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Some elements of The Magnificent Seven are in this Laredo episode. Only
Neville Brand is involved in this story along with guest Ranger Claude
Akins. Both are cut in the same rough manner. And this is a great case
of two of the meanest villains on the big screen showing a flare for
Both guys are doing a little r&r in a Mexican settlement when Lane Bradford and Ray Ballard are there also and are harassing the Mexicans. Brand decides to take a hand and Akins recognizes that Ballard has a wanted poster on him.
Bradford with no wants out on him leaves with a threat to bring an army of gunslingers back. The citizenry is frightened, but Reese promises to train them the way Yul Brynner and the rest did against Eli Wallach and his gang.
The cultures do clash here and they decide if there will be a peasant army they need a general and Neville Brand gets elected. The sight of Brand in a uniform that Santa Anna would have found ostentatious is reason and laughs enough to watch this Laredo episode.
Captain Parmalee and Ranger Reese Bennett make no appearance at all and
Peter Brown and William Smith are just supporting characters in this
Laredo story. Taking center stage are Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde of
Chad&Jeremy part of the British musical invasion of the middle 60s.
Poor Chad and Jeremy they are a pair of itinerant strolling players who are left in town when the manager of their theatrical troupe absconded with company money without paying the bill. They're last ones left and are stuck with it.
To say these two are not western material is to say the least. But as actors they try a bit of a con game where Stuart pretends he's a preacher they've been left a parson's outfit. It works all too well because gunfighter Peter Graves wants to marry his sweetheart Marlyn Mason. No good if they tell him the truth, no good if they perform a fake ceremony. Talk about lose lose.
Peter Graves plays it exactly that, grave and unsmiling. No twinkle in the eye, but it all works as part of the comedy.
Both Chad and Jeremy have done pretty well for themselves long after the musical act broke, but on the big and small screen across the pond. Their bit on Laredo was good exposure for their musical act which was pretty big at the time.
They even do a bit of singing. So fans of the British invasion tune in.
When Captain Parmalee sends his Rangers out looking for rustlers who
stole J. Pat O'Malley's herd, he's got a real skeleton crew on his
hands when a whole crowd of gunslingers arrives in Laredo. It's only
Philip Carey, William Smith, Peter Brown and a new kid Ranger that
they've taken on board, Kurt Russell.
Russell is an Indian lad who has left the reservation and was running with an outlaw gang when the Rangers capture the gang and specifically Brown captures Russell after an interesting tussle.
Grey Smoke is Russell's character name and Carey enlists him in the Rangers as a runner/messenger, not unlike the way juveniles were recruited for the short lived pony express. But he proves to be quite an asset in taking down those gunslingers.
Kurt Russell blond hair had to be darkened to play a convincing Indian, makes him look a bit strange. It's a fun episode especially for younger viewers.
A really naive and stupid college kid gets stabbed in an East Village
biker bar and there's a room full of suspects, most of whom cleared out
before Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt arrived on the scene. Still
learning the ropes, Bratt gets into it with the bikers and Orbach has
to defuse the tension.
It turns out the key witness they do find is claiming he's a journalist because he writes occasional articles for a biker blog on that new thing called the Internet which disturbs poor Lennie Briscoe no end. But Bratt really proves useful with his knowledge of computers as he would in the future.
Amazingly the judge says he's a journalist and limits the amount of questions Sam Waterston can ask before a Grand Jury. It takes both the DA's office and the police to finally ferret out the truth.
You won't believe the reason and I won't say but it's Jill Hennessy who uncovers it. Nice performances from Elizabeth Rodriguez as the victim's girlfriend, Sam Schacht as the victim's father and Rob Knepper as the biker that Bratt confronts.
It's an unusual group of outlaws that the Rangers are dealing with in
this Laredo story. It's a group of former French army officers who lost
employ when the French took their army out of Mexico and Maximilian
could not sustain his empire.
This episode involves Neville Brand going undercover as an outlaw and seeking to work with the French Lancers who are commanded by Emile Genest. Seeing the rough and rambunctious Reese Bennett with those cultured Frenchmen is really something. He might be a useful ally but boy does he grate on them.
