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"The Rifleman"
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"The Rifleman" (1958) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1958-1963

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Release Date:
30 September 1958 (USA) See more »
The adventures of a Wild West rancher who wields a customized rapid fire Winchester rifle. Full summary »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination See more »
(58 articles)
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John Ostrander: Walking Tall On the Small Screen
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User Reviews:
Black and white TV at its visual finest See more (38 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 4 of 209)

Chuck Connors ... Lucas McCain / ... (168 episodes, 1958-1963)

Johnny Crawford ... Mark McCain (168 episodes, 1958-1963)

Paul Fix ... Marshal Micah Torrance / ... (151 episodes, 1958-1963)
Archie Butler ... Townsman / ... (85 episodes, 1958-1963)

Series Directed by
Joseph H. Lewis (51 episodes, 1958-1963)
Arnold Laven (22 episodes, 1958-1963)
Arthur H. Nadel (9 episodes, 1962-1963)
Gene Nelson (8 episodes, 1961-1962)
Don Medford (7 episodes, 1959-1960)
Richard Donner (7 episodes, 1962)
Lewis Allen (5 episodes, 1959-1960)
Lawrence Dobkin (5 episodes, 1962)
Arthur Hiller (4 episodes, 1958-1960)
Jerry Hopper (4 episodes, 1958-1959)
Sam Peckinpah (4 episodes, 1958-1959)
Paul Landres (4 episodes, 1959-1961)
Don Taylor (4 episodes, 1959-1961)
Ted Post (4 episodes, 1959-1960)
William F. Claxton (4 episodes, 1960-1962)
Lamont Johnson (2 episodes, 1959-1961)
James Neilson (2 episodes, 1959)
James Clavell (2 episodes, 1960-1961)
Dick Moder (2 episodes, 1960)
John Rich (2 episodes, 1960)
Paul Wendkos (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
Series Writing credits
Arthur Browne Jr. (35 episodes, 1959-1963)
Calvin Clements Sr. (14 episodes, 1960-1963)
Cyril Hume (9 episodes, 1958-1963)
Palmer Thompson (7 episodes, 1958-1961)
Pat Fielder (7 episodes, 1959-1962)
Sam Peckinpah (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
Philip Saltzman (6 episodes, 1959-1962)
Herbert Little Jr. (5 episodes, 1958-1960)
David Victor (5 episodes, 1958-1960)
Jack Curtis (5 episodes, 1959-1961)
Harry Kronman (5 episodes, 1959-1961)
Margaret Armen (5 episodes, 1960-1963)
Jay Simms (5 episodes, 1960-1963)
Ed Adamson (5 episodes, 1961-1963)
Ken Kolb (4 episodes, 1958-1960)
Chuck Connors (4 episodes, 1959-1961)
Albert Aley (3 episodes, 1959-1960)
George W. George (3 episodes, 1959)
Judy George (3 episodes, 1959)
David Lang (3 episodes, 1959)
Bruce Geller (2 episodes, 1958-1959)
Barney Slater (2 episodes, 1958-1959)
William F. Leicester (2 episodes, 1959-1960)
Teddi Sherman (2 episodes, 1959-1960)
Ward Wood (2 episodes, 1959-1960)
Thomas Thompson (2 episodes, 1960-1963)
Lawrence Dobkin (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
Herman Groves (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
Robert Lewin (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
Robert Culp (2 episodes, 1962)
David P. Harmon (2 episodes, 1962)
Lois Myers (2 episodes, 1962)

