The Rifleman: Season 1, Episode 1

The Sharpshooter (30 Sep. 1958)

TV Episode  -   -  Family | Western
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 70 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Lucas and Mark McCain ride into the town of Northfork with the hope of buying a ranch and settling down. A shooting match is being held and the prize money could help pay for the ranch...... See full summary »



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Title: The Sharpshooter (30 Sep 1958)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Charles Arnt ...
Mickey Simpson ...
Carl Lamprey
Kathleen Mulqueen ...
Nancy Hanavan
Virginia Aldridge ...


Lucas and Mark McCain ride into the town of Northfork with the hope of buying a ranch and settling down. A shooting match is being held and the prize money could help pay for the ranch...but Jim Lewis, the man who 'runs' Northfork, doesn't want Lucas to win. Written by tomtrekp

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Western




Release Date:

30 September 1958 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The script was originally written by Sam Peckinpah for the western series Gunsmoke (1955). When that show's producers turned it down, he submitted it to Dick Powell, head of Four Star Productions, which produced the anthology series Zane Grey Theater (1956). Powell liked it and gave the go-ahead for its production. It aired on March 17, 1958: Zane Grey Theater: The Sharpshooter (1958). See more »


Lucas is wearing the hat that he wears throughout the series in the opening scene of Sharpshooter. However, in the other scenes, he has a different hat on. See more »


[first lines]
Wes Tippert: Keep your mouth shut. I'll do the talkin'.
See more »

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User Reviews

Lucas and Mark McCain arrive in North Fork, looking to settle there. Lucas enters a shooting contest, but the town big-shot wants him to lose.
1 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A good episode of a great series, including some future (and former) big names. Names like Dennis Hopper, R.G. Armstrong, Leif Erickson from the series High Chaparral, Tony Award-winner Sidney Blackmer, and very busy (though not very famous) character actor Charles Arnt. Perhaps the biggest name of all is series creator and episode writer Sam Peckinpah, director of The Wild Bunch and many other highly regarded films. What brings the Rifleman series above the typical Action/Western series of the time was the relationship between Lucas & son Mark McCain: The respect they had for each other, as well as the elder McCain's attempts to teach his boy how to be a man. This episode doesn't really show that. Like most series, the producers probably developed the show a lot during its first year or so. Yet it's a compelling story, told quickly (in a half-hour). That, plus the great cast of supporters, are what makes this such a good episode.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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