post Rudy Ramos in Mr. Sadman Movie

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 7:22 pm

If you haven’t checked out the trailer to Mr. Sadman, the comedy/satire feature film, then you’re missing a chance to see the recent work of Rudy Ramos (Wind in The High Chaparral) in the part of Juan Carlos. Set in 1990, the storyline follows a Saddam Hussein body-double who loses his job, then moves to Los Angeles in search of a new start.

Mr. Sadman was accepted to this year’s IFP Narrative Lab and according to Rudy, “The film is a unique script written and directed by a very young film maker. The part of Juan Carlos is probably the best film role I have ever had and I am not the bad guy this time. It is a real joy for me to be playing the kind of part that has never been offered to me.”

Rudy Ramos in Mr. Sadman Trailer

Rudy Ramos in the trailer for Mr. Sadman

post High Chaparral Panel at the Harry Sukman Foyer

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 7:22 pm

One panel at The Harry Sukman Foyer at the University of Hartford features his work on The High Chaparral, along with a touching quote about why he worked so often in Western film.

The panel contains only a partial quote, and the entire passage is quite meaningful, especially to Western fans, so Susan Sukman McCray provided the entire Harry Sukman quote for us here, as well as a close-up detail of the panel from the Harry Sukman Foyer.

Susan McCray discusses her father, Harry Sukman
click to hear the Harry Sukman quote

Detail from the Harry Sukman memorial panel at the University of Hartford, CT

Close-up detail from one panel at the Harry Sukman Foyer,
University of Hartford, CT, featuring his work on The High Chaparral and other television shows.

post Sukman Foyer Music Concert

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 7:21 pm

Susan Sukman McCray
Vincent Falcone (at the piano) is enthusiastic as he describes a number during the Warm Heart, Cool Hands concert at the Harry Sukman Foyer at the Hartt School, the University of Hartford, CT. Sukman’s music was performed in trio with acclaimed musicians Nat Reeves on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums.

Sukman’s Music Comes Alive in Foyer Bearing His Name

Three years ago, the Harry Sukman Foyer at the University of Hartford’s Hart School was dedicated. Treasured memorabilia, including memories of High Chaparral, makes up a display documenting the history and career of Sukman through wall panels entitled A Life in Music. On May 7th, Sukman’s music came alive in the foyer that bears his name and pays tribute to his prolific career.

An intimate concert hosted by university president Walter Harrison showcased Mr. Sukman’s compositions from the Warm Heart, Cool Hands CD, arranged and performed by by Sukman’s dear friend, pianist/composer/arranger conductor Vincent Falcone. Best known as musical director and pianist for Frank Sinatra, he is presently performing with numerous musical greats including Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Jack Jones, and Mr. Tony Bennett. Performing with Falcone in trio were Joe LaBarbera – acclaimed as one of the top 3 drummers in the world- and Hartt faculty member and fine musician Nat Reeves on bass.

Susan Sukman McCray
University Regent Susan McCray, the daughter of Harry Sukman, introduces one of her father’s compositions during the concert. Behind her is one of many displays in the Harry Sukman Foyer that pay tribute to Sukman’s prolific career.

To learn more about this great CD, listen to a selection, or order the CD, log on to: or go to

Susan Sukman McCray introduced each of the 10 selections, and she mentioned the particular dedication and love High Chaparral fans have for the show when she introduced Blue’s Theme. Susan was visibly touched by the concert in her father’s honor, and introduced each musical number with personal stories and warm recollections about the songs’ origins and significance. It was especially touching to hear this music performed on Harry Sukman’s Steinway grand piano, surrounded by displays that included original sheet music from The High Chaparral.

Read a complete write up and review of the concert in the University of Hartford Unotes edition.

post BarBara Luna Appears in Trek Production

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 7:19 pm

Barbara Luna as Conchita in The Firing Wall

BarBara Luna as Conchita in The Firing Wall

Luna Appears in Trek Production

The always beautiful BarBara Luna (Conchita in The High Chaparral episode The Firing Wall) is appearing in a new Star Trek Phase II fan production, Enemy Starfleet. Fans of Luna will recall she played Marlena Moreau, Kirk’s girlfriend in the acclaimed 1967 Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror.

This feature article describes the project.

post 2009 Reunion Survey Results

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: High Chaparral Reunion 2009 — admin @ 7:19 pm

Thank you to EVERYONE who took the time to take the Reunion survey questionnaire. Sixty-four of you let us know what you thought!

We’re carefully considering everything you said, and making decisions about the next Reunion. Thanks to YOUR input, we’re going to hold part of the 2009 Reunion where the show was filmed – at Old Tucson Studios! So plan to head to the Cannon Ranch, because we’ll all be meeting on the original High Chaparral on October 16, 17, and 18th, 2009. It’s going to be very special, so watch upcoming newsletters for announcments and plans.

