Maverick: Season 1, Episode 17

Rope of Cards (19 Jan. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Western
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 47 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Bret is selected to serve on the jury of a murder trial and finds himself the only member who refuses to believe that the defendant is guilty.


(as Richard L.Bare)


(teleplay), (story)
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Title: Rope of Cards (19 Jan 1958)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jabe Hallock
Joan Marshall ...
Lucy Sutter
William Reynolds ...
Bill Gregg
Tol Avery ...
John Sloan
Hugh Sanders ...
George O'Hanlon ...
Emile Meyer ...
Harry Harvey ...
Store Owner (as Harry Harvey Sr.)
Harry Cheshire ...
Tom Monroe ...
Ken Christy ...
Donald Kirke ...
First Juror


Bret is selected to serve on the jury of a murder trial and finds himself the only member who refuses to believe that the defendant is guilty.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western





Release Date:

19 January 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


To help prove Maverick's claim that five pat hands can be made from any random twenty-five cards, the entire trick is shown - from shuffle to deal to separating the cards into five hands - in one continuous shot. See more »


When Pike deals out Maverick solitaire for the second time, his shirt cuffs have changed. It appears that they used a professional dealer. When they cut back to the view of the whole room, his cuffs have changed back. See more »


[to avoid a deadlocked jury, Maverick bets he can prove Pike's logic is flawed using a card trick]
Pike: Five pat hands in these 25 cards? No... No, I don't.
Bret Maverick: I'll bet another 500 and Bill Gregg's life that there is.
Price: Oh, wait a second, Maverick. You're a gambler and can risk your cash, but you can't put up a man's life against...
Pike: Hold on, wait a minute. Wait. This is between Maverick and me - he named it. What do you mean Gregg's life?
See more »

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User Reviews

Bret Maverick as "Juror #8"
5 July 2012 | by (South Korea) – See all my reviews

I figure any TV show I remember as vividly after more than half a century is worth praising, if only for a lesson in logic as compelling as, and more important in life as well as cards than, the equally memorable but obsolete rule "according to Hoyle" cited in Episode 3. What I didn't recognize as a ten-year-old watching the episode when it first aired in January 1958 was its amusing riff on Twelve Angry Men. The source material cited is a story by the Western writer Robert Ormond Case, presumably "Expert Witness," first published in Collier's in February 1937. However, if I'm right about the story that the scriptwriter R. Wright Campbell used as a springboard, the crucial confrontation for Case occurs on the witness stand in the courtroom, not in the jury room. That makes the debt to Twelve Angry Men, which hit the nation's screens in April 1957, all the more likely, since the plot set-up bears more resemblance to Reginald Rose's Studio One and film script than to the Case short story (inconsequential spoiler alert): a lone hold-out for a not-guilty verdict gradually convinces 10 other jurors to join him before he has to confront a lone hold-out in the opposite direction. I should add, though, that there are crucial differences in tone and message that speak volumes about the position of Maverick vis-à-vis other excellent television Westerns, notably the often high-minded CBS entries Gunsmoke and Have Gun – Will Travel. While Matt Dillon or Paladin would have injected pointed homilies about the proper rational and unbiased uses of individualism along the lines of Rose's Twelve Angry Men scripts, the Maverick script ends with a card trick (the aforementioned "lesson in logic") and a laugh. Not necessarily a better or worse choice, just a different one.

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