Stories of the Century: Season 1, Episode 18

Bill Longley (20 May 1954)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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After Longley and Kelso escape from a chain gang, Matt goes to a circus where Longley's girlfriend Mamie works while Kelso comes to get Mamie but mistakenly takes Frankie so that Longley must come himself and Matt follows to recover loot.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Mary Castle ...
Douglas Kennedy ...
Marlo Dwyer ...
Mamie Logan
Harry Hayden ...
Parson Jenkins
Fred Coby ...
Hank Kelso
John Halloran ...
Sheriff Milt Mast
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Storyline

After Longley and Kelso escape from a chain gang, Matt goes to a circus where Longley's girlfriend Mamie works while Kelso comes to get Mamie but mistakenly takes Frankie so that Longley must come himself and Matt follows to recover loot.

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Western

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20 May 1954 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"Hey, what kind of a double cross is this?"
4 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In September 1958 a TV Western debuted called "The Texan" starring Rory Calhoun in the title role. His name in the series was Bill Longley, and until I came across this character in "Stories of the Century", I would not have known that there was an actual Bill Longley who had a fearsome reputation as an American Old West outlaw. The character in "The Texan" was a former Southern captain during the Civil War, and upon returning home to learn that his wife had died of scarlet fever, he became a solitary traveler across Texas and the rest of the West.

With these lesser known, or in some cases, virtually unknown characters from history, the stories resembled pretty much any ordinary episode one might have run across in any other TV Western of the era. Bill Longley (Douglas Kennedy) escapes from a prison work detail and tries to make contact with a girlfriend (Marlo Dwyer) who works as a trapeze artist in a traveling circus.

The norm for these shows was that Railroad Detective Matt Clark (Jim Davis) would attempt to track down the outlaw in question while his partner/assistant Frankie Adams (Mary Castle) worked the assignment undercover. While watching this episode, I thought it would have been pretty cool if somehow they worked the story line in a way that put Frankie up on the trapeze instead of Mamie Logan. Instead, the writers put Matt in a clown costume which was probably just about as unbelievable.

The story ends rather anti-climactically with Longley captured and hung for his lawless crimes. Davis's narration at the finale mentions that Longley blamed a revenge motive for his outlaw life but without any further elaboration. Overall, this was not one of the stronger entries in the series.


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