In The Balcony

Steve Canyon buzzes the Balcony!

Nearly a decade in the making, the restoration and presentation of all 34 episodes of the long-lost Steve Canyon TV show is at last complete.

Milton Caniff created the comic strip about the high-flying Air Force pilot in the late 1940s to replace Terry and the Pirates, and Steve Canyon remained one of the most popular of all comic dramatic newspaper strips for over 40 years. In 1958, the Steve Canyon TV series debuted on the NBC-TV network, featuring Dean Fredericks as Canyon, traveling troubleshooter for the U.S. Air Force. Caniff himself, unhappy wih earlier adaptations of his work, closely monitored the series' production, which unfortunately was cancelled after only one season. (A second season was broadcast a year later on ABC, but those were all reruns.)

Since 1961, the series had been largely forgotten until the Milton Caniff Estate, working with Harry Grant Guyton and John R. Ellis, began loving restorations (from 35mm network masters, with original commercials, promos and credits intact) that have been issued in three DVD volumes (with colorful, patriotic packaging and beautiful Caniff artwork). The shows themselves would be well worth the price, but they've stocked the darn things with extras, including commentary by such series guests as Marion Ross, Russell Johnson, and Richard Anderson.

Steve Canyon is one of the most testosterone-driven TV series ever; sponsored by Chesterfield, the characters light up as often as you inhale and exhale. Closeup looks at supersonic jets and periphery hardware, including terrific government footage, are a staple of the show. Unfortunately, the series producers couldn't seem to decide whether they had a kids show that adults would like or an adult show that kids would watch, probably resulting in its early cancellation.

At In the Balcony, we've been a proud supporter of this effort to present the Cold War classic program, unseen in over 50 years, for both historical and entertainment purposes. A true labor of love, Steve Canyon - with its original commercials, promos, etc., and lavish artwork and bonus material - is one of our favorite TV series DVD sets ever. Our highest recommendation, and you can order it at the Steve Canyon website.

Four other Balcony Reviews...

Olive Films offers four brand-new Blu-ray/DVD releases this week, and we’ve got reviews up of all four of ‘em for you, three from Republic Pictures and one from Allied Artists. Follow the links for our reviews!

In chronological order…

Academy Award™ nominee Richard Dix (from Minnesota) stars as one of history’s most famous Texans (from Tennessee) in Man of Conquest, a Republic ‘A’ picture from that golden year of 1939.

Errol Flynn was free from Warner Bros. after all those years and wrote(!) and starred in a film that turned out to be a delightful surprise, The Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951). Hint: Vincent Price steals the picture.

Meet Rear Admiral John Hoskins, disabled in WW2 but devoted to his Naval career and intent on captaining the ship he’d ben promised. Sterling Hayden stars in The Eternal Sea, 1955, and be glad you’re not married to THIS guy.

Well, in the 1950s we Americans knew we had Russkies and Martians to fear, which is what makes Hell’s Five Hours (1958), the tale of a homegrown terrorist, powerful. Vic Morrow is the troubled psycho, and Stephen McNally and Colleen Gray stand between him and the destruction of an entire town.


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