Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Bonanza" Episode with Michael Dunn Airs Today on Encore Western Channels!

There's a great opportunity today on the Encore Western channels to see the superb actor Michael Dunn in the 1970 Michael Landon-written-and-directed Bonanza episode It's a Small World.  It airs at 4pm Eastern and then again at 7pm on the W feed. 
Michael Dunn in 1964
If you are a Little House on the Prairie fan you will recognize that Landon did a remake of this theme -- a dwarf circus performer turns out to be far more courageous than any of the other townpeople -- in the episode Little Lou, where Billy Barty takes on the central role.  You can watch the episode on YouTube (click here)

It's a Small World comes from the 11th season of Bonanza, and is a great example of what a sensitive writer and director Michael Landon evolved into.  This evolution produced the timeless gem Little House on the Prairie -- proof enough, I'd say.

In terms of sheer acting prowess I have to give the nod to Michael Dunn, but Barty is pretty darned good.  If you're not familiar with Dunn, just think of him as yesterday's Peter Dinklage.  Every few decades a preternaturally talented actor emerges who is unlike most others.  I wrote a post a few years about him for TCM's Movie Morlocks, which you can check out by clicking here.

Don't miss Bonanza today on Encore!

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