"The Lost Dutchman" is a re-working of Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon". Robert Fuller's Jess Harper plays the Sam Spade role with Robert Emhardt as the Fat Man. Karen Steele's version of the femme fatale is stimulating viewing. The trouble begins when George Lake (Rayford Barnes) double-crosses Slim Sherman (John Smith) on a cattle-buying deal. Slim is stopped from brawling with Lake by Jess's interference, but moments later, when Lake is shot dead, Slim becomes the obvious suspect and is jailed pending trial and inevitable hanging. It becomes Jess's duty to prove Slim's innocence. Lake's widow, Steele, plays the wide-eyed innocent and Jess is taken in by her — at first. George Kaymas is the trigger-happy Clint Moccasin, a moronic psychopath in the Wilmer Cook tradition. Francis J McDonald, in the Captain Jacoby spot, dies at the hand of the lethal Mary Lake. Like Sam Spade, Jess is slipped a Mickey and later turns Steele's character over to the police (the town Sheriff played by Robert Armstrong). The McGuffin in this story is a silver spur which is supposed to have a map to the Lost Dutchman's gold mine hidden inside it. It is no surprise when it turns out to be a phony. The changes to the original story are just sufficient to make this episode legal and comparing "The Lost Dutchman" to "The Maltese Falcon" is a lot of fun.
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