Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Bonanza – For Adults Only!

Posted July 17, 2010 by jim young in Media

– jim young

What could more representative of good family morals in the 1960s than Bonanza?

Although technically a western, “Bonanza was the first series that was week-to-week about a family and the troubles it went through” and it “attempted to confront contemporary social issues.” (Wikipedia)

If you remember the days when a typical weekend was brought to a happy conclusion with a Sunday family dinner followed by Ed Sullivan and Bonanza, you will likely have fond recollections of sharing some good wholesome entertainment that was enjoyed by the entire family – young and old alike.

(Of course you should just gloss over the fact that for the first few years of Bonanza I was banished to my bedroom to enjoy only the “audio” portion that I could hear from my bed as Bonanza was on past my bed time.)

But I digress.

In today’s politically correct world I’m sure they could find a lot of flaws with Bonanza, although there’s no point in raising our blood pressure over that issue again.

But here’s a clip that somehow slipped by the censors of the 60s that I’m sure would have prevented this episode from being aired had it been noticed.

In this scene from “The Last Viking” Hoss (Dan Blocker) is confronting his Uncle Gunnar (Hoss’s mother’s brother played by Neville Brand) who has just killed Little Joe (Michael Landon).

Hoss is also trying to protect Carrie (Sonya Wilde) whom Little Joe had rescued from the vicious outlaw band, the Commancheros led by Uncle Gunnar.

Aside Note: Little Joe was “sweet” on Carrie. That’s how they described it in the old days. Today you would say “Little Joe was horny for Carrie.”

Hoss lectures Uncle Gunnar and then tells Uncle Gunnar he’s going to kill him to avenge Little Joe’s death.

While still talking and just before he lunges for Uncle Gunnar, Hoss reaches back to cop a feel of Carrie’s breast.

“No Hoss! No,” Carrie cries out, although it’s not clear whether she is protesting Hoss’s grabbing her tit or if she is trying to stop Hoss from killing Uncle Gunnar.

You have to wonder if perhaps the tit grab was accidental during filming since Sonya was standing behind Dan Blocker. But if so – why did the script call for Dan Blocker to reach back in the first place and why didn’t they reshoot the scene?

Maybe Dan Blocker was just playing a joke on Sonya Wilde, expecting the scene to become a blooper and since Sonya didn’t react adversely they decided to leave the scene as it was.

Or maybe the storyline called for Hoss to have one last chance to feel a woman’s tit just in case his Uncle Gunnar killed him too. After all, Uncle Gunnar did get the best of Hoss in the opening scene.

I assure you there was no trick photography used in this clip. It’s exactly as it appeared on the DVD we have of Bonanza. I was just as shocked as I’m sure you will be when I saw it, at which point I paused the movie and said to my wife, “Did you see that? Or was it just me?”

Take a look and let’s hear your thoughts. Remember this particular episode was shot in 1960.

Spoiler Alert!: Little Joe didn’t really die – he was just wounded. And it wasn’t even Uncle Gunnar that shot him. But I won’t tell you what happened to Uncle Gunnar.


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