The Rebel (American TV series)

The Rebel
Nick Adams The Rebel.JPG
Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma
Created by Andrew J. Fenady
Nick Adams
Starring Nick Adams
Country of origin United States
Original language English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 76
Running time 30 minutes
Production companies Celestial Productions
Fen-Ker-Ada Productions
Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (filmed at the studios of Paramount Pictures)
Distributor ABC Films
Worldvision Enterprises[1]
Paramount Domestic Television
CBS Television Distribution
Shout! Factory (current)[2]
Original network ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release October 4, 1959 (1959-10-04) –
June 18, 1961 (1961-06-18)

The Rebel is a 76-episode American Western television series starring Nick Adams that ran on the ABC network from 1959 to 1961. The Rebel was one of the few Goodson-Todman Productions outside of their game-show ventures. Beginning in December 2011, The Rebel reruns began to air Saturday mornings on Me-TV.


The series portrays the adventures of young Confederate army veteran Johnny Yuma, an aspiring writer, played by Nick Adams. Haunted by his memories of the American Civil War, Yuma, in search of inner peace, roams the American West, specifically the Texas Hill Country and South Plains. He keeps a journal of his adventures and fights injustice where he finds it with a revolver and his dead father's sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun.



Adams was the star and only regular actor of this series. He was involved in the show's design, inception, and writing, along with the producer, Andrew J. Fenady, who appeared twice in the series, once as United States Army General Philip Sheridan in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox", with George Macready as General Robert E. Lee.[citation needed] John Carradine appeared in two episodes as Elmer Dodson, the newspaper editor in Johnny Yuma's hometown, fictitious Mason City, Texas, who encourages Yuma to keep a journal of his travels.[citation needed]

John M. Pickard, formerly of the syndicated Boots and Saddles television series, appeared three times on The Rebel, including the role of Sheriff Pruett in "Run, Killer, Run". Hal Stalmaster played Skinny in the 1959 episode "Misfits", including Malcolm Cassell as Billy the Kid and Hampton Fancher as "Bull". The young "Misfits" enlist The Rebel's "help" to rob a bank, and in their minds live thereafter a life of leisure. Leonard Nimoy was cast as Jim Colburn in the 1960 episode "The Hunted", the story of an innocent man on the run from a posse that does not know that Colburn was acquitted by a jury.[citation needed]

Olive Sturgess guest-starred twice on The Rebel, as Jeannie in "The Scavengers" (1959) and as Charity Brunner, a woman in search of her missing miner husband, in "The Pit" (1961). In the second episode, Sturgess's real-life six-month-old nephew, Leonard Sturgess, played the baby required in the script.[3]

