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This is a solid Kraft entry featuring Clint Walker playing a man who
drives up a mountain, has his car break down, dumps it off the road,
walks a mile or so up to a tiny village, where he buys supplies, then
hikes on even higher to small cabin, where he doesn't want to be
disturbed. Walker is extremely unfriendly, though not hostile, shows no
desire to engage in small talk with his new neighbors; and he refuses
to divulge his reason for moving to his new home or what it is he plans
to do up there.
The locals are understandably suspicious of this stranger in town and begin to gossip and speculate about his reasons for being there. They even contact the local police so as to gain some information on him. As the story develops, this is one dysfunctional community. The general store owner exerts a strange control over his shy, insecure daughter, who's afraid to leave home and is apparently friendless. A local man, played by a young Robert Duvall, is interested in marrying her but she has a bad history with him going back to her teenage years. The minister acts as mediator, and on the side attempts to befriend the stranger up in the cabin and is told in no uncertain terms to leave the property.
Conflicts in this isolated community eventually involve the solitary newcomer who, as it turns out, is not such a bad fellow after all. He has, like the storekeeper's daughter, what we would now call issues, and as events unfold he bonds well with this young woman, who took a liking to him from the moment he arrived. The story is not particularly original, and I could see the resolution coming before the half-way point, as I suspect most seasoned viewers could. Yet generic as it is, it's a nicely developed episode, well acted by all. Clint Walker is highly effective as the quiet giant of a man who doesn't want to be disturbed. Mala Powers skillfully and sensitively portrays the young woman; while Jay C. Flippen, who looks ghastly here, like he's at death's door, is credible as her bully of a father.
I rate this episode as above average but not excellent. The writing is decent but far from brilliant, the directing, competent, the photography, outstanding. If this were a book I'd call it a good read; untaxing, satisfying, it accomplishes its modest goals nicely.
A stranger arrives in an old mining village, buys a lot of supplies, and heads for a closed mine, for which he has purchased the surrounding land. He is very private, and stirs up the locals by not saying much. The spinster daughter of the local store owner takes a shine to him, which leads to big trouble. An all-star cast including Clint Walker, Mala Powers, Jay C. Flippen and a young Robert Duvall makes this slightly creaky tale work just fine. Some of you will recognize George Chandler of "Lassie" fame as the local doctor. One might argue that this Kraft episode had some influence on 'First Blood," although the stranger here is not a military veteran.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Coming into town to buy some supply and a mule to fix up
his property that he had just persuaded big and strapping, without as
much as a gram of fat on him, David Wolfe, Clint Walker,is treated with
both fear and suspicion by the local townspeople. Shaking off the
uncalled for and intrusive remarks at him from the what seems like the
terrified local yokels Wolfe just goes on with his business in fixing
up his house high atop on the mountain that he now calls home.
It's later that Ellen Ramsey, Mala Powers, the daughter of the what seems like head man in town Hugh Ramsey, Jay C. Flippen, seems to take a shin for the big guy who's gentlemanly like manor towards her is something that Ellen, who we later find out is a man hater, never encountered before. This drives her wannabe boyfriend Harvey Farnsworth, Robert Duvall, batty since he's planning to, without her knowledge, marry Ellen. Ellen for her part want's really nothing to do with Harvey since when she was a little girl he, at age 14, tried to force himself on her. This has left Ellen a mental cripple when it comes to her having any kinds of relationships with members of the opposite sex.
Yet it's Ellen's father Hugh who at times, with his crazed and piercing blue eyes, looks like he's an escapee from the Pilgrim State Mental Institution whats her to marry Harvey since he's the only eligible man in town. As for big David Wolfe he's the kind of guy that just want's to live and let live but it's Ellen's strange attraction towards him that in the end drives him to do things that he'd rather not. Like take on the entire town of unstable and emotionally challenged, in not being able to mind their own business, mountain men in order to save Ellen from being forced to do what she's in fact not willing to: Marry the man the she hates like poison , with her pop's consent, Harvey Farnsworth!
Clint Walker who makes that other famous Clint spaghetti western and Dirty Harry star Clint Eastwood look like Mickey Rooney in comparison is playing here what he's in almost every movie and TV show he stars in: The epitome of the strong and silent type. Despite all the fear and animosity towards him no one in town would as much as dare to pick a fight with the big guy knowing that he can break them in two without as much as breaking into a sweat in him doing it. Wolfe in the end realizes that it's more trouble, for him as well as the townspeople, then it's worth in him staying there and he takes the first ride, the sheriff's car, out of town hoping against hope that the next place he chooses to make his home would be far more friendly and hospitable towards him.
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