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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WAGON TRAIN "The C.L. Harding Story" 1959
WAGON TRAIN was one of the most popular western series to ever hit television. The series was about the adventures of a wagon train crossing the country. Each episode focused on a person in the train or a problem faced by the train. The series ran for 284 episodes between 1957 and 1965.
For the first 134 episodes the wagon master was played by Ward Bond. After Bond's death in 1960, John McIntire took over for 152 episodes. Other series regulars were, Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Fuller and Robert Horton.
Many Hollywood types guest starred on the show, these include the likes of, Dan Duryea, Harry Carey Jr, Henry Brandon, L.Q. Jones, Ann Blyth, Ernest Borgnine, Rhonda Fleming, Bette Davis, E. Cook Jr, Jan Sterling, Debra Paget, Mickey Rooney, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Shelly Winters, Sterling Hayden, William Bendix, Virginia Mayo, Peter Lorre and Barbara Stanwyck.
This episode is the 80th of the production run. The guest stars are Claire Trevor and in his second acting role, singer Johnny Cash. Ward Bond has agreed to take along a news reporter from one of the big Eastern newspapers. He is in for a big surprise when the C.L. Harding he was expecting turns out to be female (Claire Trevor). Bond is not amused with this idea but is forced into taking the woman and her secretary along.
Trevor wires her stories of life on the trail from all the towns they pass by. The series is a hit with the readers and Miss Trevor slowly grows on Bond. The nosey Trevor though causes trouble when she rides out to explore some Native graveyards. The local tribe is less than pleased here and the wagon train is lucky to get away without violence.
Trevor then pokes her nose into an election for a man to stand as judge for the train. The man will help settle the squabbles etc that arise during the journey. Miss Trevor argues that the women of the train should also have a vote. She then leads the woman on a strike. No more washing, sewing and cooking till the matter is settled. The disagreement is ended when the wagon train passes into Wyoming. Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote.
Needless to say, the more Bond and Trevor argue, the more they are attracted to one another. The match though is not one that can be made. They both are too stubborn to give up their own work.
Also in the mix here as the man who running for the train judge, is singer Johnny Cash.
The director of the episode is long time television helmsman, Herschel Daugherty. Daugherty cranked out about 300 plus episodes from over 80 diff series between 1952 and 1975.
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