The Westerner (1960– )
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When Dave is fired from the ranch, he is hired to track down a very rare and expensive painting. But when Daves friend finds out about it, he tries to snooker it from Dave for considerably less than it is worth.


Sam Peckinpah


Bruce Geller, Sam Peckinpah (created by)


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Episode cast overview:
Brian Keith ... Dave Blassingame
John Dehner ... Burgundy Smith
Madlyn Rhue ... Carla
Paul Sorensen Paul Sorensen ... Walker
Tom Steele ... Top
Hank Gobble ... Digger
Wadde Waddle Wadde Waddle ... Cobb (as Waddie Waddle)
Charles La Rocca Charles La Rocca ... Card Player


When Dave is fired from the ranch, he is hired to track down a very rare and expensive painting. But when Daves friend finds out about it, he tries to snooker it from Dave for considerably less than it is worth.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

painting | See All (1) »







Release Date:

30 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last show of the series. See more »


[Dave admires Burgundy's portrait of a nude woman]
Dave Blassingame: That's a woman!
Burgundy Smith: She is a woman all right, and that's just it. Her pleasant poetry turned shrill. She cried for marriage.
Dave Blassingame: Well, what's the matter with that?
Burgundy Smith: Ah, no. Oh, for the small span of an evening, maybe two, even a week, a woman's cool hand... she's delicious, the breath of life. A woman nameless is a respite from the hard travail of life. A woman new, sloe-eyed, silent, temporary. My raison-dete is my grail. It's my sweetest vessel. It's ...
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User Reviews

A Playboy Centerfold, 1880's style
22 May 2006 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The episodes featuring Burgundy Smith are largely a matter of taste, given the series' emphasis on high drama. However, The Painting is I think the best of these tongue-in-cheek entries. It really plays more like a clever Maverick-type farce, than Peckinpah's usual brand of knock-about humor. All in all, the twists and turns concerning a nude painting are adroitly amusing, helped along by Keith's and Dehner's genuine comedic skills. Dehner in particular shines, such that the episode really belongs to him. Most notable for Smith's learned denunciation of the "marital bonds that enslave a man for life", or high-falutin' words to that effect. Sentiments which, of course, he readily gives up when the next pretty girl arrives.

This was the last entry shown on the network. Looking back over the series as a whole, I'm not sure that Peckinpah had a firm grasp of where to go with the basic concept. Alternating between farce and drama with the same character has some tricky limitations. It strains the audience a bit to have Dave act the knock-about fool one week and then place him in quick-witted danger the next. Then too, adding Smith to the mix tends to overshadow Dave since the smooth-talking con artist gets the best lines, leaving Dave as the occasional butt. Maverick was a phenomenal success due in part to a firm grasp of Jim Garner's character and a consistently humorous approach from one week to the next. There were no wild swings. Nevertheless, the best episodes of The Westerner remain among the best of that heavily censored period, and continue to hold their own even in this more artist-friendly era of relaxed supervision. In fact, it's interesting to speculate how the series would have evolved had Peckinpah had the freer hand of today.

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