Hec quits his job and relocates to Enid, Oklahoma, where he immediately finds himself hard driven to solve a tragic double-homicide.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Deputy Marshal Charlie Hollister
Josh Hollister
Aunt Rhody Claiborne
Louise Latham ...
Willa Hollister
Doc Kirby
Gabe Rawlins
Sharon Acker ...
Nora Muldoon
Obie Watson
Rance Claiborne
D'Urville Martin ...
Willie Watson
Dennis Rucker ...
Constable Arne Tornquist
Tony Russel ...
Gentleman Jim Sachet


Hec quits his job and relocates to Enid, Oklahoma, where he immediately finds himself hard driven to solve a tragic double-homicide.

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Release Date:

18 February 1973 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dixie: [to Josh Hollister] You sorry, miserable excuse for a human being! You'll never make a man if you live to be a *thousand!
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User Reviews

17 July 2012 | by (Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)) – See all my reviews

Back when I compiled my own index of the NBC MYSTERY MOVIES, I was missing a few issues of TV GUIDE, including the one with the date of this film. As a result, I always figured this must have been the 2nd "HEC RAMSEY" film made, because it was the only one, aside from the pilot, "THE CENTURY TURNS", to feature Sharon Acker & Brian Dewey as Hec's girlfriend Nora Muldoon and her young son Andy. So I was surprised to check it out online and discover it was run last that season. But knowing network programmers and their habits, perhaps this was made 2nd, but "held back" for a reason?

Hec finally gets tired of inexperienced Sheriff Oliver Stamp's demands and harassment concerning his methods of apprehending felons, and decides to quit his job, take one with his old friend Charlie Hollister in another town, and asks Nora to marry him. She accepts, he leaves and begins preparation for the wedding. But en route, her stage coach is held up-- and, shockingly, both she and her son are murdered. This entire film takes place in broad daylight, but it's one of the darkest films ever shown as part of the MYSTERY MOVIE cycle.

Rather than cover the rest of the plot, I'd prefer to mention the astonishing cast in this film, some of whom do the best acting jobs I've ever seen from them. This includes Pat Hingle, who my Dad loved watching so much in "HANG 'EM HIGH", who gives one of the most intense, and emotional portrayals of his career as a man slowly having to face the truth about certain events and people. Also in the cast is Bruce Davison, who may always be remembered best as the star of "WILLARD", as an aspiring artist who seems to have a problem with telling the truth. Smaller roles are filled by Jeanette Nolan as Hingle's wife (I always remember her as Dan Fielding's mother on NIGHT COURT), Bernie Hamilton as the too-"obvious" suspect (he was the police captain on "STARSKY AND HUTCH"), Henry Jones (who I first saw on the idiotic "LOST IN SPACE" episode "The Curse of Cousin Smith") as the town doctor, Leo Gordon ("THE HAUNTED PALACE") as a trigger-happy saloon owner, John Anderson as the artist who taught Davison how to paint, but not how to feel, and Robert Fuller ("EMERGENCY") as "Dixie", the gunfighter-brother that Davison's character looks up to so much.

I remember with some amusement that Harry Morgan, who played the barber-doctor-best friend Amos Coogan, was, for a time, a regular on both "HEC RAMSEY" and "M*A*S*H". I always preferred him on "HEC RAMSEY" (and on "DRAGNET").

It's a shame this show only lasted 2 seasons. I wonder why NBC had such a bad run of luck trying to find successful additions to "COLUMBO", "McCLOUD" and "McMILAN & WIFE"?

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