Gunsmoke: Season 15, Episode 24

The Thieves (9 Mar. 1970)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
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Long Branch bartender Sam Noonan reveals a good bit about his young life while talking to a young man on probation for theft. The thieves, all teenagers, have been given a 'work release': ... See full summary »



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Title: The Thieves (09 Mar 1970)

The Thieves (09 Mar 1970) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Newly O'Brien (credit only)
Michael Burns ...
Eric Tabray
Gideon Hale
Burt Tilden
Timothy Burns ...
Billy Clarke
Shuffles (as Bill Callaway)
Glenn Strange ...
James Nusser ...
Daphne Field ...
Mrs. Hale


Long Branch bartender Sam Noonan reveals a good bit about his young life while talking to a young man on probation for theft. The thieves, all teenagers, have been given a 'work release': two of them work on a farm and the third for the Long Branch Saloon as Sam's helper. They chafe under the heavy-handed supervision of a small-time lawman who watches over them and takes every opportunity to make their lives miserable. Sam, himself an ex-con from way back, helps out the kid as a sort of payback to a mentor who helped him when he got into trouble. One of the other two, a mentally challenged young man who just goes along with his partners, may also rehabilitate himself if treated properly. The third one, though, finds more and more ways to get into trouble for himself and his partners. Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

9 March 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Sam Noonan tries to intervene in a young man's life
15 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this episode we find out more about Sam Noonan (Long Branch Bartender) than in any episode of the series. And in return Glenn Strange gives us a performance to remember.

The story begins as three young men from the State prison are given probation on a work release schedule. Upon arriving in Dodge, to work for an religious farmer outside of town, it was determined that the prison set one too many men. So Eric Tabray is bound to be set back to prison.

Sam Noonan asks Ms Kitty if it will be alright to hire Eric as a worker in the saloon. With Matt's agreement Eric begins working for the Long Branch. And it is very obvious that Sam has some sort of compassion for prisoner Eric Tabray.

Soon the three prisoners develop a plan to escape and run off together in the west. But this means Eric having to betray the trust and kindness of Sam Noonan.

When Sam approaches Eric about the betrayal, he relates a story of his youth and the reason he felt the need to help Eric. Will that be enough to change Eric's life or will he sink back into the world of the outlaw.

Two people stood out in the episode. Glenn Strange was outstanding as he tries his best to help intervene in a young man's life. Plus James Nesser as the town drunk Louie Pheeters came across making the viewer feel for his situation. All around a nice show.

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

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