Bat Masterson: Season 2, Episode 9

Bat Plays a Dead Man's Hand (3 Dec. 1959)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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An unsophisticated miner runs afoul of a town boss and is framed for murder. When the town's lawyers refuse to represent him properly because they fear for their lives, Bat decides to represent the defendant in court himself.



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Title: Bat Plays a Dead Man's Hand (03 Dec 1959)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jan Harrison ...
Belle Sims
Guy Prescott ...
Phil Hood
Don C. Harvey ...
Johnny Mills (as Don Harvey)
Jeff DeBenning ...
Ken Christy ...
Attorney Enders
Bruce Wendell ...
Judge Scott
Marx Hartman ...
Leake Bevil ...
Fred Starr
Bud Osborne ...
Allie Love
Stanley Erickson ...
(as Stan Erickson)


In 1885 Bat arrives on the stage in Casper, Wyoming to the sound of gunshots and a man throwing rocks at a Lady Justice statue. When Bat's hat is hit by a rock and he intervenes, he is warned he isn't in control as he was in Dodge City. While talking to old girl friend Belle Sims, he notices a friend Johnny Mills is under arrest. He learns Johnny is charged with murdering a man during a poker game while cheating. Johnny denies cheating and says the dead man fired at him first after trying to bluff him. He has a public defender appointed to his case but during a talk with the lawyer Bat realizes he and everyone else will do nothing to help Johnny. Bat decides to defend Johnny himself with his first task being to serve subpoenas to the witnesses. At the trial the witnesses including Belle continue to lie with the Judge's support. During a recess a frustrated Bat has an inspiration. He decides to let the cards speak for themselves. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

3 December 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Per the title, the dead man's hand is a two-pair poker hand, namely "aces and eights" from the legend of it having been the five-card-draw hand held by Wild Bill Hickock at the time of his murder on August 2, 1876. Many films have used this allusion just prior to the death of a man engaged in a poker game. See more »


William Barclay 'Bat' Masterson: A gun...
Lawyer: A gun what?
William Barclay 'Bat' Masterson: The ace in the hole - or the hole in the ace. Councellor, you and I are going to court to restage that poker game.
See more »

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