Death Valley Days: Season 13, Episode 9

Tribute to the Dog (24 Dec. 1964)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 15 users  
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This is about real life attorney George Graham Vest (December 6, 1830 - August 9, 1904) who was also later a U.S. Congressman from Missouri. The story is about a man who is sued by a boy ... See full summary »



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Title: Tribute to the Dog (24 Dec 1964)

Tribute to the Dog (24 Dec 1964) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
George Vest
Charles Cooper ...
Carter Johnson
S. John Launer ...
Ralph Moody ...
Andrew Cody
Kay Stewart ...
Mrs. Cody
Bill Zuckert ...
Sheriff (as William Zuckert)
Walter Brooke ...
Danny Flower ...
Andy Cody
Jury Foreman
Guy Wilkerson ...
Dr. Porter


This is about real life attorney George Graham Vest (December 6, 1830 - August 9, 1904) who was also later a U.S. Congressman from Missouri. The story is about a man who is sued by a boy for shooting his dog named Old Drum on October 18, 1869. Vest's, "a man's best friend" closing arguments from the trial became more famous than Vest himself. Starring future Governor of California and then President of The U.S., Ronald Reagan as George Graham Vest. Written by Ed Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

24 December 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on a true story and a real person, Congressman and later Senator George Vest. The actual trial was in Missouri not as portrayed in Kansas. Also the young boy that sued was actually awarded $50 (maximum allowed by Mo. Law) not The $500 in the teleplay. See more »


Referenced in Born in East L.A. (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Great episode for dog lovers and to see President Reagan Act
16 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have been watching reruns of old TV westerns on cable for the past year. I have seen a lot of memorable episodes and this is definitely one of those for 2 reasons. First and foremost is the story. It is a get the tissues ready episode. The story revolves around a young boy and the unfortunate death of his dog at the hands of a neighbor. The boy and his grandfather decide to sue and after some melodramatics, the boy, his mother, and grandfather are in court with representation by George Vest(Ronald Reagan). It is these courtroom scenes that make the show. The only downside is that you have to remember the show is about 50 years old and that some dramatic license is taken. The second reason is the acting of future President Ronald Reagan. He made at least a couple really good movies including Knute Rockne All American and Kings Row. He doesn't disappoint here as the lawyer with a heart, slash almost father figure. As I watched his performance I was reminded of some of his speeches as President and since I am a fan of him on both levels it was a pleasant experience. I recommend this episode, if you get a chance to watch it it is worth the 25 minutes(no commercials).

But be forewarned the courtroom scene is a tearjerker. Also there is some violence that may not be appropriate for younger children and animal lovers at the beginning. It makes the plot but it is a bit wrenching. I may have voted it a bit higher but there are no other reviews and I didn't want anyone to be disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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