Thursday, June 13, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:.."Ringside Padre" (TV - 1956) MICHAEL LANDON


Long before Michael Landon played the traveling angel...Jonathan Smith.  Long before he became the Little House father...Charles Ingalls or the Ponderosa heartthrob...Little Joe.  And even before Michael Landon was cast as the infamous and original “Teenage Werewolf” (that role would find him the very next year)... the young Michael Landon copped a role in the '50s TV series...”Crossroads.”  A show that dramatized the lives of clergymen and the problems they faced.  In this episode, Landon is cast as an eager, up and coming pugilist.  A talented young boxer with a priest/coach trying to protect him from a criminal pair who want nothing more than to make quick money off the kid.  This story was meant to raise awareness about how underage boxers were being thrown to the wolves against brutal and well-seasoned professionals.  And with predictable and sometimes dangerous results.  (Rules have since changed requiring boxers to be at least 18 years of age to fight professionally.)

It's a hoot watching Michael Landon deliver his lines with over-the-top enthusiasm.  As is the good-hearted priest who throws out one-liners equally corny and enjoyable.  This drama is very much a typical moral story for the time.  Whether you're a huge Michael Landon fan or are going to enjoy this quick 23-minute story.
FWIW...the actor playing Landon's dad, Leo Penn, is the real-life father of Sean, Chris, and Michael Penn.

"Ringside Padre" / "Crossroads" TV Series (1955-1957) - MICHAEL LANDON

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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