As most of my readers already know, I am a great fan of the western genre. Whether its books or movies, I love to wade through a great western! Recently, I found a true gem. Being a fan of the late Audie Murphy, actor and the highest decorated combat veteran of WWII, I located an old television series of his: Whispering Smith. This series ran in 1961, was based upon a 1948 movie and was about the Denver Police Department of the old west.
Audie Murphy plays one of two detectives on the Denver Police force. Many of the individual shows are actually based upon Denver Police cases from those days in the past. Obviously, due to the time period of the series, there are no scientific tools to be used, polygraphs to be run or any other modern techniques utilized. Audie uses common sense and reasoning to solve the cases. And each case is presented, with Audie’s character walking the viewer through the investigative process until a final conclusion is reached.
Now I am still watching the first of the three DVD’s, but I am thoroughly intrigued. Already I have seen some great ‘guest stars’, including Clu Gulager, and to my astonishment, a very young Robert Redford. I can hardly wait to see more!
As I was watching, I realized that this gem of a series has it’s similarities to my book series about Dell Hinton, Sheriff of Castaway County. In both, the main character is an honest law enforcement professional who displays great character and integrity. And both solve crimes using common sense and careful thought. Both also present the viewer or reader with a clear view of the investigative process and how it culminates in a reasonable conclusion.
And, frankly, I never knew this television series existed until very recently. I feel like I certainly have found a gem from the 1960′s! If you are already familiar with Audie Murphy but haven’t yet seen these, they are a must to view. And, If you don’t know about his military service, please take the time to read or watch some of the stories and movies that describe his receipt of the Medal of Honor and his history. And if you live in the DC area or travel there, stop by Arlington National Cemetery and you can see the grave of the most decorated combat veteran of WWII. He, himself, was a true gem!