Guest stars


Season one (1959–60)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "Johnny Yuma" Irvin Kershner Andrew J. Fenady October 4, 1959 (1959-10-04)
2 2 "Judgment" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw October 11, 1959 (1959-10-11)
3 3 "Yellow Hair" Irvin Kershner Andrew J. Fenady October 18, 1959 (1959-10-18)
4 4 "Vicious Circle" Bernard L. Kowalski Arthur Browne, Jr. October 25, 1959 (1959-10-25)
5 5 "Panic" Irvin Kershner Lester Aaron Pine November 1, 1959 (1959-11-01)
6 6 "The Scavengers" Robert Ellis Miller Sara Segal November 8, 1959 (1959-11-08)
7 7 "School Days" Irvin Kershner Jack Laird November 15, 1959 (1959-11-15)
8 8 "Dark Secret" Irvin Kershner Story by : David Victor
Teleplay by : Shimon Wincelberg
November 22, 1959 (1959-11-22)
9 9 "Misfits" Irvin Kershner Arnold Belgard November 29, 1959 (1959-11-29)
10 10 "In Memoriam" Irvin Kershner Irving H. Cooper December 6, 1959 (1959-12-06)
11 11 "The Vagrants" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw December 20, 1959 (1959-12-20)
12 12 "Gun City" Irvin Kershner William Link and Richard Levinson December 27, 1959 (1959-12-27)
13 13 "The Death of Gray" Bernard L. Kowalski Richard Newman January 3, 1960 (1960-01-03)
14 14 "Angry Town" Bernard L. Kowalski Terence Kilpatrick January 10, 1960 (1960-01-10)
15 15 "Goldseeker" Bernard McEveety Andrew J. Fenady January 17, 1960 (1960-01-17)
16 16 "Glory" Irvin Kershner Arnold Belgard January 24, 1960 (1960-01-24)
17 17 "The Unwanted" Irvin Kershner Peter B. Germano January 31, 1960 (1960-01-31)
18 18 "The Crime" Irvin Kershner David Lang February 7, 1960 (1960-02-07)
19 19 "Noblesse Oblige" Bernard L. Kowalski Jack Laird February 14, 1960 (1960-02-14)
20 20 "Land" Irvin Kershner Gene L. Coon February 21, 1960 (1960-02-21)
21 21 "He's Only a Boy" Bernard L. Kowalski Terrence Kilpatrick February 28, 1960 (1960-02-28)
22 22 "Take Dead Aim" Frank Baur Richard Newman March 6, 1960 (1960-03-06)
23 23 "The Rattler" Irvin Kershner Sara Sagal March 13, 1960 (1960-03-13)
24 24 "You Steal My Eyes" Irvin Kershner Terrence Kilpatrick March 20, 1960 (1960-03-20)
25 25 "Fair Game" Irvin Kershner Richard Newman March 27, 1960 (1960-03-27)
26 26 "Unsurrended Sword" Irvin Kershner Peter B. Germano April 3, 1960 (1960-04-03)
27 27 "The Captive of Temblor" Irvin Kershner Milton S. Gelman April 10, 1960 (1960-04-10)
28 28 "Blind Marriage" Irvin Kershner Arnold Belgard April 17, 1960 (1960-04-17)
29 29 "Absolution" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw April 24, 1960 (1960-04-24)
30 30 "A Grave For Johnny Yuma" Bernard L. Kowalski Palmer Thompson May 1, 1960 (1960-05-01)
31 31 "In Memory Of A Son" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw May 8, 1960 (1960-05-08)
32 32 "Paint a House with Scarlet" Irvin Kershner Frederick Louis Fox May 15, 1960 (1960-05-15)
33 33 "Grant of Land" Bernard L. Kowalski Frank Chase May 22, 1960 (1960-05-22)
34 34 "Night on a Rainbow" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw May 29, 1960 (1960-05-29)
35 35 "Lady of Quality" Bernard L. Kowalski Hendrik Vollaerts June 5, 1960 (1960-06-05)
36 36 "The Earl of Durango" Bernard L. Kowalski Peggy and Lou Shaw June 12, 1960 (1960-06-12)

