The town's richest and most popular man is convicted and sentenced to be hung for the revenge murder of his son's killer. He is undaunted by this because he is counting on no one in town be willing to act as executioner.
The leading citizen, Jud Hammerklein, is found guilty of murdering a gambler who had killed his son in cold blood earlier. Judge John Jefferson Hogan sentences Jud to hang. Since no one in Deadhorse is willing to be the hangman, the Judge sends for a professional executioner. Rowdy and Quince spot a mule which leads Rowdy to a pile of rocks. It is a grave but the man inside it is alive. The man, Hannibal H. Plew, recovers but Hey Soos has an uneasy feeling about him. When a rattlesnake bites Hey Soos, Hannibal teaches the men a new way to treat it that saves Hey Soos. Hannibal must be in Deadhorse by the thirteenth so he rides in with Wishbone and Mushy who go there for supplies. After he examines the scaffolding being built, they go to the saloon where he reveals to the men and Jud who he is. The Hammerklein boys admit trying to kill and stop him even though their father had promised everything must go by the law up to 3:00 pm on the thirteenth but he does not expect to be hanged - ... Written by
A whole lot of good guest stars are wasted in this two part Rawhide story. Still when you have Broderick Crawford, Burgess Meredith and Chill Wills on the same show it should be looked at. Three of the greatest scene stealers ever.
Broderick Crawford owns the local Ponderosa in the area and he is found guilty of shooting down a tinhorn gambler who murdered his eldest son. He's been sentenced to hang. But hang he will not because his ranch drives the economic engine of the town. And like Ben Cartwright he has two surviving sons Paul Carr and Hampton Fancher to see no one gets any ideas.
Personally I could not see a jury of his peers convicting him given who and what he was. And a good lawyer could have gotten him off on a temporary insanity plea. You can't tell me Crawford couldn't afford one.
Anyway the imported hangman Burgess Meredith is ambushed and left for dead and found by the drovers. Meredith has a crick in his neck like Igor, but he proves very useful around camp, especially when saving Robert Cabal from snakebite.
Meredith and Crawford give great performances as does Chill Wills as the sheriff torn between duty and friendship. But the plot is ridiculous.
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