Kicked out of one town, jailed for running a con in the next, Bret's luck turns when a sultry waitress eases him out of stir to work as a spotter in a casino. A cattle drive's heading to ... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (based on a screenplay by)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Molly Gleason
...
Ralph Jordan (as Michael Connors)
Richard Garland ...
Wes Corwin
...
Mike Brill
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Moose Horton
John Harmon ...
Nelson
...
Chris Semple
...
Fletcher
Mitchell Kowall ...
Fred Callahan (as Mitchell Kowal)
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Storyline

Kicked out of one town, jailed for running a con in the next, Bret's luck turns when a sultry waitress eases him out of stir to work as a spotter in a casino. A cattle drive's heading to Bent Fork, so the casino's soon jammed with drunken cowpokes raring to cheat at cards and start shooting. Bret's sharp benefactor Molly proves an alluring mystery: why's she staying in the hottest, driest town in the West, since she has two quick-tempered suitors already, the straight-arrow sheriff and a bank clerk? Written by David Stevens

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Genres:

Comedy | Western

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Release Date:

29 September 1957 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title is based on the firearms' term "blank blank range" which is the minimum effective range for a firearm or in forensics a shot that is fired at about three feet or one meter with the firearm not in physical contact with its target. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[after watching Bret ride into town and enter a saloon]
Molly Gleason: Jed, is he one of the Bar T hands?
Jed: No, never seen him before.
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Soundtracks

Sweet Betsy from Pike
(uncredited)
Written by John A. Stone
Whistled by James Garner
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User Reviews

 
The Real Maverick Pilot
6 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Producer Roy Huggins apparently intended this to be the viewer's first introduction to Bret Maverick. Warner Brothers decided to put on the lighter and weaker episode of "War of the Silver Kings" before broadcasting this one. I would say that Huggins understood the character and series needs more than the execs at Warner Brothers.

The opening shots of the lone rider Maverick being chased by a posse of fifty men shows the usual great sense of humor that the series always had, but here the humor is quickly balanced by more suspense and sharp and surprising plot twists.

It is also enhanced with a wonderful acting performance by Karen Steele as Molly Gleason, a woman who can't decide between Maverick and banker-criminal(and future Mannix actor) Mike Connors. It is rare that a woman character gets to be as indecisive as here. Both Maverick and the audience isn't sure if she's ruthlessly evil or just helplessly caught in a bad scheme by her lover Connors to rob a bank. It could go either way right up the very end.

Usually James Garner is better looking than the women he meets in the series and they're not really a match for him acting wise. However, here Steele looks more than a little like Marilyn Monroe and acts with Marilyn's kind of heart-on-the-sleeve vulnerability that was popular at the time. She actually out-acts Garner in a couple of scenes. Catch the wonderful bit at the end where Maverick says that he has come to say goodbye and she just reacts by immediately and coldly saying "Goodbye." Her contempt for Maverick is expressed clearly and strongly in that one word.

Steele is strikingly out of place in the small western town, as Maverick repeatedly tells her.

Besides Steele's outstanding performance, watch for Peter Brown's quick appearances as a deputy. He went on to star in a great Western series "Lawman" the following year, where he also played a deputy. He starred in a second excellent Western series called "Laredo" in the 1960's, which was probably the closest series to "Maverick" in spirit.

Again, I see this as the great pilot episode that introduces us to the best Western series and character ever on television.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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