Season two (1960–61)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
37 1 "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox" Bernard L. Kowalski Andrew J. Fenady September 18, 1960 (1960-09-18)
38 2 "The Bequest" Irvin Kershner Albert Aley September 25, 1960 (1960-09-25)
39 3 "The Champ" Bernard L. Kowalski Sam Ross October 2, 1960 (1960-10-02)
40 4 "The Waiting" Bernard L. Kowalski Bruce Geller October 9, 1960 (1960-10-09)
41 5 "To See the Elephant" Irvin Kershner Jack Laird October 16, 1960 (1960-10-16)
42 6 "Deathwatch" Irvin Kershner Christopher Knopf October 23, 1960 (1960-10-23)
43 7 "Run, Killer, Run" Bernard McEveety Frederick Louis Fox October 30, 1960 (1960-10-30)
44 8 "The Hunted" Irvin Kershner Peggy and Lou Shaw November 6, 1960 (1960-11-06)
45 9 "The Legacy" Bernard McEveety Frank D. Gilroy November 13, 1960 (1960-11-13)
46 10 "Don Gringo" Irvin Kershner Cyril Hume November 20, 1960 (1960-11-20)
47 11 "Explosion" Irvin Kershner Frederick Louis Fox November 27, 1960 (1960-11-27)
48 12 "Vindication" Bernard McEveety Albert Aley December 4, 1960 (1960-12-04)
49 13 "The Scalp Hunter" Bernard L. Kowalski Harry Julian Fink December 11, 1960 (1960-12-11)
50 14 "Berserk" Bernard McEveety Frank Chase December 18, 1960 (1960-12-18)
51 15 "The Hope Chest" Bernard L. Kowalski Pat Fielder December 25, 1960 (1960-12-25)
52 16 "The Liberators" Bernard L. Kowalski Terrence Kilpatrick January 1, 1961 (1961-01-01)
53 17 "The Guard" Bernard McEveety Frederick Louis Fox January 8, 1961 (1961-01-08)
54 18 "The Promise" Bernard L. Kowalski Frederick Louis Fox January 15, 1961 (1961-01-15)
55 19 "Jerkwater" Bernard L. Kowalski Harry Julian Fink January 22, 1961 (1961-01-22)
56 20 "Paperback Hero" Bernard L. Kowalski Frederick Louis Fox January 29, 1961 (1961-01-29)
57 21 "The Actress" Irvin Kershner Bruce Geller February 5, 1961 (1961-02-05)
58 22 "The Threat" Irvin Kershner Christopher Knopf February 12, 1961 (1961-02-12)
59 23 "The Road to Jericho" Bernard L. Kowalski Cyril Hume February 19, 1961 (1961-02-19)
60 24 "The Last Drink" Bernard L. Kowalski Archie L. Tegland February 26, 1961 (1961-02-26)
61 25 "The Burying of Sammy Hart" Bernard McEveety Pat Fielder March 5, 1961 (1961-03-05)
62 26 "The Pit" Irvin Kershner Terrence Kilpatrick March 12, 1961 (1961-03-12)
63 27 "Shriek of Silence" Irvin Kershner Edward W. Walsh March 19, 1961 (1961-03-19)
64 28 "Two Weeks" Bernard L. Kowalski Frank Chase March 26, 1961 (1961-03-26)
65 29 "Miz Purdy" Bernard McEveety Harry Julian Fink April 2, 1961 (1961-04-02)
66 30 "The Ballad of Sammy Hart" Bernard McEveety Jack Curtis April 9, 1961 (1961-04-09)
67 31 "The Proxy" TBA Jack Laird April 16, 1961 (1961-04-16)
68 32 "Decision at Sweetwater" Bernard McEveety TBA April 23, 1961 (1961-04-23)
69 33 "Helping Hand" Irvin Kershner Archie L. Tegland April 30, 1961 (1961-04-30)
70 34 "The Uncourageous" Bernard McEveety Peter B. Germano May 7, 1961 (1961-05-07)
71 35 "Mission: Varina" Bernard L. Kowalski Margaret Armen May 14, 1961 (1961-05-14)
72 36 "The Calley Kid" Bernard L. Kowalski Sam Ross May 21, 1961 (1961-05-21)
73 37 "Ben White" Bernard L. Kowalski Christopher Knopf May 28, 1961 (1961-05-28)
74 38 "The Found" Bernard L. Kowalski Pat Fielder June 4, 1961 (1961-06-04)
75 39 "The Hostage" Bernard McEveety Frederick Louis Fox June 11, 1961 (1961-06-11)
76 40 "The Executioner" Bernard McEveety Story by : Peggy and Lou Shaw
Teleplay by : Peggy and Lou Shaw, and Archie L. Tegland
June 18, 1961 (1961-06-18)

Series highlights

Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma
John Dehner and Nick Adams

The first episode, "Johnny Yuma", is set in early 1867. It shows Johnny Yuma returning to his hometown nearly two years after the end of the war. His father, Ned Yuma, the sheriff, had been killed by a gang who took control of the town. Dan Blocker plays the gang leader. Yuma gets his father's shotgun in this episode.

