Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Malachi Hobart Story 

Duke comes across Malachi Hobart, a preacher dedicating his life to his fellow man, and is impressed with his charitable works. However, he begins to believe that the pastor is in fact a con artist who is using religion to swindle people.





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Episode cast overview:
... Christopher Hale
... Flint McCullough (credit only)
... Duke Shannon (as Scott Miller)
... Charlie Wooster
... Bill Hawks
... Malachi Hobart
... Martha Gresham
... George Gresham
... Roy Standish (as Stevan Darrell)
Fern Barry ... Leona Standish
Robert E. Dugan ... The Man


Chris has sent Duke to scout a new pass through rough territory. When duke breaks the cinch on his saddle, he is grateful when he comes across the campfire of Malachi Hobart who feeds him and repairs his saddle the next morning. Hobart sounds like a preacher who has his faith in the Lord so he has few cares other than helping his fellow man. Duke continues on to a nearby town where he looks up the older couple George and Martha Gresham who he knows. Martha is home but tells Duke that George is assumed to have drowned in a flash flood while fishing as only his boat was found. She was thankful Malachi Hobart wondered into the area at that time. He was a great comfort to her and preformed a service for her since they had no funeral as there was no body. Not only did she give Hobart the $300 life savings her and George collected so that Hobart would pray George, who had a less than sterling reputation, into heaven. Hobart also raised over $1000 in town during a service. As Martha and Duke... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

24 January 1962 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Duke and the Preacher
28 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

As the Wagon Train moves, Duke (Denny Miller) is out scouting the terrain. Meanwhile, traveling preacher Franchot Tone (as Malachi Hobart) settles down to camp for the night. Duke, afoot due to problems with his saddle, is relieved to encounter Mr. Tone, who shares his food and campfire with the younger man. Tone ministers, "We are all brothers under the sky." In the morning, Tone fixes Duke's saddle. Duke leaves very impressed, and perhaps naively enthralled, with the charismatic preacher.

Before re-joining the Wagon Train, Duke visits feisty old Irene Ryan (as Martha Gresham); and, he learns her boozing husband has drowned. When a sobered-up Wally Brown (as George Gresham) turns up alive, Duke learns the old couple were bilked out of $300.00 by Tone, who is revealed a fraud. Duke decides to find the unholy minister; pretending to be a friend, he invites Tone to join the Wagon Train…

The resulting dramatics may be predictable; but, they are deftly handled, by writer Ken Kolb and the Wagon train crew. Train master Chris Hale (John McIntire) takes a back seat, as the episode focuses on Mr. Miller's attractive "Duke" character. Miller performs well with veteran Tone, who performs marvelously as the bilking preacher. Tone explains, "I tell people what they want to hear. I revive their faith in miracles."

Ms. Ryan and Mr. Brown are noteworthy among the typically fine supporting players. After this appearance, Ryan began her successful episodic career as "Granny" on "The Beverly Hillbillies". Conversely, Brown's career was over; he died shortly before this episode aired. It must have been startling to see his character "come back from the dead"; still, his appearance in "The Malachi Hobart Story" is served by a coincidently reverential tone. The script affirms the characters' (Christian) faith.

****** The Malachi Hobart Story (1/24/62) David Butler ~ Franchot Tone, Denny Miller, John McIntire

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