Tag Archives: Westerns

New James Thurber Story Published

A mock Western written by an eighteen-year-old James Thurber was found in an archive and has been unleashed on the world in the Strand magazine.

“This was the first time Thurber tried his hand at penning a satirical story in the wild west, which features a gun-slinging bartender, a couple of wild bullies, and a very odd sheriff,” said Andrew Gulli of the Strand.

That sheriff in “How Law and Order Came to Aramie” is like a pre-incarnation of Thurber’s Walter Mitty.

Gulli said the story “uses every single western cliche and, in Thurber style, turns them all into something very funny.”

Thurber009

Two TV shows about one-armed men

The most famous one-armed man in television history is, of course, the murderer hunted by Dr. Richard Kimball on The Fugitive. But I don’t have him in mind in this post. I never actually watched The Fugitive much.

But I have fond memories of two television series from my childhood, each of whose main characters had one arm. Why one-armed characters resonate with me, I cannot say. The reasons are probably emotionally complex and embarrassing (I had one character lose a hand in my novel Wolf Time, and another lose a whole arm in Troll Valley). But I’m delighted that YouTube has made it possible to rediscover these series, at least in part. My viewing report follows.

The Vise

The character of detective Mark Saber had an interesting evolution. According to my internet research (not always coherent), he began as a British detective working (for some reason) on the police force of a large American city on an early US TV series called Mystery Theater. He was played by Tom Conway (not to be confused with comedian Tim Conway). Tom Conway was the brother of famous movie heavy George Sanders, and spent his career in his brother’s shadow. His character dressed nattily, and (judging by the one episode I found on YouTube) fought crime more with fisticuffs than with deduction or forensics.

The show ran from 1951-1954. Then in 1955 the character was resurrected back in the old home country in a new series called The Vise. Mark Saber was now a London private investigator, and was now played by Donald Gray, a native of South Africa who lost his left arm in France in World War II. I’ve only found a couple episodes of this series on YouTube. Here’s one:

Continue reading Two TV shows about one-armed men