Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Tall Man (1961)


Figuring that it was successful enough to earn a renewal for Season 2, the producers for The Tall Man changed little during the course of episodes aired in 1961, continuing to focus on the special relationship between Sheriff Pat Garrett and the often wild and unbridled William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid, teasing the viewer with hints that the two one day may be forced to face off against each other as in the episode "Dark Moment" (February 11, 1961), and trying to inject humor into the series via somewhat recurring ne'er-do-well Wilfred McBean and his unbridled daughters May and June in "The Reluctant Bridegroom" (February 18, 1961) and "Millionaire McBean" (April 15, 1961). While the closing theme by Esquivel is more orchestral in Season 2, and another sometimes recurring character, Garrett's deputy Andy, is introduced in Season 2, these subtle tweaks have no impact on the overall flavor of the series, and in the case of Deputy Andy, it's questionable why he was added to the series since he has very few lines that have no direct impact on any of the stories in which he appears.

The most significant development in the 1961 episodes is the zeroing in on a theme broached first in 1960 and very much part of public discourse in the political climate of today--the tension between loyalty and the law. As mentioned in our previous post on the 1960 episodes, Billy's character values loyalty above all, sometimes to his detriment. While his loyalty to Garrett usually works in his favor, misplaced loyalty in others often proves dangerous. We see this in the Season 2 episode "Time of Foreshadowing" (November 25, 1961) in which Billy runs into old acquaintance Skip Ferrell who once saved his life in El Paso when he was badly outnumbered by men intent on doing him harm. Billy doesn't know right off that Farrell has escaped from prison and is on the run, so when Farrell asks him for help, he feels obliged to loan him his horse since he owes Farrell for saving his life. However, the farther he goes in helping Farrell, the more he begins seeing what a liar and manipulator his trusted friend is. Farrell has Billy accompany him to an old girlfriend's house. Since her father never liked him, he has Billy knock on her door while he stands back, letting Billy face the girlfriend's shotgun with which she answers the door. Farrell says he is trying to avoid some cavalrymen with whom he argued, but when Billy removes a bullet from his arm, he sees that Farrell is wearing a prison undershirt. When he confronts Farrell with his deception, Farrell counters by saying he noticed that Billy took a liking to his girlfriend Matti and offers not to object if Billy wants to court her after Farrell is gone. But when Farrell learns that Matti's father has died and left her some money, Billy watches as he tries to dupe her into giving it to him and then promising to meet up with her later. The final straw for Billy is when the prison guard searching for Farrell shows up and tells him that Farrell was sent to prison for killing another girlfriend. After the guard leaves, Billy refuses to let Matti leave with Farrell, certain that she will be his next victim once he gets her father's money. His only play is to lure Farrell into drawing against him and then shooting him dead. Matti berates him for killing Farrell, even after he tells her that she would have lived no more than a week had she gone off with Farrell. Her devotion is such that dying would have been worth it just to spend an entire week with him. Billy's sense of loyalty forces him into a no-win situation that threatens to get him killed or sent to prison for aiding an escaped convict.

Billy is duped by another manipulator in "A Scheme of Hearts" (April 22, 1961), this time by a pretty young woman named Nita Jardine who tries to recruit him to kill her ex-con husband after telling him a tale about the husband hunting her down to kill her. However, Garrett figures out her game when he stops the husband outside of town and learns that he is a poor gunman who took the rap for a murder his wife committed while cheating on him. Because she flirts with him and offers him the hope of a future romance, Billy is blind to her machinations and even dismisses Garrett's warnings that he is being used. Garrett and the husband use the old lump of covers in the bedding trick to make Nita think the husband is still asleep in bed when she summons Billy to her hotel room and tells him the husband has abused her. However, Billy refuses to shoot a defenseless, sleeping man, so she grabs his gun and shoots the bedding herself, thereby exposing herself as a cold-blooded killer and proving that Garrett's warning about Billy's misplaced loyalty was right all along.

Billy gets into more trouble due to misplaced loyalty in "The Judas Palm" (October 21, 1961) when he befriends drifter Archie Keogh because Keogh was a friend of his step-father. Keogh repays Billy's kindness and lack of curiosity into Keogh's character by framing him for his murder of cantina owner Rompero, who caught Keogh robbing his cash drawer in the middle of the night. Garrett is obliged to lock Billy up when he finds him holding some but all of the stolen money. But it takes Garrett's clever deduction that the previously penniless Keogh will eventually have to spend the stolen money just to survive, thereby leading Garrett to the money's hiding place, to exonerate Billy. In each of these episodes, Billy faces serious legal consequences because his code of loyalty above all else leads him into trusting those he should not.

Garrett, on the other hand, though in one episode described as a one-time train robber, believes that the law, though not always perfect, tells us how to evaluate people and their actions. Billy frequently expects him to apply the law differently to their friends out of loyalty, but Garrett maintains that the law must apply the same way to everybody. In "Dark Moment" (February 11, 1961), a mutual friend of theirs, Francisco Valdez, shoots and kills lawyer Isaiah Morton from whom he had borrowed money when Morton refuses to give him more time to repay the debt. Even though Valdez admits to the killing, Billy thinks that Garrett should give him a break, but Garrett refuses. Billy determines to break Valdez out of jail and take him to Mexico to evade justice, and Garrett declines to face off against Billy, though he warns him that if he carries his plan through he will be hunted down and face justice himself. The prospect does not deter Billy, but when Valdez learns that Morton's daughter, whom he injured in his escape from the crime scene, will make a full recovery, he refuses to flee with Billy and insists on accepting the legal repercussions of his actions.

