Tales of Wells Fargo (1957–1962)
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The Thin Rope 

Jim Hardie is assigned to ride shotgun on a stagecoach that was held up carrying a valuable cargo of gold, but has to contend with a driver who thinks he can handle any outlaws he meets with all by himself.


(as Les Martinson)


(story), (teleplay)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Button Smith / Pete Johnson
Russell Thorson ...
Wells Fargo Manager Jefferson
Jacqueline Holt ...
Relay Station Girl
Willow Creek Sheriff
Dr. Holmes
Kit Carson ...
Outlaw Leader


Jim Hardie is a special agent for Wells Fargo. The Rimrock stage was hit by bandits with the driver killed but the wounded shotgun Button Smith gets the gold and stage to Willow Creek. There a doctor tends to Button while the Sheriff locks the gold in his jail and notifies Well Fargo in San Francisco about the attempt. Wells Fargo Manager Jefferson decides to give Button an award for saving the cargo and to send Jim Hardie to help by riding shotgun with Button as driver. Button recently transferred from the Wyoming branch of Wells Fargo so Jim is not familiar with him. On the way to Willow Creek Jim stops at the relay station outside San Francisco telling them to expect the stage the next day and to have horses ready. Jim tells Button about his plans which surprises Button. As they leave Willow Creek three other men ride out. When they stop for water, the three unmasked men hold them up. Jim with Button helping is able to jump, draw and shoot all three men. That evening while camped ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

18 March 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Jim Hardie: [narrating] The firm of Wells Fargo played an important part in the settling and development of our American West. As the frontier moved towards the Pacific Ocean, Wells Fargo moved with it, making the hundreds of towns that sprang up in that great wilderness with roads over which their stagecoaches and freight wagons traveled. Wells Fargo's business was transportation and security. Its motto was to safeguard and deliver the goods whether it was human or freight cargo or a ...
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User Reviews

Chuck Connors before The Rifleman
4 February 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

TALES OF WELLS FARGO "The Thin Rope" 1957

TALES OF WELLS FARGO was a western series than ran for a total of 200 episodes between 1957 and 1962. Dale Robertson plays the lead as Jim Hardee. Hardee is an agent for the stage and cargo hauling outfit. When something goes wrong he is the man they send to fix it.

This episode is the first of the series. A Wells Fargo stage is attacked by a foursome of holdup men. The diver is killed but the guard manages to bring the stage in after killing two of the bandits. The guard, Chuck Connors, is wounded in the attack. While the local doc in patching up Connors, the Sheriff, Art Space, contacts Wells Fargo by wire.

As it so happens, agent Dale Robertson is handy and is dispatched to the scene. He takes over riding shotgun while Connors takes over as the driver. On board the stage is a strongbox with $20,000 in cold hard cash. The stage is heading to the company head office in San Francisco. Robertson takes a liking to the lanky Connors who always has a smile on his face. Robertson though has one of those "something wrong with this picture" feelings. He is not sure what it is, but it bothers him.

Matters get hot when the stage is ambushed by another bunch of hold-up men. Robertson pulls iron, as does Connors, and the three pistoleros are soon suffering from severe lead overdoses. The audience sees that one of men called Connors by another name before Connors drills him. Maybe Robertson is right about Connors.

The next day as they near San Francisco, Connors takes off with the stage as Robertson steps off for a moment. Robertson manages to grab onto his horse which was tied to the back of the stage, and soon catches up. Connors says the horses were spooked by rattlesnake and bolted. The two continue their journey.

Needless to say there is going to be a spot of gun-play in the near future. The moment comes and Connors is the loser in the dispute. It seems Connors was a bandit himself. He had killed the real guard and taken his papers etc. and presented himself as a Wells Fargo employee. He planned on keeping the gold for himself.

Of note here is the writer, N.B. Stone Jr. Stone was involved in two top flight western films. He supplied the story for Randolph Scott's swan song, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, as well as the story and screenplay for Robert Mitchum's MAN WITH THE GUN.

Dale Robertson was on the big and small screen from 1948 to 1994. While never an A-list star, Robertson made quite a few decent westerns in the 1950's. These include, THE CARIBOO TRAIL, (With Randolph Scott) THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLATS, THE SILVER WHIP, DEVIL'S CANYON, SITTING BULL and A DAY OF FURY.

The director was long time television man, Leslie H Martinson. He directed several hundred TV episodes between 1953 and 1989. The only big screen success he had was the 1963 war film, PT-109.

Not bad at all for a first episode.

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