Here are the results of the survey – click on the image to view it all:

High Chaparral Reunion Survey Location

post Primo: Henry Darrow Movie Premiers

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 7:18 pm

Henry Darrow in PrimoHenry Darrow Movie Premiers

It may have been 40 years since we first saw our favorite stars in The High Chaparral, but their talents continue to keep them busy and in demand.

On June 19th, Henry Darrow’s movie Primo opened in Las Vegas. Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Francisco Mendez, this independent production was shot in El Salvador and Nevada and tells the story of three cousins during the war in El Salvador. Separated, they reunite when their grandfather – played by Henry – becomes ill.

Primo movie poster

In this interview, Mendez discusses the movie and the ‘legendary Henry Darrow’, saying, “We cast the film out of Los Angeles and Nevada. Our stellar cast (primarily Screen Actors Guild) includes the legendary Henry Darrow, who was the first Latino I had seen on an American TV show when I was growing up in El Salvador. He played Manolito Montoya, a trickster and ladies man, in High Chaparral. It wasn’t until years later that I learned he couldn’t get acting jobs using his real name ‘Delgado.’ When he changed his name to ‘Darrow,’ he started working right away. Since then, he has created a remarkable body of television work.”

You can see Henry in the movie trailer here and at the official Primo movie website.

post Q&A

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 7:17 pm


Was there an official branding iron in The High Chaparral episodes? If so, what did it look like?

Yes. The Cannon cattle were branded with a basic ‘HC’. Kent McCray provided the background story behind how this brand was made: “The HC brand was made for the episode and it was used periodically. It was not used in the pilot. The prop man had the Paramount metal department make it up for the show.”

The brand can be seen briefly in the branding scene from Bad Day for a Thirst – click the photo to see the video clip. While searching for a scene that would show the Chaparral brand, I wondered how hard it was to get the actors to learn how to handle cows, and this caused Kent to laugh at my mistake, since obviously the show had stuntmen and wranglers to handle the animals. Actors do what they do best – act!

High Chaparral branding iron can be seen in this clip from the episode Bad Day for a Thirst

The High Chaparral brand can be seen in this screen capture
from Bad Day for a Thirst. Click the photo to see the video clip.
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I was watching “The Arrangement” the other night and thought I heard the “standard”
Victoria theme in that. I thought there were two Victoria themes? I know there is a different one–I need to figure out which is Sukman and which is Rose, because I think I have them confused. What I hear when Victoria enters the dining room at Casa Montoya in “The Arrangement” is what I always thought was the Harry Sukman Victoria, because I hear it in the other episodes.

The theme you hear for Victoria in the pilot episode (The Arrangement) was written by David Rose. The U.S. Copyright site lists two entries for Victoria, One attributed to David Rose in 1969 and another in 1970 by David Rose, arranged by Matt Dennis.

However, as with all the regular episode character themes, the music you’re hearing for Victoria (and the rest of the Montoyas when it’s a serious theme) in the remainder of the episodes is the lovely Montoya Theme by Harry Sukman. This piece of music was a particular favorite of David Dortort.

Susan Sukman McCray provided background information about the two themes and the copyright dates in this message: message from Susan McCray. In it, Susan says, “As far as the theme for Victoria goes, David Rose only composed the music for the pilot of High Chaparral.  The pilot was in 1966.  Harry Sukman composed all character themes and background music scores for all the episodes of The High Chaparral. The pilot music was done by David Rose. I just looked at my High Chaparral book, which has all the music and themes, and I find Victoria, written by David Rose, arranged by Matt Dennis.  The copyright is 1969 and 70. The reason being, the copyright which originally was under David Rose in 1966, was transferred to Open Door Music, which is a publishing company owned by David Dortort.  All of the music after 1967 was transferred into the Open Door Music Company for publishing.  I think that may clear it up.  That includes all Harry Sukman music as well, so you will find the 1969-70 date on The High Chaparral music by David Rose, even though it was only composed for the pilot in 66.”

In this composite video clip, listen to the David Rose theme from the pilot episode The Arrangement, followed by a unique scene in a second season episode, The Promised Land. In it, Victoria plays the Harry Sukman Montoya Theme during the dialog.

Linda Cristal as Victoria Cannon in The High Chaparral

Click on the photo to see the composite video and hear both the David Rose and Harry Sukman music
themes associated with Victoria.

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The quote ‘brand ’em, don’t bar-be-que ’em’ came up in discussion on the fan boards – what scene is this from, and is it really used more than once?

