Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wagon Train (1960)

Western dramas ruled the airwaves in the late 50s and early 60s, and among the most popular for the 1960-61 season was Wagon Train, which trailed only Gunsmoke and Have Gun--Will Travel in the ratings that year. The show, which debuted in 1957 and ran for eight seasons, focused on the characters and exploits of a professionally run wagon train that made its way from St. Louis, Missouri to Sacramento and San Francisco, California during the course of each season. Though it was not a true serial, each episode standing on its own rather than advancing a continuing story arc, the location of the stories did follow the geographical progression of the wagon train during the course of the season, with early episodes being based in Missouri, then Kansas, the desert, Colorado, and finally ending the season with a few episodes set in California. The wagon train was led by wagon master Major Seth Adams (Ward Bond) and the train's young, dashing scout Flint McCullough (Robert Horton). Rounding out the regular crew was Adams's trail-hand Bill Hawks (Terry Wilson) and cook and resident laughingstock Charlie Wooster (Frank McGrath). However, the 1960 calendar year was a momentous one for the show because co-star Ward Bond died unexpectedly of a heart attack November 5 while in Dallas to appear at half-time of a Cowboys football game. At the time of his death, there were 16 future episodes already filmed, half with Bond, since each week's episode typically focused on one of the two co-stars, Bond or Horton, with the other often not appearing in that week's show.  However, these episodes were not shown sequentially as filmed because in the last episode of 1960, "The Jeremy Dow Story," which aired December 28, Bond's name as co-star is replaced by John McIntire in the opening credits, though McIntire's character Christopher Hale does not appear in the episode. The last show to feature Bond was aired in February, 1961. There was no explanation given for the departure of his character.

The show's popularity during the 1960-61 season may have been due in part to the curiosity surrounding Bond's demise, but before he died, he had persuaded two old friends of his, director John Ford and actor John Wayne, to work on a single episode, "The Colter Craven Story," which aired November 23, 1960 and was the subject of a TV Guide cover story in the November 19 edition. The three had been fast friends, drinking buddies, and rabble rousers since Ford cast the other two men in the 1929 film Salute, and Ford finally succumbed to Bond's badgering to direct a TV episode. In the show, Wayne makes a seconds-brief appearance as Civil War general Tecumseh Sherman, never showing a close-up of his face, though his distinctive voice is unmistakable in the one line he is given. In the credits, he was billed as Michael Morris. However, there were plenty of other big-name guest stars during the season, including Mickey Rooney, George Gobel, Lee Marvin, and Ernest Borgnine, to name but a few.

Most of the episodes are titled and revolve around a person not among the four principals. Sometimes these characters are travelers in wagon train, but they also frequently can be people encountered during the trip west, sometimes when one of the principals visits a town where the train stops along the way, such as "The Colonel Harris Story" (January 13, 1960) in which McCullough gets permission to leave the train and  go visit his friend, Colonel Harris, at Fort Young. In "The Clayton Tucker Story" (February 10, 1960), the wagon train figures only tangentially in the story, as we see Major Adams wondering about another small group of wagons that is supposed to be joining up with his larger train and the rest of the episode dealing with that small wagon group trying to make it across a scorching desert with no water. A couple of episodes center around off-shoots of the larger wagon train: In "The Jose Morales Story" (October 26, 1960) Hawks is assigned by Adams to lead a small group of three wagons up to the Dakotas where the travelers intend to take up farming, and in "Princess of a Lost Tribe" (November 2, 1960), McCullough is assigned to lead three men in search of one man's father, who disappeared in the area two years before. 

And the two supporting characters, Hawks and Wooster, each get an episode devoted mostly to them: In "The Jonas Murdock Story" (April 13, 1960), Hawks spends most of the episode tracking down the titular renegade scout and troublemaker, while in "The Charlene Brenton Story" (June 8, 1960), Wooster discovers his paternal instinct when he takes over the care of a baby whose mother has just died with no apparent relatives in sight. This scattershot focus of the various episodes seems a bit chaotic at first glance, but the overall thrust of the show and series is to offer a glimpse at the many different characters who together braved the rough conditions and tangled motivations to form the western United States we know today. Major Adams occasionally reflects on this view at end of certain episodes, as in "The Clayton Tucker Story" when Adams ends the episode by saying that the west is in good hands if it is being led by the likes of Clayton Tucker and in the two-part whodunit "Trial for Murder" (April 27-May 4) at the end of which Adams claims that the satisfactory result of the trial has brought justice to the west. 

