Cheyenne is sheriff in a town with no water but a prominent banker who is trying to keep the town together until a new well is drilled. His sons have a different idea and one is married to a woman who knew Cheyenne before she married.
There's a real water shortage tearing up Arroyo Seco. Cheyenne, as sheriff, is trying to keep a lid on tempers and the townsfolk together. The town banker Ralph Tobin is trying to hold the town together to provide a strong future for his sons Jess and Harry. He is providing water by paying to have it hauled into town. At the same time the town has raised money to pay Chet Noler aided by Johnny Benson to drill a water well. What neither Cheyenne or Ralph know is that Ralph's sons who are supposed to be behind the town's best interests are the ones upsetting the water barrel. They pay Noler to say the well is dry but Noler is forced to kill Johnny to keep him quiet. Cheyenne arrests Noler for Johnny's murder. Jess and Harry while their dad is gone stir up the town to lynch Noler. Cheyenne who knew Jess's beautiful wife Beth as a saloon girl before she married Jess finds himself on trial with the town against him for killing Jess who led the lynch mob as the boys try to kill the evidence... Written by
Remember, we had political correctness back in the 1950's too! No mention of story or plot here, but this episode surprised me! It has, in my very humble opinion, the best ending I've ever seen for a western TV drama of any of the shows made during this time.
HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL was great, at half an hour, but the PC "message" westerns didn't gear up until Kennedy was elected-- Gunsmoke went "comedy" with Festus and Bonanza became a preach fest. Of course, this lead to LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and so on and so on, a trend that killed the western.
This episode of CHEYENNE had NOTHING TO DO with any of that sappy junk! It leads you by the hand for 95% of it's story, then springs a twist ending so cool and original I felt I needed to comment on it here and hope other people will watch. and the last scene, the look on his face-- well, don't tell me Clint Walker didn't know how to act. He may not have knocked over the critics, but we're watching these shows 50 years later-- that has to tell you something.
Watch this one episode and then watch the rest, see what you've been missing. Great stuff.
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