Series Produced by
Arthur Gardner .... producer (166 episodes, 1958-1963)
Jules V. Levy .... producer (166 episodes, 1958-1963)
Arnold Laven .... producer (124 episodes, 1959-1963)
Arthur H. Nadel .... associate producer / producer (70 episodes, 1959-1961)
Series Original Music by
Herschel Burke Gilbert (158 episodes, 1958-1963)
Series Cinematography by
Howard Schwartz (111 episodes, 1959-1963)
George E. Diskant (35 episodes, 1958-1963)
Charles Burke (8 episodes, 1959-1963)
Guy Roe (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Carl E. Guthrie (2 episodes, 1960-1962)
Fred G. Carson (2 episodes, 1961)
Series Film Editing by
Marsh Hendry (24 episodes, 1960-1963)
Frank Sullivan (19 episodes, 1959-1962)
Norman Colbert (17 episodes, 1961-1963)
Lester Orlebeck (14 episodes, 1958-1960)
Lyle Boyer (13 episodes, 1959-1963)
Samuel E. Beetley (11 episodes, 1958-1960)
Arthur Hilton (9 episodes, 1958-1963)
Desmond Marquette (9 episodes, 1958-1963)
Sherman Todd (8 episodes, 1959-1960)
Sherman A. Rose (6 episodes, 1960-1962)
Robert Leo (4 episodes, 1962)
Chandler House (3 episodes, 1959-1963)
Fred MacDowell (3 episodes, 1959-1960)
Jerry Young (3 episodes, 1959-1960)
Ellsworth Hoagland (3 episodes, 1959)
Richard V. Heermance (3 episodes, 1961-1962)
Thomas Neff (3 episodes, 1962-1963)
Folmar Blangsted (2 episodes, 1959)
Milton Shifman (2 episodes, 1960)
Anthony Wollner (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
Richard L. Van Enger (2 episodes, 1961)
Stanley E. Johnson (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
Series Casting by
Phil Benjamin (74 episodes, 1960-1963)
Marjory McKay (58 episodes, 1958-1960)
Betty Martin (35 episodes, 1961-1963)
Series Art Direction by
Bill Ross (168 episodes, 1958-1963)
Gibson Holley (61 episodes, 1959-1961)
Jan Van Tamelen (21 episodes, 1959-1963)
George Renne (7 episodes, 1961-1962)
Frank T. Smith (6 episodes, 1958-1961)
Series Set Decoration by
Budd Friend (37 episodes, 1958-1959)
Carl Biddiscombe (33 episodes, 1959-1960)
Anthony D. Nealis (28 episodes, 1961-1963)
Glen Daniels (22 episodes, 1960-1961)
James Roach (19 episodes, 1962-1963)
Patrick Delany (11 episodes, 1959-1960)
Frank Wade (8 episodes, 1960-1963)
Donald E. Webb (7 episodes, 1961-1962)
Robert C. Bradfield (4 episodes, 1959)
John Burton (3 episodes, 1960-1961)
Chester Bayhi (2 episodes, 1959)
Series Makeup Department
Webster C. Phillips .... makeup artist (85 episodes, 1959-1963)
Jay Sebring .... hair stylist: Chuck Connors (48 episodes, 1958-1963)
Karl Herlinger .... makeup artist (31 episodes, 1958-1961)
Sidney Perell .... makeup artist (23 episodes, 1958-1963)
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (8 episodes, 1958-1962)
Carlie Taylor .... makeup artist (6 episodes, 1959-1961)
Paul Malcolm .... makeup artist (4 episodes, 1960-1962)
Burris Grimwood .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1961-1963)
John Sylvester .... makeup artist (2 episodes, 1959)
Series Production Management
Jack Sonntag .... production supervisor / production manager (146 episodes, 1959-1963)
Bruce Fowler Jr. .... production manager / unit manager (128 episodes, 1959-1963)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marty Moss .... assistant director (71 episodes, 1959-1963)
Jack Sonntag .... assistant director (18 episodes, 1958-1959)
Norman S. Powell .... assistant director (17 episodes, 1959)
Mike Salamunovich .... assistant director (9 episodes, 1959-1961)
Don Torpin .... assistant director (9 episodes, 1960-1962)
Lloyd Allen .... assistant director (7 episodes, 1960-1963)
Edward O. Denault .... assistant director (6 episodes, 1960)
Read Killgore .... assistant director (5 episodes, 1960-1961)
Nathan Barragar .... assistant director (5 episodes, 1961-1962)
Cy Brooskin .... assistant director (4 episodes, 1960-1963)
Ray Taylor Jr. .... assistant director (3 episodes, 1961)
Barry Crane .... assistant director (2 episodes, 1959)
Howard Joslin .... assistant director (2 episodes, 1959)
Bob White .... assistant director (2 episodes, 1961)
Series Sound Department
Denzil L. Daniels .... sound (74 episodes, 1960-1963)
Kay Rose .... sound effects / sound effects editor (69 episodes, 1959-1963)
Clarence Peterson .... sound (38 episodes, 1959-1963)
Norval D. Crutcher .... sound effects / supervising sound editor / ... (32 episodes, 1958-1963)
Milton C. Burrow .... sound effects / sound effects editor (31 episodes, 1960-1961)
Mandine Rogne .... sound effects / sound effects editor (24 episodes, 1962-1963)
Eugene Grossman .... sound (16 episodes, 1959)
Tommy Thompson .... sound (8 episodes, 1960-1963)
Don McKay .... sound (4 episodes, 1959)
Stephen Bass .... sound (4 episodes, 1960-1962)
Woodruff H. Clarke .... sound (4 episodes, 1961-1963)
Don Rush .... sound (3 episodes, 1959)
Series Stunts
Jesse Wayne .... stunt double: Johnny Crawford (23 episodes, 1958-1959)
Carol Daniels .... stunt double: Joan Taylor (18 episodes, 1960-1962)
Bobby Somers .... stunts (13 episodes, 1958-1959)
Fritz Ford .... stunt double / stunt double: Chuck Connors (6 episodes, 1958-1961)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (2 episodes, 1958)
Whitey Hughes .... stunt double / stunt double: Max Wagner (2 episodes, 1959)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert B. Harris .... wardrobe / costume supervisor (166 episodes, 1958-1963)
Series Editorial Department
Bernard W. Burton .... editorial supervisor (168 episodes, 1958-1963)
Series Music Department
Al Friede .... music editor (91 episodes, 1959-1961)
Harry King .... music editor (58 episodes, 1961-1963)
Herschel Burke Gilbert .... composer: theme music (11 episodes, 1959-1960)
Earle Dearth .... music editor (7 episodes, 1958-1959)
Series Other crew
Marian Carpenter .... assistant to producer / assistant to producers / ... (159 episodes, 1958-1963)
Frank Baur .... production executive (40 episodes, 1958-1959)
Archie Butler .... stand-in: Paul Fix (5 episodes, 1958)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min (168 episodes)
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

