A blue-blood's extravagant Wyoming spread riles a neighboring rancher to terrorize the Bostonian, hoping to drive him off, then take the ranch. Henry Prince's snooty relatives wouldn't accept his wife, a former actress, so the Princes went West. Paladin comes to the timid New Englander's aid, when Prince's wife threatens to leave her husband as she sees him constantly humiliated by rancher Clint's gunslingers. Written by
Above average entry featuring two of the best TV performers of the day-- Constance Ford who specialized in strong women, while no one could do weak men better than Harry Townes. Here they're a refined married couple from Boston trying to make a go of a frontier ranch. Trouble is established rancher (De Santis) thinks he's entitled to Townes' land and sets his rowdies on the out-muscled Townes who then hires Paladin as an equalizer.
Good script. Turnaround at end is imaginative but something of a stretch. That sit-down conversation between De Santis and Paladin is a little gem of pointed dialog. Paladin gets to show off his cultured side in the company of the educated Bostonians, proving he's a man for all seasons. More than most cowboy leads of the time, the imposing Boone makes Paladin an especially convincing master of situations, a big component I believe of the series' success.
In passingnote that Townes' weak man carries an appropriate sounding name, "Henry". Seems screenwriters of the period often tried to match defining character qualities with apt sounding names. For example, expectations would be different if Townes' character were named "Lance" or "Bart", or some other macho sounding name. And consider expectations if instead of the mythic name "Paladin", Boone's character were tagged with a "Clyde" or a "Homer". Strange how these things work.
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