The first thing I tried in this episode is to find one Sam Peckinpah's trade mark, which we could notice later in his movies for the big screen. And with Lee Marvin, please. Such a shame that the two of them did not even work together after this episode, at least for the cinema. Well, this story is not a western nor a crime story, but rather a sort of comedy drama where Marvin plays a kind of cow boy who is also a gambler who tries to push his luck. Look out for the poker game around the table with the likes of Keenan Wynn and Mike Mazurky, with the still shots to put the audiences in the right atmosphere. I said to myself that Steve McQueen was missing in that scheme, especially directed by Peckinpah. He would have been like a fish in the water with this story, believe me, surrounded by beautiful chicks. One trade mark typical from the great Sam, that we will see later, a slow motion scene, with a fight in a hotel corridor. It is very short, just before a long sequence that looks like a tribute to the Keystone Cops or other slapsticks from the silent era, with a care chase which is really amusing. I admit I did not expect that from Peckinpah, but instead from a guy like Arthur Hiller, who also made some episodes for this show. Lee Marvin came back to this kind of stories a decade later in POCKET MONEY, CAT BALLOU or PAINT YOUR WAGON. Another Peckinpah's little detail I noticed, the sequence when Marvin and Wynn speak at night around the fire, about their empty life, whilst their companion sings on the moonlight with his guitar.
There would be much more to say about this episode, but I prefer you find out by yourself. If you are a Peckinpah's lover as I have always been, don't miss this one. Even if it's miles away from THE WILD BUNCH.
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