Professional gunfighter Paladin was a West Point graduate who, after the Civil War, settled into San Francisco's Hotel Carlton were he awaited responses to his business card: over the ... See full summary »
Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, CA. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product mined in Death Valley.
When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »
Set in Sweetwater, Arizona in the 1880s with solid citizen Bret owning a ranch and part of the Red Ox Saloon. Stable cast with varying stories, often centered on conflict between the ambitious sheriff and everyone else.
Two mule skinners named Grade and Sloat delight in tormenting young Raffie Bligh, a former wartime drummer boy. Bligh is pretty incredible. He plays an innocent, traumatized, simple kid who is a veteran of the drum corps. Presumably a Civil War vet.
His performance is jaw-dropping. He goes from innocent child, to happy, to scared and terrified, sad, and then shifts to being determined to get revenge. A few minutes later, he is filled with forgiveness. It is a lot of emoting for such a small role. He hits all the ranges of emotions, and he does a convincing job.
Bligh is being tormented by a couple of mule skinners who want to humiliate him. There is a certain subtext here for those of us who saw the movie "Deliverance." It seems like these middle-aged hill folks have too much interest in the young boy.
After a series of abuses and confrontations, one of the mule skinners turns up dead. Bligh is accused of the crime by the survivor, but Marshall Dillon has other ideas.
This is a top notch episode. One of the great things about Gunsmoke was that on many occasions, a guest actor was featured and most of the rest of the cast was not in the episode for more than a minute or two. In this case, Bligh was played by a young Jack Grinnage, who later appeared regularly as one of Carl Kolchak's (Darrin McGavin) fellow INS reporters on the 1974 series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
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