Even when Billy breaks the law to help out a friend, such as in "A Tombstone for Billy" (December 16, 1961), Garrett refuses to look the other way and let him get away with it completely. In this episode Billy steals an as-yet uncarved tombstone paid for by wealthy town crank Cyrus Skinner and gives it to poor grieving widower Juan Gonzales, who had grown depressed that the town did not pay tribute to his wife who sold flowers in the town square for many years. Billy presents him with Skinner's tombstone with a story that the town chipped in to buy it for him in order to honor his late wife. When Garrett finally finds out who stole the tombstone and where it is, he still sentences Billy to a few nights in jail, though he also offers to pay Skinner back with some reward money he has just earned in capturing a wanted outlaw. Even though Billy has broken the law in an act of kindness for a grieving husband, Garrett ensures that he doesn't get off scott-free. We as viewers are expected to still like Billy since his heart is in the right place, but we are guided to respect Garrett for insisting on the rational resolution of the issue. As such, the series casts its vote for the status quo in which the established legal system is the best way to deal with all criminal situations. Even when the wrong man is initially charged with a crime, such as Billy's arrest for murder in the aforementioned episode "The Judas Palm," once the case winds through the legal system, justice will be done. If only real life worked that way.

The Actors

For the biographies for Barry Sullivan and Clu Gulager, see the 1960 post for The Tall Man.

Mark Tapscott

Mark Loren Tapscott was born in Bell, California on December 15, 1924. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and after returning to civilian life married his high school sweetheart Frances Mae Farrell. He returned to the Marines during the Korean War, after which he moved his family to Eugene, Oregon where he studied journalism at the University of Oregon. After graduating in 1957, he returned to California to pursue an acting career, notching his first credits in 1957 on Maverick and the following year on shows such as Highway Patrol, Colt .45, and The Silent Service. He continued getting bit parts on a variety of TV series until an appearance late in Season 1 of The Tall Man led to a recurring role in Season 2 as Garrett's deputy Andy.

After The Tall Man was canceled, Tapscott was not hurting for work, continuing his prolific TV guest roles with multiple appearances on Lassie, The Big Valley, and The Virginian throughout the 1960s. In 1969 his wife Frances passed away and he remarried to Sybil Line. In 1972 he created the role of Bob Anderson on the soap opera Days of Our Lives and remained in that role for the next 8 years. In 1982 he found work on another soap opera, The Young and the Restless, playing Earl Bancroft until 1983. After an appearance on Highway to Heaven in 1987, he retired from acting. He died from lung cancer 6 years later on September 10, 1993 at the age of 68.

 

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 17, "First Blood": Jan Merlin (Roger Manning on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Lt. Colin Kirby on The Rough Riders) plays gunman Hendry Grant. Ken Lynch (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Checkmate) plays cattle baron Andy Gorman. Robert Montgomery, Jr. (son of actor Robert Montgomery and brother of Elizabeth Montgomery) plays Billy's friend Jimmy Carter. 

Season 1, Episode 18, "A Gun Is for Killing": Leonard Nimoy (shown on the left, played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, Paris on Mission: Impossible, and Dr. William Bell on Fringe) plays Deputy Johnny Swift. Mary Webster (appeared in The Delicate Delinquent, Eighteen and Anxious, and Master of the World) plays his wife Marian. Gregg Palmer (Tom McLowery on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays cattle trail boss Truman Blanchard. George Orrison (stunt double for Clint Eastwood) plays Blanchard's man Chullo.

Season 1, Episode 19, "The Grudge Fight": Richard Jaeckel (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays Billy's friend Denver. Jerry Summers (appeared in The Young Swingers, Surf Party, and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and played Ira on The High Chaparral) plays an unnamed Indian. 

Season 1, Episode 20, "The Best Policy": James Coburn (shown on the right, starred in The Magnificent Seven, Charade, Our Man Flint, and In Like Flint and played Jeff Durain on Klondike and Gregg Miles on Acapulco) plays cattle owner John Miller. Ron Harper (see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays Deputy Sheriff Harry. Addison Richards (starred in Boys Town, They Made Her a Spy, Flying Tigers, and The Deerslayer and played Doc Calhoun on Trackdown and Doc Landy on The Deputy) plays circuit Judge Danby.
Season 1, Episode 21, "The Reversed Blade": Murray Matheson (Felix Mulholland on Banacek) plays Billy's boss, rancher John Tundall. Jeanne Cooper (Grace Douglas on Bracken's World and Katherine Chancellor Murphy on The Young and the Restless) plays his ex-wife Elmira Webster. John Archer (husband of Marjorie Lord and father of Anne Archer) plays her new husband Ben Webster.

Season 1, Episode 22, "Dark Moment": Martin Landau (shown on the left, starred in North by Northwest, Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Fall of the House of Usher, and Ed Wood and played Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible!, Commander John Koenig on Space: 1999, Dr. Sol Gold on The Evidence, Bob Ryan on Entourage, and Frank Malone on Without a Trace) plays debtor Francisco Valdez. Mimi Gibson (appeared in The Three Faces of Eve, Houseboat, and The Children's Hour and played Barby McGovern on Westinghouse Playhouse) plays lawyer's daughter Judy Morton. Justice Watson (J.W. Harrington on Holiday Lodge) plays town physician Doc Pennfield. 