But one episode brings Victorian England to the old west in borrowing Charles Dickens' Great Expectations for the plot of "The Tom Tuckett Story" (March 2, 1960), with the title character being the unaware benefactor of an escaped convict while pursuing a young woman whose aunt is intent on using her to avenge being left waiting at the altar decades before. There are other plots that are also familiar to those who have watched a good number of the period's dramas, as in "The Jane Hawkins Story" (November 30, 1960) in which a small town is under the impressive rule by its richest resident, Ben Mattox, until McCullough comes to town and stirs things up, finally getting the townfolk to stand up to the tyrant. And in "The Lita Foldaire Story" (January 6, 1960), a grieving husband whose wife has been murdered actually turns out to be the perpetrator.

The music scores for the individual episodes by the third and fourth seasons are split up amongst a host of composers. Jerome Moross composed the majestic string--and-harp-filled orchestral theme but did not compose the scores within the episodes. Amongst the notable composers who did are Stanley Wilson, who was musical supervisor for a great number of shows during the era, including this one, Oscar-winning (Exodus) composer Ernest Gold in "The Clayton Tucker Story" and "The Alexander Portlass Story," Oscar-winning (Pinocchio) composer Leigh Harline in "The Tracey Sadler Story," arranger Henri Rene (who worked with Harry Belafonte and Eartha Kitt) in "The Joshua Gilliam Story," and Brazilian bossa nova godfather Laurindo Almeida in "Princess of a Lost Tribe."

The first seven seasons have been released on DVD by Timeless Media Group.

The Actors

Ward Bond

As mentioned previously, Wardell Edwin Bond had a long friendship and professional relationship with director John Ford and actor John Wayne, dating back to his days on the USC football team as a teammate of Wayne's. Born in Nebraska the son of a lumberyard worker, he grew up in Denver before matriculating to Southern California. After being cast as an extra in Salute, he went on to appear in such film classics as It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby, Topper, Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Sergeant York, The Maltese Falcon, It's a Wonderful Life, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, and Rio Bravo before landing the role of Major Seth Adams on Wagon Train. However, beside his penchant for excessive drinking and fighting, he also had a reputation for arrogance and was a right-wing zealot who was Hollywood's most vocal supporter for the Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s. He also served as president of the conservative Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Although he was known as a merciless hurler of insults, Ford reportedly told Andy Devine at Bond's funeral, "Now you're the biggest asshole I know."

Robert Horton

Meade Howard Horton, Jr. was born July 29, 1924 in Los Angeles. After appearing in 10 films in supporting roles in the first half of the 1950s, Horton began appearing in individual TV episodes beginning with The Lone Ranger in 1954, including three appearances on Studio 57, four appearances on Matinee Theatre, and seven appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. On Wagon Train, Horton's portrayal of Flint McCullough offered a younger, more romantic contrast to Ward Bond's partiarchal Major Seth Adams. But Horton left the show after the 1961-62 season to pursue a career in musical theatre, landing the lead role in David Merrick's production of The Rainmaker. However, he returned to TV for the lead role in A Man Called Shenandoah, which lasted a single season in 1965-66. After that, he appeared on TV sparingly on shows such as Police Woman and Murder, She Wrote, though he did have a recurring role as Whit McColl on As the World Turns in 1983-84. He currently lives with his third wife in Encino, California.

Terry Wilson

Born in Huntington Beach, California, Wilson got his start as a stuntman in films, also serving as John Wayne's body double in movies like Sands of Iwo Jima. He began appearing in acting roles in My Hands Are Clay in 1948, though his roles before Wagon Train were mostly uncredited. After acting in all eight seasons of Wagon Train, Wilson appeared only occasionally in TV shows, including four turns on The Virginian, though he did land supporting roles in a few films, such as Don Knotts' The Shakiest Gun in the West, Westworld, and Escape to Witch Mountain. He died March 30, 1999 at the age of 75.

