Rance McGrew is the star of a weekly TV western where he plays the town Marshal. He is, to say the least, difficult to deal with. He is frequently late on the set, arrives unprepared and often requests script changes just as they are about to shoot a scene. To top it off, he's quite inept at handling his gun which he inadvertently tosses into the saloon mirror on more than one occasion. He's given a dose of reality however when he inexplicably finds himself back in time, coming face to face with the real Jesse James. Written by
This is one of my least favorite Twilight Zone episodes. I guess some of it has to do with the demise of the Western as a television staple. At the time this was made, TV was inundated with Westerns, from Bonanza to Gunsmoke and back again. In this one Rance McGrew, a phony baloney, uncooperative actor who has become a hero to his television audience, is accosted by his imaginary rivals. Mainly, the true personage of Jesse James. The silly byplay between Rance, the director, and the other persons on the set is so fifties and so outdated. The story is pretty much the dumb actor being thrown through windows and beaten up and having to change his image to a submissive. Anyway, it is dull, and because of the conclusion, there's no one to root for.
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