Rance McGrew is the star of a weekly TV western where he plays the town Marshal. He is, to say the least, difficult to deal with. He is frequently late on the set, arrives unprepared and often requests script changes just as they are about to shoot a scene. To top it off, he's quite inept at handling his gun which he inadvertently tosses into the saloon mirror on more than one occasion. He's given a dose of reality however when he inexplicably finds himself back in time, coming face to face with the real Jesse James.Written by
This episode reunites director Christian Nyby and actor Robert Cornthwaite, who previously worked together on The Thing from Another World (1951). In this episode, Cornthwaite plays a nervous and frustrated director who has to deal with a vain, bumbling cowboy actor. On the DVD commentary, Cornthwaite states that Nyby told him to play the director character as a funny version of Nyby himself. Cornthwaite praised Nyby's sense of humor. See more »
In the opening scene, when the car pulls up to the saloon, the palomino horse tied to the hitching post is wearing a bridle. Shortly thereafter, on the closeup of the horse making a face, he is wearing a halter. See more »
Rod Serling wrote two scripts for series three that were inspired by an idea from another writer, Frederick Louis Fox. The other was the quaint but likable 'Hocus-Pocus and Frisby'. Fox was generally a writer of TV western screenplays, so unsurprisingly this one is set in the world of the then popular TV-west-that-never-was.
Rance McGrew (Larry Byden) is TV cowboy who suddenly steps out of his make-believe world and into the 'real' west where he is confronted by Jesse James.
It starts brightly with visual gags, a film crew and the ridiculousness of the sixties' TV western. However when Jesse James came in he was such an anodyne character of the TV western ilk anyway, when the show needed a dynamic and deadly, movie type like Lee Marvin ('The Grave', series three) or Martin Landau ('Mr Denton On Doomsday',series one). The rest falls very flat as there is nothing to consider remotely realistic about Jesse James, and so the story peters out badly.
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