is a 17-episode American drama The Americans television series that aired on NBC from January to May 1961. Set during the American Civil War, the series focuses on two brothers fighting on opposite sides of the conflict. Background [edit ]
The series was inspired by
James Warner Bellah's 1953 novel The Valiant Virginians which was serialized in the as Saturday Evening Post Tales of the Valorous Virginians from May 9, 1953 through June 10, 1954. The novel is an arc of separate stories on the impact of the war on the young men fighting it. The series characters are Ben ( [1 ] Union Army) and Jeff Canfield ( Confederacy). Production [edit ]
The series was part of the United States' commemoration of the
centennial of the beginning of the Civil War. It aired as a mid-season replacement for the canceled [2 ] western series, , starring Riverboat Darren McGavin, broadcast in the 7:30–8:30 p.m. timeslot on Monday evenings.
Ben Canfield was played by
Darryl Hickman, older brother of actor Dwayne Hickman; Richard Davalos played Jeff Canfield. Hickman and Davalos were the only actors who appeared in every episode of the series. Most of the supporting cast appear in only a single episode though several actors played the same role in more than one episode:
Among the more well-known actors to appear in this series were the following:
Jack Lord, Michael Rennie, Nina Foch, Lee Marvin, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Culp, James Franciscus, Jack Elam, Susan Oliver, Brian Keith, Ray Walston, Lloyd Bochner, Dick York, Jackie Coogan, L.Q. Jones, Carroll O'Connor, and Robert Redford.
Seventeen one-hour episodes were broadcast, although either twenty-one or twenty-six episodes were filmed.
Episodes were written by, among others, [2 ] John Gay (screenwriter for the film and of many television adaptions of literary classics), William D. Gordon (who also acted in at least one episode), Andy Lewis (writer of the movie Run Silent Run Deep ), Carey Wilber (writer of the Klute episode Star Trek ), and Space Seed Pat Falken Smith (head writer in the 1970s and 1980s for the soap operas and Days of Our Lives ). Music for the series was created by composers General Hospital Bernard Herrmann and Hugo Friedhofer. Henry Steele Commager was the historical consultant.
A tie-in novel called
The Americans, written by Donald Honig, was released in paperback by Popular Library publishers in 1961. [3 ] [4 ] Episodes/cast [edit ]
First-run episodes of the series aired January 23, 1961 through May 15, 1961; repeats aired from May 22 through September 11, 1961.
Episode 1: Harper's Ferry (broadcast January 23, 1961) The Canfield family finds itself split down the middle after the Civil War breaks out when Confederate forces attack the Union arsenal at Harpers Ferry, now West Virginia. Episode 2: Rebellion at Blazing Rock (broadcast January 30, 1961) Jeff encounters two men, one Confederate and one Yankee, preparing to stage a mock battle. Michael Rennie played Capt. James Duquesne Ray Daley ... Bugler John Howard ... Capt. Chilcoath Karen Sharpe ... Louanne Higgins Adam Williams ... Wilcott Episode 3: The Regular (broadcast February 6, 1961) A regular-army sergeant, delivering guns to a volunteer unit, is shocked at how badly trained they are. Kathleen Crowley played Lucy Vickery Ken Drake ... Bravo William D. Gordon ... Lt. Barnes Maurice Manson ... Mayor Cahill William Murray ... Craigie Kent Smith ... Capt. Vickery Episode 4: The Rebellious Rose (broadcast February 13, 1961) The beautiful Rose Greenhow serves the Confederacy by charming susceptible Union officials into talking too much. When Jeff comes to Washington, D.C., Rose charms him into committing murder. Charles Aidman ... Capt. Wheeler Nina Foch ... Rose Greenhow Martin Gabel ... Tim Mayhew Episode 5: On to Richmond (broadcast February 20, 1961) Ben sees