The Premise: Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry are two of the most wanted
outlaws in the history of the West. In all the jobs that they have pulled,
they have never killed anyone and this makes them very popular with everyone
except the railroads and the banks. The decide to turn over a new leaf and
are offered an amnesty on condition that they stay out of trouble for a year
and that they don't tell anyone about it. In the meantime, they are still
wanted men with the price of $10,000 on their heads so with a view to
keeping a step ahead of anyone looking to collect that bounty, they adopt
the identities of Smith and Jones and use all of their ingenuity keeping out
of the way of the law.
50 episodes aired: 1971 - 1973 on ABC
Peter Duel as Hannibal Heyes / Joshua Smith
[episodes 1--34 ]
Ben Murphy as Kid Curry / Thaddeus Jones
Roger Davis as Hannibal Heyes / Joshua Smith [episodes 35--50]
Who and what:
OK, the "who" originally responsible was Glen
Larson, the same man that produced us so many of the shows we can blame for
being the way we are (Battlestar Galactica anyone? And you, there in the back,
you know you watched BJ and the Bear.). Some people thought of Alias Smith and
Jones as a "Larsonized" version of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but I
think that is unfair to everyone who worked on the show. Particularly since
shortly after the pilot, Glen Larson had less to do with the show and Roy
Huggins was the creative force behind it. Anyway, when it began, it starred
Pete Duel and Ben Murphy as the outlaws doomed to get into one scape after
another in their efforts to leave behind their outlaw ways. The roster of
guest stars was an impressive cavalcade of kitsch -- Sally Field, Louis Gosset
Jr., Alan Hale (I guess he got off that island after all), Fernando Lamas,
Slim Pickens, Buddy Ebsen, Parnell Roberts, Anne Archer, Susan Strassberg,
Michele Lee...it just goes on and on. After the second season, Roger Davis
(who had done the introductory voice over during the opening credits) took
over the role of Hannibal Heyes after the unfortunate, tragic death of Pete
Duel. (A moment please while I consider what might have been)
And now those things that we speculate on when
we are home alone and have nothing to read, the television is broken and the
weather is lousy...
So were they cousins or not?
Um...both. It might have helped if script
writers had some sort of show bible but I guess they didn't because this is
just one of many issues confused by the inconsistencies. Apparently they
didn't start out related and then it sort of sprung up. There are various
reported reasons that this occurred but none are confirmed as a definitive
reasons. There are points that support both sides of the issue so it's up to
each person to decide for themselves.
When is the show suppose to take place?
Again, there is no definitive answer.
Probably 1883/1884 ish but then again, if you assume that you have to find a
way to rationalize why Wyatt Earp is still in tombstone. if you really want to
see how someone can occupy too much time on questions like this, I suggest you
Deb's Digressions where I ponder this very question.
So when did the Kid go to Philadelphia
We don't know when and we don't know why. He
just says it one day and it's never followed up on.
Was the Kid's mother a crook?
Heyes says she is and the Kid doesn't
disagree. Maybe Heyes was kidding but it's a really weird joke...
So where are they wanted - Wyoming or
Most references say Wyoming only but in one
episode someone says several states. Still, they are only seeking amnesty from
the Gov. Of Wyoming so I assume that's it.
Were there a real Heyes and Curry?
There was an outlaw that went by the name Kid
Curry. He was Harvey Logan and he was a member of the Wild Bunch. There is no
indication that there is any connection intended. The ASJ Curry's real last
name is Curry whereas Logan used it as alias. I have never found any evidence
of a real Hannibal Heyes.
Is that a wedding ring Pete is wearing?
It's a ring, yes. It may even have been
designed as a wedding ring but he didn't get married as far as anyone knows.
Where can I get tapes of the show?
The pilot is commercially available but the
rest are not. People are willing to make copies of the tapes (selling them is
illegal so usually this is done for the cost of shipping and tapes) You could
try posting a request to the various related newsgroups, or the mailing lists.
Several people have posted requests on the ASJ web pages or in the Outlaw
Trail newsletter. Check out information on how to contact these groups on the
What is the opening narration and whose
voice is it?
The first narration was done by Roger Davis.
When he took over the role of Heyes, the narration was done by Ralph Story
How come they didn't cancel the show
when Pete died?
The studio wanted the show to continue and to
continue quickly. A replacement was needed as soon as possible. Roger was
under contract to the studio already, Huggins knew him and had worked with him
on a number of projects), and he was available.
Where is the show being aired?
At various times in various places. Often it
shows in Dallas or Houston markets, Florida from time to time, TV Land this
past January, BBC and recently has been aired in Holland
Who is? ...recurring or significant
Soapy Saunders (Sam Jaffe) - successful con man acquaintance of Heyes and Curry.
An older man that has known them for some time
Silky O'Sullivan (Walter Brennan) - similar to Soapy. It's been suggested that
they were originally intended as the same character with the name change coming
very late in the process - just before filming
Clementine Hale (Sally Field) - friend of Heyes and Curry since their "kid"
days. She gets them embroiled in her schemes by threatening to turn over a
photograph of them to the authorities
Georgette Sinclair (Michelle Lee) - a female con artist. Also a friend of some
long standing (though it isn't clear how long) of the boys.
Harry Briscoe (JD Cannon) - Bannerman detective who crosses paths with the boys
several times. He is comically inept and they are constantly getting him out of
Wheat Carlson (Earl Holliman) - member of the Devil's Hole Gang who takes over
when Heyes and Curry leave. While he is in charge, the gang goes strictly small
Kyle Murtry (Dennis Fimple) - Wheat's right hand. *Not* the swiftest boat in the
water. In fact, he's unable to find the launch.
Lom Trevors (James Drury/??????) - sheriff of Porterville. One time outlaw who
went good. He goes to ask the governor about amnesty for Heyes and Curry
Big Mac McCreedy (Burl Ives)- a Texas rancher who takes a shine to the boys and
embroils them in his feud with a neighboring rancher (Armendirez)
Senor Armendirez (Caeser Romero) - Mexican rancher feuding with McCreedy
Big Jim Santana (Fernando Lamas) - Leader of the Devil's Hole Gang before Heyes
and for a short time after Wheat Carlson. He spent 7 years in prison and was
convinced to remain on the right side of the law by Heyes
Danny Bilson (Roger Davis) - a villainous fast draw who left Heyes, Curry and an
elderly miner to die in the desert after stealing the gold the group had mined
for months. He is later shot and killed by Kid Curry in a showdown.