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Micah's untold fear comes to North Fork.
This episode starts in a rather odd manner, as Micah seems to be ticked off at everyone in town. When there is ruckus at the saloon, Micah has to intervene to quiet the problem and as usual Lucas has his back. But when Lucas steps-in to help, Micah becomes outraged and claims that Lucas is always around and pulls his badge off and sticks it on Lucas. Micah is through always being bailed out by Lucas and returns to his earlier life of being the town drunk.
Later, we learn the reason that Micah is acting so poorly. The Marshal is having nightmare about an enemy that he fears. A man named Ansel Bain is in a nearby town and just the thought of him sends fear into Micah. For some reason Micah believes that Bain will be the end of him.
Lucas knows that in order to save Micah that he has to meet his fears. So he rides out and finds Bain and tells him that his mortal enemy, Micah Torrance, is in North Fork. Bain is on his way.
Cannot say too much more about this episode without giving away the entire program but it goes without saying that Lucas knows that Micah will always be a drunk unless he faces his fears. And the story telling in this script keeps the attention of the viewer the entire time.
Was not really sure why they felt the need to add the great actor Rex Ingram to the guest-cast. He could have made an entire episode by himself but we are left with an almost cameo of a character that was ill-used. Mr Ingram deserved better. Anyway--- it was a entertaining episode that was enjoyable to watch.
The Rifleman: Flowers by the Door (1961)
Interesting story for an unpleasant subject.
The episode begins in a rather disturbing way as we see a beautiful lady receiving a pack of flowers from a stranger and is thrilled by the fact she could have fresh flowers at the door when her husband returns from a trip. But it becomes obvious that she will not live to see her husband as the stranger, who we will learn is Jason Gowdy, grabs the lady by the neck.
In the meantime, Lucas has been helping out a neighbor, Cora, with a broken fence because her husband is away in Santa Fe. Micah rides up and tells Cora and Lucas about a killing in a nearby town and the only clue they have is a pack of flower seeds. Micah tells Cora to be careful.
When Lucas arrives back at his house, Mark tells his Pa that a man was at the house by the name of Jason Gowdy and left him a pack of flower seeds. Lucas takes off to Cora's house as Mark tells him that he was asking about Cora and her absent husband. But when Lucas arrives at Cora's house is when the real excitement of the show begins.
Richard Anderson is brutal as the sweet talking salesman with a disorder for murder. Not only does his character get the upper hand on Lucas but he also goes after the young Mark. Even though the story had a creepy side, it still made for an entertaining watch. Give credit to Richard Anderson for providing realism to the written script. Another good show.
Bonanza: The Dublin Lad (1966)
An interesting twist makes this average show much better.
Little Joe is on a jury that is hearing a case that involves murder. From all the testimony it appears that Irishman Terrence O'Toole has murdered Fred Demmer during a robbery. Joe has a problem convicting the man since he will be sending O'Toole to the gallows. But he goes along with the others and a guilty verdict is reached by the jury.
Afterwards, Joe feel bad about his decision and starts looking for someone else that may have wanted O'Toole to hang. A very easy person is the dead man son, Jeb Demmer. He has been gambling since the trial and Joe has a problem about where all the money is coming. Joe sees Jeb throw away an item that turns out to be his dead father's wallet. Now Joe believes that O'Toole is innocent.
Sounds like a regular type western until we find out that the dead man's wife, Molly, use to know O'Toole in Ireland. We learn that they had a very close relationship many years ago. Now it is not as clear as we first thought.
A very different and interesting end to the story. Without the ending this would have been a average show that has been played out in many other shows. But hold-on and watch the ending where most stories never seem to venture. Good watch.
Johnny O'Clock (1947)
Not bad, if you can past Dick Powell's stiff performance.
This movie is a fine example of late forties and early fifties crime dramas with all the lines and sayings one expect from this type of genre. It involves a classy gangster, an illegal operation, a determined cop and several beautiful dames. All the makings of a movie from this generation.
Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell) is second in command of the mob type gambling operation that is run by the big man, Guido. Guido, a rather large man, has taken a beautiful wife, but it seems the wife has eyes for Johnny. Right from the beginning the viewer knew that this was not going to be healthy for Mr O'Clock.
Anyway after the murder of a corrupt cop, that was working for Guido, and the apparent suicide of the cop's coat-check girlfriend -- a loyal cop, Koch (Lee J Cobb), starts sniffing around the business. He believes that if he can turn the mobster on each other the house of cards will fall. And it is not long before words will follow action.
The story turned out to be somewhat entertaining. If you can get past Dick Powell's stiff performance and staccato way that Powell learned his lines, then this movie is not bad. One bright note in the movie was Lee J Cobb who did an excellent job of the cop hunting-down the mobsters with his famous cigar always nearby.
This is an aged film that represents time gone-by. But if you are looking for a classic Noir movie, then this has all the elements.
Needed a guide to keep up with the characters.
With all the odd names in this program, it was hard to keep up with which character someone was talking about. When on the witness stand it was so easy to get confused as each witness would be talking about someone with a Eastern European name that you could not keep each person apart. For me, it was nearly a complete mess. Plus you thrown-in a character that was playing two parts and you can see trouble was afoot.
An Eastern European government bureaucrat visits Los Angles with some papers that will expose some secrets within the government. The papers, called Volney papers, is suppose to be delivered by Franz Schreck to Eilhu Laban in a rather strange way in an amusement park ride. However the trade does not go well and ends up with Schreck dead and Laban knocked out by an former OSS agent. Laban is charged with murder.
