Great Story & Great Acting, Led By The Series Host
This is an excellent story, one that is tense throughout and one with realistic, natural dialog. In fact, I'd say it's the best episode I've seen thus far in Season One.
If you know your classic movies or TV shows, the first person you'll recognize in this story is Robert Vaughn, and you might have the same reaction I did: "Wow, does he look young!" Vaughn was 23 or 24 when he filmed this. His acting was superb in this episode, better than I remember when he was older and a "star." He plays "Johnny," the bad guy.
The host of this TV show, Dick Powell, plays Sheriff "Jess Brackett," the good guy. The bartender hires gunslinger Johnny to kill Brackett, because the sheriff was ruining his business by outlawing gambling on the premises.. Brackett has a thing going with the town doctor, "Dr. Ellen Kimberly, played by Beverly Garland.
James Westerfield, as "Bert" the bartender is tremendous in a small role. He doesn't have a recognizable name but Westerfield has a face you'll remember seeing in a lot of TV westerns and the man was a great actor. Claude Aikins, another family face (and name) also guest-stars.
As you can see, Powell certainly attracted a lot of fine actors to his "Zane Grey Theater" television show as this episode so amply demonstrates.
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