The Real West: Cowboys and Outlaws
Greystone Communications, Inc., and A&E Television Networks, 2007 DVD format (produced 1993-94), eight 45-minute episodes, $17.95.
The Real West aired on A&E from 1992 to 1994, and its success helped convince A&E producers to launch The History Channel in 1995. Hosted and narrated competently by Kenny Rogers, the TV series offered Western history buffs an honest, multiangled approach to the history of the frontier, with the help of historians such as Paul Hutton and Leon Metz.
The eight 45-minute episodes included in this Cowboys and Outlaws edition deal with Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Texas cowboys, lawmen in the cow towns, the James Gang, the Texas Rangers and an overview of outlaws and frontier firearms. The title of the release is in fact a bit baffling, as only three of the episodes focus on cowboys or outlaws. Still, the episodes on Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill are illuminating, and the price is right.
Originally published in the June 2008 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here.