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DVD Review: Rawhide Season 5 Volume 2

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It’s time to go back out to the wide range as our friends at CBS Video have sent out a copy of Rawhide Season 5 Volume 2 for us to review, and the range is every bit as exciting, and then some, as it was in the previous installment.

Once again, Rawhide Season 5 Volume 2 joins a cattle drive in progress, as trail boss Gil Favor, backed up by his foreman Rowdy Yates–played, as ever, by none other than Clint Eastwood–and cook Wishbone lead a group of drovers and a herd of cattle 3,000 head strong to market.

Naturally, this isn’t going to be an easy trip, nor will it be simple, as Favor and company find themselves beset on all sides by bandits, rustlers, the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them, and of course, plenty of plain old strangeness between their current location and the end of what may well be the longest trail drive ever.

One thing that has come to impress me about the “Rawhide” series is how absolutely lousy Gil Favor seems to be when it comes to hiring people. A lot of the drovers on Favor’s watch make more trouble for the cattle drive than they do help, and he’s got a couple new ones he didn’t have before on every run, generally to replace the ones that died or were imprisoned from the previous incident. That’s not always the case, of course–sometimes accidents happen and turnover is a part of any organization–but it often seems like Gil’s hires end up being more trouble than they’re worth, one way or another.

Moreover, it seems like the second half of the fifth season is packing a bit more intrigue than the first half. It also seems as though the second half favors Rowdy Yates a bit more, and why not? Clint Eastwood has always been a talent, so why not let him take the reins on more than few episodes? But despite a few minor points, there’s little practical difference between the first half and the second half; both are solid affairs, and well-done for Westerns. The fact that it’s a television Western, and thus not often seen outside of home video circles, makes this something of especial note. There’s more than enough action, a few good thrills, and lots of taut drama to go around.

For those who like their retro television, or those who like their Westerns, or those who want a look at Clint Eastwood in the early going, Rawhide Season 5 Volume 2 is going to do the job and then some.

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