John Cannon

The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in the 1870s. Check out another western by David Dortort.
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John Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:14 pm

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John Cannon (played by Leif Erickson) has been described as serious and somber, with a personality which would surrender to no one. He knew who he was, what he wanted and where he was going in life. He was an intimidating figure, with a large, strong build and a forceful brow. He had high ideals, and unlike many of his generation, he felt that a great country could be built only upon the backs of men and women of all races who were willing to achieve this greatness together. He had a dream of making this idealism come to life in Arizona.

But although Big John was a man of great vision and thought, a man who seemed impervious to any destructive forces from the outside, his most difficult struggles were fought on the inside, often threatening to overwhelm him. John had difficulty understanding the emotions of himself or anyone else close to him. Those who did not really know him felt he was a hard and unfeeling man.

John Cannon would never find total harmony within his own nature, but the combination of his love for his family and his convictions for the future made him the ideal man to found a dynasty. If one man could help to bring peace to a desert bloodied by constant strife between the white man, the Apache, and the Mexicans, it was John Cannon.

Big John Cannon was the boss, and while he ruled his ranch with authority, he also had compassion, loyalty, and affection (however awkwardly expressed) for the people around him. While his family and crew often grumbled about his gruff nature, they depended on his leadership to weather the elements and carve out a working cattle empire in the desert.


~ (Thanks in part to Brenda Meskunas for this description)


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Re: John Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:15 pm

What was your opinion of John Cannon? What are your thoughts about his relationships with other characters on the show? How would you compare him with Ben Cartwright?

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Re: John Cannon

Post by patina » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:49 pm

Big John was devoted to his son, Blue, and young wife, Victoria, even though he had trouble telling or showing them. While Ben would drape an arm around a son's shoulder or hug Joe to him, John rarely showed any physical affection to Blue. While Ben praised his sons, John criticized his only son much of the time. Blue was very sensitive to his father's criticism and tended to think his father was disappointed with him when his father was actually very proud of him.

Both Ben and John had a voice to be reckoned with when they were angry. There was no mistaking that tone! And no one, friend or family, wanted to be on the receiving end of that vocal anger.

Maybe a large part of the difference we see between Ben and John is where they were in establishing their empires. Ben had followed his dream, fought his battles, had three wives die, established one of the most successful ranches in the territory, and raised his sons mostly by himself. John was trying to establish his empire, had had his wife at his side when he started his ranch only to see her die, had had that wife help him raise their son to late teens, and was now faced with having a wife more than half his age younger forced upon him if he wanted to have the land for his empire.

Victoria brought out John's sensitive side and he slowly became more physically affectionate towards her as he got to know her and accepted her as his wife and helpmate instead of as a business arrangement.
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Re: John Cannon

Post by barb » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:17 pm

John Cannon realized life was hard, especially trying to establish his ranch. He was a man who found it difficult to express feelings. I think his rough exterior was a defense mechanism, and he was afraid to show any sign of weakness.

Like Ben, he was a man of vision, determination, and strong character.

Ben's nature was to be more open, caring, and compassionate not only with his family, but with people in general. I really think John felt showing his feelings would be taken as a sign of weakness.

Both men were strong, forceful men, who commanded respect, but with a different approach.


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Re: John Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:35 pm

patina wrote: Both Ben and John had a voice to be reckoned with when they were angry. There was no mistaking that tone! And no one, friend or family, wanted to be on the receiving end of that vocal anger.
That's a good point, patina, about their voices; both men could sound very intimidating!! :hide

Victoria brought out John's sensitive side and he slowly became more physically affectionate towards her as he got to know her and accepted her as his wife and helpmate instead of as a business arrangement.
It was so nice to see Victoria soften John up; eventually he was putty in her hands! But they did go through a lot to get to that point!! :yes

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Re: John Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:41 pm

patina wrote: While Ben praised his sons, John criticized his only son much of the time. Blue was very sensitive to his father's criticism and tended to think his father was disappointed with him when his father was actually very proud of him.
barb wrote:John Cannon realized life was hard, especially trying to establish his ranch. He was a man who found it difficult to express feelings. I think his rough exterior was a defense mechanism, and he was afraid to show any sign of weakness.
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I think John was fearful that Blue was too sensitive (thus, too weak in John's mind) to make it in a tough land, and that's why he was so hard on the boy. Blue's mother had spoiled him, and John was trying to toughen him up, but Blue didn't understand that. :no

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