Frank McGrath

Born in 1903 in Mound City, Missouri, McGrath began appearing in films in 1932, though most of his roles were uncredited, such as in The Ox-Bow Incident, Fort Apache, Hondo, and The Searchers. After his eight seasons on Wagon Train, McGrath appeared as Uncle Lucius on Tammy and reprised the role in the feature-length movie Tammy and the Millionaire. He also appeared in two Don Knotts films, The Reluctant Astronaut and The Shakiest Gun in the West with Wagon Train castmate Terry Wilson. He died before that last picture was released, on May 13, 1967 at the age of 64.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 3, Episode 14, "The Lita Foldaire Story": Dianne Brewster (Wilhemina "Steamboat Willy" Vanderveer on The Islanders and Helen Kimble on The Fugitive) plays murdered wife Lita Foldaire. Kent Smith (starred in Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, and The Fountainhead and who played Dr. Robert Morton on Peyton Place and Edgar Scoville on The Invaders) plays her husband Jess. 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 her brother-in-law Clay. Paul Birch (starred in Not of This Earth, Queen of Outer Space, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and who played Erle Stanley Gardner on The Court of Last Resort, Mike Malone on Cannonball, and Capt. Carpenter on The Fugitive) plays her father Dan Clayton. Jay Novello (Juan Greco on Zorro and Mayor Mario Lugatto on McHale's Navy) plays portrait painter Carlotti. Lurene Tuttle (Doris Dunston on Father of the Bride and Hannah Yarby on Julia) plays the minister's wife Mrs. Willoughby.

Season 3, Episode 15, "The Colonel Harris Story": John Howard (Dr. Wayne Hudson on Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal, Commander John "Pliny" Hawk on Adventures of the Sea Hawk, and Dave Welch on My Three Sons) plays Colonel Harris, whose wife is killed by Indians. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays Commanche leader Red Bow. Kenneth MacDonald (played the judge 32 times on Perry Mason, played Col. Parker on Colt .45, and appeared in several Three Stooges shorts) plays an army general. 

Season 3, Episode 16, "The Maidie Brant Story": Jean Hagen (starred in Singin' in the Rain, Adam's Rib, and The Asphalt Jungle and who played Margaret Williams on The Danny Thomas Show) plays Maidie Brant, a widow bitter about her husband's death. Edward Platt (shown on left, played the Chief on Get Smart) plays spiritual thinker Orbio de Costa. Richard Eyer (Davey Kane on Stagecoach West) plays Maidie's son Matthew. 

Season 3, Episode 17, "The Larry Hanify Story": Tommy Sands (singer who starred in Sing Boy Sing, Mardi Gras, and Babes in Toyland and who was the first husband of Nancy Sinatra) plays Larry Hanify, a young man whose father dies and leaves him in Flint McCullough's care. Orville Sherman (Mr. Feeney on Buckskin, Wib Smith on Gunsmoke, and Tupper on Daniel Boone) plays his father Joe. Wally Moon (shown on right, All-Star outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers) plays Sheriff Bender. 

Season 3, Episode 18, "The Clayton Tucker Story": Jeff Morrow (starred in Sign of the Pagan, This Island Earth, Pardners, and The Giant Claw and who played Dr. Lloyd Axton on The New Temperatures Rising Show) plays wagon leader Clayton Tucker. James Best (see "The Colonel Harris Story" above) plays disgruntled wagon owner Art Bernard. Aline Towne (Joan Gilbert on Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe) plays Bernard's wife Susan. Dorothy Green (Lavinia Tate on Tammy) plays Tucker's wife Sabrina. 

Season 3, Episode 19, "The Benjamin Burns Story": J. Carrol Naish (Charlie Chan in The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, Hawkeye in Guestward Ho!, and starred in Monster Maker and House of Frankenstein) plays crusty old scout Benjamin Burns. Jack Lambert (starred in The Harvey Girls, The Killers, and Kiss Me Deadly and who played Joshua Walcek on Riverboat) plays cynical settler Frank Owen. James Franciscus (Det. Jimmy Halloran on Naked City, Russ Andrews on The Investigators, John Novak on Mr. Novak, Mike Longstreet on Longstreet, Benjamin Elliot on Doc Elliot, and James Hunter on Hunter) plays greenhorn John Colter. Olive Sturgess (Carol Henning on The Bob Cummings Show) plays Burns' grand-daughter Cathy. 

