In the 1870s, Texas Ranger Earl Webb must escort wanted gunman John Fenner by passenger train through the state of Louisiana to get back home. However, the long, grueling journey is fraught...
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In the 1870s, Texas Ranger Earl Webb must escort wanted gunman John Fenner by passenger train through the state of Louisiana to get back home. However, the long, grueling journey is fraught with danger, including many of Fenner's trigger happy relatives trying to free the prisoner. Written by
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 the 15th of the 3rd season. The episode is a western set in the 1880's.
This one has a Texas Ranger, Stephen McNally, in Alabama looking for a man wanted for shooting another Texas Ranger. The man, Robert Strauss, happens to be a childhood friend of Ranger, McNally. McNally has info that Strauss is about to rob a local train of a payroll.
Ranger McNally boards the train and gets the drop on Strauss before he and a partner can pull the job. He captures Strauss, and kills the partner in an exchange of lead. McNally collects a painful wound in the leg during the battle. McNally and his cuffed prisoner are soon on their way to Texas. McNally wires ahead that he has the man.
At every stop through Alabama, relatives of Strauss try to spring the man from McNally's custody. These range from a county judge to various assorted gun bearing cousins. McNally manages to keep the bunch away by planting a revolver firmly against Strauss's head. It anybody tries anything, McNally will pull the trigger. The journey to Texas takes several days and Strauss comes close several times to getting away on his own.
The journey ends with McNally delivering his prisoner to Austin Texas. A trial, followed by a long spell in a State Prison would appear to be in Strauss's immediate future.
This is an excellent little episode with decent talent in front and behind the camera. The director is Arnold Laven. Writer, producer and director, Laven produced series like, THE RIFLEMAN and THE BIG VALLEY. As a director he helmed, WITHOUT WARNING, VICE SQUAD, DOWN THREE DARK STREETS and THE RACK.
The story and screenplay are by Les Savage. His film work includes, THE HILLS OF UTAH, RETURN TO WARBOW and BLACK HORSE CANYON.
The look of the episode is top notch with 7 time Oscar nominated cinematographer, Russell Harlan at the controls. His films include, A WALK IN THE SUN, GUN CRAZY, RED RIVER, GUILTY BYSTANDER, THE THING, BIG SKY, THE LAST HUNT, RUN SILENT RUN DEEP, RRIO BRAVO, OPERATION PETTICOAT, THE GREAT RACE and TOBRUK.
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