I am a lover of the vintage age of television and good old fashioned westerns. That’s the big reason why I love The Over-the-Hill-Gang, a 1969 made for TV production. I recall vividly when it aired originally. I thought it was fantastic.
The movie starred Walter Brennan, Pat O’Brien, Chill Wills, Andy Devine, and the great Edgar Buchanan. Also in the cast were Rick Nelson and his wife, Kris Harmon Nelson. They weren’t all, though. This terrific ensemble also included Edward Andrews, Jack Elam, and Gypsy Rose Lee.
At the heart of the story was the reunion of some long retired Texas Rangers, called back into service by their commander to help out his family as they tried to stand up to a crooked town.
What makes the movie are the scenes where we first see the old Rangers. Brennan lives with his daughter and her family and feels like a nuisance. Buchanan is essentially in an old folks home, and Wills is getting thrown out of saloons. I love those scenes and how they react when they hear ‘Brazos’ the code word that makes them feel young again.
It’s not about brawls, it’s about their wits and how these three come together. It’s a chance for fans to see some wonderful character actors in action again, too.