Season 3, Episode 20, "The Ricky & Laurie Bell Story": June Lockhart (shown on left, played Ruth Martin on Lassie, Maureen Robinson on Lost in Space, and Dr. Janet Craig on Petticoat Junction) plays settler Laurie Bell. James Gregory (starred in The Silencers, Murderers' Row, The Ambushers, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and The Love God? and who played Barney Ruditsky in The Lawless Years, Nick Hannigan on Detective School, and Inspector Frank Luger on Barney Miller) plays her wastrel husband Ricky. Ann Doran (Martha Brown on National Velvet, Mrs. Kingston on Longstreet, and Charlotte McHenry on Shirley) plays his Aunt Lizzie. 

Season 3, Episode 21, "The Tom Tuckett Story": Ben Cooper (Waverly on The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo and the Director on The Fall Guy) plays orphan Tom Tuckett. Robert Middleton (Barney Wales on The Monroes) plays his secret benefactor Ned Burkett. Josephine Hutchinson (starred in The Story of Louis Pasteur, Son of Frankenstein, and Tom Brown's Schooldays) plays spinster Miss Stevenson. Louise Fletcher (starred in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Exorcist II, and The Cheap Detective and who played Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) plays her niece Elizabeth. Frank Wilcox (Mr. Brewster on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction) plays army Colonel Barkley. 

Season 3, Episode 22, "The Tracy Sadler Story": Elaine Stritch (Ruth Sherwood on My Sister Eileen, Aunt Polly on Pollyanna, Dorothy McNab on Two's Company, Sydney Brewer on The Ellen Burstyn Show, and Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock) plays vengeful widow Tracy Sadler. Elisha Cook, Jr. (starred in The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, The Great Gatsby (1949), and The Killing and who played Francis "Ice Pick" Hofstetler on Magnum P.I.) plays her driver Cadge Waldo. Eugene Mazzola (Joey Drum on Jefferson Drum) plays her son David. Carl Benton Reid (starred in The Little Foxes, In a Lonely Place, Lorna Doone, and The Left Hand of God and who played The Man on Burke's Law) plays her father-in-law Fletcher Forest. 

Season 3, Episode 23, "The Alexander Portlass Story": Peter Lorre (shown on right, starred in M, Crime and Punishment, eight Mr. Moto movies, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace, and The Beast With Five Fingers) plays fortune hunter Alexander Portlass. Morgan Woodward (Shotgun Gibbs on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, John Renko on Hill Street Blues, and Marvin Anderson on Dallas) plays his henchman Jupe. Henry Corden (extensive voice work on cartoons, including Paw Rugg on Atom Ant and The Banana Splits Hour) plays henchman Phelan. Bern Hoffman (Sam the bartender on Bonanza) plays henchman Bruto. 

Season 3, Episode 24, "The Christine Elliott Story": Phyllis Thaxter (starred in Women's Prison, Man Afraid, and Superman) plays orphan schoolmaster Christine Elliott. Kathryn Card (Mrs. McGillicuddy on I Love Lucy, Mrs. Papernow on The Charles Farrell Show, and Maw Kadiddlehopper on The Red Skelton Hour) plays her housekeeper Abigail. Donald Woods (John Brent on Tammy and Craig Kennedy on Kennedy, Criminologist) plays suitor Philip Ayres. Don Grady (shown on left, played Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons) plays eldest orphan George. 

Season 3, Episode 25, "The Joshua Gilliam Story": Dan Duryea (starred in The Little Foxes, The Pride of the Yankees, Scarlet Street, and Winchester '73 and who played China Smith in China Smith and The New Adventures of China Smith and Eddie Jacks on Peyton Place) plays alleged educator Joshua Gilliam. Irene Tedrow (Mrs. Elkins on Dennis the Menace) plays his conquest's mother Mrs. Halstadt.

Season 3, Episode 26, "The Maggie Hamilton Story": Susan Oliver (Ann Howard on Peyton Place) plays immature Maggie Hamilton. Les Tremayne (starred in The War of the Worlds (1953), The Story of Ruth, The Slime People, and The Fortune Cookie and who played Inspector Richard Queen in The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen) plays her father Horace. Leonard Nimoy (shown on right, played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, Paris on Mission: Impossible, and Dr. William Bell on Fringe) plays renegade scout Cherokee Ned.

