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the swamp fox

The Swamp Fox (TV series)

The Swamp Fox was a television series produced by Walt Disney and starring Leslie Nielsen. Nielsen played the role of American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion.

The series encompassed eight episodes, running as part of the Disney anthology television series. Episodes were presented on Sundays on ABC from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The theme song ("Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, tail on his hat... nobody knows where the Swamp Fox at...") was sung by Nielsen as well. One of the Swamp Fox’s adversaries was John Sutton portraying Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Patrick Macnee played a British captain. Tim Considine played Marion's nephew Gabe Marion and Slim Pickens played Plunkett, two of the Swamp Fox's men.

Disney may have hoped for a commercial success on a par with Davy Crockett, but this was not to be. It didn't help when the series was banned in Canada (despite the presence of the Canadian-born Nielsen in the title role). The ban followed a debate in the House of Commons. The portrayal of the British and Tories was considered too villainous. Nielsen's brother Erik Nielsen was a Member of Parliament at the time, and according to Leslie, Erik spearheaded the ban.

The Disney Channel reran Swamp Fox episodes in the 1980s and 1990s. The first three episodes of the series were also released in 2005 on DVD (in a set including three episodes of The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca).

Episode # Title Original Airdate
1 The Birth of the Swamp Fox October 23, 1959
2 Brother Against Brother October 30, 1959
3 Tory Vengeance January 1, 1960
4 Day of Reckoning January 8, 1960
5 Redcoat Strategy January 15, 1960
6 A Case of Treason January 22, 1960
7 A Woman's Courage January 8, 1961
8 Horses for Greene January 15, 1961

References

  • Swamp Fox by Steve Burns

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