Season 1, Episode 23, "The Reluctant Bridegroom": Andy Clyde (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Real McCoys) plays lazy homesteader Wilfred McBean. Olive Sturgess (Carol Henning on The Bob Cummings Show) plays his daughter May. Judy Nugent (Jet Maypen on Walt Disney Presents: Annette) plays his daughter June. Ellen Corby (Henrietta Porter on Trackdown and Esther Walton on The Waltons) plays pen-pal bride Hannah Blossom.

Season 1, Episode 24, "Maria's Little Lamb": James Westerfield (appeared in The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, and The Love God? and played John Murrel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters) plays cattleman Maddock. Bob Hoy (Joe Butler on The High Chaparral and Cliff on Our House) plays an unnamed ranch hand. 

Season 1, Episode 25, "Big Sam's Boy": Paul Carr (shown on the left, played Bill Horton on Days of Our Lives, Casey Clark on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Ted Prince on Dallas, and Martin Gentry on The Young and the Restless) plays inheritance imposter George. Lew Gallo (Major Joseph Cobb on 12 O'Clock High and directed multiple episodes of That Girl, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Love American Style, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and The New Mike Hammer) plays his co-conspirator Jericho. John Strong (producer, scriptwriter, and host of talk show The John Strong Show) plays another imposter. 

Season 1, Episode 26, "The Last Resource": Robert J. Wilke (appeared in Best of the Badmen, High Noon, The Far Country, and Night Passage and played Capt. Mendoza on Zorro) plays vengeful Marshal Ben Hartley. Marianna Hill (appeared in Roustabout, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, The Godfather: Part II, and High Plains Drifter) plays saloon girl Rita.

Season 1, Episode 27, "Rovin' Gambler": Robert Lansing (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays gambling gunman Doc Holliday. X Brands (Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays stage robber Dave Rudabaugh. Faith Deremgue (starred in Cult of the Cobra, This Island Earth, and It Came From Beneath the Sea) plays stage passenger Kate Elder. Tom London (starred in Six-Shootin' Sheriff, Song of the Buckaroo, and Riders in the Sky) plays the stagecoach driver.

Season 1, Episode 28, "Hard Justice": Lyle Bettger (starred in The Vanquished, Destry, and The Fastest Guitar Alive and played Sam Larsen on The Court of Last Resort and Harry Driscoll on The Grand Jury) plays cattle buyer Vince Ober. Mark Tapscott (see the biography section above) plays his henchman Tom. Steve Raines (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Rawhide) plays his henchman Carl. Jack Hogan (starred in The Bonnie Parker Story, Paratroop Command, and The Cat Burglar and played Kirby on Combat!, Sgt. Jerry Miller on Adam-12, Chief Ranger Jack Moore on Sierra, and Judge Smithwood on Jake and the Fatman) plats Garrett's deputy Jim.

Season 1, Episode 29, "The Legend and the Gun": Michael Pate (shown on the left, starred in Face to Face, Julius Caesar, Hondo, and Tower of London and played Chief Vittoro on Hondo and Det. Sgt. Vic Maddern on Matlock) plays assassin Harry Young. Jocelyn Brando (Marlon Brando's sister) plays his wife Martha. Diane Mountford (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Assignment: Underwater) plays his daughter Gloria.
Season 1, Episode 30, "A Kind of Courage": James Griffith (Deputy Tom Ferguson on U.S. Marshal) plays former lawman Clint Latimer. Tommy Ivo (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays his son Jody. David Kent (Bill Scott on Leave It to Beaver) plays Jody's friend Skip Wallace. Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Luis Valdez on Viva Valdez) plays notorious gunman Marino.

Season 1, Episode 31, "Millionaire McBean": Andy Clyde (see "The Reluctant Bridegroom" above) returns as ne'er-do-well Wilfred McBean. Olive Sturgess (see "The Reluctant Bridegroom" above) returns as his daughter May. Judy Nugent (see "The Reluctant Bridegroom" above) returns as his daughter June. Florence MacMichael (shown on the right, played Phyllis Pearson on My Three Sons and Winnie Kirkwood on Mister Ed) plays child welfare inspector Miss Daggett. William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays the general store owner. 

Season 1, Episode 32, "A Scheme of Hearts": Kathleen Hughes (shown on the left, appeared in Mother Is a Freshman, Mr. Belvedere Goes to College, It Came From Outer Space, and Unwed Mother and played Jane Mitchell on Bracken's World) plays ex-con's wife Nita Jardine. John Lasell (Dr. Peter Guthrie on Dark Shadows) plays her husband Ben. Raymond Hatton (starred in Oliver Twist (1916), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Lord Jim, played Marshal Sandy Hopkins in 28 westerns and Rusty Joslin in 7 other westerns, and played The Mole on Dick Tracy) plays stage driver Clem. 

Season 1, Episode 33, "The Cloud Buster": Frank de Kova (Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop and Louis Campagna on The Untouchables) plays Apache businessman Mike Gray Eagle. Gregory Morton (Mr. Wainwright on Peyton Place and Walter Williams on Ben Casey) plays councilman John Forrest. Sue George (appeared in Rock, Pretty Baby, The Dalton Girls, and Gidget) plays rainmaker Henrietta Russell. 

Season 1, Episode 34, "Ransom of a Town": Eduardo Ciannelli (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Johnny Staccato) plays Lincoln priest Padre. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays his young friend Danny. Michael Forest (starred in Ski Troop Attack, Atlas, and The Glory Guys and was the voice of Capt. Dorai on Street Fighter II: V and Olympus on Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue) plays kidnapper Ledall. 

