The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)
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The Night of the Bars of Hell 

Jim goes undercover as a prison inspector to investigate a local prison. When Jim is sentenced to die in the electric chair, Arte poses as the executioner to save him.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Warden Theophilus Ragan
Indus Arthur ...
Jennifer McCoy
Milton Parsons ...
The Executioner
Chet Stratton ...
Adams -\sHotel Desk Clerk
Jenie Jackson ...
Kitten (as Jeni Jackson)
Shawn Michaels ...
Convict Painter
Gideon McCoy (as Elisha Cook)


Jim goes undercover as a prison inspector to investigate a local prison. When Jim is sentenced to die in the electric chair, Arte poses as the executioner to save him.

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Release Date:

4 March 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first of four Wild Wild West episodes directed by Richard Donner, who would go on to direct the 1992 big-screen version of Maverick. The writer of this episode, Robert Wright Vincent, also wrote the final episode of the Maverick TV series, "One of Our Trains Is Missing." See more »


A prisoner is sentenced to be executed in the electric chair. The first use of the electric chair was in the 1890s. The first chair was built in 1889; the first man to be executed was William Kemmler in New York's Auburn Prison on 6 August 1890. The process took eight minutes and resulted in the body catching fire. See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Westerns (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Stone walls do not a prison make
3 December 2013 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Produced by Gene L.Coon, Robert Vincent Wright's 'The Night Of The Bars Of Hell' was directed by Richard Donner. Jim is posing as 'Charles Lane', an inspector from the Bureau of Prisons. Three attempts are made on his life in a short space of time - his bed is booby-trapped, a man throws a red-hot horseshoe at him in the street, and the owner of the hotel Jim is staying at tries to gas him as he slumbers. The warden of the nearby prison - 'Ragan' ( Arthur O'Connell ) - is exploiting the criminal abilities of his convicts for financial advantage i.e. making them commit robberies and so on.

'Jennifer McCoy' ( Indus Arthur ) has an uncle on Death's Row - 'Gideon McCoy' ( Elisha Cook Junior ) - and she wants Jim to find out what he did with her inheritance. Jim meets him and is baffled as to why the man has a sun-tan and well-manicured fingernails. Arte, meanwhile, is disguised as a street preacher. When the executioner arrives in the town, he takes his place. Unfortunately, Gideon has been substituted for Jim, who will become the first man in America to die in the electric chair...

Vincent wrote episodes of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea - including the excellent 'And Five Of Us Are Left' - and this is up to the same standard. Arthur O'Connell had recently menaced Dean Martin's 'Matt Helm' in 'The Silencers' ( he played BIG O agent 'Joe Wigman'; ). The corpulent Jenie Jackson, cast as 'Kitten', played another character of that name in the Donner-directed 'The Night Of The Murderous Spring'. Again Conrad's stunts are a marvel to behold, including the sight of him crashing through a wall in the prison and finding himself in a secret drinking and gambling den.

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