The third episode, entitled "Yellow Hair", has Yuma captured by the historical Kiowa chief Satanta, played by native Mexican Rodolfo Acosta, whose fictional adopted white daughter is played by Carol Nugent, Nick Adams' wife.[citation needed]

Several place names mentioned throughout the episodes clearly place the action in post-Civil War Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Forts noted in episodes, such as Fort Griffin and Fort Concho, were actual frontier Texas outposts of the late 1860s and are now state historic sites. In a first-season episode, Yuma encounters rag-tag rebel CSA soldiers in the corrupt mining town of La Paz, Arizona. The actual town of La Paz was the seat of Yuma County between 1862 and 1870; it stood in the Confederate Arizona Territory, which existed briefly during the Civil War. Nothing remains of La Paz but crumbling foundations and a historical marker.

Singing the theme song over the titles each week, Johnny Cash also appears as a frustrated would-be rapist playing a banjo with mounting intensity as he excitedly peers through a window at his tied-up prey in the 13th episode, "The Death of Gray".

In "Vicious Circle", Yuma identifies the Confederate unit he served in as the 3rd Texas, but he does not indicate the branch of service. Other episodes show saddlebags stenciled with CSA and an old uniform jacket with yellow collar and cuffs, indicating his regiment was likely the 3rd Texas Cavalry.

Robert Blake guest stars as an extremely young gunslinger in the episode titled "He's Only a Boy".

The 25th episode, "Fair Game", gained attention at the end of 2015 because it appears to be a principal source for Quentin Tarantino's feature The Hateful Eight, including a female prisoner (Patricia Medina) and a few significant plot twists.

After the show's original run on ABC finished in June 1961, it was picked up by NBC and rerun as a summer replacement series from June to September 1962.


Adams as Yuma in 1960

The Rebel was a ratings success for ABC, commanding a 35% share of the Sunday-evening audience in its time slot, and was actually scheduled to be renewed for a third season, as part of a new hour-long series entitled The Rebel and The Yank, which would have again starred Nick Adams as the Rebel, and future The Virginian star James Drury starring as "the Yank", a former Union soldier working as a doctor in the South. Despite the show's success, ABC decided to pass on the series due to two factors, first, its violence (at a time when the network was trying to withdraw from violent programming), and second, the network's new "counterprogramming" format, in which a different type of show was scheduled against the network competition in that time slot, such as a comedy or variety show against an action-adventure show. Thus, The Rebel was cancelled, The Rebel and The Yank project never came to fruition, and the series was replaced by a new variety show starring Steve Allen. This program was not a success, lasting less than four months.[4]

Theme song

The show's theme song, "The Rebel" alias "The Ballad of Johnny Yuma", was composed by Richard Markowitz, with lyrics by Andrew J. Fenady. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[5] It was recorded by Johnny Cash, but it was not released as a single until April 1961, shortly before the show went off the air. Nick Adams recorded the theme, which was released on Mercury Records (#71607) by March 1960. During syndication, the theme song was replaced by the DeWolfe Music Library instrumental track "Dodge City No. 1" by Jack Trombey.

Popular culture

Two episodes of the sitcom Seinfeld referenced the first line of The Rebel theme song. In the episode "The Heart Attack", Jerry retorts to Kramer that Johnny Yuma is a Rebel. The Rebel was also a 1966 Allan Sherman song from the album Allan Sherman Live!; and later, in 1994, it was applied to the compilation album My Son, the Greatest.


Comic Book

At the time, Dell Comics (or Dell Publishing Co.) issued only four stories that were based on The Rebel[6] in their Four Color Comics anthology series, Issue #1076 and Issue #1138, released in 1960 and Issue #1207 and Issue #1262, released in 1961.

Home Media

On August 18, 2015, Timeless Media Group released The Rebel- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[7] The 11-disc set contained all 76 episodes of the series as well as bonus features.


  1. ^ "The Rebel Closing...WHOOSH Globe". YouTube: Credits Archive. 7 September 2014.
  2. ^ "The Rebel...Johnny Yuma Meets Pace". YouTube: Shout! Factory. 5 August 2015.
  3. ^ Mike Fitzgerald. "Olive Sturgess". Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  6. ^ The Rebel Info (Dell Publishing Co.) -
  7. ^ " - Goodbye". Archived from the original on May 10, 2015.

External links

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