As the Laramie marshal is killed by the Torrey gang, his new deputy arrives on the stage for Laramie. He and Jess get off on the wrong foot so when he needs a posse, Jesse refuses until a neighbor is killed then new issues arise.

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Cast

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Vern Clark
Anna-Lisa ...
Louisa Clark
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Wes Torrey
Katherine Warren ...
Mrs. Byrd
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Sloane
Charlie Briggs ...
Charley Wilkes
Will J. White ...
1st Bar Patron (as Will Wright)
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Storyline

Slim leaves for Denver on business leaving Jess with the hired hand Ben. When Vern Clark arrives at Sherman Ranch and Relay station with his new wife, he finds that he's now the new marshal in Laramie since the Torrey brothers have just killed Marshal Blanton. Clark and Jess Harper mix about as well as oil and water and Jess refuses to be deputized by Clark until a neighbor is killed by the Torrey brothers. Jess rides into town to join the posse being formed by Clark. The posse finds themselves out-gunned by the Torrey gang and Clark breaks and runs after being grazed by a bullet. Believing himself a coward, Clark refuses to perform his duties, leaving Jess to try and organize the citizens of Laramie to defend themselves against the gang. Jess is banking on Clark realizing that he is not a coward and that he has a job to do no matter how scared he is. Written by DarSpi

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Western

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15 November 1960 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Action-packed episode with Robert Fuller vs. Lee Van Cleef
30 January 2017 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

".45 Calibre" is a Season Two episode of "Laramie" that finds Jess Harper (Robert Fuller) holding the fort while his partner Slim has gone off to Denver. Things heat up when the town marshal is killed by the outlaw Torrey brothers and his newly appointed deputy, Vern Clark (George Nader), a greenhorn from the east, arrives on the stage with his new bride and is suddenly thrust into the marshal's job. After an initial contentious encounter between Jess and Clark, Jess is compelled to demand a posse be formed to pursue the Torrey brothers and their gang after a neighboring rancher is killed. Fear of the Torrey brothers among the townsmen results in a smaller-than-necessary posse of five and when they reach the outlaws, an ambush kills two of the five and the new marshal flees for his life, a show of cowardice that leaves him filled with self-loathing. Even his Norwegian bride, Louisa (Anna-Lisa), shows contempt for him.

Under the circumstances, Jess finds himself covering up for the marshal and insisting to him that his actions in the next encounter will determine whether he's a coward or not. Louisa even makes a play for Jess, realizing he's the man she wants her husband to be. Jess tries to rally the townsfolk to build up defensive barricades and be ready to take a stand when the outlaws descend on the town, but he only finds two volunteers, one of them a drunkard who was the only other survivor of the ambush. The ensuing attack and its aftermath provide a grueling test for the new marshal.

The leader of the Torrey gang, Wes Torrey, is played by perennial western villain and future Italian western star Lee Van Cleef, who makes quite a formidable antagonist here, as he does in every western that he made in the 1950s, whether for movies or television. Even when the townsmen get the upper hand, he still gives them a run for their money right up until the end. Every time I spot Van Cleef in one of these shows, I perk up. He always delivers the goods, making this episode, directed by Lesley Selander, an experienced hand at this kind of action, well above average for this series, one of the better hour-long westerns of its era.


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