Stories of the Century: Season 1, Episode 16

Black Bart (6 May 1954)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 8 users  
Reviews: 1 user

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Title: Black Bart (06 May 1954)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Mary Castle ...
Arthur Space ...
Black Bart
Sammy Ogg ...
Marc Hamilton ...
Bob Harris
Frank Sully ...
Stage driver MacArdle
Sheriff Bascome


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Release Date:

6 May 1954 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

"You can tell all your grandchildren that the man who taught you to handle a gun was Black Bart."
2 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly, most of the elements revealed in this story were based on the real life story of Charles Earl Bowles, an English born outlaw who worked alone in California from about 1875 to 1883. He was considered a gentleman bandit for his style and sophistication, and even though he only left poems at two of his robberies, they ultimately became the outlaw's trademark signature.

It wasn't specifically mentioned in this episode, but the reason Bowles, also known as Black Bart, went around on foot was because he was terrified of horses. Interestingly, even though he carried a sawed off shotgun, he never fired a gun in any of the twenty eight robberies attributed to him.

Character actor Arthur Space was a good choice to portray Black Bart because of his charm and bearing. Historically, the real Black Bart was tracked down by a pair of Wells Fargo detectives who traced his handkerchief's laundry mark to the Ferguson and Biggs California Laundry in San Francisco. Following his arrest, Bowles was only charged with his final stage robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison and released after four for good behavior.

Not only was this episode reasonably accurate, but it was entertaining as well in that the affable actor Space showed a kindness and courtesy to a young teenage boy who had just received his first rifle from his father. Bart/Bowles taught him some safety procedures so he wouldn't wind up hurting himself or others.

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