"Cheyenne" Decision (TV Episode 1956) Poster

(TV Series)

(1956)

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6/10
Stars in the Making!
pepe-4617 November 2006
This exciting episode of 'Cheyenne' brought together two future stars in the making, namely James Garner and Michael Landon. Garner, in his second outing in 'Cheyenne' once again plays a cavalry lieutenant as he did in "Mountain Fortress" the first ever episode. Whilst on the subject of cavalry lieutenants, it seems that during this period Garner had a penchant for playing these officers in a number of movies around this time. Fortunately for James, eighteen months after "Decision" was aired he found himself embarking on the series that set him on the road to being a world ranking star..."MAVERICK"!

Michael Landon meanwhile, looking a very young 20 year old, has a small uncredited role as a soldier. There is a strong possibility that this could have been his first role on screen, as this was aired in January 1956 and it appears that this was the year that his movie/TV career started (Unless anyone knows differently)?

This episode itself, has Cheyenne, now a temporary government scout for the cavalry, leading them on an 8 day trek to Fort McKay with marauding Arapahos on the loose!

Veteren actor Richard Denning completes this star studded outing as Capt. Quinlan and really pulls the movie together.

An enjoyable cavalry vs Indians western.

By the way whatever happened to Smitty?
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7/10
Decisions was indeed the correct title.
pensman5 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Is that Bret Maverick moonlighting as Lt. Lee Rogers of Fort Wilderness. No, but all the Maverick charm is there. Cheyenne is an army scout this turn. He arrives to deliver a message and first runs into by-the book Capt. Quinlan and cowardly Major Heffler (cautious in his own mind). Heffler makes a decision, abandon the fort.

After being caught in an ambush while in a scouting party as they are leading the settlers out, both Cheyenne and Quinlan quickly learn respect for each other. Meanwhile Rogers is busy courting Ann Saunders with a charm offensive she is rebuffing but coyly.

All the soldiers of rank believe Quinlan would be better than Heffler, but Quinlan won't hear of it. But he too fears his Major is wrong and that the column of soldiers and civilians is doomed. And when the arrive at the Big Sandy River it's completely dry. Now Rogers rebels and takes over as Heffler as already put Quinlan under arrest.

Quinlan refuses to support Rogers and when the Indians attack the Major cowers in a wagon. But the Indians withdraw, Cheyenne believes it's a feint and urges Rogers to hold fast and prepare a surprise when the Indians return. A bit of a Trojan horse as Cheyenne will have the cavalry sharp shooters dress as civilians, including wearing dresses, and walk about the wagons; meanwhile the civilians and rest of the troop move forward and hide themselves.

The Indians attack, and Cheyenne's plan helps in reducing the number of Indians. The Major dies while hiding, and a number of soldiers die, including a baby-faced Michael Landon. Quinlan is hit by an arrow but survives. Cheyenne's last surprise occurs as the men and wagons are now running away but there is a howitzer in the last wagon which is employed as a mobile cannon.

The battle ends when Cheyenne kills Black Hawk, and the wagon train can now get to the next fort. Rogers, however, expects to face a court-martial for removing the Major from command but still returns command to Quinlan. And Quinlan is by-the-book. However, upon arriving at the fort, Quinlan decides not to turn the entire troop over. He and Cheyenne share a knowing glance, then fade out. All decisions have been made.
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