Schlitz Playhouse: Season 3, Episode 26

Night Ride to Butte (26 Feb. 1954)
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" Night Ride to Butte (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Episode cast overview:
Arleen Whelan ...
Carol Bruce
William Bishop ...
Charlie Sewell
James Millican ...
Fred Bonner
Scott Elliott ...
Eddie Saxon
Hank Patterson ...
Station Master
Ray Bennett ...
Sheriff Holmes


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Comedy | Drama




Release Date:

26 February 1954 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Lots of plot for a half hour
12 May 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE – Night Ride to Butte – 1954

One of the more popular anthology series of early television, was, SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE. The long running, 1951 to 1959 series pumped out over 360 episodes. Every week there was a new story starring many of the biggest stars of Hollywood. One week would be a comedy, and the next week could be a war, drama, crime or western themed episode. This particular episode is number 126 of the production run. The episode is a western set in the 1870's

Two Pinkerton type detectives are escorting a large cash shipment ($40,000) to Butte, Montana. The men, James Millican and William Bishop stop at the home of Bishop's bride to be, Arleen Whelan, just to say hello and water their horses. Bishop and Millican are surprised when Whelan shows them a wounded man, Scott Elliott, whom Whelan found in the nearby woods.

The badly wounded Elliott says he was hunting and shot himself in the leg when he took a tumble. Whelan says they need to get the man to Butte before he dies. Bishop is against it but Millican overrules him. They hook up the team and all head for Butte. Whelan rides in the back, taking care of the wounded Elliott.

The wagon soon runs into a posse out looking for a gang that robbed a bank in Butte. Needless to say the posse is in a hanging mood. They take the wounded man as one of the gang. The cash Millican and Bishop are transporting is assumed to be heist money from the hold up. Posse leader, John Doucette, has some ropes produced and a handy tree selected.

This idea is quashed when the Butte Sheriff, Robert Bice, arrives on the scene. He tells the rope happy posse that the gang has been captured, and the money returned. Doucette returns the cash to Millican and leads the posse back to Butte. Millican figures they were pretty lucky to come out of the incident OK.

Or so Millican thinks until 20 minutes later, when Jack Elam and several nasty types come out of the woods with drawn guns. They insist that Millican hand over the $40,000. Then Bishop steps up and joins Elam. Bishop and Elam are part of their own holdup gang. It is Bishop's plan to grab up the cash and start a new life with Whelan down Texas way.

Needless to say, Whelan is not happy with this idea. The wedding is most definitely off! Bishop's original plan had been to bump off Millican, take the cash, Whelan, and head south. Now, there is the added complications of the jilted Whelan, and the wounded man, Elliott. Oh well, looks like bullets all around.

Elliott, though wounded, does not wish to make the big adiós yet, and grabs up the Winchester sitting in the back and starts blasting. Lead is soon flying everywhere with the villains on the receiving end of same. The crooks are ready for boot hill and the money is saved. Elliott is taken into Butte in time for the Doc to fix him up.

Not the best episode of this series I've seen, but it kills a half hour quick enough. (B/W)

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