that his volunteer soldiers are not the combat professionals he needs for the upcoming Battle of First Bull Run. Diana Millay ... Emma Templeton Episode 6: Half Moon Road (broadcast February 27, 1961) Jeff goes deep into the backwoods to recruit sharpshooters for the Confederate army. James Barton ... Old Goodwin Enid Jaynes ... Melissa (as Enid Janes) Jack Lord ... Charlie Goodwin George Mitchell ... Preacher Episode 7: Reconnaissance (broadcast March 6, 1961) Jeff is assigned to sneak through enemy lines to gather information. He then discovers his brother Ben is among the Union soldiers stationed there. Diane Jergens ... Sally Lee Marvin ... Capt. Judd Don Megowan ... Lt. Fairfax Jan Stine ... Hollis Brad Weston ... Cpl. Blackburn Episode 8: The Escape (broadcast March 13, 1961) Col. Fry and Ben are captured and sent to the Confederate POW camp at Libby Prison. Dayton Lummis ... Maj. Turner Dan O'Herlihy ... Col. Fry Episode 9: The Guerrillas (broadcast March 20, 1961) A band of guerrillas lays siege to a town torn apart by the war. Norman Alden ... Paine Robert Culp ... Finletter Cyril Delevanti ... Canfield Berry Kroeger ... Keezer Paul Lambert ... Hudson Strother Martin ... Wadd Sonya Wilde ... Caroline Episode 10: The Invaders (broadcast March 27, 1961) After a Union force takes over a Confederate town, its captain orders the Confederate flag taken down. Outraged, an elderly resident of the town fires at him. Steve Brodie ... Sgt. Rafer Myrna Fahey ... Ruth James Franciscus ... Lt. Hannon Frank Gerstle ... Capt. Bice Ian Wolfe ... Sever Episode 11: The Gun (broadcast April 3, 1961) Jeff is ordered to capture Union cannons. Robert Carlyle ... Sergeant Lonny Chapman ... Chester Longbaugh Jack Elam ... Loper Johnson Susan Oliver ... Rachel Episode 12: The Sentry (broadcast April 10, 1961) Three Confederates are assigned to sabotage an important railroad trestle. Ben Cooper ... Ward Roberts Robert Hastings ... Lieutenant Brian Keith ... Owen Judson Pratt ... Sgt. Willers Episode 13: The Bounty Jumpers (broadcast April 17, 1961) Ben goes undercover to gather evidence on a criminal ring that specializes in phony recruits. Larry Gates ... Maj. Eustice Cary Anne Helm ... Dulcie Morrow Gene Lyons ... Col. Elgin Murvyn Vye ... Police Lieutenant Ray Walston ... Whit Bristow Episode 14: Long Way Back (broadcast April 24, 1961) A group of Missouri farmers capture Jeff. Patricia Barry ... Jessica Charles Bickford ... Peterson Ron Nicholas ... Scout Walter Sande ... Jayhawker Episode 15: The War Between the States (broadcast May 1, 1961) Ben is worried when his best friend falls for a Confederate girl. Lloyd Bochner ... Lt. Brady Lisabeth Hush ... Rebel girl John McGiver ... Col. Allen Lurene Tuttle ... Mrs. Allen Dick York ... Bolick Episode 16: The Coward (broadcast May 8, 1961) A soldier convicted of cowardice under fire and sentenced to death has his execution delayed. However, two of the soldiers in his company are determined to see the sentence carried out, even if they have to do it themselves. Jackie Coogan ... Rowe L.Q. Jones ... Yonts Carroll O'Connor ... Capt. Garbor Robert Redford ... George Harrod Episode 17: The Inquisitors (broadcast May 15, 1961) The U.S. Congress wants answers about some disastrous battle results for the Union Army. Robert Gist ... Gen. Charles P. Stone Marsha Hunt ... Jeanie Stone Robert Middleton ... U.S. Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio References [edit ] ^ York, Neil Longely (2001) "Fiction As Fact: The Horse Soldiers and Popular Memory" Kent State University Press ISBN 0-87338-688-4, page 157 (Footnote 27) ^ a b The Americans webpage of the Classic Television Archive website ^ Honig, Donald (1961) "The Americans" Popular Library ASIN B000MH5BVE ^ The Americans, by Donald Honig webpage in the Amazon book section External links [edit ]