F Troop
F Troop
TV-PG | 14 September 1965 (USA)

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    It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.

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    Staci Frederick

    Blistering performances.

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    The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.

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    i remember watching F Troop and to me it was a very funny satire of the Old West that took place in the post Civil War era. The first season theme song with vocals did a great job in explaining the premise on how Parmenter became captain of F Troop. Unfortunately, when the show went to color in the second season, they canned the vocal theme and went to an instrumental. Also, the show had an outstanding cast, anchored by Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Ken Berry and Melody Patterson. Patterson actually lied about her age to get the role of Wrangler Jane. There were also Frank De Kova as chief Wild Eagle and Don Diamond as Crazy Cat. Also adding to the mayhem was James Hampton as the inept bugler Dobbs. But it was Storch who stood out as he played a number of dual roles including cousins Lucky Pierre and Russian Agarnoff. It showed his true talents as an impressionist. There were numerous guest stars, including Henry Gibson, prior to Laugh- In as jinx Wrongo Starr. Though F Troop was still getting good ratings, ABC canceled the show after two season because of high production costs. It deserved a longer run since it was a very funny sitcom. Sound the "Charge" call that was heard at the end of the closing credits to end this review.

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    Though it only lasted for 65 episodes F Troop has become a TV comedy legend. The cavalry here is certainly not the cavalry that John Ford idealized in his westerns.Real command of these misfits belongs to Forrest Tucker as Sergeant O'Rourke. Tucker has his finger in many of the town businesses, he's the silent owner of the saloon, the general store and has even got his own peace treaty with the Hekawi Indians. Under Chief Wild Eagle, played by Frank DeKova they're more interested in selling souvenirs to the tourists than going on the warpath.But such peace presents problems and occasionally things have to be stirred up even if only for show to justify keeping Fort Courage open. And you need a commanding officer who you can bamboozle.The opening episode provided such an officer, Captain Wilton Parmenter an apple that fell far from his military family tree. Ken Berry as Captain Parmenter proves to be the perfect dunce for Tucker's crafty schemes. Tucker is aided and abetted by Larry Storch as Corporal Agarn who got to do a lot of borscht belt shtick in his role. And if the shenanigans of Tucker and Storch weren't enough to keep him occupied, there was Wrangler Jane, a Calamity Jane ripoff played by Melody Patterson. She's the front woman for Tucker's businesses, but she actually falls for Parmenter and saves him from harm on more than one occasion.F Troop lasted only two seasons, but it has an enduring following today. Some of the gags here may have inspired Burt Kennedy in some of his comic westerns. It's a TV Classic.

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    It doesn't get better than this. Made in 1965 the comedy was pure and unedited fun with a gigantic heart. Larry Storch plays Forrest Tucker's sidekick but manages to run away with the scene without upstaging his fellow thespians. Forrest Tucker was the straight man who delivered the stability and rock bottom level-headedness that only a major con-man can pull off with such savwarfair. Ken Berry was aptly caste as the bumbling commander of an already "messed-up" troop of goofs, layabouts, and losers. The troops of F-Troop were a misfit bunch of misfits too unfit to do anything but procrastinate and mess up any assignment they were given. And last but not least, the Indians! I loved every scene they were in... (Frank DeKova as Chief Wild Eagle! :) - those wacky injuns were 40 years ahead of their time for today's modern "Native American" casinos! :)So here's to one of the best all-time TV comedy shows ever to grace the TVs of many American homes - clink the champagne and a tip my hat boys! (I can hear the bugle now ... here comes Agarn to lay one on that darn bugler! :)Larry Storch .... Cpl. Randolph AgarnForrest Tucker .... Sgt. Morgan O'RourkeKen Berry .... Capt. Wilton ParmenterMelody Patterson .... Wrangler Jane Angelica ThriftJames Hampton .... Trooper Hannibal DobbsFrank DeKova .... Chief Wild EagleBob Steele .... Trooper DuffyJoe Brooks .... Trooper VanderbiltDon Diamond .... Crazy CatMay God richly bless each and every one of them! ... in Jesus' name, amen! :)-LD______________________________________________my faith: http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/jbc33/

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    F-TROOP was basically a 19th Century "backdate" of YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH, the show starring Phil Silvers as Sgt. Ernie Bilko - master mechanic and master con-man. But F-TROOP would eventually prove to be better than this. It was (and remains) the most successful satire/spoof of westerns (except possibly MAVERICK or BEST OF THE WEST) ever on television.Set in the years immediately after the American Civil War, it describes how Wilton Parmenter, who was promoted for accidental heroism at the close of the war, was assigned to command the men of F-Troop in Fort Courage out west. He is a kindly, rather clumsy person. He is lucky that the actual man running the fort is the master sergeant Morgan O'Rourke (Forest Tucker). Assisted by the less than bright Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch) O'Rourke runs O'Rourke Enterprises, which sells various items (many of them trinkets) made by the local Hakawi Indian tribe (led by Chief Wild Eagle (Frank DeCova). The Fort has other figures in it: Trooper/Bugler Dobbs (James Hampton), Trooper Duffy (Bob Steele - the old cowboy movie star), Trooper Vanderbilt (Joe Brooks), and Trooper / translator Hoffenmuller (John Mitchum - Robert Mitchum's brother). We are sometimes told that other troopers have names like Lewis, Clark, Gilbert, Sullivan, Rogers, Hammerstein, etc. All these men are misfits. Vanderbilt (the Fort's look-out) is terribly nearsighted (and his tower keeps being accidentally toppled by friendly cannon fire). Duffy is listed as dead in action - with reason: he keeps talking of his experience of fighting shoulder to shoulder with Davy Crockett at the Alamo, which nobody survived. Hoffenmuller is a gifted linguist, speaking twenty Indian languages fluently. Unfortunately, he doesn't speak English, but German.Parmenter is concerned about his command, and curious about what is going on (although O'Rourke keeps him firmly in the dark). But he is also occupied with Wrangler Jane Swift (Melody Patterson), a "Calamity Jane" clone who is pretty and immediately smitten by Wilton - much to his embarrassment before the men.As for the Hakawis Wild Eagle keeps finding his position threatened by his heir. The heir (who turns out to be a gourmet cook in one episode) is usually outmaneuvered by the Chief. In the first episodes there was also an elderly medicine man, Roaring Chicken, played by Edward Everett Horton, but the role was not continued in the second half of the first season, nor in the entire second season. Pity, because Horton's medicine man was interesting. In one episode he prepared chicken soup as a medication.As one can see the show had a wonderful goofiness in it. Parmenter turns into a martinet when he studies a course in leadership given by General Custer. Agarn is wined and dined by two rival candidates for Mayor of his town in New Jersey, because he can cast the deciding vote (he ends up voting for an old vaudevillian, who becomes known as the "Dancing Mayor" - at the time actor/dancer George Murphy had just been elected U.S. Senator from California). George Gobel, playing Wrangler Jane's cousin who is an inventor, demonstrates a folding table to Parmenter. He proudly says it can be put into a closet. "What's the use of having a table in a closet?", a confused Parmenter asks an equally flummoxed Gobel.It is revived on occasion, and is well worth watching when it is shown. It was always consistently amusing.

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