Season 1, Episode 35, "Ladies of the Town": Monica Lewis (shown on the left, popular singer who starred in Excuse My Dust, Affair With a Stranger, and The D.I.) plays saloon owner Sal. Wesley Lau (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Perry Mason) plays Silver Creek operator Jason Cleary. John Harmon (hotel clerk Eddie Halstead on The Rifleman) plays his confidant Pinky. Claire Carleton (Nell Mulligan on The Mickey Rooney Show and Alice Purdy on Cimarron City) plays reformer Lettie Tatum.

Season 1, Episode 36, "Death or Taxes": Will Wright (Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays Lincoln Mayor Hackett. Alan Baxter (appeared in Saboteur, Close-Up, and Paint Your Wagon) plays railroad company supervisor Fallon. James Seay (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays his gunman Holman. 

Season 1, Episode 37, "The Great Western": Connie Gilchrist (shown on the right, starred in Tortilla Flat, A Letter to Three Wives, and Long John Silver and played Purity Pinker on The Adventures of Long John Silver) plays cantina owner Big Mamasita. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays New Mexico territorial governor Gen. Lew Wallace. Ron Starr (appeared in G.I. Blues, Ride the High Country, and Angels Hard as They Come and played Mannion on Mister Roberts) plays his aide Lt. Brian Riley. 

Season 2, Episode 1, "Full Payment": Harry von Zell (the announcer on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and The George Burns Show and played Frank Curtis on Bachelor Father) plays saloon owner Averill Murphy. Alice Frost (Mama Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays his wife Hortense. William Phipps (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays disabled townsman Bert. 

Season 2, Episode 2, "The Liberty Belle": Patricia Donahue (shown on the left, played Hazel on The Thin Man, Lucy Hamilton on Michael Shayne, and Birdie Wells on General Hospital) plays Garrett's former girlfriend Elena. Wally Brown (appeared in Notorious, The Left Handed Gun, and The Absent-Minded Professor and played Jed Fame on Cimarron City and Chauncey Kowalski on The Roaring '20's) plays drunkard Ethan. Alan Carney (played Mike Strager in a series of RKO comedies in the 1940s and appeared in The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Herbie Rides Again) plays a wino. 

Season 2, Episode 3, "Where Is Sylvia?": Patricia Barry (shown on the right, played Kate Harris on Harris Against the World, Lydia McGuire on Dr. Kildare, Adelaide Horton Williams on Days of Our Lives, Peg English on All My Children, and Sally Gleason on Guiding Light) plays con artist Sylvia. Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors) plays Oakville Marshal Peterson.
 
Season 2, Episode 4, "The Female Artillery": Joan Evans (Leonar on Zorro) plays army wife Lou Belle Martin. Nan Leslie (Martha McGivern on The Californians) plays army wife Beth Thomas.

Season 2, Episode 5, "Shadow of the Past": Charles Aidman (narrator on the 1985-87 version of The Twilight Zone) plays union army traitor Ben Wiley. Nancy Reagan (shown on the left, second wife of Ronald Reagan, starred in The Next Voice You Hear..., Donovan's Brain, and Hellcats of the Navy) plays his wife Sarah. Barbara Parkins (starred in Valley of the Dolls, The Mephisto Waltz, and Puppet on a Chain and played Betty Anderson Harrington on Peyton Place) plays their daughter Sue.

Season 2, Episode 6, "An Item for Auction": Sandy Kenyon (Des Smith on Crunch and Des, Shep Baggott on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Reverend Kathrun on Knots Landing) plays mountain man Sam Naylack. Frank Sully (Danny the bartender on The Virginian) plays a wise-cracking bar patron. 

Season 2, Episode 7, "The Judas Palm": Edgar Buchanan (shown on the right, played Uncle Joe Carson on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction, Red Connors on Hopalong Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean on Judge Roy Bean, Bob/Doc Dawson on Tales of Wells Fargo, Doc Burrage on The Rifleman, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays drifter Archie Keogh. Craig Duncan (Sgt. Stanfield/Banfield on Mackenzie's Raiders) plays posse member Wilson. Dal McKennon  (see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays a bartender.

Season 2, Episode 8, "The Woman": Don C. Harvey (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Rawhide) plays religious sect leader Jeboriah Henry. Kay E. Kuter (Newt Kiley on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) plays his brother Clarence. Coleen Gray (starred in Kiss of Death, Nightmare Alley, The Killing, The Vampire, The Leech Woman, and The Phantom Planet and played Muriel Clifford on McCloud) plays his sister-in-law Edna Henry. Julie Sommars (Jennifer Jo Drinkwater on The Governor and J.J. and A.D.A. Julie March on Matlock) plays Clarence's wife Anna.

Season 2, Episode 9, "Trial by Hanging": Richard Carlyle (Casey on Crime Photographer) plays Billy's fellow ranch hand Swade Hiney. George Kennedy (shown on the left, starred in Charade, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Dirty Dozen, Cool Hand Luke, and The Naked Gun and played MP Sgt. Kennedy on The Phil Silvers Show, Father Samuel Cavanaugh on Sarge, Bumper Morgan on The Blue Knight, and Carter McKay on Dallas) plays wanted outlaw Jake Newton. Walter Kinsella (Happy McMann on Martin Kane) plays Las Cruces Sheriff Cy Claver. Hank Brandt (Leonard Waggedorn on Julia, Morgan Hess on Dynasty, and Dr. Aaron Kranzler on Santa Barbara) plays his deputy Sam Lind.

