Sunday, January 5, 2014

Overland Trail (1960)

Veteran square-jawed actor William Bendix, in an interview that appeared in the March 13, 1960 edition of the TV supplement for the Chicago Daily News, speculated that if his new series Overland Trail were not well received, it might be called a bad imitation of Wagon Train. TV Guide, in a July 23, 1960 feature on co-star Doug McClure, described the series as "just one more hour-long filmed Western." Both descriptions suggest that the show was highly derivative in the western genre, and they were correct, though a more accurate description might be Tales of Wells Fargo meets The Deputy, as it features stories about running a cross-state stage line and includes an older, wilier character tricking a younger, less-experienced character into doing his bidding. For NBC, the hope was that the new mid-season replacement series, which debuted on February 7, would provide more formidable competition against Maverick on ABC and Dennis the Menace and Lassie on CBS, than had Riverboat, which was moved to Monday's schedule. But the ploy did not prove successful, for NBC anyway, as Overland Trail was not renewed for the fall 1960 season.

The similarities between Overland Trail and The Deputy extend beyond Bendix's character Fred Kelly, superintendent of the Overland Stage Company, tricking his younger protege, McClure's Frank "Flip" Flippen, out of an anticipated vacation in the show's very first episode, "Perilous Passage" (February 7, 1960) or a stopover in Topeka in the next episode, "The O'Mara's Ladies" (February 14, 1960). As in the majority of episodes on The Deputy, several Overland Trail episodes feature the older supervisory character only at the beginning and ending of the story, with the younger, less experienced character going it alone during the bulk of the narrative. On The Deputy this device was employed to minimize the amount of time Henry Fonda was required to put in on the television series so that he could pursue other opportunities in film and on the stage. For Overland Trail, this structure was simply a ploy by the producer to give McClure more screen time. In the series' third episode, "West of Boston" (February 21, 1960), Flippen intends to take his eastern-bred fiance on a stage ride to Flint Ridge, where they plan to settle down, until Kelly tells them there is a school teacher opening in Rock Point, a destination to which he wants to extend his stage line. Before Flippen and fiance set out, Kelly says he has business in another town and will catch with them at Mesa Flats. The rest of the episode details the many indignities and discomforts Flippen's fiance has to endure in the rugged west, only to learn when they reach Rock Point that there is no school or teacher's position there; it was merely another of Kelly's tricks. However, by this time Flippen's fiance has decided to head back east, with or without him. In "Sour Annie" (May 8, 1960), Flip volunteers to stay behind with seriously wounded prospector Annie Tatum, who is not expected to survive a fall she took from her horse, while Kelly and a few others ride off to corral a herd of mustangs in a nearby canyon. Flip not only nurses Annie back to health but helps her trudge across the desert and back to civilization when their camp is attacked by Indians. In the last scene Flip is reunited with Kelly and they head off on another stage run while Flip gives an exaggerated account of his adventures with Annie. And in "Escort Detail" (May 22, 1960), Flip volunteers to accompany U.S. Cavalry Lt. Adam King in escorting Crazy Horse's wife back to her village to deliver a treaty between the U.S. government and the Sioux, while Kelly continues operating the Overland until Flip's assignment has been successfully completed. The formula is inverted, however, in the series' final episode, "Most Dangerous Gentleman" (June 6, 1960), wherein Flip is left to run the Overland while Kelly helps his war buddy General William Palmer win the railroad franchise from Denver going west.

The interplay between the two starring characters is also similar to the give-and-take between the main characters in The Deputy with constant joking and insults thrown back and forth to gloss over how the two men really care for each other. The back story for Kelly and Flip is spelled out in the first few episodes: Flip's parents were killed by the Cheyenne, who then raised him until Kelly rescued him and brought him up from a young boy to a young man of 21 or so. Flip's Indian upbringing is mentioned in at least the first half dozen episodes, where he is given assignments that utilize his Indian-taught skills. Thereafter his Indian background is never mentioned again, even in an episode like "Escort Detail," which involves negotiating with and fighting against different Indian factions. Kelly's background is less fleshed out, though we learn early on that he has the street smarts and toughness that comes from growing up in Brooklyn. However, it may be an anachronism that Brooklyn translated into toughness back in the 1870s. Another curiosity about Kelly is his apparent disinterest in women. While the younger Flip easily has his head turned by any pretty face, often to his disadvantage, Kelly is only interested in business. Even when he has the opportunity to flirt with the beautiful Nitro Nell in "Fire in the Hole" (April 17, 1960) in her attempt to make her boyfriend Jumbo jealous, Kelly can only think about the possibility that the game might make Jumbo refuse to dig the tunnel he needs to win a mail route franchise against a competing stage line. There is no mention of any past marriage or romance in Kelly's life; he is a virtually sexless business-minded automaton.

