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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE RIFLEMAN The Legacy - 1959
This is the 51st episode from the 1958 to 1963 western series, THE RIFLEMAN. Over the course of 168 episodes we follow the life of Lucas McCain and his son, Mark. They have moved to the small western town of North Fork where they hope to start a new life. Chuck Connors headlines the series with Johnny Crawford as his son. Connors is a world class hand with a Winchester rifle which of course ends up getting him in no end of trouble.
The local town drunk, James Barton, has a heart attack after being bullied by several young men. Connors has Barton set up in a room to see if he will recover. Barton however takes a turn for the worse. Barton asks Connors to send a message out east to Boston. He would like to see his son before he dies. He has not seen the lad since he was three or four.
Barton, somewhat ashamed about his lack of possessions, asks Connors to pretend to be partners with Barton in Connors' ranch. Connors agrees. Several weeks later the stage pulls in and offloads a real dude looking easterner. The man, James Franciscus, is here to see Barton. There is a short reunion where Franciscus asks the old fellow for some cash. Franciscus is in school trying to become a lawyer. It is a rather expensive deal. Needless to say this is when Barton shuffles off this mortal coil.
Franciscus is in for a further shock when he finds out there really is no inheritance. Francsicus is so upset, he swears out some arrest warrants against the two young guys who had caused his father's heart attack. Of course this causes no end of trouble for Francsicus with the local population.
It takes Connors' cool head and good advice to cool down the situation. This one really has a real rushed feel to it, with more than enough plot for several episodes.
Also in the cast are Denver Pyle, Jack Grinnage and Paul Jasmin. This one is sort of a middle of the road episode. Not good, nor is it bad.
When Pop Simmons, the local good natured drunk, is childishly harassed
by some eighteen year old boys- the old man sufferers a heart attack.
The dying man has one request- to see his son that is a lawyer in
Boston. Lucas writes a letter to the son and it is not long before the
son, Philip Simmons, comes to see his long lost father.
Philip has not seen his father since he was young and knows nothing about his life. When Philip arrives there is more to this meeting than meets the eye. And when 'Pop' dies, Philip only thought is to sign warrants on the two eighteen year old boys for murder which is much to the dislike of the people of North Fork.
This was a very interesting story that ended way too abruptly. There was a lot of good material in this episode that was not used. The story about the teenagers in jail could have been an episode by itself but was quickly mentioned in the loaded thirty minute show. Too much material in this episode that was never explored.
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