Season 2, Episode 10, "The Leopard's Spots": Paul Birch (shown on the right, played Erle Stanley Gardner on The Court of Last Resort, Mike Malone on Cannonball, and Capt. Carpenter on The Fugitive) plays covetous cattle rancher Bart Conway. Don Megowan (Captain Huckabee on The Beachcomber) plays his ranch hand Galt. Bennye Gatteys (Judith Potter on The Brighter Day) plays pacifist Charity Newcomb. 

Season 2, Episode 11, "Petticoat Crusade": Mona Freeman (starred in Black Beauty, Mother Wore Tights, Angel Face, and Jumping Jacks) plays suffragette Amy Dodds. Harry von Zell (see "Full Payment" above) returns as saloon owner Averill Murphy. Cecil Smith (Los Angeles Times TV critic) plays newspaper reporter Cecil Humphrey. Herbert Lytton (Admiral Reynolds on McHale's Navy) plays the Lincoln judge.

Season 2, Episode 12, "Time of Foreshadowing": Vic Morrow (shown on the left, starred in Tribute to a Bad Man, God's Little Acre, and Portrait of a Mobster and played Sgt. Saunders on Combat! and Capt. Eugene Nathan on B.A.D. Cats) plays Billy's life-saver Skip Farrell. Judi Meredith (Bonnie Sue McAfee on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and The George Burns Show, Monique Devereaux on Hotel de Paree, and Betty Cramer on Ben Casey) plays Farrell's former girlfriend Matti Arnold. Robert Foulk (Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres, and Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman) plays prison guard Gimp. 

Season 2, Episode 13, "Fool's Play": Paul Comi (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays stagecoach robber Harry Pollitt. 

Season 2, Episode 14, "The Legend of Billy": Berry Kroeger (appeared in Black Magic, Gun Crazy, Hitler, and Demon Seed) plays New York newspaper columnist Dean Almond. Emile Meyer (starred in Shane, Drums Across the River, Blackboard Jungle, Sweet Smell of Success, and Paths of Glory and played Gen. Zachary Moran on Bat Masterson) plays former Pinkerton gunman Jerrod Cobb. Harry Antrim (appeared in Miracle on 34th Street, Words and Music, Ma and Pa Kettle, and Teacher's Pet and played Judge Hooker on The Great Gildersleeve) plays the hotel desk clerk.

Season 2, Episode 15, "A Tombstone for Billy": Howard McNear (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays wealthy town crank Cyrus Skinner. Natividad Vacio (Fronk on Father Knows Best) plays recent widower Juan Gonzales. Herbert Lytton (see "Petticoat Crusade" above) returns as the Lincoln judge.

Season 2, Episode 16, "Sidekick": Stafford Repp (Chief O'Hara on Batman) plays thieving trading post owner Judge Barker. Tim Graham (Homer Ede on National Velvet) plays stable owner Mr. Linus. Alma Beltran (Mami Morales on Berrenger's) plays one of Barker's victims.
 
Season 2, Episode 17, "Apache Daughter": Sherry Jackson (shown on the right, played Terry Williams on Make Room for Daddy) plays abducted daughter Sally Bartlett. J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays her father Sam. Ralph Moody (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays Chiakawa chief Nanay.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lock Up (1961)


As it entered the last stretch of its two-year run, legal drama Lock Up did not stray from its original formula, documented in our post on the 1960 episodes--renowned defense attorney Herbert L. Maris continues his quest for justice, defending the unjustly accused without ever entering a courtroom and aided by his police lieutenant buddy John Weston, who is usually the one who arrests the person Maris ends up exonerating. The partners in crime detection take another fishing trip together, this time to a tropical island in "Planter's Death" (March 25, 1961). The two also improbably wind up in Paris together in "A French Affair" (February 11, 1961) when Maris travels abroad to help a client complete a business merger, while Weston just happens to be in the same city to attend a training seminar given by Interpol. In "Hurricane" (May 13, 1961) the duo travel to the Florida Keys during a raging storm hoping to hear the deathbed confession of the key witness in a murder trial Maris lost years before only to arrive too late, necessitating having to unravel what the witness was planning to tell them. The two also step out together socially, or try to in "Red Confetti" (March 18, 1961), which begins with both dressed in tuxedos for the annual Policeman's Ball only to be diverted by a strange hit-and-run case that scuttles their plans for the evening. The camaraderie, playful teasing, and yet common devotion to serving justice is similar to the relationship between Chief Marshal Simon Fry  and Deputy Clay McCord on the western series The Deputy, but Maris and Weston's relationship is more unusual because they are natural antagonists, not employer and employee. However, the contradictory nature of this relationship both undercuts the series being based on actual people and events and makes it more enjoyable because it is uncommon.

