Wanted: Dead or Alive


Seasons & Episodes

  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
8| TV-G| en| More Info
Released: 06 September 1958 Ended
Producted By: CBS
Country: United States of America
Budget: 0
Revenue: 0
Official Website:

Wanted: Dead or Alive is an American Western television series starring Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall. It aired on CBS for three seasons from 1958–61. The black-and-white program was a spin-off of a March 1958 episode of Trackdown, a 1957–59 western series starring Robert Culp. Both series were produced by Four Star Television in association with CBS Television. The series launched McQueen into becoming the first television star to cross over into comparable status on the big screen.

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Wanted: Dead or Alive Audience Reviews

Intcatinfo A Masterpiece!
AnhartLinkin This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.
Allison Davies The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
Bumpy Chip It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.
John My 10 rating is probably, no it is biased. Steve McQueen was one of my all time favorite actors. Sure, this show was hokey, but for a show that was 30 minutes, it packed a lot into it. I was too young to watch the originals, but over the years I was able to watch episodes here and there. Now watching them again on MeTV, it brings back so many good memories. For me, nothing beats a good western. Especially when it stars Steve McQueen.
qormi Okay, it's a tossup between Wanted Dead or Alive and The Rifleman. Both shows were no-nonsense westerns and featured very intense actors in the lead. Steve McQueen was just as good in this series as he was in all his subsequent big screen movies. He was a very gifted actor; a prodigy. McQueen had so may subtle, nonverbal nuances and when he delivered his lines, it was completely believable. Like Chuck Connors' Lucas McCain from The Rifleman, McQueen's Josh Randall was a strong, authentic character, although where McCain was an outgoing rancher, Randall was moody and aloof, as would befit a bounty hunter's character. Both men were quick to deal with the bad guys and showed little mercy. Both shows were consistently well-made, with high production values. Unlike many westerns of the genre, Wanted Dead or Alive and The Rifleman have stood the test of time. Too bad there's nothing like these shows on television now.
bkoganbing Wanted, Dead or Alive was a star vehicle in the truest sense of the term. It was a western calculated to exhibit the talent and charisma of its star, Steve McQueen. It lasted for three seasons before McQueen decided to devote full time to the big screen.McQueen was after some of the most dangerous fellows in the old west, plenty who could shoot a lot better than he. His character Josh Randall needed an equalizer.In John Wayne's classic western El Dorado, you remember that Duke discovers that James Caan can't hit the broad side of a mountain with a regular six shooter. Before going to El Dorado to aid Robert Mitchum, they stop off and see a gunsmith who fixes Caan up with a Josh Randall special. After that Caan's of considerable help to Wayne and Mitchum.Of course the sawed off shotgun was also an evil weapon in the wrong hands. Take note of the Dan Duryea western, The Bounty Killer, a very Freudian piece where Duryea becomes hated and feared as a bounty hunter until an innocent bystander gets shot with it.But with McQueen you knew the weapon was on the side of law and order. As for his Josh Randall character, you can see a bit of him in all the people Steve McQueen brought to the screen like Virgil Hilts, Nevada Smith, all the way to his last two films, Tom Horn and Pappa Thorsen.Wanted, Dead or Alive was most folks first exposure to a screen legend. I wish that westerns like that were made today.
hondo551 I'm just old enough to remember when Wanted Dead or Alive was first run, when I first went to the show to see The Magnificent Seven, and when I first realized Steve McQueen was on his way to being a "star".I received the boxed set of the first season of this groundbreaking show this past Christmas and have been having great fun with it ever since. McQueen is the real star of the show, honing his craft for later career moves, with the truly offbeat story lines and resolutions coming in a close second.Forget that it's 1877, he was in the Union Army in 1864, which would make him 8-10 years older than his real age at the time. Forget that his sawed off Winchester 1892 didn't exist in this time frame, that it fired short pistol ammunition like .44-40 and possibly .45 Colt, that it couldn't possibly accept the long .30-30 cartridges on his belt that weren't developed until the Winchester 1894 came along. In the first episode he has to bury a murdered doctor and he pulls a U.S. military shovel circa 1944 from under his saddle. While he puts 19th century cuffs on some prisoners, ties some with rope, on one occasion he puts old fashioned leg irons on a prisoner's hands, way too dangerous and way too stupid for a pro like Josh Randall. In a feat too fantastic to believe, an outlaw takes away his sawed off Winchester and removes the firing pin without the aid of tools and without so much as removing the bolt from the receiver. Of course there's also that sawed off rifle of his that sometimes has a D-ring on the lever and sometimes a teardrop ring, a gun barrel that changes from round to hexagon, and a gun barrel that always has a bigger bore than the .30 caliber slug in a .30-30 shell. And let's not forget that the outdoor scenes seldom match the geography of the story lines and that more times than not they use the same western street sound stage for towns ranging from Wyoming to Arizona to Texas with just the store front names changing! All this in just the first half of the first season. LOL The show is all about watching McQueen, watching the offbeat stories that sometimes beg for more time for storytelling, and watching for all the goofs. It's great fun and well worth the time even 50 years later!