8.4/10
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Have Gun - Will Travel 

Approved | | Western | TV Series (1957–1963)
The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Creators:

Herb Meadow, Sam Rolfe
Reviews
Popularity
1,691 ( 18)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
1963   1962   1961   1960   1959   1958   … See all »
Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Richard Boone ...  Paladin / ... 225 episodes, 1957-1963
Kam Tong ...  Hey Boy / ... 109 episodes, 1957-1963
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Storyline

Professional gunfighter Paladin was a West Point graduate who, after the Civil War, settled into San Francisco's Hotel Carlton were he awaited responses to his business card: over the picture of a chess knight "Have Gun, Will Travel ... Wire Paladin, San Francisco." Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Have Gun - Will Travel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(225 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paladin always carried a Derringer, a pocket gun concealed under his belt. "Derringer" is the misspelled last name of Henry Deringer, a nineteenth century maker of small pistols. See more »

Goofs

Paladin usually presents his business card by taking it from his waistline (usually under his gun belt or out of his pants). The card is, understandably, wrinkled or bent when presented, yet when it is shown on screen in the close-up it is always a new, flat card with no wrinkles or folds, but when they show the card in Paladin's, or others, hand, it is wrinkled again. See more »

Quotes

Paladin: I don't think you got a very good look at this gun while you had it. The balance is perfect. This trigger responds to a pressure of one ounce. If you look carefully in the barrel you'll see the lines of the rifling. It's a rarity in a hand weapon. This gun was handcrafted to my specifications and I rarely draw it unless I mean to use it. Would you care for a demonstration?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Have Blower Will Travel (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad of Paladin
By Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe
Sung by Johnny Western
Recorded by Johnny Western
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Shakespeare with a Gun
16 October 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

I suspect this series grew out of a radio show of the early 50's called Frontier Gentleman with John Dehner as a polished force for good in the Old West. Of course, a character like that cuts against the stereotype of the western hero, who, whatever his level of gun-slinging skill, is rarely able to quote Shakespeare or distinguish a Rothschild '29 from a swig of whiskey. But, of course, Palladin can. In fact, the guy in black knows all the arts of refinement, which not surprisingly came to separate him from the hundred other Western heroes of that day.

But casting an intellectual gun-fighter for a macho Western series presents a tricky challenge. The actor's got to be authoritative whether slinging a gun or fingering a glass of wine, and also be masculine enough to command respect in both regards. And this is where the series really succeeded. They got Richard Boone, an actor who can make you believe most anything. Plus, his homely, craggy looks are unlike any of the many handsome heroes of the day. At the same time, dressing him in black, with a mysterious background and a mythological name pretty much completes the package that produced big success in the ratings, lasting an unusual six seasons.

The opening sequence in San Francisco usually played up Palladin's refinements and success with the ladies, even dressing him often like a dandy. After that, he'd hire out, change into his black work clothes, and go on the road to some risky situation. My favorite stories are those that have him trying to figure out where the truth lies, because often his employer would shade the truth for various reasons. Then, our knight-without-armor would have to rely on instinct and a sense of honor since he's not a lawman with a duty to perform. What duty he does have comes from a knight's sense of honor that only he is responsible for, reinforcing his image as an ultimate loner.

Wisely, the script would occasionally humanize Palladin's superior skills by having him reflect on the strange ways of the world or on the wisdom of his actions. For example, he might stare off in silence at the end of a particularly troubling story, or quote something wise that would make us think. These were important moments that added a thoughtful dimension too commonly missing from other horse operas of the time. Then too, even weak stories were often compensated by Boone's commanding presence.

I don't know if HGWT was the best series of that six-gun saturated era—the early Gunsmoke (1955-60) was awfully good as was Sam Peckinpaugh's brilliant but short-lived The Westerner (1960). Nonetheless, the guy in black is definitely worth catching up with, along with that catchy title tune.


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