Intros brother Bart (Jack Kelly) teaming with Bret to board a riverboat's maiden voyage, sold out to Creole aristocrats with gambling fever. To crash the private cruise, the Mavericks intro... See full summary »
Intros brother Bart (Jack Kelly) teaming with Bret to board a riverboat's maiden voyage, sold out to Creole aristocrats with gambling fever. To crash the private cruise, the Mavericks intro themselves to the ship's French owner, whose lovely daughter Yvette is shanghaied right after the Mavericks are rebuffed. The brothers pursue the kidnappers, hoping to win the jeune fille, an invitation, and a reward. At the New Orleans cabaret where the Mavericks meet Yvette, pop singer Don Durant ("Johnny Ringo") croons "Get Along Home Cindy" to her. Durant was a runner-up for the role of Bart. Written by
The episode title shown at the beginning of the episode is "Hostage", but the title listed at the beginning of the end credits is "Hostage!" - with an exclamation point. See more »
Look Inspector, I know this case is mighty important to you. You get the girl back and Devereaux's your friend for life. He might even make you chief of police. But I don't trust you as far as I could throw you, which I'd truly enjoy doing.
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A Rather Average Episode Introduces Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly)
I imagine that there was some kind of panic at Warner Brothers when they realized that they were falling behind in their shooting schedule and needed to quickly introduce another hero lead. An episode like this appears to have been written solely for Bret Maverick as the hero, and quickly rewritten to add in his brother Bart.
As such, adding a second hero just seems redundant and causes all kinds of plot holes. For example. when both heroes see the girl kidnapped into a store, Bret goes in after her while Bart stays outside. If Bart was a poor sidekick, one could see this, but if you want to show him as the hero, why take him out of the action in this way? Then they switch roles and Bart goes to get the ransom money and plan out a rescue, while Bret is left in the sidekick role of just being a hostage with nothing to do. If this had been a normal episode, Bret would have bamboozled the three dumb kidnappers and been making love to the girl by the time Bart had picked up the ransom money and returned.
Here, the fact is obvious that nobody thought out in advance the character of Bart Maverick and how the two characters should differ. The feeling isn't so much that you have two brothers, but you have the same character being played by two different actors.
Ultimately, Bart's trick of using black powder to make a bomb to bluff the kidnappers into releasing their hostages isn't very clever or satisfying. It is hard to see why he didn't just draw his gun in advance to get the drop on his adversaries.
This episode is average for television Western at the time and no where near the higher quality episodes of "Maverick." This was a harbinger of things to come. While nobody has expressly said so, as far as I know. James Garner got most of the well written and well done episodes, while Jack Kelly seems to have gotten the inferior ones. While the episodes with Kelly are not bad, they rarely reach the quality of writing, production or direction that the James Garner ones do.
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