While many westerns of the era dealt with the issues of Native American dignity and the rights of women with a slightly progressive slant, Overland Trail in its earlier episodes seems to take a more conservative perspective. Indians are generally vicious savages--one young chief is even named "Bloody Hand" in the episode "Daughter of the Sioux" (March 20, 1960), which tells the story of a young woman named Diana born to a white trapper and his Sioux wife. Diana's father has allowed her to be raised amongst the Sioux so that she prefers their culture and spurns her white heritage. She is, in fact, betrothed to Bloody Hand. But when her father forcibly brings her to Kelly and pays him to take her to a white finishing school in St. Louis so that she can learn the manners of a white woman, she resists until Flip shows her some kindness and then is nearly killed by Bloody Hand. Then she can see the brutality of the Sioux and she rejects them and accepts her position in the white world. Regarding the place of women, Kelly takes a rather chauvinistic view in "The Vigilantes of Montana" (April 3, 1960) when he says of the Banic sheriff's daughter that a woman has her place, comforting though it is, but this, meaning dealing with a tough situation, isn't it. And "Lawyer in Petticoats" (March 27, 1960) tells the story of a woman named Helen Jackson seemingly established in a traditionally male profession, but we learn that she is really only interested in recovering legal control of a mine half owned by her supposedly deceased father. When she finds out that he is still alive, she seems more interested in keeping it quiet so that she can still gain control of his riches rather than rejoicing that her father is still living. In other words, she is, or soon plans to be, a gold digger.

But later in the series, both attitudes shift. "Escort Detail" makes the point that not all Indians are war-mongering killers. Crazy Horse and his wife both desire peace with the white man, even if some younger braves in their tribe wish to maintain hostilities. And Lt. King, who at the beginning of the episode characterizes all Indians as killers due to his bitterness from having his brother killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn, eventually finds reconciliation with Crazy Horse despite initially planning to kill him on sight. Women come in for better treatment, too. The titular character in "Sour Annie" is a better mustang herder than any of her male counterparts. In "Most Dangerous Gentleman" railroad baron Palmer's secretary Jennifer Dean is the voice of women's liberation, providing a foil for the chauvinistic construction engineer Mike Day, who at one point says, "Next thing you'll be asking for the right to vote," to which Jennifer replies "We already have." Since many other aspects of the series were derived from other westerns of the day, it only makes sense that these themes would be brought more into the mainstream on a show struggling to find viewers and win a regular spot in the NBC lineup.

The theme music for Overland Trail and the scores for at least two episodes were composed by Jeff Alexander, born Myer Goodhue Alexander in Seattle, WA. Alexander's musical career began as a singer and dancer in vaudeville shows while in his teens. In 1939 he moved to New York City and found work composing and directing big bands for radio shows such as Benny Goodman's Camel Caravan and Amos 'n' Andy. In 1947 he relocated to Los Angeles and began working in film and television. His most noted film scores include The Tender Trap, Jailhouse Rock and three more Elvis Presley features, and Support Your Local Sheriff!. Besides Overland Trail, his TV credits included Bachelor Father, The Lieutenant, Valentine's Day, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and Julia. He died from cancer at the age of 79 on December 23, 1989.

The complete series has been released on DVD by TimelessMedia Group.

