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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE RIFLEMAN Branaca - 1960
Chuck Connors headlines this 1958 to 1963 western series that ran for 168 episodes. Connors is a world class hand with a Winchester rifle. This of course ends up getting him in no end of trouble.
A local Mexican farmer is murdered and his farmhouse burnt to the ground. The Law, Paul Fix cannot do anything unless the witnesses step up and identify the man who did the deed. They are not willing to trust the law and instead call on a Mexican gunman, Cesare Danova to settle the matter.
Sheriff Fix is sent of town on a false lead as Danova and his men take over the town. They grab the murderer, John Milford, and prepare to kill the man. Chuck Connors steps up and says Milford must get a fair trial if he is guilty.
Danova tells Connors that they will decide who gets Milford after a test of strength between the two of them. Connors and Danova trade punches till one goes down. The winner takes Milford. Connors comes out on top but Milford and a buddy have high tailed it to the local livery stable. They are armed, and have no intention of being jailed.
Connors and Danova go after the two and both villains are soon ready for boot hill. Danova tips his hat, and then leads his men out of town.
A sharp looking episode with Joseph H Lewis at the directing reins. Of note here, is d of p, George Diskant. Diskant is well known to film noir fans as the cinematographer on, PORT OF NEW YORK, RIFFRAFF, BEWARE MY LOVELY, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE RACKET, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, DESPERATE, THE NARROW MARGIN and ON DANGEROUS GROUND. (b/w)
When Pedro Sanchez, a native Mexican descendant of the New Mexico
Territory, is brutally shot outside his home the old ways of the
Mexican people are called upon. Instead of the law handling the problem
the Mexican people call for their own justice in the form of a
gunfighter named Baranca. And Baranca is looking for a man named
When Baranca arrives in North Fork ready to kill Hadley, Lucas will stand up for the law of the land instead of the old ways. This will lead to a showdown between Lucas and Baranca.
The story was very interesting but for some reason the writers threw in a fight scene that was more comical than realistic. If you can overlook that bizarre scene, this story was entertaining. Even Mark's tooth problem gave the show a nice touch.
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