One could fault the series for failing to choose whether it is a drama or a comedy--the closing credit scenes with Maris and Weston clowning around with props used during the episode are often at odds with the serious nature of the main plot, often involving a death of some kind or other, whether by murder, suicide, or accident. A few episodes even use a sprightly musical score more appropriate for a show like Leave It to Beaver. But perhaps the most bizarre episode centers on a precocious young girl named "Jennifer" (January 28, 1961), who witnesses her father and step-mother having a nasty argument over dinner just as her governess has brought her into the dining room to say goodnight, and after everyone has gone to bed someone douses her father with gasoline and sets him on fire, killing him. Despite the gruesomeness of the murder, the episode maintains a light and cheery tone as Jennifer tries to act very grown up when she calls on Maris to defend her step-mother, who has been accused of the killing. Jennifer also spends a fair amount of time trying to dig up new evidence and keeping her name in the papers with her exploits, but after eliminating all the other suspects, Maris concludes that the real killer is--SPOILER ALERT--Jennifer herself. The convoluted logic of her decision to kill her own father is that he never spent any time with her during his marriage to Jennifer's biological mother, who then died, at which point he paid more attention to her, but when he remarried, she was left out in the cold again. When Maris finally identifies Jennifer as the killer, there is no discussion of her needing psychiatric care nor suffering any repercussions for her act. Maris merely takes her in his arms and tells her that all the headaches and nightmares she had been having are a thing of the past, and the typically goofy ending that plays out during the final credits has Maris and Weston discovering that they each bought Jennifer the same doll.

As unsettling as the Jennifer episode may be, it is consistent with an affinity for quirky characters that Lock Up seemed to specialize in during its final season. Besides the prepubescent murderer/celebrity Jennifer in the aforementioned episode, we meet an entire office full of strange characters in "The Case of Willie Betterley" (April 15, 1961). They include the supervisor of a corporate payroll office Horace Sobel, who pretends to be the heir of a large fortune in order to make himself feel more important but who is extremely nervous and takes prescription medicine to alleviate his anxiety; the titular Willie Betterley, nephew of the company president, who claims to have stolen a missing payroll and distributed it to the poor perhaps as a revenge fantasy against his controlling uncle; clerk Melanie, who interprets her own dreams as a way of solving the mystery of the missing payroll; and the oversexed Miss Patton, who flirts with Betterley and Sobel, in addition to Maris and Weston, just to shock her prudish coworker Nettie. While quirkiness for its own sake is most often annoying and contrived, this episode actually plays out fairly well, as one can easily imagine that a payroll office might be staffed by employees that wound up there because they could never function in any customer-facing department.

Another collection of quirky characters is presented in "Face of Innocence" (June 3, 1961), which centers around seaside artist Marianne Kelly, who seems normal enough herself, but she is surrounded and looked after by poet and vine-grower Roger, charter boat owner and shooting enthusiast Captain Sharpe, and hotel supervisor and moral authority Mr. Scully. Frank Ferguson goes a bit over the top in rendering the cantankerous sea captain, who rambles a bit too long on his prowess in shooting fish and in today's world would have been shot dead the moment he points his rifle at Weston in an act of defiance rather than actual threat, but the episode is a bit more measured in capturing the world inhabited by artists, poets, and other free spirits. Senior citizen dance student Hildegard Longacre in the aforementioned "Red Confetti" episode is also a hoot, particularly when she flirts with Weston. Less successful is the curmudgeon retired lawyer Samuel Abercrombie Putnam in "A Case of Arson" (January 21, 1961), whose very name signals "I am an eccentric inserted here for comic effect" and who inhabits Maris' office while he seeks to extricate an old personal friend from a case of disinheritance. But the episode also features a fire chief named Carson who seems to derive an occupationally dangerous fascination in watching things burn, making him a suspect in the case, if only temporarily. The zoo staff in "Jungle Compound" (April 8, 1961) is likewise comprised of fringe characters, former circus performers forced to find work in a zoo when their circus was mismanaged into oblivion, which leads to the assassination of their former manager just before he was going to take over the zoo.

Yet by comparison MacDonald Carey's Herbert Maris seems a bit dull, always even-keeled and indefatigable in his search for justice. Fortunately, he is balanced by the bombastic and easily excited Lt. Weston, played with zeal by John Doucette. Weston's frequent hasty arrests and superficial investigations never dampen his confidence that this time Maris is mistaken. However, rather than just being an ass, he freely admits when Maris has proven his initial assessment wrong and is ultimately more interested in justice being served than in being proved right. His flawed if predictable character lifts Lock Up from the slag heap of just another rote crime drama to an entertaining if not enlightening dramedy.

All but two of the 1961 episodes are available online either on youtube.com or archive.org, though the audio and video quality is extremely poor. In 2017 ClassicFlix announced a planned DVD release of the complete season but eventually canceled the project when they were unable to find existing copies of all the episodes.

The Actors

For the biographies of MacDonald Carey, John Doucette, and Olive Carey, see the 1960 post for Lock Up.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 2, Episode 17, "His Brother's Keeper": Britt Lomond (Captain Monastario on Zorro) plays police patrolman Larry Wade. Joe Sawyer (appeared in The Grapes of Wrath, Sergeant York, The Outlaw, Gilda, and It Came From Outer Space and played Sgt. Biff O'Hara on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin) plays his superior Sgt. McAvoy. Sally Kellerman (starred in Reform School Girl, MASH, Brewster McCloud, Slither, and The Player and played Lola on Chemistry, Constance Bingham on The Young and the Restless, Toni Maron on Maron, and Janet Davidson on Decker) plays Wade's brother's former girlfriend Cubbie Borden. Florence Lake (Jenny on Lassie) plays Wade's brother's current girlfriend Penny Jackson. Robert Christian (Dr. Colby on All My Children) plays store owner Carl Norwood.

Season 2, Episode 18, " A Case of Arson": Cyril Delevanti (Lucious Coin on Jefferson Drum) plays elderly lawyer Samuel Abercrombie Putman. Phillip Terry (appeared in Sweater Girl, The Lost Weekend, and The Leech Woman) plays motor court heir Harold Denham. Barbara Lang (Julie Tate on Lawman) plays his wife Elaine. Fuzzy Knight (shown on the left, appeared in She Done Him Wrong, Moulin Rouge (1934), My Little Chickadee, and Deep in the Heart of Texas and played Sagebrush on The Gene Autry Show and Pvt. Fuzzy Knight on Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion) plays fire chief Carson.


