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
In the "showdown" sequence, when Rance McGrew is backing away from Jesse James, the funeral parlor hoves into view and reveals that the Funeral Director is "C. Nyby" (a nice little in-joke, as the director of this episode is one Christian Nyby!). See more »
(at around 18 mins) During a scene that is taking place in a time well before cars existed, the camera elevates and shows a hilly backdrop. A cement truck can be seen driving up a road. See more »
[Mocking Rance McGrew]
Just like I figured. This guy couldn't outdraw a crayon.
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Rod Serling wrote two scripts for series three that were inspired by an idea from another writer, Frederick Louis Fox. The other was the quaint but likable 'Hocus-Pocus and Frisby'. Fox was generally a writer of TV western screenplays, so unsurprisingly this one is set in the world of the then popular TV-west-that-never-was.
Rance McGrew (Larry Byden) is TV cowboy who suddenly steps out of his make-believe world and into the 'real' west where he is confronted by Jesse James.
It starts brightly with visual gags, a film crew and the ridiculousness of the sixties' TV western. However when Jesse James came in he was such an anodyne character of the TV western ilk anyway, when the show needed a dynamic and deadly, movie type like Lee Marvin ('The Grave', series three) or Martin Landau ('Mr Denton On Doomsday',series one). The rest falls very flat as there is nothing to consider remotely realistic about Jesse James, and so the story peters out badly.
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