The Golden Age of TV Western Remakes into Big Screen Movies continues. The Tainted Archive tipped us off this morning that the classic TV Western The Big Valley is slotted to be remade into a big-screen movie, 3D style. The website TV Series Finale reports that the remake will star Susan Sarandon, Ryan Phillipe, Richard Drefuss, and Bruce Dern in key roles.
The Big Valley ran on television from 1965 to 1969. Along with Bonanza, it was one of my favorite Western shows when I was a kid. Not that I ever watched an episode all the way through - I think it was past my bedtime. But I love Barbara Stanwyck (I love her in everything) and I also like the fact that the show was based on the Hill Ranch, a historic ranch that was located in the area where I grew up: near Calaveras County and the Stockton area.
This is what the Wikipedia entry says about Hill Ranch:
The TV series was based loosely on the Hill Ranch located at the western edge of Calaveras County, not far from Stockton (one episode places the Barkley Ranch a few hours ride from town while another has Jarrod riding past a Calaveras County sign on his way to the TV series' ranch). The Hill Ranch existed from 1855 until 1931, exceeded 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), and had the Mokelumne River running through it. Lawson Hill ran the ranch until he was murdered in 1861. His wife Euphemia (aka "Auntie Hill") then became the matriarch. During their marriage they had four children, one daughter and three sons. Today, the location of the ranch is covered by the waters of Lake Camanche. A California state historical marker standing at Camanche South Shore Park mentions the historic ranch.
I love the fact that these shows are being remade. Granted, they'll never be as good as the originals, but then hey, maybe they will someday. And besides, it gets a whole new generation interested in the old shows and, more importantly, in Westerns.
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