A tastefully warmed-up dish of beefcake and bondage
It's one of those familiar stories that often popped up during the Golden Age of the TV Western: the lone hero wanders into an isolated community and winds up being forced to work in a mine, a chain-gang, a prison farm, etc. Clint Walker set the pattern in a 12-18-56 episode of "Cheyenne" called "The Trap." Here the lone hero is played by George Montgomery who is forced to mine silver for Dan Duryea and his three half-brothers.
While entertaining and interest-holding, this episode -- curiously titled "Terror Town" -- has some script problems. George Montgomery's plan to escape from the mine with his fellow prisoners is often discussed but the plan itself seems needlessly haphazard and half-hearted. Barbara Lawrence's role of Cora is ill-defined and both her attitude and behavior sometime lack plausibility. While there are hints that Dan Duryea's character harbors both jealousy and envy toward George Montgomery, this aspect of the story, with its sexual undertones, is never developed.
On the other hand, "Terror Town" has the undeniable advantage of George Montgomery's chest which is unapologetically on display through nearly the whole episode. Even at age 41, Montgomery had the kind of physique that's easy on the eyes and when you add in such factors as sweat, chains, and a couple of welts from a whip, the results are nothing less than memorable. Unlike Clint Walker, Montgomery shaved his chest and in one of their sit-down conversation scenes, you can't help but wonder how Dan Duryea managed to keep his eyes off Montgomery's nipples which are prominently positioned right across the table from him. This being the 1950s, however, Montgomery always wears his jeans high enough to hide his navel and there's no hint of underwear creeping into view above his waistband.
Dan Blocker, later famous for his role in "Bonanza," appears as one of Duryea's half-brothers. He has one of the episode's best lines. Looking over the brawny, bare-chested Montgomery, he says: "Husky, ain't he." Curiously, Blocker later appeared as a townsperson named Budinger in several "Cimarron City" episodes but that character seems to have no relation to the Budinger who was killed in "Terror Town."
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