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This episode of Laredo with its usual roughhouse humor has two of the
Rangers involved in a hostage situation. But interestingly enough the
story put me in mind of a couple of screen classics involving as a
hostage taker Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest and as a hostage
in Key Largo.
Jeanette Nolan and her niece Sheilah Wells run a stagecoach station and there's an outlaw gang waiting there for a friend to deliver money to effect an escape across the border. The outlaws consist of Warren Kemmerling, Jack Weston, and Fernando Lamas. A husband and wife a city councilman from El Paso Tol Avery and his wife Marian McCargo arrive there as well.
Brand gets recognized almost immediately and the outlaws reveal themselves and gets taken prisoner along with the civilians. Later on William Smith bungles a rescue attempt and he's taken prisoner.
There might be a need for hostages and that would be the women. Here's where Lamas turns on the old Latin charm.
Jack Weston has one of his best roles. He's a dumb ox with a quick temper. And it is really funny how Brand and Smith play him like a piccolo over the success Lamas is having with all three women. That's when it starts unraveling for the bad guys.
Needless to say the Rangers win and are back for the next episode. But how they do it, especially Brand who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer is something to see.
On his way to El Paso, Reese (Neville Brand) stops by a bar "in the
middle of nowhere", and is taken hostage. He is held at gunpoint (and
later tied up) by three outlaws: gang leader Warren Kemmerling (as Jack
Hanks), Mexican right hand man Fernando Lamas (as Paco Romero), and
slightly psycho Jack Weston (as John Holden). The bar's proprietor is
saucy Jeanette Nolan (as Martha Tuforth). She and young blonde "niece"
Sheilah Wells (as Maryanne) are also hostages. Later, city councilman
Tol Avery (as Millburn Willburn) and his older blonde wife Marian Moses
(as Letty) become additional hostages.
The episode's bizarre storyline involves outlaw Lamas romancing the experienced "old blonde" (Ms. Moses) and the pliable "young blonde" (Ms. Wells). The hostage victims are so taken by their abductor's charms, they begin to fight over him - desiring to continue serving him as hostage, in Mexico. Halfway into the story, Joe (William Smith) arrives, posing as a traveling salesman (the "Stanley" character referred to in the episode title). Perhaps wisely, Peter Brown and Philip Carey do not appear during the hour.
It ends strangely.
Moses later appeared on "Falcon Crest"; both she and Lamas had sons (Lorenzo and William) who were regulars on the show.
* It's the End of the Road, Stanley (3/10/66) Leon Benson ~ Fernando Lamas, Neville Brand, William Smith
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