Brand also finds that that French champagne really has a kick to it.
Very funny story. Even the French might find it amusing.
Eve Arden who on the big screen we normally see as the wisecracking
best friend of the heroine, plays here a woman who is an early feminist
and lecturer who sells books as well as culture. Culture and refinement
is something that many western towns like Laredo certainly need and
Arden who is a Boston brahmin will see they get it.
But while she's giving her lecture someone breaks the infamous Slaughter gang out of jail and the bank is also robbed.
This particular episode is noted for Arden's scenes with Neville Brand who is probably the cast member most in need of a little polish. The scenes are really a hoot and there are some surprise in store as the Texas Rangers uncover the truth.
Francie Swift in her performance as a murder suspect with multiple
personalities steals this particular Law And Order episode from all the
regulars. Classic movie fans will recognize that this particular story
is a reworking of the famous classic that got Joanne Woodward a Best
Actress Oscar for Three Faces Of Eve.
A psychologist is murdered during the late hours she kept by one of her patients. Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth narrow it down to Swift who works as a server in a diner.
Swift is one psychological mess, her different personalities might stem from witnessing her own mother's murder. By her father Sam Groom nonetheless.
The twp question are is she the murderer, but also which of herselves did the deed.
Bob Dishy makes one of his appearances as defense attorney Lawrence Weaver who is right up there with Tovah Feldshuh as guest star defense attorney. Dishy is always convincing and acts like a really good criminal attorney.
Francie Swift however makes this one a special episode.
This Laredo episode has George Kennedy on assignment to the Laredo
command of the Texas Rangers. Neville Brand is on assignment in
Houston. But you'd never know it because Kennedy is in Brand's part
almost a clone.
As rambunctious as Brand is the Rangers get tricked into a 4th of July fight with the local cavalry champion Mike Mazurki. Now Kennedy can brawl with the best of them, but this fight is under Marquis of Queensbury rules. Kennedy is not a good learner, but William Smith is.
Also in the mix is a 4th of July robbery by yet another gang of outlaws and there's a nice performance by Henry Gibson as an officious little clerk that Captain Parmalee has hired. He conceives as part of his duties to watch the Rangers and they take delight in making a fool of him. Think of Strother Martin as the Indian agent in McLintock and you have an idea of what Gibson is like.
For Philip Carey it was like Neville Brand never went away.
Over at Ranger headquarters in Laredo there's a VIP coming. It's none
other than State Senator Robert F. Simon and he's arriving with Captain
Parmalee on the stagecoach. But when both the coach is held up and upon
arriving in Laredo, Simon and Philip Carey find his Rangers in a saloon
brawl over a card game he's got a less than favorable impression.
The boys try a charm offensive involving a breakfast which I won't even go into. That leaves Simon determined to demolish the Texas Rangers. After that our three Rover Boys come up with an idea that's Lucy Ricardo like in its brilliance. Arrange a fake kidnapping so they can rescue Simon.
Only it's a Ricardo scheme so you know it goes wrong when Simon is really kidnapped along with Captain Parmalee.
Of course you know that it does work out the way Bismarck said that Providence always works it out for infants and the United States of America.
This one's very funny especially the breakfast bit.
Only two of the three rambunctious Texas Rangers are sent to Guarded
Wells to stop the Ramirez Gang. After Peter Brown and William Smith
shoot it out with the gang and kill several of them, the town is
exceedingly grateful and take every and all opportunities to show it.
What's a Ranger to do but settle down and enjoy the town's hospitality. The two send all kinds of excuses to Philip Carey about how the job is only half finished. The infamous Calico Kid might still be around it is rumored. Of course they create the rumors.
George Chandler who owns the livery stable was the infamous Calico Kid who was active when the Rangers were kids. He's got a nice looking granddaughter in Mimsy Farmer who is keeping Brown and Smith interested in hanging around. The Kid might have to come out of retirement.
There's a couple of other citizens playing a most two faced game here as well.
It all works out in stumbling style of their's as we know it will.
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