shortcomings to carve out a niche for themselves. Big John Cannon comes to Arizona with his wife Merilee, his kid brother Buck and whiny son Blue, and Merilee dies in an Indian raid. On the brink of losing everything, John's butt is yanked from the fire when he accepts a deal with wealthy Mexican Don Montoya to marry his fiery daughter Victoria. She brings to the High Chaparral her own entourage of servants, ranch hands and her rascally younger brother Manolito. Life is rocky, but gradually things settle down to the point where the Cannons stop fighting each other and concentrate on external troubles. Everyone on this show was great in his role, from Leif Erickson as the flinty patriarch to Mark Slade as his wimpy son Blue. Linda Cristal played the passionate yet tender Victoria to perfection, while Cameron Mitchell was pure enjoyment to watch as the laid-back Buck, and Henry Darrow was wonderful as the foxy Manolito Montoya. The supporting cast and guest stars were terrific, too. This was the first TV show to feature many Hispanic actors, including Cristal and Darrow, in lead roles.

    The High Chaparral was also the first western to really portray the west as hot and gritty. When someone was lost and suffering from thirst in the Arizona desert, it was time to go get a tall glass of ice water. Men and even women got dirty from life on the trail; this show achieved realism and refrained from false piety in its treatment of the Indians. The viewer was aware of the reason for the Apaches' hostility (land encroachment by settlers) and the Indians weren't made out to be noble savages; they were a different culture who fought fiercely when they deemed it necessary. This show was also unique in portraying Catholicism with reasonable knowledge and respect. The Mexican characters had dignity; lowlifes came in all colors, and some of the worst were white and racist.

    In summary, this was an excellent western program that ran for too short a time, and it appears in syndication on the Hallmark Channel, which we do not receive. I sincerely hope it comes out on a DVD collection for purchase; it'd be wonderful to see these great episodes again someday.
  • Grnsteam14 April 2010
    High Chaparral, what a marvelous series
    Here we are 40 years down the track and I've just discovered this series. I was a young lad during the first runs of the show and too busy growing up to spend time watching too much TV.

    A couple of months ago I discovered The High Chaparral listed in my Pay TV guide and decided to give it a go. I had recently become interested in westerns of that era and had never seen an episode of High Chaparral until then. Much to my surprise I was instantly hooked on the series and have become a big fan. Lucky for me, today I'm still enjoying brand new episodes of this fantastic show. Such great entertainment. I'm so glad I found this show, it would have been so sad to have lived my life and never experienced it.
  • g-helsdingen-125 May 2006
    high chaparral very good
    the high chaparral is fantastic and good. it shows the people the fight of an piece of country between the Indiana and the white people. And thats make it so special for me.

    Some of the situations are happened in the past. It is a history from many years ago where the fight was started between the Indian's and the white people on a peace of land. the actors are special for me too,they playing there roles very good. I like Mark Slade and Henry Darrow and Cameron Mitchel. they are good actors.But Mark is one of the actors that is special for me too. I like him very much and try to collect everything from him.

  • raysond4 December 2000
    One hard edge Western from the producers of Bonanza comes The High Chaparral
    It was produced by the same individuals who brought you "Bonanza",but this was one not set in the hills of Nevada mind you. It was set in the desert wasteland of the Arizona Territory in the mid-to-late 1800's and it was based on the adventures and hardships of the Cannon Family. The show centered around "Big" John Cannon(Leif Erickson),a rancher who lived in the Arizona Territory in the 1870's. He ran the ranch with his brother Buck(Cameron Mitchell),and son Billy Blue(Mark Slade).Blue Boy's mother Annalee(Joan Caulfield)was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow,and John Cannon then married Victoria Montoya(Linda Cristal),the daughter of the powerful neighbouring rancher Don Sebastian Montoya(Frank Silvera),in what was an arranged marriage of convenience. His marriage to Victoria Montoya brought her brother Manolito Montoya(Henry Darrow)into the picture,and he also came to live with his family on the ranch.

    "The High Chaparral" under its creator and executive producer David Dortort premiered on NBC-TV on September 10,1967 as part of its Sunday Night Line-Up of programming which consisted of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom","The Wonderful World of Disney',and the long-running Western "Bonanza". All 28 episodes of Season 1 were telecast at the 10:00pmEST/9:00pmCST Sunday night time slot after "Bonanza" where it was placed opposite stiff competition with "Mission:Impossible",and "The ABC Sunday Night Movie". Season 1 consisted of 28 episodes in color that ran from September 10, 1967 until March 31, 1968. From Season 2 of the series onward NBC moved the show from Sunday nights to Friday nights in an earlier time slot at 7:30pmEST/6:30pmCST for the remainder of its run(where the show replaced "Tarzan" which was canceled after two seasons) where it went up against two very popular programs... the hugely popular "The Wild,Wild West",and family situation comedy "The Brady Bunch" for the battle of the Nielsen ratings until its cancellation on March 12,1971. Seasons 2 thru 4 aired from September 20, 1968 until its cancelled on March 12, 1971. A total of 98 Technicolor episodes were produced and was filmed on location at Tucson Studios in Arizona and on the lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood(Seasons 1- 3),and at the Burbank Studios(it is final season) that was produced under Xanadu Productions for the NBC Television Network.

    Each week they would fight off hostile Indians(apaches),greedy landowners,Mexican bandits and ruthless cattle rustlers as well as gunslingers who would try their best to take over the Cannon empire. "The High Chaparral" was known for its portrayal of outstanding top notch actors not to mention lots of action packed excitement and Western adventure each week. There were some great stories along with some of the most impressive acting ever conceived. Great production values and terrific writers and some of the top name directors in Hollywood brought some great episodes and brought along an array of guest stars that included Adam West, Gilbert Roland, Morgan Woodward, Diana Muldaur, William Conrad, to Strother Martin, Jack Kelly, Yaphet Kotto, Bruce Dern, John Saxon just to name a few. When "The High Chaparral" was abruptly canceled in 1971 after 98 episodes the network on September 12, 1971 replaced this Golden Globe winning Western series with the Jack Webb produced drama "The D.A." starring Robert Conrad......
  • paul johnson30 July 2016
    Favorite western ahead of its time
    I watched this series as a kid in Australia. It was my favorite western. Right from the opening credits it had a more contemporary and gritty feel. The outside location in AZ and not California made it stand out. The desert colors, the complex and not stereotypical western characters. The intercultural marriage, lead characters who reflected the mix of people who made the west the Wild West - awesome.

    You have to wonder now how a high definition version on a streaming site would do. I think young people would like it. It was ahead of its time. If it doesn't sound too strange it reminds me a bit of the beloved Firefly series, refugees, outcasts and explorers in a gritty hot dusty Wild West of space instead of Arizona..,, Camaraderie and humor and danger and everyday patching stuff up to get by because you're out there on the frontier...
  • clhct11 January 2018
    An Excellent series I only recently discovered
    This series is worth watching. I had never heard of it until I stumbled upon it recently on one of the tv channels I do not normally watch. Great acting and scenery, realistic indian confrontations. This series is on par with some great western movies I remember. So glad to have found it.