A lovely lady hires Hannibal to help her find her husband who joined the Devil's Hole Gang to escape an errant murder change. At least that's her story, or rather one of her stories. Her ... See full summary »



(created by), (teleplay) (as Knut Swenson) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Big Jim Santana
Clara Phillips
Lobo (as William McKinney)
Jon Lormer ...
2nd Desk Clerk
Booth Colman ...
Charlie Briggs ...
Red Mattson
1st Desk Clerk


A lovely lady hires Hannibal to help her find her husband who joined the Devil's Hole Gang to escape an errant murder change. At least that's her story, or rather one of her stories. Her supposed husband has a different story. Their relationship turns out to be not so loving and bullets fly, quite literally. Written by David Foss

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Release Date:

25 February 1971 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hannibal Heyes: Don't worry, outlaws never shoot ladies.
Clara Phillips: You mean they have a code of honor?
Hannibal Heyes: No, they have a shortage of ladies.
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User Reviews

Another Fine Episode of "Alias Smith & Jones"
28 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry act like evangelists of the straight and narrow lifestyle in director Bruce Kessler's "Return to Devil's Hole," in a splendid example of their social capitalist's strategy of networking with people who someday might help them out of trouble. Everything in this episode written by Knut Swenson from a story by Roy Huggins using his pen name John Thomas James reinforces the show's theme about our desperado heroes struggling to go straight and win amnesty from the territorial governor. The big difference in this first season episode is that Kid Curry remains the periphery while Heyes performs the bulk of the task. Hispanic star Fernando Lamas, Diana Hyland, and Brett Halsey guest star in this episode. Interestingly, Halsey returned for a second appearance on "Alias Smith & Jones" during its third and final season in episode eight for director Jeff Corey's "The Day the Amnesty Came Through" (1973), but Halsey played a different outlaw, Ed Starr, hiding out with a different band of outlaws with a woman.

Hannibal Heyes (Pete Duel) escorts a headstrong but duplicitious dame, Clara Phillips (Diane Hyland), to Devil's Hole. Clara claims that her husband is hiding out with the gang, even though her husband has been cleared of any criminal charges. The good citizenship theme gets a thorough work out here as Hannibal eventually convinces his old friend and outlaw chieftain Big Jim Santana (Fernando Lamas), who has spent the last seven years in prison, that he should forsake the owlhoot trail. Clara persaudes Hannibal to take her to the Devil's Hole so that she can tell her husband whose hiding out there that the authorities have cleared him of all criminal wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Heyes leaves Kid Curry behind because they are expecting to see a man about a job for them and Heyes doesn't want them to miss a chance at doing something honest. After a lengthy ride across the wilderness, Heyes reunites with some of his old companions, among them Big Jim Santana (Fernando Lamas) who supervises the gang now. Big Jim has a terrific idea for one big job. He plans to pull, in his words, "the biggest the Devil's Hole gang ever did." Afterward, he plans to retire to South America. Big Jim aims to hold up the Wells Fargo clearing house in Denver, and he has recruited an army of outlaws.

No sooner do Heyes and Clara reach the Devil's Hole than she shoots on sight one of Big Jim's men, Hamilton (spaghetti western actor Brett Halsey of "Roy Colt & Winchester Jack") and accuses Hamilton of corrupting her 17-year old daughter. Big Jim is considerably upset by Clara's wounding Hamilton and demands the truth from both parties. Indeed, Big Jim follows his own unusual honor code. He explains, "You see, in my business, I have to have faith in my men, and my men must have faith in me. Without it, we don't . . . Well, we don't have a chance." Since Hamilton is going to be riding with Big Jim, Big Jim must know with certainty that he can trust the man. Learning the truth turns out to be difficult as neither person wants to come clean. Big Jim and Heyes talk to a wounded, bed-ridden Hamilton, and he confesses that he knew Clara, but he never corrupted her 17-year old daughter. What he did do is steal Clara's $25-thousand dollars' worth of jewelry. Big Jim wants to get to the bottom of these lies. Clara says that she has a picture of her daughter, but it is back in town in a suitcase. Big Jim sends Heyes back to fetch it.

When Big Jim isn't trying to get to the truth (remember, he would never hire somebody for his big raid if he didn't thoroughly trust them)he grilles Heyes about the incredible notion of going straight. Heyes explains that Curry and he have "walk on eggshells" ... "until I prove to the governor that I can lead an honest life." This means that they have to "duck out of the way of every passing lawman." Big Jim spent seven years in prison and doesn't plan to go back. Now, he has been assembling a gang to attack a major money sorting place in Denver, the biggest job that he has ever staged. The search for the truth and the turnaround that Big Jim experiences makes this one of the best "Alias Smith and Jones" episodes.

The Clara Phillips character is unusually headstrong. She spends quite a bit of time tracking down Heyes and Curry to get to Devil's Hole. After Heyes leaves to retrieve the picture of Clara's daughter, Clara and Big Jim get to know each other intimately. Clara asks Big Jim how he became an outlaw. Big Jim observes that it had "something to do with my family being cheated out of our lands in New Mexico." He adds, "I suppose I inherited a certain disregard for the law." This is one of the most visually beautiful episodes, too, with a "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" type song called "Take A Look Around" played over visually scenic outdoor shots. However, it came as a rude awakening when I heard a portion of the same song used in a "McCloud" episode.

As Big Jim rides off to San Francisco in the stagecoach with Clara, Curry observes, "You know, Heyes, I think we did a whole lot better by Big Jim than we did by ourselves." Heyes shrugs, "I don't know. I think we have a very good and important friend in San Francisco now, if we wever get into serious trouble."

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