Alias Smith and Jones: Season 2, Episode 4

Smiler with a Gun (7 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Western
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Roger Davis, playing alongside his old friend Peter Deuel for the last time (they often competed for roles during the 1960s) turns up as perpetually smiling Danny Bilson, a remarkably fast ... See full summary »

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Title: Smiler with a Gun (07 Oct 1971)

Smiler with a Gun (07 Oct 1971) on IMDb 8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Seth
...
Danny Bilson
Barbara Stuart ...
Lurene
Milton Frome ...
A Barker
Leo Gordon ...
Ebenezer
Harry Lauter ...
Sheriff
Dick Haynes ...
2nd Bartender
James Houghton ...
Barker's Assistant
...
The Young Cowboy
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Storyline

Roger Davis, playing alongside his old friend Peter Deuel for the last time (they often competed for roles during the 1960s) turns up as perpetually smiling Danny Bilson, a remarkably fast gun who impresses even Kid Curry. Danny, Curry and Heyes in turn all draw the attention of Seth, a miner who believes he can get at least $20,000 out of a New Mexico mine Seth has -- with the help of three young, strong men. All four agree and work the mine, which lives up to expectations. During a celebration drink-and-dance when they have reached the target figure, Danny plays drunk and waits for the other three to pass out -- then steals the gold and all the food and water. Heyes, Curry and Seth try to walk across the desert. Seth slips away during the night and lies down to die when he thinks he's far enough away -- but Heyes and an extremely angry Curry find his body anyway. Heyes and Curry make it to a creek, refresh themselves and start asking around every town in New Mexico for Danny. When ... Written by Peter Harris

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street shootout | See All (1) »

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Western

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7 October 1971 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to assuming the role of Hanibal Heyes, Roger Davis guest stared in this episode as the one man Kid Curry killed in a gunfight during the entire series. See more »

Goofs

When Smith & Jones first meet Seth he is standing very close (in front) to a red, white & blue wooden booth (part of the 4th of July celebration). When the shot goes to a close up of him, the booth is nowhere to be seen & a man passes behind him from left to right, however, the man is not seen in the previous long view shot. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Dark Side of Kid Curry.
5 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Gallant Men" actor Roger Davis delivers a villainously charismatic performance as a double-crossing dastard in "Smiler with a Gun," an uncharacteristically sober episode of "Alias Smith & Jones" that veers away from the pair's usual lighthearted shenanigans. "AJ&S" fans know that Davis later replaced Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes after Duel's tragic suicide during the second season. This exemplary episode provides fans with a rare opportunity to study the dark side of Kid Curry. Principally, this is the first and only time that Kid Curry kills another man. Max Hodge wrote his teleplay from a story written by John Thomas James, a nom de plume for series producer Roy Huggins of "Maverick" fame. The title of this episode refers to the character that Roger Davis plays. Indeed, "Smiler with a Gun" explores the morality of the series. The Davis villain is infinitely more low-down and antagonistic than our heroes who suffer for the reputation as the best outlaws in the West. Ironically, although our protagonists remain on the right side of the law through the action, they are punished. First, the villain steals all of their money and they are not allowed to retrieve the loot that they sweated out of Mother Earth with their own hands.

This offbeat "Alias Smith & Jones" episode picks up as our outlaw heroes arrive in the town of Stockton on July the fourth. As a part of the festivities, one of the competitions involves shooting dinner plates that are launched off a slide into the air. Hannibal convinces Kid Curry not enter the contest for fear somebody might recognize him. They stand by and watch while contestants fare poorly, until Danny Bilson (Roger Davis of "The Gallant Men") demonstrates his accuracy with a six-gun and claims the $100 purse. Afterward, Hannibal suggests to Kid Curry that perhaps they can win the money from Danny in a friendly game of cards without arousing suspicion. When our heroes rode into Stockton, they crossed trails with an old-timer, prospector Seth (Will Geer of "The Waltons"), who has just left his gold dust with the assayer to determine its worth. Eventually, Heyes and Curry find themselves in the same card game with Seth and Danny. During a pause in the action, Seth makes them a proposition. He assures them that they can pull $5000 a piece out of a gold mine in the Sangria de Cristo Mountains that he has reopened across the desert. They join Seth and obtain supplies enough to last them for four months or more and strike out across an inhospitable desert. Essentially, "Smiler with a Gun" opens like the Humphrey Bogart movie "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Our heroes get along just fine with one another until they reach their goal of $20-thousand. When our outlaw buddies awaken the following morning, they find that treacherous Danny has stolen their money, their horses, and their pack mules and left them with nothing more than a glass jug that once held their whiskey. Seth predicts that they are doomed to death, "We ain't gonna make it." Kid Curry refuses to accept the weight of fate. "A man can make it through a whole lot more than he thinks if he can just find a good enough reason." Seth infers that the $20-thousand is more than enough motivation. Kid Curry isn't as concerned about the loss of the money as he is with Danny's treachery. Curry's desire for revenge increases when Seth dies as they cross the desert through sandstorms and broiling heat. Miraculously, our heroes stumble onto a water hole just as they are about to give up. Mind you, by this time, they are dirty, heavily bearded, and have only the clothes on their back. Consequently, when he sees them afterward, they are gotten new outfits, arms, and horses and are tracking down Danny. Hannibal wants the money back, including Danny's share, but Kid Curry acts like he would rather kid Danny. Eventually, after they endure the rigors of a bout of heavy drinking with a thirsty saloon girl, Lurene (TV veteran guest star Barbara Stuart), who constantly demands that her bartender, Ebenezer (tough guy Leo Gordon with an Irish accent), keep the drinks coming. The conversation that our heroes have with Lurene is as funny as this episode gets and she furnishes them with useful information about Danny. They learn that Danny has gone to Matherville.

Heyes and Curry find out that Danny has taken their money and bought a saloon. Danny displays no remorse for Seth's death. He agrees to give our protagonists $500. Danny suspects that Heyes and Curry have a strong reason for not involving the local sheriff (Harry Lauter) in their dispute. Heyes is reluctant but willing to capitulate, but Kid Curry has decided that Danny will die before it's all over. Heyes warns him that killing Danny isn't the answer. While all this is happening, a young cowboy (Colby Chester of "The Hindenburg") accuses Danny of running crooked games and wants a chance to win his money back. The cowboy calls out Danny; Danny carries his revolver in his waistband for an across the belly draw and he easily guns down the cowboy. Heyes and Curry visit the sheriff and he explains that anybody that starts a gunfight and survives will wind up in his calaboose. When our heroes pull us stakes to leave town, Danny decides to challenge Kid Curry and discovers too late that he is no match for him. Kid Curry drops this villain in his tracks. Since Kid Curry did not instigate the duel, however, the sheriff allows our heroes to ride out of town.

Although our heroes never seem any closer to their amnesty, each episode usually rewards their good behavior, except for "Smiler with a Gun." That's what makes this episode so distinctive. A similar episode with a "Treasure of Sierra Madre" plot that made our heroes look good is "Night of the Red Dog."


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