CADE'S COUNTY starred Glenn Ford as Sam Cade, Sheriff of fictional Cade’s County in the Southwest. That was the name of the short-lived TV series in 1971 starring Ford. The state was never named.
SAM CADE is the first Featurization created from episodes of the cancelled series CADE’S COUNTY. This movie version has the same cool opening sequence with Ford barreling across the desert in a four-wheel drive jeep. Edgar Buchanan was Ford’s deputy and sidekick. The two met while making the 1941 feature, TEXAS, and worked together often, including in Columbia Pictures big budgeted western, THE DESPERADOS, with Randolph Scott and Claire Trevor, the studios first Technicolor feature.
Ford had been one of the biggest movie stars in the 1940’s and 1950s in a successful mix of westerns (3:10 TO YUMA, COWBOY, JUBAL) and Noir (GILDA, THE BIG HEAT). In 1970, Ford decided it was time to move to the small screen like so many of his contemporaries had done. Barbara Stanwyck had THE BIG VALLEY, Leif Ericson had HIGH CHAPPARAL, John Payne had been THE RESTLESS GUN, even Henry Fonda had THE DEPUTY for two seasons. In fact, one of Ford’s best feature films had been with Fonda, THE ROUNDERS.
Though short lived, CADE’S COUNTY always featured top guest stars. SAM CADE is no exception. Besides Ford and Buchanan, there’s Darren McGavin, Ed Asner, Shelley Fabares, H.M. Wynant, Loretta Switt, Felice Orlandi, Myron Healey and Ford’s son, Peter. Peter’s mother is MGM star Eleanor Powell The biography of his Father that Peter wrote is filled with interesting Hollywood stories.
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