Stories of the Century: Season 2, Episode 10

Jim Courtright (22 Feb. 1955)

TV Episode  |   |  Western
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Kristine Miller ...
Robert Knapp ...
Jim Courtright
Wally Cassell ...
Luke Short
Fred Sherman ...
Marshal Tom Johnson
Lee Roberts ...
Wounded Driver
...
Henchman Huck (as Daniel White)
Rory Mallinson ...
Sam Schaefer
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Genres:

Western

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Release Date:

22 February 1955 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"Well I reckon you're here about the shootin' the other day."
24 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With these 'Stories of the Century' you never know if the presentation you're watching has any semblance of credibility or not, but the one here on Jim Courtright is fairly reliable. Courtright was a former marshal of Fort Worth, Texas who had a feared reputation as a gunman. In fact, though it wasn't mentioned in the story, he had reduced the murder rate in Fort Worth by more than half during his tenure. He did it in large measure by running what most would consider a protection racket, which actually would have put him in the same company as his contemporaries, The Earp Brothers of Tombstone.

That's pretty much what happens in this episode, as Courtright (Robert Knapp) attempts to shake down saloon owner Luke Short (Wally Cassell) for protection money. Historically, this was pretty much spot on, though the show didn't mention that Short also had a reputation as a gunman. I got a kick out of the name of Short's establishment - it was The White Elephant. I wouldn't have believed it based on watching a TV program, but a Wikipedia entry confirms the name, thereby further enhancing this little episode's accuracy.

Series regular Margaret Jones (Kristine Miller), working undercover at Short's saloon, formed a questionable romantic relationship with Courtright in order to learn what she could of the outlaw's operation. Her partner, Railroad Detective Matt Clark (Jim Davis) was also working the investigation into Courtright's activities, including the murder of a rancher to open the episode.

The story ends pretty much the way it did in real life. Because Short refused to pay the protection demand, and because the men genuinely hated each other, they met in front of the White Elephant to have it out in a showdown. Because of his stature, it surprised the town folk that Short, because he was actually short and stocky, outdrew Courtright and killed him in the gunfight. It was one of the more surprising endings in the series, all the more so because it happened pretty much in real life the way it was presented here.


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