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The Californians: The Regulators (1957)
How to Kill a Western Without Really Trying
After 6 spectacular episodes, the writers of the series manage a small feat. They manage to make quiet possibly the dumbest 26 minutes in television western history. It's hard for even the most hardcore western fans to sit through this or not see the stupidity of the plans of this episode.
When the vigilantes catch the head of the regulators, they take him to trial. There is one problem, the regulators kidnap the wife of the head vigilante and threaten to kill her if any of the 12 witnesses testify.
Through a dumb sequence, our hero finds out that the vigilantes wife is being held in the saloon by Marie Windsor.
Does he go back to get the vigilantes and bust in to save the day? No, he decides that he is going to rescue her with the help of a miner that is infatuated with Windsor. Meanwhile all the witnesses are feigning ignorance at the trial.
Alas the viewer is saved....it ended.
Held for Ransom (1938)
Held for Ransom???? The viewer....
Held for Ransom is a film that leaves you with more questions than answers. Somehow during the beginning an old caretaker gets a hold of ransom money belonging to people who kidnapped Grant Withers' father. How, why, and the level of his involvement is never really described.
What is the solution? A female special agent is sent to the town to investigate the crime. The plot doesn't stop there. The son (Grant Withers) of the kidnapped man decides that he's tired of being blamed so he wants to solve the crime himself along with his friend who just seemingly appears at the beginning out of nowhere.
As the movie goes on its fairly apparent that the budget of the film hardly covered the actor's pay. There is no musical score, fight scenes are poorly spliced together, and the actors look like they can't even follow the story. However, the real star of the film is the cabin which takes well over an hour to burn.
This is a movie that is good to pass the time or perhaps it's good if you don't waste good watching material on a dull occasion.
In the end, this is a C movie with a C budget so as long as you don't go in expecting A material then you should be OK.
Stagecoach West: The Unwanted (1960)
I usually don't right reviews of episodes but this episode was so awful that I felt the need to warn people. It is really sad that they wasted Gerald Mohr on such an episode.
The episode was full of plot holes, jumps in the story, and just did not make sense at all. 10 minutes into the story the now widowed mother leaves her young daughter with the Luke Perry the guy she just accused of murder. That is just one of the things that make you scratch your head.
Bethel Leslie looked like she was reading off of cue cards and her acting was terrible.
I have literally seen over 1,000 western movies and shows but this has to be about the worst television episode I have ever seen. It rivals some of the Poverty Row B-westerns of the 30s.