The Big Valley: Season 1, Episode 9

Earthquake (10 Nov. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
7.8
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Victoria, a surly ex-Barkley ranch hand, and a pregnant Native American girl fight to survive when an earthquake traps them in a church cellar. When it is discovered that the cellar may ... See full summary »

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Title: Earthquake (10 Nov 1965)

Earthquake (10 Nov 1965) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
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Ann Snyder
Aliza Gur ...
Naomi (as Alizia Gur)
Wesley Lau ...
Ralph Snyder
Robert Williams ...
Joel (as Robert B. Williams)
William Fawcett ...
Jeb
...
Doctor
Robert Karnes ...
Padre
Mort Mills ...
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Storyline

Victoria, a surly ex-Barkley ranch hand, and a pregnant Native American girl fight to survive when an earthquake traps them in a church cellar. When it is discovered that the cellar may connect to tunnels from a closed-up Barkley gold mine, not all the searchers really want the rescue to succeed. Written by Anonymous

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Western

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10 November 1965 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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In the credits Wesley Lau is listed as Ralph Snyder but in the episode he is called Roy. See more »

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Featured in Pioneers of Television: Westerns (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Barbara Stanwyck's earthquake
24 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is the first one of the series that features Barbara Stanwyck nearly exclusively. This proves to some of the viewers that Ms Stanwyck was not going to be this women that sits at the house and waits for her boys to come home- instead she is seen as a person wanting to make this show work for all the actors involved. She is not going to sit on her movie career but is putting all she has in the show. This episode proves that she is a professional no matter if it is on the large screen or the small screen.

The show starts as Victoria enters a small church to leave a donation with the padre. Inside the church is a very pregnant Indian girl named Naomi (Aliza Gur) who happens to be praying. Before Victoria can leave the church she encounters Tate (Charles Bronson) who has just been fired from the Barkley Ranch for drinking. He wants Victoria to try to get his job back but she wants nothing to do with him.

As the conversation turns ugly an earthquake hits the town of Stockton and the church comes tumbling down.

From what I could gather, our three characters fall into the basement and cannot get out due to the debris blocking their path. But hold on- Victoria remembers that there use to be an old Barkley mine shaft that ran under the church and through the shaft they will try to escape without harming each other.

The director's of this episode do a good job in creating a believable earthquake. Most of the time all we see is the camera shaking and people stumbling and that is the extent of the special effects. In this show they do have a lot of debris but the camera takes us back to the Barkley's house to see shaking and falling ceiling plaster. And they even went as far as to have the trees shaking more like a real earthquake than the usual camera shake. (I guess I look for that stuff). They only thing I found normal during the quake was that Nick barely missed being hit by falling boards off the barn- but with Nick I expected some kind of drama.

I thought Barbara Stanwyck did a good job of acting in this episode. She was hard as nail at times and was soft when needed. She did get dirty in the mine shaft but always seemed to have her make-up and eye-lid paint as nice as when the show started.

Anyway a good hour of TV.


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