In this episode, Paladin, played by Richard Boone, is compelled to gun down the character named Jockey, played by Bob Steele. Steele played the character Lash Canino in the original The Big Sleep (1946) and Boone played the same character in the 1978 remake: The Big Sleep (1978). See more »
I've been offered a dozen good ways to get myself killed since I came to this town. Now I'm gonna make a few offers myself.
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As a gesture of respect, Paladin goes undercover to find out why an operating gold mine is going broke. Producers of this early episode were wise to hire a bunch of extras and outfit Bronson Canyon cave (beloved by 50's sci-fi fans) with the trappings of a working mine, all of which lend an air of authenticity. It's an average episode but with an unusual thememiners stealing precious ore from their employer ("high-grading"). As reviewer zsenorsock notes, it's good to see bantam-weight Bob Steele pick up a payday, and prove again that you don't have to be big to be a convincing tough guy. He and Boone play off one another well. All in all, it's a well-produced half-hour, with the ore car rattling down the rails at episode's end.
Actually my real reason for commenting is personal. Growing up in an historic Colorado mining town (Cripple Creek), I heard tales of high-grading during boom times, and how high-graders could easily disappear, supposedly to the bottom of one of the thousand-foot or more mine shafts that dotted the area. So, the theme of this HGWT deals with a very real problem with the old-style pick-and-shovel gold mines, and is the only Western I know to do so.
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