In this expertly written episode by Christopher Knopf, Ryan plays Captain William Kraig, a tough military guy caught with a wimpy Harry Townes bringing to life Corporal Henry Durbin. The battle of wits with the Mexican Colonel del Armija, whose forces captured these two, centers around making either or both prisoners talk.
Armija, performed as Alexander Scourby's Shakespearean-influenced version, figures the 4000 troops behind these two, who carried heavy explosives, are going to either of two targets. The story revolves around trickery and a drink or two in the Mexican's well-appointed tent to discover which one, or with the two prisoners in their small prison cell, until Ryan suddenly stumbles upon an important insight. His realization boosts this episode toward the top of the Zane Grey Theater list of best shows, a tough list to break into anyway.
One can see in Ryan the makings of his signature role, that of Deke Thornton in Samuel Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" filmed eight years after this performance. His acting alone earns one's respect and gratitude for this master of the acting craft.
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