Billy Blue 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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Billy Blue Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:38 pm

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Life is not easy for the only son of one of the largest cattle ranching families in 1870s Arizona Territory. William "Billy Blue" Cannon, also known affectionately as "Blue Boy", has had a difficult time living up to the exacting standards set by his father, "Big John." After losing his beloved mother, Annalee, in an Apache raid shortly after moving to Arizona, Blue finds himself constantly at odds with his father, while trying desperately to prove himself the man he knows he can be. While he loves his father deeply, he has a difficult time relating to a man who seems like he is carved from granite and only able to offer criticism for Blue's every action.

Big John Cannon has a difficult time understanding his son, having forgotten what it's like to be a young man out to prove himself. And therein lies the generation gap and the inability for each to view the other without preconceived standards. He expects Blue to defer to his wishes the same way ranch hands follow his orders. What John doesn't realize is that Blue has inherited more from him than just his name. Blue is very much his father's son: stubborn, independent and proud. And neither is capable of seeing life through each other's eyes or a way to communicate to each other, even in the most desperate of emotional times.

From Annalee, a kind and gentle woman, Blue had inherited gentleness of spirit. He grew up to be a very sensitive and caring young man. Annalee also encouraged Blue's natural artistic ability ~ a talent for drawing, something his father viewed as just plain foolishness.

Blue not only inherited strongly from his mother's personality, he inherited her physical characteristics as well. Unlike his father who stands well over six feet tall, Blue is much smaller in stature, with Annalee's blond hair and startlingly blue eyes.

While Blue is often in conflict with his father, he has a very close and loving relationship with his uncle, Buck Cannon. Buck is always looking out for Blue and helping to guide him in making the correct decisions in life. After the death of his mother, Blue finds himself looking to his uncle for the love, attention, and approval he fails to get from his father.

It almost seems like Blue has two personalities: one that he reserves for his father, and one that he uses for everyone else. With his father, Blue alternates between open defiance and being afraid to express an opinion, cowering and sulking in deference to his father's whims. But with everyone else, Blue is out-going, fun-loving, talkative, and able to express opinions his father has never heard.

While Blue struggles to overcome the death of his mother, he resists the sudden arrival of Victoria, the beautiful young Montoya who has married his father to, presumably, seal a "gentleman's agreement" between the two strongest forces in their lives. Victoria has allowed herself to be entrusted to the care and protection of a man whom she longs to tame. Blue desperately tries not to accept Victoria, yet his affectionate heart cannot long withstand Victoria's endearing deference to him. Quite without realizing it, he has come to depend on her strength and has found an ally in this woman who can stand up to his father.

Blue's wide-eyed innocence, coupled with his noble, trusting nature make him well liked and respected by the other ranch hands. While his easy ability to trust strangers often puts Blue in precarious situations, his affable nature is quick to win over even the most sage ranch hands who rally to his aid. Blue's heroics are merely "business as usual" for him. Time and again, it's Blue who extends help to those in need. "Picking up strays," as his uncle calls it.

Whether he's saving an Apache brave from Mexican scalp hunters, rescuing a white woman captured by the Apache, aiding a Cavalry deserter or helping a wounded bandido, Blue can't turn his back on someone in need. Blue is well on his way to finding his place in the rowdy, untamed Arizona desert he now calls home.


- (Thanks in part to Pat and Rusty for this description)


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What do you think of Blue, and what do you think of his relationships with his family members?

Who would you compare him to on Bonanza, and what are the comparisons?



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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by patina » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:30 pm

Blue seems to be a composite of Adam, Hoss, and Joe. Like Adam, he develops a relationship built on trust and love with a step-mother and he enjoys artistic pursuits. Like Hoss, he brings home people he barely knows that that could be considered "strays" and he's very trusting of people who then use him for their own purposes. And like Joe, Blue wants to prove to his family that he can accomplish something on his own and, like Joe, he loves a good time (especially in a cantina or saloon).

Blue has a healthy dose of stubborness like the Cartwright boys and, like them, he's a sucker for a hard-luck story. Also like the Cartwright boys, he bears more of a physical resemblance to his mother than his father.
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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by barb » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:10 am

:clap Good thoughts, Patina. You really can see aspects fo all the Cartwright boys in Blue Boy. I wonder if Mr Dortort's intention was to create a character that was a mixture of the Cartwrights personalities.

Interesting, Pine :yes


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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:27 pm

I agree with both of you, patina and barb, about Blue probably being a mixture of the Cartwrights. The only thing I think that was different was that he seemed more immature than Joe, but of course he had his mother with him for a longer time and she apparently coddled him.

Blue and Joe could both cry realistically!

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by pony » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:10 pm

I never saw 'High Chaparral' so I don't know anything about this character other than what I've just read, but I do have the double LP "Music from Bonanza and The High Chaparral." I've always thought the melody called "Blue's Theme" is sweet, with an undercurrent of unrest, and now I know why. :yes

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:25 pm

pony wrote:I never saw 'High Chaparral' so I don't know anything about this character other than what I've just read, but I do have the double LP "Music from Bonanza and The High Chaparral." I've always thought the melody called "Blue's Theme" is sweet, with an undercurrent of unrest, and now I know why. :yes
I have that LP too, pony! I'm glad you like "Blue's Theme" and understand it better now, and I hope you get to see this series someday, either on TV or DVD!

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by MayRoberts » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:54 pm

I started watching The High Chaparral just two days ago. I saw an episode in wich Blue tries to prove he's not a boy anymore, but everybody treats him like a boy. He wants to prove himself he can defeat an expert gunman. His father suggested he should go home, but he goes back to confront the gunman. He's brave and cute also. Beautiful blue eyes!! :thud
And today, I saw this episode in which Manolito falls in love with a beautiful girl and I think they were about to get married, but she was killed. That's so sad when Manolito keeps holding her after she died, and Big John says: leave him alone. That reminded me of another TV show... what could it be? I have the name on the tip of my tongue :grin
Anyway, I enjoyed The High Chaparral, and I think I'll watch it everyday.

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:40 pm

May, I think you are very fortunate to be seeing The High Chaparral on a regular basis, and I'm glad you are liking it! :cactussmilie I remember the two episodes you are talking about, and they were very good!

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by MayRoberts » Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:26 am

A Ponderosa Pine wrote:May, I think you are very fortunate to be seeing The High Chaparral on a regular basis, and I'm glad you are liking it! :cactussmilie I remember the two episodes you are talking about, and they were very good!

Pine :pine
Thanks, Pine. Maybe your cable company has this channel: TCM. The High Chaparral is on every day,as well as other classic series like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Wonder Woman. Actually, this morning I could see Lorne Greene In Battlestar Galactica. It's fun to see him in another role other than Ben Cartwright. I could also see a very young Jane Seymour. Oh! I love the classics!!!!

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Re: Billy Blue Cannon

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:35 pm

I do get that channel, May, but the schedule is different in the U.S. Thanks anyway, though!

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