Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: McCloud

McCloud (played by Dennis Weaver)  was a Glen A. Larson’s production and was seen by many as his attempt at Coogan’s Bluff which starred Clint Eastwood. Like Coogan’s Bluff, McCloud galloped the length and breadth of Manhattan (he was joined by a mounted unit in “The 42nd Street Cavalry”), and the sight of McCloud on horseback riding down the middle of a busy street (taken from an early episode) became one of the series’ most famous images.

McCloud’s attire, typically consisting of a sheepskin coat or Western jacket, bolo tie and cowboy hat, allowed for implied comic relief in many encounters with New Yorkers. He would often allay suspicion of his motives by insisting he was in New York “to observe and learn”. McCloud was a Deputy Marshal operating out of the US Marshal’s office in Taos. Under his jacket or coat, he usually wore a khaki uniform shirt with a brown star-shaped uniform patch with gold trim on left sleeve. There was a yellow circle in the center with the number 33. He wore two collar pins one was “NM” and the other was “33”. McCloud carried a blued .45 Colt SAA with a 4¾” barrel.

The signature of McCloud’s character was his Western unflappability and seeming inability to recognize an insult, especially from Clifford, whose jibes he never would take personally. Weaver’s grin and drawling twang represented McCloud as the embodiment of the American law officer who always sees the good in people but knows the real stakes and spares no pain to catch the bad guy.

 In 1989, Weaver reprised the role in a made-for-television movie, The Return of Sam McCloud, in which his character was now a United States Senator. It first aired on November 12, 1989. Diana Muldaur returned to reprise her role as McCloud’s love interest, Chris Coughlin.

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