John Ford was already beginning his decline (see, for example, his "The Horse Soldiers") but he still had an eye for a good story.
And he knew how to assemble a top-notch cast.
According to show biz legend, John Wayne was asked to be Marshal Matt Dillon but he declined and recommended James Arness. The Duke made a few appearances on shows such as the abysmal Joey Bishop and even "Laugh In," as well as the famous bit on "I Love Lucy." But this was his first and, I think, only dramatic role.
His frequent co-star, and eventual TV mega-star, Ward Bond, and another frequent co-star, the beautiful and very talented Vera Miles, and his frequent co-star and son, Patrick, all appeared in "Rookie," as well as that wonderful veteran, James Gleason.
Them were the good ol' days, the true Golden Age of Television, and if this entry in "Screen Directors Playhouse," or, really, any of the entries, comes around again, most likely on Turner Classic Movies, be sure to watch. This is classic.
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