The marshal of San Ardo is murdered. The town is concerned it may be a part of a plot to rob the bank. There is only one able bodied man in town to serve as marshal but he doesn't want to serve.



(teleplay), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Clay Burnett
Veringo - Outlaw Leader
Jenny--erroneously listed as Charity in on-screen credits
Maurie - Gunman
Pete Daley
Tim Graham ...
Jess Robbins
Jason O'Neill
Himself - Host


A small Western town is jolted from its serenity by the murder of its marshal. The townspeople unanimously choose rancher Clay Burnett to fill the post and to track down the killers. But Burnett, desiring a quiet and peaceful life, refuses, and he is accused of being a coward.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

23 November 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


TV debut of Morgan Woodward. See more »

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User Reviews

The gunman's trade
15 August 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This Zane Grey Theater western takes place in the sleepy town of San Ardo where Gerald Mohr and henchmen Harry Lauter and Morgan Woodward gun down the marshal from ambush. It's all part of their nefarious scheme to throw the forces of law and order into disarray so they can rob the stagecoach.

Mayor Robert Burton of San Ardo offers the now vacant marshal's job to his prospective son-in-law Wendell Corey. But all Corey wants to do is settle down with Peggie Castle, he's given up the gunman's trade.

Like Michael Corleone said, sometimes you're just dragged back in. Best part of the story is the dialog between Corey and the sadistic Mohr. Mohr's penchant for little sadistic twists to his trade are what does him in.

Interesting that both Corey and Castle died relatively young and from alcoholism. That sad end you could never foresee watching them here.

Another fine Zane Grey Theater teleplay.

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