Bat encounters a group of wranglers who are stealing horses. A old flame of Bat's asks him to rescue her current beau, accused of murder and shackled to a tree by a lynch mob led by the slain man's brother who leads the wranglers.
On September 5, 1886 Bat Masterson arrives at a tent city in Nevada where he was summoned by an old flame Laura Hopkins. As Bat arrives a group of wranglers led by the husky Clark Benson bring in a herd of wild horse to break and sell. However, Bat confronts them about the fact some of the horses are shod indicating they were stolen. Bat rides off spotting and talking to Joe Best chained to a jail tree. Laura has asked Bat there to save her fiancé Joe from a lynching. He is accused of murdering Clark Benson's brother after an argument with him. A circuit judge has been summoned but Bat doesn't believe Benson and the others will wait. He tries to stop them from an impromptu trial and hanging but a rock thrown at his head stops him cold. He must then find a way to save Joe Best from the lynching but Bat has an unpleasant surprise for Joe and Laura. Written by
"Nevada, Septemer 5, 1886: wild horses, wild men, wild times.....from the history of the west, and the life of Bat Masterson, the man who became a legend in his own time."
So starts another episode in another of those great television westerns that ran in the late 1950s. Gene Barry starred in this show which ran for three seasons. This was my first look at the show in nearly 50 years. This episode was part of the "TV Guide Presents Classic Westerns" in which eight shows from eight different programs are presented.
I found this particular episode to be interesting, well-filmed and pretty intense as Bat tries to save a man from a lynching party, led by "Clark Benson" (William Conrad). Conrad, who was a tough guy in some film noirs like "The Killers," "Body And Soul" and "Cry Danger," makes his television debut as a dramatic actor in this episode. He went on to become quite a TV star and oddly known as the narrator in the extremely successful show, "The Fugitive."
Especially wanting the man to be rescued is his fiancée, an old girlfriend of Masterson: a very sultry, beautiful Joan Marshall playing "Laura Hopkins." Her boyfriend, "Joe Best," is played by a guy whose name you might not recognize but whose face and voice you will: James Best.
Barry played a different kind of hero, dressed in derby hat and with cane - suave, debonair (like "Paladin" of "Have Gun, Will Travel") but a tough guy who takes no bull from anyone.....and I always did like that theme song!
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