The closing credits list Pat Hingle as "Sheriff Joe Bob Sims" but signs at Apache Park and the municipal building clearly state "Marshal Joe Bob Simms" (with 2 ms) and he's referred to as "Marshal" throughout the episode. See more »
[Act One Opening Narration]
Bixton, Arizona. Small, quiet. For some a good place to live. But for Richard Kimble, Fugitive, it's only a stopover between rides, a stopover he will not soon forget.
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Pat Hingle is back in a tour de force as the title character, a Sheriff, (Joe Bob Sims), of a small Arizona town who on the surface seems like an Andy Taylor, being polite to everyone, telling folksy stories, etc. He's Andy Taylor if Andy Taylor is a corrupt psychopath. He has his eye on Mary Murphy, (Marlon Brando's girl in "The Wild One"), whose brother, (Tom Skerritt) is in jail for petty theft. He puts his prisoners to work on a park that is a sort of monument to himself, so he wants as many prisoners as he could get, including Richard Kimble whom he picks up on a charge of hitchhiking, which is somehow illegal in his town, (as are a lot of other things you wouldn't think of as unlawful). He puts Kimble, Skerritt and a drunk who was sleeping it off in jail to work on his park. He also has a deal with the mayor, (Dabbs Greer) that the mayor's son will get the Sheriff's job when Hingle gets an anticipated appointment to the state police, which will been a surprise to his deputy, (Dabney Coleman), who expects to get the job.
Hingle arranges for Skerritt to perish in an 'accident' that Kimble witnesses. He then releases Kimble outside the city limits, with instruction to never come back. However, Kimble's compassion and sense of justice causes him to return to tell Murphy what happened to her brother. He explains he can't stay to testify but she and her father charge him with theft to keep him here to do just that, which puts him back in Hingle's jail. Nobody could have played this folksy bad guy as well as Pat Hingle- except maybe Andy Griffith, (if you've ever seen "A Face in the Crowd").
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