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"Stagecoach West" Not in Our Stars (1961)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

My apologies to Lon Chaney Jr.

9/10
Author: kfo9494 from United States
2 August 2016

This episode begins in the middle of the night when Luke hears some commotion outside of the office while he is working on the books. When he looks outside he can find nothing. Later, a family led by the father, Aaron Sutton, and his three boys ride into town. The are looking for a man, Ben Wait (Lon Chaney Jr), and have a warrant. They see Ben's horse outside of the stagecoach office and suspect Luke is hiding Ben. They come into the office with guns drawn. Luke gets the upper hand and sends the family into the night. But the father, Aaron still believes Luke knows the whereabouts of Ben.

Meanwhile, Simon is taking a few passengers, which include a doctor and a former Senator and his family out west. They stop at Zeke's midway station for the evening. Later Ben Wait is found in the barn of the station and instead of being rude to Ben, they hire him as an extra hand around the station. But little do they know that one of the Sutton boys had followed the stagecoach and now returns to get his father and brothers so they can take rural justice out of Ben.

There is much more to this interesting story like the reason the Sutton's are chasing Ben. We also have a cast member that is bit by a rattlesnake and needs more help than the doctor can provide. So as you can see this is a full episode that is packed with action.

I have never been a fan of Lon Chaney Jr's acting ability since his acting in drama scenes are stiff and dull. When it was revealed that Mr Chaney was in the cast, I was looking for a show that was going to be long and tedious. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the ability of Mr Chaney. The role of Ben Wait was written for someone that seemed slow but one could feel remorse for his plight. Mr Chaney made the character someone that the viewer felt pity but also cared what was going to happen. The script played right into Mr Chaney's ability and made for an entertaining episode. I have to say that this was one of Lon Chaney Jr's best drama performance. The viewer is easily caught up in the action.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lon Chaney and Jay C. Flippen

8/10
Author: kevin olzak (kevinolzak@yahoo.com) from Youngstown, Ohio
31 August 2016

The hour long Western STAGECOACH WEST lasted only one season, during a period where prime time was inundated by a plethora of oaters such as Steve McQueen's WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, Nick Adams' THE REBEL, or the rising popularity of BONANZA. Wayne Rogers and Robert Bray starred as US Deputy Marshals operating the Timberland Stage Line from Missouri to San Francisco, Rogers the former Confederate Luke Perry, Bray the former Union captain Simon Kane. Cast as Simon's teenage son Davey was busy child actor Richard Eyer, while James Burke was frequently seen as way station proprietor Zeke Bonner. "Not in Our Stars" is a standout episode due to the presence of veterans Lon Chaney and Jay C. Flippen, Lon as Ben Wait, runaway bonded servant of the despicable Aaron Sutter (Flippen), patriarch of a clan of four sons, pursuing Ben far and wide to exact justice for some unspecified crime. Ben's horse is tethered right outside the Timberland office, tipping off the Sutters that their quarry must be nearby, as our first glimpse of Ben Wait shows him to carry a bloody wound on the side of his head. Luke Perry is roughly interrogated but possesses no knowledge of the fugitive, while Simon Kane drives a quartet of passengers to Zeke's way station, a former senator (J. Edward McKinley), his wife (Stanja Lowe) and daughter (Karen Green), and a doctor (Whit Bissell), whose fondness for the bottle reminds one of Thomas Mitchell in John Ford's "Stagecoach." Davey is already at the station preparing dinner for his father's passengers, soon to find Ben Wait hiding in the barn, telling his tale of woe about buying his freedom from the Sutters with 50 pieces of gold, only to keep one step ahead of their vengeful wrath. During the night, the senator's daughter lies with fever from a rattlesnake bite, the doctor too drunk to offer aid, and only Ben's trust in his book "Grey's Anatomy" allowing him to provide for the girl's well meaning. By morning her parents can be assured that she'll survive, but the arrival of the Sutters might not permit the child's savior to live. Never a dull moment in a tension filled hour that offered Lon Chaney another patented sympathetic role that always brought out his best, with a young Paul Carr cast as the only Sutter who seeks to keep the peace.

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