This show was unique because it was the only Western anthology on TV at the time. Anthologies were popular on early TV and were the equivalent of today's TV movies. Because of this format, it attracted many stars who wanted to appear on it. See more »
Episode 21 of Season 2, The Sharpshooter is The Rifleman
Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford are Lucas and Mark McCain is this excellent half hour western. It was so good they decided to make it a series. Thus "The Rifleman" was born.
This was far better than any subsequent episode of The Rifleman series, which was a bit too "nice" to be realistic.
I cannot recall if McCain's rifle in this Zane Grey episode had the nifty fast-action features of the series' rifle.
I am surprised that there are no other comments on this generally very good western anthology series on TV. It was certainly a popular feature on Friday nights about 60 years ago.
I believe the host, Dick Powell, left the series to host his own hour long Dick Powell Theater on Tuesday nights. This series of individual one hour dramas basically lasted until Powell's death. All of these shows should be issued on DVD while those of us who liked and would buy them are still alive.
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