Maverick: Season 1, Episode 17

Rope of Cards (19 Jan. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Western
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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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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?


Maverick Solitaire was introduced. Within a few days after airing, nearly every store in the United States sold out of playing cards. See more »


During the trial, the pliers that were used as evidence, do not have a spring mechanism. They are a simple parallel mechanism that is manipulated by hand, not by spring retraction. So, there could be no broken spring. The pliers are made by Sargent of New Haven Conn. See more »


Blaine: I would like to point out that insults aren't a shooting license.
Jabe Hallock: Seems you don't need a license to go shooting off your mouth.
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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