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"The Big Valley" Forty Rifles (1965)

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An old army General of Nicks has other motives for a cattle drive

8/10
Author: kfo9494 from United States
20 December 2012

In this second episode of the entire series we get our first story, of many, that features Heath not being accepted as a full Barkley until he proves himself. This being the first time this plot is used makes this show interesting but the fifth or sixth time it begins to lose it luster. This is the first where Heath has to prove to people outside the Barkley clan that he is truly a Barkley.

The story begins when Barkleys along with other farmers in the area have to get their cattle to San Diego in order to take advantage of the nice price being offered. Nick and Heath are to lead the drive with the cowboys from the ranch. And Nick is lucky enough to have an old army buddy that was the leader of his unit, General Wallent, help with the cattle since he knows the outlay of the land.

It becomes apparent from the beginning that Wallent has another motive in mind other than herding cattle. He has to find a way to get men so that he can again lead men into battle. He feels that whatever he says men will do it because they want to be lead. Since the men already do not respect Heath the only person standing in Wallent's way is Nick.

General Wallent hires some men to shoot Nick to get him out of the way thus leaving Heath alone which is the wish of Wallent. He then talks the men into leaving the cattle drive and go with him for riches. Everything goes well until the cowboys see that General Wallent may want to re-live a portion of his life that is gone. But will they be able to accept Heath as a real Barkley?

This was a good story with an interesting plot and ending. Barbara Stanwyck has some inspiration words for both Heath and Nick which always leads to an entertaining show and a good watch. It was easy to see that Lee Majors needed work on his acting skills because he was weak at times in this show. But for a young actor it will come with a few more performances.

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