Bret is picked clean & stranded in Sunny Acres by the burg's arrogant banker, so he puts together an M Team of con artists to take down & embarrass the handle-barred buzzard in Denver, ...
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Bret is picked clean & stranded in Sunny Acres by the burg's arrogant banker, so he puts together an M Team of con artists to take down & embarrass the handle-barred buzzard in Denver, while Bret sits whittling & rocking in a chair on a shady Sunny Acres porch, poor-mouthing all by-passers that he's "just working on" a plan. The small-town banker is way out of his league in silver-rich Denver with seductive Sam Crawford, intimidating Big Mike, slicksters Gentleman Jack & Dandy Jim etc. as Maverick's operatives in this classic episode. Written by
Pure Maverick. If this one didn't establish the series' cult following, I don't know what did. it's an all-star line-up of favorite con-men and women, from brother Bart to Dandy Jim to Gentleman Jack to sly Samantha, with shambling muscle-man Leo Gordon for good measure. Somehow, I expected a curtain call instead of the usual credit crawl. Of course, these characters, colorful as they are, would be no more than ornamentation without a good story.
And a good story it is. Banker Bates (John Dehner) has stolen $15,000 from Bret and hamstrung any legal way of getting the money back. Since Bret can't get the money back by fair means, there's always the foul. And of course in the best Maverick tradition that means outwitting your opponent instead of shooting or clubbing him in the custom of the day.
So what does Bret do. He leans back on a Main Street chair and whittles. All day, every day. It seems the townsfolk get curious as to how such a casual attitude and inert posture can possibly win back his money, to which Bret answers with a grin, "I'm working on it." And indeed he is. Because as we know, but the town folks don't-- this great cast is not assembled for nothing.
The script is from writer Marion Hargrove and producer-writer Roy Huggins who began his career as a screenwriter. In fact, many of the best of these early scripts come from their collaboration and this one is no exception. It's a great episode all the way from the clever title to the gratifying conclusion. And as we all end up finding out, Bret is indeed working on it.
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