From then on the story gets strange, Laban is given a lawyer, Bruce Jason, that he claims was the person that knocked him out in the amusement park. Now from this point, no Judge in the world would let a defendant be represented by a person that was claimed to be at the murder scene, yet the show continues.
From then on I could not get into the story. Between the lawyer having a double and the names that could not be understood, losing interest was easy. The ending was rather nice as someone cons a few people into revealing the true murderer but the episode has already been lost. Even though the concept was not a bad idea, just did not play well.
The Rifleman: Meeting at Midnight (1960)
Claude Akins makes the unique story enjoyable.
The episode begins with a bank robber, Carl Miller, in jail at the Marshal's office. And now three men ride into town, Schroeder, Mogan and Tom Benton (Claude Akins) with a sinister plot of breaking the bank robber out of jail. The plan is that Tom is going to get arrested and provide a pistol to the prisoner and they will escape and split all the money from the bank robbery. But Tom runs into trouble when Lucas recognizes him as a former Captain while in the army.
Tom does manage to get arrested but much to his chagrin, Lucas bails him out. So he tells Lucas that he is secretly working for the government and needs to get back in the jail house to find the hidden loot. Lucas is too happy to oblige.
Without ruining the rest of the story just let me say that the viewer is caught right in the middle of the plot. Is Tom really working for the government or has he just hook-winked Lucas into helping with an escape of a criminal? It will all be revealed in the last part of the episode which includes some gun-play by many in the cast.
The Rifleman: The Jailbird (1960)
An interesting tale that makes for good watching.
The episode begins with Farley Weaver(Dabbs Greer) arriving in North Fork and looking for a job. The thing about Weaver is that he has just been released from the territorial jail after serving time for manslaughter. And as we all know that Lucas is a fair man, he agrees to hire Weaver to help him make repairs on his fence.
When Lucas sends Weaver into town for more wire, the clerk at the store has sold out. But he did tell Weaver that a man outside town may have some for him. Weaver rides out to the Manse farm house only to find that Mr Manse had been murdered. He rushes back and telling Lucas of the event and knows that people are going to accuse him of the crime. And sure enough, Mr Manse mentally slow son, Eli, tells the Marshal that he saw Weaver kill his Pa. But there is more to this interesting story.
There is nothing that really stands out in this episode but the subject matter was indeed interesting. Even though the viewer was well aware of the events, it still did not take away from watching and getting interested in this story. And when a show makes the viewer want to watch, the task has been accomplished. Good watch.
Bonanza: A Natural Wizard (1965)
Too many holes in the story.
Really cannot say much more that what the other reviewer put into words since I agree that the show has so much potential that was unused or could not be used. What is left is a script that had so many holes that the story felt inadequate.
It begins with a red headed adolescent boy named Skeeter seems to have a way with animals making him an near 'Animal Whisperer'. But the boy's family life is in shambles. His mother is hinted through the story as being a prostitute and his step-father is a drunken coot that wants to beat the tar out of the kid.
After the boy gets hurt, the step-father has had enough and leaves town. And the mother has taken a liking to the local vet. In the meantime, Skeeter is staying with Hoss at the Ponderosa and takes a shine to a mare that is to have a colt. And since the script is so loose on facts, that is about all to the episode. The story ends with the colt being brought back to life and son, mother and animal doctor going to town to eat breakfast.
Know that it has already been said - but this story has so much untapped potential. What we are left with is a story that made little sense. Could have been so much better.
Gunsmoke: The Miracle Man (1968)
A nice story that for reasons did not play well.
In this lackluster episode, a drummer arrives in Dodge selling wares from the back of his buggy. As the slick salesman, Bob Sullivan, leaves town he runs into Mr Miller and his two sons that he has slicked out of money in another town. They burn out his wagon and start a beating only to be stopped by a woman and her three small children. The woman, Lorna Wright, lets Sullivan stay at her house as he heals.
When at the house we learn that one of the children, Nettie, has some sickness that is going to cut her life short. And Sullivan keeps her spirits up by saying 'if you really believe anything is possible'. But little does Ms Wright know, the drummer is out only for one person-himself.
Just could not get into this story. About fifteen minutes into the story the plot was so predictable that the enjoyment of watching was lost. And for some reason the actor playing Sullivan, Don Chastain, was so dry that he made his character almost disinterested. It appeared that Chastain just did not gel with the other actors. An otherwise nice story that needed some substance.
Joan Crawford is the best thing in the movie.
First, let me start this review off by saying that I may have enjoyed this movie way too much. I enjoyed see Joan Crawford, with her green gloves that went all the way to the elbow, use all her dramatic skills to try to produce some interest into this slow mystery. And I will say that Ms Crawford did not disappoint and could have even got Academy votes had she been in a movie that had some degree of entertainment. And now I will progress to the movie.
Other than the mystery there is little that produces any worthy interest in the production. It involves a touring circus where someone is killing off the performers in a rather nasty way. There are many suspects that may look like the killer, including Ms Crawford as the owner of the circus, but it will be right at the end where we will learn the identity of the true murderer. And when the end of the movie approaches and we now know who is doing the killing, the person running from the scene will meet an unusual situation just steps from the big top.
I watched this film for one reason, to see Joan Crawford perform. And early in this picture it was apparent that even with Ms Crawford in the lead cast, there was no helping this movie. Watch the movie to see Ms Crawford acting ability, to see her in love with a guy twice her younger, to see her in her green dress and to see her at age 62 in leotards. For if you are watching for any other reason you will feel defeated for being taken so easily.