Paladin rides into a Texas town at Christmas time and encounters a saloon full of merrymakers. Soon afterward a cowboy brings in a pregnant girl who may not survive the impending birth. The...
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Paladin rides into a Texas town at Christmas time and encounters a saloon full of merrymakers. Soon afterward a cowboy brings in a pregnant girl who may not survive the impending birth. The town doctor is down for his annual drunken stupor. Paladin tries to enlist help but the the patrons would rather party. Written by
J. G. Clark
Encore Western channel has been replaying old episodes of "Have Gun Will Travel" and this episode stands out as one of the best, in a Christmas classic category along with Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart's, "It's a Wonderful Life." I grew up watching this series, and enjoy its artistic and philosophical themes more than ever, themes sorely lacking in 21st century television. Many episodes are stimulating and ahead of their time; supporting minority cultures, and typically portraying thought-provoking, morality-play, short story sort of themes.
This particular episode stands out among many other excellent episodes as it portrays an allegory of the Nativity in a raucous and decadent western town, where a woman gives birth in a storage room when there was no room in the proverbial inn. Paladin, ever the champion of the underdog and unjustly downtrodden, ensures that the baby is born in some semblance of dignity and civilization among the uncivilized.
The birth brings about an awakening and celebration of the Christmas spirit, written without overstatement by one-time TV writer, Arthur Sarno Jr. A rare affirmation of the good within humanity, I recommend this episode as an addition to the regular Yuletide parade of uplifting celebrations of "Good Will to All, and Peace on Earth".
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