"The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs"
is an episode of Have Gun - Will Travel starring
Richard Boone, Roy Barcroft, and Barry Cahill.
Paladin crosses paths with Sarah Gibbs on her way to see her husband's hanging for a crime he did commit. A proper burial is all she is seeking but she has a paper that says she can't even ...
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Paladin crosses paths with Sarah Gibbs on her way to see her husband's hanging for a crime he did commit. A proper burial is all she is seeking but she has a paper that says she can't even visit him. When one deputy wants to just drop the bodies in the mine, there is a tug of conscience between the relatives, Sarah and Paladin.Written by
I have spent several months preparing to teach a course examining 5 episodes of "Have Gun - Will Travel." In so doing, I studied all 225 episodes of the televised Western, and developed a list of my top 20 episodes. "The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs" remains at the very top of my list.
Richard Boone offers a most evocative performance in support of Odetta Holmes' lead performance, one in which both actors utilize time, space, their eyes, mouths, faces and body language -without language. That is the touchstone of truly great acting. This episode passes an even more exalted test, the test of time. Originally broadcast November 4th, 1961, six months to the day following the inception of the Freedom Riders, it illustrates a fact that was common to this series: Minority actors like Rupert Crosse, Hari Rhodes and Odetta were commonly hired even when the script did not necessarily call for a minority performer.
Peggy Rea, who played many roles over the years in this series, was also one of many acting students of Richard Boone in his Brentwood Market School for Actors. It was she who knew someone who knew Odetta, reached her in Boston, whereupon, Odetta contacted the production company and requested the part.
The crew was filming in Bend, Oregon; and, prior to the hiring of Odetta, there had been considerable tension in the community until Odetta arrived; then, everyone calmed down and became quite focused.
No gunplay. A plot which might evolve in modern guise out of events of nearly any age in any community as a wolf in various sheep's clothing, and one all-too-familiar to us in 2016: the virulent effects of racial prejudice, the impact of a distinct dearth of emotional intelligence transforming ordinary people into a blunt unthinking tool of pure vengeance.
"The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs" written by Robert E. Thompson, Academy Award winner for "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" exemplifies a tour-de-force of acting.
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