Season 3, Episode 27, "The Jonas Murdock Story": Noah Beery, Jr. (starred in The Mutiny of the Elsinore, The Trail Beyond, Of Mice and Men, Sergeant York, and Walking Tall and who played Joey the Clown on Circus Boy, Bill Blake on Riverboat, Buffalo Baker on Hondo, Joseph "Rocky" Rockford on The Rockford Files, and Luther Dillard on The Yellow Rose) plays former scout Jonas Murdock. Lyle Talbot (starred in 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, Miracle on Main Street, Murder Is My Business, Batman and Robin(1949), and Plan 9 From Outer Space and who played The Brain on Dick Tracy, Baylor on Commando Cody: Sky Master of the Universe, Al Simon on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Paul Fonda on The Bob Cummings Show, and Joe Randolph on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays settler Jameson. Bernadette Withers (Ginger on Bachelor Father) plays settler Alma Hardy. 

Season 3, Episode 28, "The Amos Gibbon Story": William Schallert (Justinian Tebbs on The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Mr. Leander Pomfritt on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show, Admiral Hargrade on Get Smart, Teddy Futterman on The Nancy Walker Show, Carson Drew on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Russ Lawrence on The New Gidget, and Wesley Hodges on The Torkelsons) plays captive miner Miles Van Vander. John Ashley (Clipper Hamilton on Straightaway and was the narrator on The A-Team) plays captive miner Billy Collier. 

Season 3, Episode 29, "Trial for Murder, Part 1": Marshall Thompson (Mel Hunter on World of Giants, Johnny Smith on Angel, and Dr. Marsh Tracy on Daktari) plays accused murderer Brad Mason. Henry Hull (starred in Little Women, Werewolf in London, Great Expectations, High Sierra, and The Fountainhead) plays his defense attorney Mark Applewhite. Murvyn Vye (Lionel on The Bob Cummings Show) plays lead accuser Mr. Miller. Ron Hayes (Wyatt Earp on Bat Masterson, Lincoln Vail on Everglades, Ben Jones on The Rounders, and Hank Johnson on Dallas) and Jon Locke (Officer Garvey on Highway Patrol and the Sleestack Leader on Land of the Lost) play his sons. Walter Baldwin (Grandpappy Miller on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction) plays witness Eddie Blake. Dennis Rush (Howie Pruitt on The Andy Griffith Show) plays the victim's son David.

Season 3, Episode 30, "Trial for Murder, Part 2": Dianne Foster (starred in Night Passage, The Last Hurrah, and The Deep Six) plays widow Leslie Ivers. William Schallert (see "The Amos Gibbon Story" above) plays witness Elliott Drake.

Season 3, Episode 31, "The Countess Baranof Story": Taina Elg (starred in Les Girls, The 39 Steps, Watusi and Hercules in New York) plays Russian Countess Baranof. Simon Oakland (starred in Psycho, West Side Story, and Follow That Dream and who played Tony Vincenzo on Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore on Black Sheep Squadron, and Sgt. Abrams on David Cassidy - Man Undercover) plays her bodyguard Colonel Vasily. Peter Leeds (Tenner Smith on Trackdown) plays smitten settler Alex Foster. Ann B. Davis (shown on left, played Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz on The Bob Cummings Show, Miss Wilson on The John Forsythe Show, and Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch, The Brady Brides, and The Bradys) plays his wife Susan.

Season 3, Episode 32, "The Dick Jarvis Story": Tommy Nolan (Jody O'Connell on Buckskin, Officer Hubbell on Jessie, and Mick on Out of This World) plays crippled boy Dick Jarvis. Bobby Diamond (Joey Newton on Fury, Buddy McGovern on Westinghouse Playhouse, and Duncan Gillis on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays runaway orphan Joey Henshaw. Vivi Janiss (Myrtle Davis on Father Knows Best) plays Dick's mother Mrs. Jarvis. 

Season 3, Episode 33, "Dr. Swift Cloud": Rafael Campos (Ramon Diaz, Jr. on Rhoda) plays Indian-turned-doctor Swift Cloud. Dabbs Greer (Mr. Jonas on Gunsmoke, Coach Ossie Weiss on Hank, Norrie Coolidge on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Reverend Robert Alden on Little House on the Prairie, Rev. Henry Novotny on Picket Fences, and Grandpa Fred Stage on Maybe It's Me) plays irritable settler Mr. Finley. 

