WHISPERING SMITH was western star Audie Murphy's attempt at headlining a series. Murphy plays a member of the Denver Police Force in the late 1860's. The series follows Murphy and his partner, Guy Mitchell, as they chase various unsavoury types and bring them to justice. The series ran for 26 episodes between May and November 1961.
This episode is the second of the production run.
Murphy and Mitchell have just brought in a pair of young men they caught doing a spot of midnight shopping. Murphy was lightly wounded and is given the next three days off to recover. At the same time, just outside of Denver, a wagon stops and three people, June Walker, Gloria Talbott and Robert Redford exit. Redford buckles on a gun belt and does some quick draw shooting at a scarecrow. The man is lightning fast.
The three are on their way to Denver for a spot of vengeance. It turns out that Lawman Murphy had killed Walker's husband, a wanted killer, a decade before. She has raised her kids, Talbott and Redford to seek revenge when they grow up. The old bitty, Walker has been planning this for a long time.
Talbott falsely accuses Murphy of trying to molest her. The mother, Walker, arrives with witnesses and Murphy is soon in hot water with the Denver City council. This is all going to Walker's plan. They want Murphy tossed off the Police force so that Redford can challenge him to a gunfight for molesting his sister.
Murphy is indeed thrown off the force and Redford calls him out. The two square off in the street and pull iron. Redford might be fast, but he has never drawn iron on a man before. Murphy of course has plenty of experience in this area and drills Redford in the shoulder, knocking him to the dirt.
The mother, Walker runs to her boy and grabs up his pistol to shoot Murphy. This does not happen, as the daughter Talbott has stepped into the line of fire and collects the bullet instead of Murphy. Talbott is dead, her son wounded and Walker's plan for revenge over.
The episode is okay, but really nothing special. The series so far feels more like a 1950's style Police procedural than a western.
Redford is decent here, and is only into his second year of screen time. Horror and Sci-fi fans will recall Miss Talbott from, THE CYCLOPS, THE LEECH WOMAN and that 50's classic, I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE.
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