Wyatt Earp has been buffalo hunting and wants to settle down on a cattle ranch but has been asked by the elderly Sheriff Whitney to take his job as Sheriff of Ellsworth, Kansas. Earp bails young Bat Masterson out of jail, recovers the money he lost in a crooked card game, and runs the crooks out of town but refuses to take the Sheriff job. However, when drunk Bill Thompson kills the sheriff in cold blood Earp tries the job but a crooked judge puts him and Bat in jail. The editor of the local paper forces the judge and new crooked sheriff to resign when he threatens to tell the Governor what they are doing. Earp is then forced to gun down three of the Thompson men and decides to take the sheriff job after all. Written by
The series was the first TV Western series written for adults, preceding the longer-running "Gunsmoke" by four days. See more »
This is the beginning of the story of Wyatt Earp, the greatest of the all-fighting Peace Officers - a real Western hero. So great was his character and so complete his skill of living with danger that he became a legend in his own lifetime. In the hard world of the Western frontier, with all its bad men and outlaws, Wyatt Earp became a peace maker. As a Marshal, he went up against the worst of them, and the stories they tell about him are doubly fabulous because they're true....
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THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF Wyatt Earp "Wyatt Earp Becomes a Marshal" 1955
This is the first episode of the 1955 to 1961 western series, THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYTAT Earp. The series stars Hugh O'Brian as the famous lawman.
Buffalo hunter, Wyatt Earp, (Hugh O'Brian) stops by the small Kansas town of Ellsworth. An old family friend, Howard Wright, is the Sheriff and wants a younger man to replace him. He offers the job to O'Brian. O'Brian declines the post. That idea soon changes when Wright is killed by slightly nuts gunman, Hal Baylor.
Baylor and his brother, Denver Pyle, lead a group of gamblers and gunmen that are trying to take over the town. O'Brian straps on a brace of pistols and comes a looking for Baylor. Baylor however has hotfooted it out of town before O'Brian can get a grip on him.
O'Brian settles for arresting Pyle whom he quickly jails. When he takes Pyle before the town judge. The case is dismissed. The Judge, Marshall Bradford, is in the pocket of Pyle and his bunch.
We are now introduced to a young man by the name of Bat Masterson. Masterson is played by, Mason Alan Dinehart. Dinehart wants to be a lawman as well but O'Brian says he is a tad young for it.
The local newspaper owner, Richard Travis, goes to Judge Bradford and tells him that he has sent a letter to the State Governor. He is listing all the kickbacks Bradford has taken. Bradford agrees to quit, and quickly leaves town. Travis is appointed the new Judge.
Pyle's gang returns to town and O'Brian takes out three of them in quick succession. Pyle and Baylor however are not among them.
This is the first of a three-episode arc on O'Brian's chase of Baylor and Pyle.
The director was, Lewis R. Foster. Foster's film work includes the westerns, TONKA, EL PASO, THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK, THE LAST OUTPOST, PASSAGE WEST and DAKOTA INCIDENT.
The d of p was Sid Hickox. Hickox's work is well known to fans of film-noir. He lensed, THE BIG SLEEP, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, POSSESSED, DARK PASSAGE, LIGHTINING STRIKES TWICE and WHITE HEAT. His dusters include, FORT WORTH, CHEYENNE, ALONG THE GREAT DIVIDE, Colorado TERRITORY, DISTANT DRUMS and SILVER RIVER. (B/W)
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