Season 2, Episode 19, "Jennifer": Gina Gillespie (shown on the right, played Tess on Law of the Plainsman and Mimi Scott on Karen) plays orphan Jennifer Vaughn. Angela Greene (Tess Trueheart on Dick Tracy) plays her governess Lisa Swanson.
Season 2, Episode 20, "Abandoned Mine": Andy Clyde (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Real McCoys) plays Nevada sheriff Tom Hurley. Gloria Jean (starred in If I Had My Way, A Little Bit of Heaven, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, Moonlight in Vermont, I'll Remember April, and Copacabana) plays mining heir Laura Cruthers. Robert Knapp (Ben Olson on Days of Our Lives and SAC Noel McDonald on The F.B.I.) plays cattle baron Nick Hawkins. 

Season 2, Episode 21, "A French Affair": Richard Arlen (starred in The Virginian, Dangerous Paradise, Gun Smoke, Island of Lost Souls, and Alice in Wonderland) plays restaurateur Eddie Carver. Gregory Gaye (shown on the left, appeared in Dodsworth, Tovarich, Ninotchka, and Creature With the Atom Brain and played The Ruler on Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe and Andre the Maitre D' on The Roaring 20's)plays Interpol Inspector de Walt. 

Season 2, Episode 23, "Fugitive From Fear": Sue Randall (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Leave It to Beaver) plays suspect's wife Peggy Tyler. Gail Bonney (Goodwife Martin on Space Patrol and Madeline Schweitzer on December Bride) plays nosey apartment resident Mrs. Gleason. Bek Nelson (Dru Lemp on Lawman and Phyllis Sloan on Peyton Place) plays executive's wife Naomi Marsden. Byron Morrow (Capt. Keith Gregory on The New Breed and Pearce Newberry on Executive Suite) plays psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Sterling.

Season 2, Episode 24, "Design for Murder": George E. Carey (Lamont Corbin on General Hospital) plays fashion designer Harvey Pinkly. Emmaline Henry (Kate Dickens on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, Nora Grady on Mickey, and Amanda Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie) plays his fiance Marion Green. Helen Wallace (Nurse Lucy Webber on Dr. Kildare) plays his wardrobe manager Mrs. Henrietta Carlton. Robert Gothie (Sam Hanson on The Gallant Men) plays Marion's brother Bob. Gage Clarke (Mr. Botkin on Gunsmoke) plays Pinkly's partner Bruce Paulson.

Season 2, Episode 25, "Like Father, Like Son": Robert Warwick (starred in Alias Jimmy Valentine, The Supreme Sacrifice, The Heart of a Hero, and Against All Flags) plays grandfather George Burkhart. Tommy Ivo (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays his grandson George Burkhart III. Stefanie Powers (shown on the left, starred in Experiment in Terror, Stagecoach, The Boatniks, and Herbie Rides Again and played April Dancer on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Toni "Feather" Danton on The Feather and Father Gang, Jennifer Hart on Hart to Hart, and Jane Powers on Doctors) plays George III's car-racing friend Mandy Adams. Harlan Warde (John Hamilton on The Rifleman and Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian) plays hypnotist Dr. Horace Belvin.

Season 2, Episode 26, "Red Confetti": Neil Hamilton (shown on the right, played Commissioner Gordon on Batman) plays dance studio owner Mark Devlin. Renie Riano (appeared in Tovarich, 4 Nancy Drew features, Li'l Abner, and 5 Maggie and Jiggs features) plays dance student Hildegard Longacre. Clem Bevans (appeared in Sergeant York, Saboteur, The Yearling, Mourning Becomes Electra, and Harvey) plays murder victim's boyfriend Mr. Montgomery. Russell Arms (vocalist who regularly appeared on Your Hit Parade) plays reluctant witness Douglas Manning.

Season 2, Episode 27, "Planter's Death": Richard Aherne (appeared in Sahara, Of Human Bondage, and Christopher Columbus) plays a Caribbean island police inspector. Isabel Jewell (appeared in Bondage, Here Comes the Groom, Go West Young Man, Gone With the Wind, Born to Kill, and Belle Starr's Daughter) plays voodoo priestess Mama Katu. Luciane Auclaire (Miss Belgium 1956) plays suspect's friend Madeleine Giroux. Albert Carrier (appeared in Tender Is the Night, Fitzwilly, and Scarface) plays plantation caretaker Claude Germain.

Season 2, Episode 28, "Two Wrongs": Jack Cassidy (shown on the left, Tony Award-winning father of David and Shaun Cassidy and husband of Shirley Jones, played Oscar North on He & She) plays actor Vincent Gibson. Nancy Rennick (Patty Johnson on Rescue 8) plays another actor's roommate Joan Hammond. Douglas Dick (Carl Herrick on Waterfront) plays theatre director Louie Lamark. Walter Coy (Zoravac on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and was the narrator on Frontier) plays housing developer Steve Ryker.

