When phony wanted posters put a price on the head of a retired Confederate officer, Colonel Sykes' daughter summons Josh Randall to help keep the bounty hunters at bay while also uncovering the person behind the bogus posters.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Jody Sykes (as Gloria Talbot)
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Victor Flam
Vic Perrin ...
Willie Jo Weems (as Victor Perrin)
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Col. Sykes
Joan Banks ...
Clara Hood
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Storyline

Josh Randall rides into Fort Considine, a deserted military camp. All soldiers left some years ago, except the retired Colonel Sykes and his daughter Jody. Sykes has sent a telegram to Josh, asking him for help. Someone has spread a poster announcing 1000 dollars in reward for Colonel Sykes, dead or alive, but the poster is a fake. The man who made the poster obviously wants some bounty hunter to kill Sykes, instead of doing it himself. After some investigation among printers in the area, Josh finds out who printed the poster. The printer says he was forced to do it by a man called Ben Hood. Josh had met Ben during the war. He deserted from the army to get married. In a trial he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for desertion, on a proposal by Colonel Sykes. But Josh finds out that Ben Hood died 10 months ago in jail, so he cannot be the one behind the poster. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Western

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Release Date:

13 September 1958 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

Josh rides into the fort and calls out to Col. Sykes. As he's riding away from the camera, a vehicle's tire tracks can be seen behind the horse. See more »

Quotes

Clara Hood: You might interfere, Mr. Randall. That's why my brother's going to kill you now.
Josh Randall: I was wondering when you'd get around to that.
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User Reviews

 
Can Anything Good Come Out of Hangtree?
22 February 2016 | by (Omaha, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

A solid even if not a standout episode of the fledgling series.

Josh rides into a dusty town looking for Colonel Sykes, a man worth $1000 according to wanted posters throughout the territory. Josh suspects they're fakes, even though they carry the federal seal. Through the help of a kindly printer, Randall is directed to an abandoned fort where the colonel is holed up, hiding from bounty hunters.

The meeting between Josh and Colonel Sykes provides some interesting background on Randall, revealing he was a Confederate soldier under Sykes and that the two men are still friendly. When Sykes speaks disparagingly of bounty hunters, Josh pipes up for his profession, and the colonel walks it back, distinguishing Josh from that other kind.

Josh soon finds himself in a similar situation, insulting the printer Victor Flam by impatiently dismissing his shop talk about margins and cheap paper. Ralph Moody as that printer and newspaper editor is the unsung hero of this episode. He's a world weary prairie sage, and proves to be a calming influence on the jittery Randall. Some simmering suspense is created when a couple amateur bounty hunters buy Flam drinks and pump him for information on the colonel's whereabouts. Flam assures Josh he's not going to sell out Sykes, but Josh isn't so sure and neither is the viewer.

On the trail of clues, Josh travels thirty miles to a town ominously named Hangtree and tries to pass himself off as a printer's devil to Willie Joe Weems. Jim Rockford could pull off these impersonations, but not Josh Randall, who ends up having to beat out of the printer the fact it was Ben Hood who ordered the phony wanted posters. Can anything good come out of Hangtree? No, as indicated by the severe looking woman who glares at Josh as he rides out of town.

The name Ben Hood is not unfamiliar to Josh, sparking Josh to conduct some research in the back issue morgue of the newspaper. Flam is trusting and helpful, putting on a pot of coffee and allowing Josh to spend the night in his office poring over old papers for clues. When Flam returns to his office the next morning Josh inexplicably grabs him and halfway yanks the old man's coat off! Where's Robert Young with a cup of Sanka when you need him? Josh really needed to switch to a decaffeinated brand.

Ben Hood served in the same outfit as Sykes and Randall, but he deserted during time of war. The penalty was death, but at the court martial Sykes requested mercy and Hood was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Josh learned reading the papers that Hood died in jail of typhoid fever ten months earlier, ruling him out as the culprit. Curiouser and curiouser ...

It turns out to be Ben Hood's widow Clara who posted the phony reward, hoping somebody would avenge her husband's death. Complicit in the plot is her brother, Willie Joe Weems. Clara and Willie trail Josh to the abandoned fort ready to kill the colonel and Josh, but those best laid plans go awry. After a spirited catfight and some gunplay that leaves Weems dead, they return to town, and a repentant Clara confesses all. The colonel, meanwhile, was spirited away earlier by Flam and is secure in his home. All's well that ends well.

Gloria Talbott provides the glamor in this episode as Jody Sykes. She plays the protective daughter of the ailing colonel, a virtual reprise of the character she played in the "Home Surgery" episode of GUNSMOKE a few years earlier. Jody is a scrappy role as she gets to hold Josh at riflepoint and later mix it up with Clara. Talbott will make two more appearances on the series, but this would be the only one for Joan Banks as Clara. Vic Perrin is perfect as the weaselly Weems, who even gets his hair pulled by Josh in what proves an effective tactic and one not for women only.

A couple questions I asked as the credits rolled: Did Josh ever return Flam's apron? And didn't those two amateur bounty hunters take suspiciously well the news that the wanted posters were fakes? I wished Flam wasn't broadcasting the colonel's whereabouts just yet. Flam's offering a dollar bounty on each poster the men tear down did provide a lighthearted ending, however, which was welcomed after such a gritty 25 minutes.


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