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

Cast Regulars:

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 check out Deb's Digressions where I ponder this very question.


So when did the Kid go to Philadelphia and why?

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 everywhere?

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 Links page


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 secondary characters:

  • 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 trouble.
  • 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 time
  • 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.

 

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