The Rifleman: Season 4, Episode 12

The High Country (18 Dec. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Family, Western
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 32 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Two mountain men ride by the McCain ranch and one, Ambrose, is enamored with Lucas' rifle. He tries to trade for it but Lucas won't trade. He is set on getting the gun and later that night ... See full summary »



(as Calvin Clements)
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Title: The High Country (18 Dec 1961)

The High Country (18 Dec 1961) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Episode cast overview:
Marshal Micah Torrance (credit only)
Booth Colman ...
Mrs. Morgan
Jan Stine ...


Two mountain men ride by the McCain ranch and one, Ambrose, is enamored with Lucas' rifle. He tries to trade for it but Lucas won't trade. He is set on getting the gun and later that night they return to ranch and try to steal it. In the scuffle Gorwin is accidentally killed. Lucas returns his horse to his people in the high country but Ambrose has lied about what happened to Gorwin and the hill people hold Lucas accountable. A trial is called and Lucas is found guilty of murder and sentenced to five years labor to pay for Mrs. Morgan's loss. Written by tomtrekp

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rifle | See All (1) »


Family | Western




Release Date:

18 December 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?

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

Lucas is introduced to a hill clan's justice
12 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

James Coburn plays a hill person named Ambrose that has already been thrown out of North Fork and now has taken a shining to Lucas's rifle. That evening Ambrose and a boy from the clan, Gorwin, tries to steal the rifle. In the struggle over the rifle the gun accidentally goes off and kills the innocent Gorwin. Ambrose high tails it back to the hills.

For some strange reason Lucas will take Gorwin's horse back up to the hills to return to the clan. When he gets to the village, Ambrose has already told a story that Lucas killed Gorwin. And through some type of court proceeding Lucas is sentenced to five years of hard labor to replace the person he killed. It looks bleak for Lucas as he is chained in the yard for the next five years.

Was nice to see young James Coburn playing a western villain but it was the script that just did not hold up well to review. The concept of the story seemed to spark interest but when the script went to screen it just did not have the entertainment value that we are accustom in the series. They even tried to throw in a little love interest as one of the young hill girls tries to cop-a-feel of the chained up Lucas McCain. That scene was absolutely ridiculous and had no bearing on the outcome nor the plot. Even with some odd moments, the show's thirty minute time frame was short enough to avoid pitfalls and make for nice watch.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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