This catch-phrase is indeed used twice in The High Chaparral. It appears first in the pilot episode Destination Tucson, when Big John Cannon uses it to chastize Blue for his inexperience. Later in episode 26, Bad Day for a Thirst, Blue quotes his father when he uses what would be almost a year’s worth of experience to teach Buck’s Apache proteges Sourdough and Saddleblanket how to brand a cow.

ark Slade as Blue Cannon wrestles a steer in the pilot episode

In this scene from the pilot episode Destination Tucson, Blue Cannon wrestles a steer, but his inexperience at branding displeases his father. Click the photo to view the video clip.
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Mark Slade as Blue Cannon in Bad Day for a Thirst

In this scene from Bad Day for a Thirst, Blue demonstrates proper branding technique to one
of Buck’s new Apache ranch hands.
Click the photo to see the video.
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post The 2009 High Chaparral Reunion:Destination Tucson

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: High Chaparral Reunion 2009 — admin @ 7:16 pm

October 16-17-18, 2009 in Tucson, AZ

High Chaparral Ranch Set at Old Tucson

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion!

Watch for details as plans are finalized, but this is an event not to be missed. We’ll be reuniting the cast and crew at Old Tucson Studios where the show was originally filmed.

This is a wonderful chance to see the original Cannon ranch house set, reminisce with the people who made The High Chaparral, meet your favorite HC star, meet other fans, experience the places where the show was actually filmed, and have a truly unique, one of a kind experience.

See you in Tucson – on The High Chaparral!

post HC on DVD – Dream or Reality?

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Interviews & Articles — admin @ 7:15 pm

HC on DVD – Dream or Reality?

by Penny McQueen

When John Cannon brought his family over a thousand miles to Arizona, he had no idea their travels were just beginning.

The road to a DVD release for The High Chaparral is rocky, complicated by decades of corporate mergers, acquisitions, neglect, and legal red tape. Andy Klyde, attorney for Bonanza Ventures, continues to work for a release and said recently, “There’s no exciting news to announce at the moment, but there’s reason to be optimistic about the future.”

The story begins with a landmark Federal Communications Commission decision that shaped the course of popular entertainment, and ends with the Cannons and Montoyas infiltrating each of the three major networks. Keep your scorecard handy, this tale has more twists than a two-part episode.

In the early 1970’s the FCC, concerned the Big Three Networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) presented a growing monopoly, imposed a set of rules to prevent them from owning their own programming. This effectively stopped them from syndicating their own shows, including classics like The High Chaparral, Bonanza, Car 54 Where Are You?, Get Smart, and many others.

NBC sold their library of television shows to National Telefilm Associates (or NTA). NTA specialized in re-issuing film libraries including Twentieth Century Fox, some of Paramount Studios cartoons and comedies, early United Artists works, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the original Republic Pictures library.

Mark Slade, Henry Darrow, and Cameron Mitchell in close-up from The High ChaparralFrom 1973 to today, ownership bounced from one entity to another as companies were sold, merged, or changed names and divisions. NTA acquired Republic Pictures, created a home video division, and later changed names to Republic Pictures. Spelling Entertainment Group/WorldVision Enterprises purchased Republic, merged with Viacom, which merged with Paramount Communications, which merged with CBS. Along the way Republic Pictures licensed their home video rights to Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

At each step legal distribution rights to The High Chaparral on DVD became clouded. But progress is being made, and although it is undeniably slow for anxious fans, as Blue Cannon said, ‘Pa always says, the champion potato peeler of the world peels one potato at a time’. Andy Klyde reports, “I spoke recently with a high-ranking executive at NBC Universal and emphasized again how anxious the legions of fans of The High Chaparral are to see the series uncut and re-mastered on DVD. She promised to push the legal department harder to conclude its research on ownership and distribution issues, and we agreed to keep in touch. I’ll be sure to check in with her from time to time.”

In the meantime fans of the show keep it’s memory alive by watching old copies, honoring the cast and crew, attending reunions and other events, and still loving their favorite western.

How is The High Chaparral is associated with all of The Big Three Networks?

  1. HC originally ran on NBC.
  2. Spelling Entertainment Group included WorldVision Enterprises, a part of ABC Films. It existed primarily to syndicate ABC owned shows.
  3. CBS/Parmount International is responsible for distribution outside the U.S., and CBS is a division of Paramount Communications.


Cast Appearances & Events

post 2009 Reunion: Tornado Francis Video

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: High Chaparral Reunion 2009 — admin @ 7:15 pm

High Chaparral video clip from episode Tornado Francis

High Chaparral Reunion

To get everyone in the Reunion spirit, here’s a video clip from the episode Tornado Francis. Blue, John, Manolito and Sam are waiting for Buck to return after a two month absence.

(if you have trouble playing the video, click here to open the newsletter in a web browser.)

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