Maverick Solitaire was introduced. Within a few days after airing, nearly every store in the United States sold out of playing cards. See more »
When Charlie Caldwell is on the stand being questioned, the defense lawyer makes a comment about not needing a license to shoot off your mouth. The people in courtroom are shown and one sitting near the back is Charlie who is still on the witness stand. See more »
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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