Season 3, Episode 34, "The Luke Grant Story": Donald Woods (see "The Christine Elliott Story" above) plays desperate loser Luke Grant. Joan O'Brien (starred in The Alamo and It'$ Only Money) plays traveling singing group leader Vickie. Wendy Wagner (Lenore "Casey" Case on The Green Hornet) plays redhead singer Fay.

Season 3, Episode 35, "The Charlene Brenton Story": Sean McClory (Jack McGivern on The Californians and Myles Delaney on Bring 'Em Back Alive) plays Irish saloon owner Casey. Raymond Bailey (shown on right, played Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies, Dean Magruder on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, D.A. John Carvell on The Untouchables, and Mr. Beaumont on My Sister Eileen) plays orphan baby's grand-father Jim Brenton. Kathryn Card (see "The Christine Elliott Story" above) plays Grandma Mercer.

Season 3, Episode 36, "The Sam Livingston Story": Charles Drake (starred in Winchester '73, Harvey, It Came From Outer Space, Bonzo Goes to College, and I Was a Shoplifter and who played John Burden on Rendezvous) plays revenge-bound rich man Sam Livingston. Onslow Stevens (starred in The Three Musketeers (1935), The Creeper, Angel on My Shoulder, Mark of the Gorilla, and Them!) plays bank president Cass Fleming. 

Season 3, Episode 37, "The Shadrack Bennington Story": David Wayne (starred in Adam's Rib, M, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Three Faces of Eve, and The Andromeda Strain and who played Preston Norby on Norby, The Mad Hatter on Batman, Charles Dutton on The Good Life, Inspector Richard Queen on Ellery Queen, and Doctor Amos Weatherby on House Calls) plays elixir salesman Shadrack Bennington. Maggie Pierce (Barbara Crabtree on My Mother the Car) plays ingenue Jennifer Robertson. Charles Herbert (starred in The Fly and 13 Ghosts and who played Peter McCauley on Men Into Space) plays orphan Winfy Robertson. Henry Hunter (Doctor Summerfield on Hazel) plays a doctor at grandfather Robertson's estate.

Season 4, Episode 1, "Wagons Ho!": Mickey Rooney (shown on left, starred in Captains Courageous, Boys Town, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Words and Music, Babyface Nelson, and Breakfast at Tiffany's as well as numerous Andy Hardy movies and played Mickey Mulligan on The Mickey Rooney Show, Mickey Grady on Mickey, Oliver Nugent on One of the Boys, Henry Dailey on The New Adventures of the Black Stallion, and Talbut on Kleo the Misfit Unicorn) plays inept greenhorn Sam Evans. Ellen Corby (Henrietta Porter on Trackdown and Esther Walton on The Waltons) plays his Aunt Em. Olive Sturgess (see "The Benjamin Burns Story" above) plays his wife Melanie. Henry Corden (see "The Alexander Portlass Story" above) plays thieving Indian Black Feather.

