Bonanza: Season 7, Episode 12

Five Sundowns to Sunup (5 Dec. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
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Ben is appointed temporary sheriff after Sheriff Coffee is injured while bringing in one of the Lassiter boys, who has been sentenced to hang. Elizabeth Lassiter, bitter ever since the ... See full summary »


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Title: Five Sundowns to Sunup (05 Dec 1965)

Five Sundowns to Sunup (05 Dec 1965) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Lassiter
James Davidson ...
Carver Lassiter
Tom Drake ...
Major Sutcliffe
Barry Atwater ...
L.B. Merrick (as G.B. Atwater)
Douglas Henderson ...
Reverend Holmes
Stacy Harris ...
Judge Simpson
John Alderson ...
Hugh Gwylnedd
Jack Chaplain ...
Harry Lassiter
Bruce Mars ...
William Tannen ...


Ben is appointed temporary sheriff after Sheriff Coffee is injured while bringing in one of the Lassiter boys, who has been sentenced to hang. Elizabeth Lassiter, bitter ever since the death of her husband and loss of her ranch, has turned her sons and her foreman into outlaws, and is now threatening to kidnap one Virginia City resident a day and kill them unless her son is freed. Little Joe becomes the third one taken hostage. Written by rbecker28

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Release Date:

5 December 1965 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

"Five Sundowns to Sunup", originally aired 5th December 1965, was directed by B-movie veteran Gerd Oswald and guest-starred Marie Windsor.
4 September 2013 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This was quite easily the best "Bonanza" episode I've seen recently, not having seen another to equal it in the current run of repeats (since 1963) of this series shown on Jones channel (#13) in New Zealand. The taut plot and imaginative treatment remind me quite a bit of manhunting/hostage "Gunsmoke" episodes screening in the mid Sixties.

Former noir femme fatale Marie Windsor (aged 46 but well preserved here) plays an embittered widow woman whose son is in the Virginia City jail due to be hanged for murder. Sheriff Coffey has been wounded and Ben Cartright replaces him while Hoss and Joe join a small posse of those willing to run up against this formidable matriarch. The tension builds well without the overdramatics of many previous "Bonanza" outings.

I've been surprised at the modernized quality in the dozen or so episodes I've seen since Adam (Pernell Roberts) left "Bonanza" -- except in the "comedy" episodes -- though Adam did feature in a few good stories in his last series (1964-65). An example of the general improvement was the previous episode featuring Royal Dano, Tim Considine and Dan Blocker, though somewhat spoiled by comedy sequences.

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