February 6, 2010

Bill Burrud Treasure - The Saga of Soapy Smith

(Click image to enlarge)
Treasure with Bill Burrud
50th Anniversary Special Vol 3 (1958)

I vaguely remember the hoopla in our household in 1964 when the TV Guide showed that Bill Burrud's Treasure was showing the Saga of Soapy Smith. In '64 I was only six-years-old and I don't remember actually watching the show but I do remember knowing that my father was very excited about it. He saved the TV Guide which I preserved as a part of the Soapy Smith collection.

In the early 1990s I found Burrud Productions on-line and they were kind enough to send me a VHS copy of the Saga of Soapy Smith. They admitted it was not a professional copy, and it wasn't, but to me it was gold on a silver platter! Over the years I must have watched it hundreds of times.

Minus the common historical mistakes the episode is a well-done and very fun portrayal of Soapy's rise to power in Skagway, Alaska that leads through his death. The question arises as to where Soapy's wealth went after his death. It is hard to fathom that Soapy died broke at the height of power as reported in history. His widow claimed he was worth millions.

A couple of years ago the DVD collection for the 50th Anniversary Special of Treasure was released and Volume 3 contains the Saga of Soapy Smith. I purchased the DVD and was finally able to see a great copy of the Soapy Smith episode. This DVD is most worthy of any Soapy Smith collection!

Volume 3 also contains five other classic reality treasure tales from the popular 1958 TV Series. Episodes include "Saga of Soapy Smith", "Shipwreck of the Dry Tortugas", "Treasure of Ulloa", "Aztec Gold" "Death on the Wilderness Trail" and "The Legend of Luis Candelas." All six of these half-hour shows were photographed in full color and are part of the original 30 episodes produced for television (150 minutes total).

I purchased my copy from Amazon.com for $14.95. If Amazon happens to be out I noticed other places had it when I Googled the name.


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