Season 4, Episode 2, "The George Best Story": George Gobel (starred on The George Gobel Show and Hollywood Squares and who played Mayor Otis Harper, Jr. on Harper Valley) plays entrepreneurial  greenhorn George Best. Allen Jenkins (starred in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, A Slight Case of Murder, Destry Rides Again, and The Gay Falcon and who played Johnny on The Duke, Al Murray on Hey, Jeannie!, the voice of Officer Dibble on Top Cat, and Muggsy on The Red Skelton Hour) plays wagon-maker Mr. Gillespie. Joe Flynn (shown on right, starred in Lover Come Back, The Love Bug, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and played Frank on The Joey Bishop Show, Capt. Wallace B. Binghamton on McHale's Navy, and Herbert T. Kenworth on The Tim Conway Show) plays grocer Edwin Crook. Ken Curtis (starred in Mister Roberts, The Searchers, and The Alamo and who played Festus on Gunsmoke, Jim Buckley on Ripcord, and Hoyt Coryell on The Yellow Rose) plays Best's former step-father Pappy Lightfoot.
 Season 4, Episode 3, "The Albert Farnsworth Story": Charles Laughton (starred in The Private Life of Henry VIII, Les Miserables, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Witness for the Prosecution, and Spartacus) plays arrogant British Colonel Albert Farnsworth. James Fairfax (Charlie on Ramar of the Jungle and Cedric, the Steward on The Gale Storm Show) plays his assistant Jeremy Oakes. Terence de Marney (Case Thomas on Johnny Ringo and Counsellor Doone on Lorna Doone) plays belligerent Irish patriarch Mike O'Toole. Robert Brown (Jason Bolt on Here Come the Brides and Cater Primus on Primus) plays O'Toole's son Tim. Gina Gillespie (Terry "Tess" Wilkins on Law of the Plainsman and Mimi Scott on Karen) plays O'Toole's grand-daughter Peggy. Jan Arvan (Nacho Torres on Zorro and Paw Kadiddlehopper on The Red Skelton Hour) plays the chief of the Cheyenne Indians.
 Season 4, Episode 4, "The Allison Justis Story": Gloria DeHaven (starred in The Thin Man Goes Home, Summer Holiday, Three Little Words, and Summer Stock and who played Irene James on Nakia and Bess Shelby on Ryan's Hope) plays Allison Justis, whose husband is killed by Flint McCullough. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West in later years on Wagon Train) plays her son Billy. Dan Tobin (Terrance Clay on Perry Mason) plays Sheriff Fred Miller. Edward G. Robinson, Jr. (son of Edward G. Robinson) plays his deputy. 

Season 4, Episode 5, "The Jose Morales Story": Lee Marvin (shown on left, starred in The Big Heat, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cat Ballou, The Dirty Dozen, and Paint Your Wagon and played Det. Lt. Frank Ballinger on M Squad) plays Mexican bandido Jose Morales. Lon Chaney, Jr. (starred in The Wolfman, Of Mice and Men, High Noon, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Curse of Dracula, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and many others, and who played Chingachgook on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans) plays Alamo deserter Louis Roque. Clark Howat (Dr. John Petrie on The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu) plays Quaker-like preacher Aaron Oliver. Aline Towne (see "The Clayton Tucker Story" above) plays his wife Patience. Charles Herbert (see "The Shadrack Bennington Story" above) plays his son Joseph.
Season 4, Episode 6, "Princess of a Lost Tribe": Linda Lawson (shown on right, jazz singer who played Renee on Adventures in Paradise, Pat Perry on Don't Call Me Charlie, and Laura Fremont on Ben Casey) plays Lia, princess of the Aztecs. Raymond Massey (starred in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Fountain Head, East of Eden, and Seven Angry Men and who played Anton the Spy Master on I Spy (1955-57) and Dr. Leonard Gillespie on Dr. Kildare) plays her father Montezuma IX. Edward Mallory (Bill Horton on Days of Our Lives) plays Mike Kelly, a man in search of his missing father. 

Season 4, Episode 7, "The Cathy Eckhart Story": Susan Oliver (see "The Maggie Hamilton Story" above) plays Cathy Eckhart, daughter of a murdered man. John Larch (starred in The Wrecking Crew, Play Misty for Me, and Dirty Harry and who played Deputy District Attorney Jerry Miller on Arrest and Trial, Gerald Wilson on Dynasty, and Arlen & Atticus Ward on Dallas) plays Ben Harness, the man accused of murder. Vivi Janiss (see "The Dick Jarvis Story" above) plays his wife Sarah. Martin Landau (shown on 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, and Bob Ryan on Entourage) plays sketchy Preacher. Ron Hayes (see "Trial for Murder, Part 1" above) plays wagon driver Whitey. Gregory Walcott (starred in Badman's Country and Plan 9 From Outer Space and who played Det. Roger Havilland on 87th Precinct) plays guide Jeff Miller. 
 Season 4, Episode 8, "The Bleymier Story": Dan Duryea (see "The Joshua Gilliam Story" above) plays crochety nature-signs reader Samuel Bleymier. James Drury (The Virginian on The Virginian and Captain Spike Ryerson on Firehouse) plays Justin Claiborne, suitor for Bleymier's daughter. 
 Season 4, Episode 9, "The Colter Craven Story": Carleton Young (starred in the Dick Tracy serials, Honor of the West, Billy the Kid in Texas, and Thunderhead - Son of Flicka and who played Harry Steeger on The Court of Last Resort) plays cowardly doctor Colter Craven. Anna Lee (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 who played Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital) plays his wife Allyris. John Carradine (starred in Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, The Ten Commandments, and Sex Kittens Go to College and who played Gen. Joshua McCord on Branded) plays water-rights tyrant Park Cleatus. Ken Curtis (see "The Horace Best Story" above) plays his son Kyle. Dennis Rush (Howie Pruitt on The Andy Griffith Show) plays a boy named Jamie who breaks his leg. Paul Birch (see "The Lita Foldaire Story" above) plays Ulysses S. Grant. Willis Bouchey (Mayor Terwilliger on The Great Gildersleeve and the judge 23 times on Perry Mason) plays Grant's father. John Wayne (credited as Michael Morris) plays General Tecumseh Sherman.

