The Rifleman (1958–1963)
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Old Man Running 

Mark's grandfather visits, running from present troubles while seeking to resolve troubles from the past.



(as A.M. Zweiback)

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Episode cast overview:
Lucas McCain
Mark McCain
Marshal Micah Torrance
Lou Mallory
Mal Sherman
Bob Sherman
Arthur Batanides ...
Littleboy Sherman
Nils Swenson
Samuel Gibbs


Sam rides into Northfork, on the run from present trouble, while seeking to deal with trouble from the past. For Sam is none other than Mark's grandfather, the father of Lucas' long-dead wife and mother of his son. Sam is being chased by three brothers who want to avenge Sam's killing a member of their family. Sam wants to get away, but also wants to see Mark, for he wants Mark's forgiveness for a dark past. Lucas, and Mark, must first help Sam overcome his current danger. Then they must grapple with their feelings about the past, in order to find a way to a new relationship with old Sam. Written by Charles Delacroix

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Plot Keywords:

grandfather | forgiveness | rifle | See All (3) »


Family | Western





Release Date:

25 March 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final appearance of Patricia Blair as Lou Mallory. Her disappearance was never explained. Like her predecessor Milly Scott, she was there one day and gone the next. See more »


The map on the wall of Micah's office shows the pre-Civil War borders of the New Mexico Territory, which also encompassed Arizona. The territory had been split during the war. See more »

Crazy Credits

Chuck Connors breaks the 4th wall in the opening credits after he shoots his riffle and then stares into the camera. See more »

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User Reviews

Good or bad? -- you decide
7 June 2013 | by See all my reviews

"The Rifleman"'s producers must have thought highly of John Anderson, because he appears in 11 episodes, more than two episodes per season. In one case, he was in episodes airing a week apart. In one Anderson was bearded, in the other shaven, so they must have thought no one would notice. (Anderson was a popular actor in 50s and 60s television (not to be confused with comparably popular Richard Anderson); regular TV viewers would have quickly recognized him, regardless of makeup.) "The Rifleman" certainly revealed the range of his acting skills.

The writer apparently had never heard of the "real" Sherman brothers, so when they arrive, you're expecting them to sing "A Gun Full of Bullets".

This is one of those episodes that, like "The Guest" (see my review), is hard to pass rational judgment on. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, because it's the sort of story screenwriters are urged to write -- //the most-important story you can tell about your character//. But the whole thing has a "mechanical" quality -- events grind through to their predictable end with nary a surprise or dramatic twist. Anderson's fake beard is beautiful and convincing, though.

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