Lucas is ordered by a murderous town owner to loose a public shooting match, or he will kill his sharpshooting opponent and possibly harm his son Mark.





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Episode complete credited cast:
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
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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 »


In the second round of shooting, Vernon is called for "four in the center, one just out." In fact, the fifth shot was touching the center ring and according to shooting rules if it touches the center ring, it is considered in the center ring. See more »


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

Ten is not high enough!
8 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was an EXCELLENT way to begin this WONDERFUL series! It first appeared on Zane Grey's Theater. If you ever get a chance to read information on the background of this episode, you should because it is absolutely fascinating on how Lucas McCain came to carry a rifle and have a son.

Of course, there are so many wonderful scenes in this episode. I couldn't go through every one of them, but I will state that one of my favorite scenes is near the beginning as Lucas and Mark are riding onto what would soon become the McCain Ranch. Father and son side-by-side. Then riding into town and Lucas looking into Mark's eyes before leaving to go do his "thing." Then the hug at the end. It sets up the relationship you will soon find.

Of course, what they don't really tell you is that Lucas' wife, Margaret, died of Small Pox when Mark was only six years old. You get this information over the next four years (the disease isn't named until the fifth season).

Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford did an excellent job in this first episode, along with all the wonderful character actors! I can not say enough about it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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