Season 4, Episode 10, "The Jane Hawkins Story": Myrna Fahey (Katherine "Kay" Banks on Father of the Bride) plays wrongly accused Jane Hawkins. Edgar Buchanan (shown on 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, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays small-town tyrant Ben Mattox. Kathie Browne (Angie Dow on Hondo) plays his daughter Laura. Whit Bissell (starred in He Walked by Night, Creature From the Black Lagoon, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, and Hud and who played Bert Loomis on Bachelor Father, Calvin Hanley on Peyton Place, and Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk on The Time Tunnel) plays the town's Doc Hicks. 
 Season 4, Episode 11, "The Candy O'Hara Story": Joan O'Brien (see "The Luke Grant Story" above) plays scammer accomplice Candy O'Hara. Jim Davis (Matt Clark on Stories of the Century, Wes Cameron on Rescue 8, Marshal Bill Winter on The Cowboys, and Jock Ewing on Dallas) plays upright widower Gabe Henry. Teddy Rooney (son of Mickey Rooney) plays his son Luther. Robert Lowery (starred in Criminal Investigator, Revenge of the Zombies, The Navy Way, The Mummy's Ghost, and They Made Me a Killer and who played Big Tim Champion on Circus Boy and Buss Courtney on Pistols 'n' Petticoats) plays gambler and scam artist Marty. 
 Season 4, Episode 12, "The River Crossing": Charles Aidman (narrator on the 1985-87 version of The Twilight Zone) plays Indian-hating Colonel Buckner. Ron Harper (Det. Bert Kling on 87th Precinct, Jeff Conway on Wendy and Me, Paul Marshall on The Jean Arthur Show, Lt. Craig Garrison on Garrison's Gorillas, Alan Virdon on Planet of the Apes, and Uncle Jack on Land of the Lost) plays his second-in-command Lt. Beyins. X Brands (Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays a Pawnee brave. 

Season 4, Episode 13, "The Roger Bigelow Story": Robert Vaughn (shown on left, starred in Teenage Cave Man, The Magnificent Seven, The Towering Inferno, and Bullitt and played Capt. Ray Rambridge on The Lieutenant, Napoleon Solo on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Harry Rule on The Protectors, Harlan Adams on Emerald Point N.A.S., Gen. Hunt Stockwell on The A-Team, and Albert Stroller on Hustle) plays single-minded minister Roger Bigelow. Audrey Dalton (starred in The Girls of Pleasure Island and The Monster That Challenged the World) plays his wife Nancy. Claude Akins (Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays unreformed criminal Wes Varney. 

 Season 4, Episode 14, "The Jeremy Dow Story": Leslie Nielsen (shown on right, played Lt. Frank Drebin on Police Squad and in the Naked Gun movies; also played Vincent Markham on Peyton Place, Lt. Price Adams on The New Breed, and Harry Kleber on Dr. Kildare) plays cowardly former school teacher Jeremy Dow. Michael Burns (see "The Allison Justis Story" above) plays his son Bruce. Dal McKennon (did the voices on many cartoons, including the voices of Gumby and Pokey on The Gumby Show and who played Cincinnatus on Daniel Boone) plays a hotel proprietor. Morgan Woodward (see "The Alexander Portlass Story" above) plays illegal trapper Jubal. Jimmy Lydon (Biff Cardoza on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Andy Boone on So This Is Hollywood, and Richard on Love That Jill) plays Clete Millikan, now married to Dow's wife.

1 comment:

  1. I remember Edgar Buchanan as 'Wabash' on the Tom Mix radio show.

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