Season 2, Episode 29, "Jungle Compound": Don Haggerty (shown on the right, played Jeffrey Jones on The Files of Jeffrey Jones, Eddie Drake on The Cases of Eddie Drake, Sheriff Dan Elder on State Trooper, and Marsh Murdock on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays zoo manager Mr. Donovan. Nancy McCarthy (played Bunny (later recast as Mary Ann) in the original unaired pilot of Gilligan's Island) plays his daughter Marge. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank on Gunsmoke) plays animal feeder T.G. Tyler. Larry G. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays Donovan's planned successor Mr. Braun.

Season 2, Episode 30, "The Case of Willie Betterley": Steve Franken (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays company president's nephew Willie Betterley. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays his uncle J.Q. Betterley. Jonathan Hole (Orville Monroe on The Andy Griffith Show) plays payroll supervisor Horace Sobel. Joyce Jameson (appeared in The Apartment, Tales of Terror, and The Comedy of Terrors and played Skippy on The Andy Griffith Show) plays payroll clerk Miss Patton. Sara Haden (appeared in Anne of Green Gables, The Shop Around the Corner, and Above Suspicion and played Aunt Milly Forrest in 13 Andy Hardy features) plays payroll clerk Nettie. Ruth Clifford (starred in Polly Put the Kettle On, Mother o' Mine, and Hungry Eyes) plays payroll clerk Melanie.

Season 2, Episode 31, "The Wildcatter": John Howard (Dr. Wayne Hudson on Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal, Commander John "Pliny" Hawk on Adventures of the Sea Hawk, Dave Welch on My Three Sons, and Cliff Patterson on Days of Our Lives) plays oil executive Bob Coburn. Adele Mara (wife of Maverick producer Roy Huggins who appeared in Wake of the Red Witch, Sands of Iwo Jima, and The Big Circus) plays his secretary/treasurer Norma Ames. Guy Stockwell (shown on the right, starred in Sword of Zorro, The War Lord, Beau Geste, and Airport 1975 and played Chris Parker on Adventures in Paradise) plays former employee Bud Towns. Arthur Hunnicutt (starred in The Red Badge of Courage, The Last Command, The Cardinal, and Cat Ballou) plays wildcatter Hank Parsons.

Season 2, Episode 32, "The Accused": Audrey Dalton (appeared in Titanic (1953), Separate Tables, and Kitten With a Whip) plays invalid's wife Susan Carter. Anna Lee (shown on the left, starred in King Solomon's Mines, How Green Was My Valley, Flying Tigers, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Sound of Music, and In Like Flint and played Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital) plays her mother-in-law Helen Carter. Richard Crane (Rocky Jones on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Dick Preston on Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe, and Lt. Gene Plehn on Surfside 6) plays building supervisor Tom Barnes. 

Season 2, Episode 33, "Leading Young Citizen": Ray Hamilton (Al Casey on King of Diamonds) plays war hero Joe Taner. Jeanne Bates (appeared in The Phantom, , The Strangler, Eraserhead, Gus, and Mulholland Drive and played Nurse Wills on Ben Casey) plays his sister Catherine. Karyn Kupcinet (Carol on The Gertrude Berg Show) plays Joe's girlfriend Wanda Mather. 

Season 2, Episode 34, "Hurricane": Robert Knapp (see "Abandoned Mine" above) plays murder trial witness' son-in-law Eric Holden. Lory Pastick (later changed her name to Lory Patrick, second wife and widow of Dean Jones, appeared in Surf Party and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and played Tina Swenson on Tales of Wells Fargo) plays his wife Phyllis. 

Season 2, Episode 36, "Sacrifice Play": Vinton Hayworth (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Lawman) plays sleazy newspaper columnist Mills Ambrose. John Considine (shown on the right, brother of Tim Considine, played Grant Capwell on Santa Barbara) plays his research assistant Steve Larkin. Bill Zuckert (Arthur Bradwell on Mr. Novak and Chief Segal on Captain Nice) plays newspaper editor Al Bingham. Jean Carson (Rosemary on The Betty Hutton Show) plays gossip columnist Everil Cummings.

Season 2, Episode 37, "Face of Innocence": Faith Demergue (starred in Cult of the Cobra, This Island Earth, and It Came From Beneath the Sea) plays artist Marianne Kelly. Alan Hale, Jr. (shown on the left, played Biff Baker on Biff Baker U.S.A., Casey Jones on Casey Jones, and The Skipper on Gilligan's Island) plays poet Roger. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays boat owner Captain Sharpe. Walter Baldwin (appeared in The Best Years of Our Lives, Mourning Becomes Electra, Destry, and Rosemary's Baby, was the original Floyd the barber on The Andy Griffith Show, and played Grandpappy Miller on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) plays hotel caretaker Mr. Scully.

Season 2, Episode 38, "The Intruder": Jan Shepard (Nurse Betty on Dr. Christian) plays estranged wife Allison Conway. Charles Quinlivan (Frank Garlund on Mr. Garlund) plays her boyfriend Don Nichols. Francine York (shown on the right, starred in Wild Ones on Wheels, The Doll Squad, and Marilyn Alive and Behind Bars and played Lorraine Farr Temple on Days of Our Lives and Queen Medusa on Jason of Star Command) plays Conway's estranged husband's current girlfriend Patrice Reed.

Season 2, Episode 39, "The Case of Nan Havens": Mary Tyler Moore (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Dick Van Dyke Show) plays espionage suspect Nan Havens. Penny Edwards (starred in That Hagen Girl, Tucson, Missing Women, and Million Dollar Pursuit, filled in for a pregnant Dale Evans in several early 1950s Roy Rogers features, and modeled in ads for Lux, Palmolive, and Tiparillos) plays drive-in waitress Laura Mead.