The name of the hotel/restraunt in town was the "Madera House".See more »
Anachronisms: Lucas McCain's rifle is a modified 1892 .44-40 Winchester, even though the series clearly establishes itself in the 1880s.See more »
[repeated line]
Mark McCain:Pa!
See more »
Movie Connections:


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39 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Black and white TV at its visual finest, 31 May 2002
Author: P.M. Reilich from Los Angeles

I don't know why they used a colorized photo to represent The Rifleman show on the video cover. If the video is colorized, that would be a good reason to not buy it. And I'm not particularly against colorized reprints. It's just that this show truly shined in its B&W mode.

As was demonstrated by Frankenheimer's The Train, a few cinematographers and directors reached a peak of artistic visual clarity during the late 50s-early 60s. This TV show was a good example of that artisanship. Such quality continues to be rare in TV production. You could say it's because TV production has always been a low-funded affair, but such fine art doesn't cost any more than the expensive stuff. What it takes is a highly talented cinematographer and director. That's the rarity, in both films and TV.

Viewers were certainly not jaded back then, nonetheless when a show aired on TV that was clearly well produced, in terms of b&w visual clarity, you can bet we uneducated viewers noticed it, if we weren't yet aware of why we were noticing it. The Rifleman was that kind of show. The screen of our old Zenith b&w console, not a high tech unit by any means, really lit up when this show came on. Like a musician who can take a shabby instrument and make it sing, this quality of production could somehow make our crummy old TV look better than it was worth. A real value, for free and on the air.

The opening sequence to every episode was exciting enough to suck any of us into the TV screen, with the camera dollying backwards in sinc with Connors moving forward repeatedly shooting/cocking his modified, cut-down rifle. No music yet. Nothing but bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam… `The Rifleman' the seriously over-concerned voice-over would announce. We were hooked, and the western styled orchestral music would begin to play.

What is most striking as I vividly remember this shot now almost 40 years later, is the utter smoothness of Connor's walk and steady gaze as he moved forward step by slow step. I realize it is the exact same style of strong, silent type walk which Clint Eastwood was making a trademark. Funny to think that Connors, not a highly respected actor in circles, was doing this bit just as well as Eastwood did so many times later. Hey, if it works, work it. They had similar body types, and their plain, button-down western shirts fit in the same way. These were not the heavily muscled heroes today's boys are led to appreciate. They were tall, sinewy men, and it leant their characters a certain degree of intelligence along with the brawn.

Westerns were such a solid part of Hollywood movie studios' profit revenue, that's why artistic license was allowed the directors of these independently produced film/TV productions. Leave It to Beaver, believe it or not, was another great example of intelligent writing allowed into a stagnant arena of suburban styled family serials. Just check out the difference between Beaver and Dobie Gillis, as compared to Ozzie and Harriet and Gilligan's Island. The latter were undeniably stupid, one dimensional shows, while the former brought intelligent satire into play.

As I look back, a fatherless child at the time, Connors' brave good guy/bad guy characters really worked on me. This was where I managed to develop a diverse sense of humanity, because the directors and writers were allowed to make these characters and their stories somewhat multi-dimensional. The 60s was a great time, in terms of expanding a very innocent TV audience's view of the world outside our sheltered lives (there was never anything closely resembling CNN or Howard Stern, of course).

Two years after The Rifleman finished running there started a new Chuck Connors cowboy series called Branded. Where The Rifleman was certainly the most violently provocative show on TV, Branded was even more sadistic. As kids we ate it all up. In what is now understood to be a sort of Peckinpah tradition of graphic violence, these shows were the directors' training grounds for such sadistic style. They were really pushing the envelope of censorship. My mom used to get upset when we watched these shows.

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