ENCORE Westerns is commemorating the life of film and television legend James Garner, an Oklahoma native, with an all-day marathon today that includes episodes of his hit TV series “Maverick,” along with three of his films: “Skin Game,” “Support Your Local Gunfighter” and “A Man Called Sledge.”
Garner, an Academy Award nominee, two-time Primetime Emmy winner and three-time Golden Globe winner, made his claim to fame on the TV show “Maverick” (1957-62) and later in “The Rockford Files” (1974-1980). One of Garner’s most notable performances later in life was in the 2004 movie, “The Notebook,” which garnered him a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award. He was most recently remembered for his role on the TV show “8 Simple Rules” and his last feature film, “The Ultimate Gift.”
A Norman native, Garner worked numerous jobs and served in the Army for two years during the Korean War before falling into acting at the age of 25. He began his acting career at Warner Bros. doing guest spots and small roles in films before landing his major role as Bret Maverick on “Maverick.”
As previously reported, Turner Classic Movies also will air a James Garner movie marathon on Monday.
“A Man Called Sledge” (1970)
In the Old West, a gun fighting outlaw connives his way into a prison in hopes of getting his hands on a large shipment of gold stored there. The movie is directed by Vic Morrow and stars James Garner, Dennis Weaver and Claude Akins.
“Support Your Local Gunfighter” (1971)
A con artist arrives in a mining town controlled by two competing companies. Both companies think he’s a famous gunfighter and try to hire him to drive the other out of town. The movie is directed by Burt Kennedy and stars James Garner, Suzanne Pleshette and Jack Elam. It’s the followup to the 1969 hit “Support Your Local Sheriff!,” which made my list of seven favorite James Garner films.
“Skin Game” (1971)
Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O’Rourke have pulled off every dodge known for conning a well-heeled sucker, but it wasn’t until they hit on the old skin game that they started to clean up. The game is simple. Jason, though born a free man in New Jersey, poses as Quincy’s slave as the pair ride through Missouri and Kansas in 1857. Quincy picks a likely mark in each town, sells Jason to him for top money and rides out of town. Then Quincy and Jason get back together on the road to another town, because if Jason can’t just run off after dark, Quincy finds a way to spring him loose. The movie is directed by Paul Bogart and stars James Garner, Louis Gossett Jr. and Susan Clark.
ENCORE Westerns James Garner Marathon:
7 a.m. Maverick Episode #1
8 a.m. Maverick Episode #2
9 a.m. Maverick Episode #3
10 a.m. Maverick Episode #4
11 a.m. Maverick Episode #5
noon Maverick Episode #6
1 p.m. Maverick Episode #7
2 p.m. Maverick Episode #8
3 p.m. Maverick Episode #9
4 p.m. Maverick Episode #10
5 p.m. Maverick Episode #11
6 p.m. Maverick Episode #12
7 p.m. Skin Game
8:30 p.m. Support Your Local Gunfighter
10:20 p.m. A Man Called Sledge
11:55 p.m. Maverick Episode #1