The Actors

William Bendix

Though his tough-guy characters often brandished a Brooklyn accent, William Bendix was actually born in Manhattan, and other than a brief appearance in a silent 1911 Lillian Walker film at age 5, he did not take up an acting career in earnest until age 30, after the grocery business he managed with an assist from his father-in-law fell victim to the Great Depression. But even in his grocery days Bendix would occasionally perform in nightclubs, was once a singing waiter, and as a boy was a batboy for the New York Yankees, where he claims to have seen at least 100 of Babe Ruth's home runs. He reportedly was fired after fetching the Babe a large order of hot dogs and soda before a game that made the Bambino unable to play that day. Ironically, one of his best-remembered lead roles was playing Ruth in the 1948 film The Babe Ruth Story. But Bendix first made his name on the stage. His performance in a 1939 production of William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life got the attention of film producer Hal Roach, and Bendix began appearing in films in 1942, including Woman of the Year and The Glass Key, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Bendix's filmography throughout the 1940s and 50s was prolific, usually in supporting tough, blue collar or thug roles, though he took a comedic turn in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Other notable appearances during this era included Lifeboat, The Blue Dahlia, Streets of Laredo, Detective Story, and Macao. In 1944 he also began appearing on radio as aircraft plant worker Chester A. Riley in the comedy The Life of Riley, which ran for 8 years. He also played the role in the feature-length film version in 1949, but when the series was adapted for television that same year, Bendix was contractually unable to take the role and Jackie Gleason was cast in his place, though Gleason's portrayal was unsuccessful and the show lasted only one season. But once Bendix's contractual situation cleared up, a second version of the series was brought back to TV in 1953 and ran for five successful seasons.

Bendix continued to be active in both TV and film after Riley's cancellation until he was cast in the short-lived Overland Trail. After that show's demise, he continued to find work with guest appearances on Mister Ed, Follow the Sun, and Burke's Law as well as appearing in films such as Boys' Night Out, Johnny Nobody, and The Phony American until he contracted a stomach ailment that led to malnutrition and pneumonia, eventually killing him at age 58 on December 14, 1964. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame--one for radio and one for television.

Doug McClure

Born in Glendale, California, Douglas Osborne McClure was the son of an accountant and a newspaper woman. His older brother Reed also worked for the same Santa Monica newspaper that his mother did. McClure attended high school in Los Angeles, where he was quarterback of the football team and a swimmer. He also had a part in a school play that spurred him to study acting at Santa Monica College and later UCLA. While a junior at UCLA he had his first television appearance in a soap commercial, which led to additional commercial work and bit roles on TV. He also scored occasional minor film roles, sometimes uncredited, in movies such as Friendly Persuasion, The Enemy Below, South Pacific, and Gidget. One of his TV roles was on a 1959 episode of Schlitz Playhouse titled "Ivy League" in which William Bendix played a former Marine going to college on the GI bill and McClure played a student he took under his wing. When NBC was casting Overland Trail Bendix says that McClure's name popped into his head while reading a script and he recommended the young actor for the role of Flip Flippen. Producer Samuel A. Peeples liked McClure enough to start scheduling entire episodes around his character only a few shows into the season.

Though Overland Trail lasted less than a season, McClure was immediately snapped up to play the role Jed Sills on the crime drama Checkmate on CBS beginning in the fall of 1960. And after that show ended its two-year run, he didn't wait long for his next role, being cast for the part of Trampas when The Virginian debuted in the fall of 1962, a role he kept during the series' entire 8-year run. The 1970s were scarcely less busy: in 1972 he was cast as C.R. Grover  in Search, which ran for one season, and by 1975 he landed on Barbary Coast in the role of Cash Conover. He was also appearing in films such as The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot as well as At the Earth's Core and the miniseries Roots. The 1980s brought a series of guest star appearances on a variety of shows, including five turns on The Fall Guy, and more film work in Cannonball Run II, 52 Pickup, and Prime Suspect. He earned another regular role as mayor Kyle X. Applegate on the 1987-91 series Out of This World and continued working into the mid-1990s. However, he contracted lung cancer as a lifelong smokes and collapsed  while filming an episode for the series One West Waikiki, after which doctors discovered that his cancer had spread. His last public appearance was at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. He died at age 59 on February 5, 1995.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "Perilous Passage": Harry Guardino (shown on the left, starred in Houseboat, Pork Chop Hill, The Five Pennies, Hell Is for Heroes, Madigan, Dirty Harry, and The Enforcer and played Danny Taylor on The Reporter, Monty Nash on Monty Nash, and Hamilton Burger on The New Perry Mason) plays driver Johnny Caldwell. Robert J. Wilke (appeared in Best of the Badmen, High Noon, The Far Country, and Night Passage and played Capt. Mendoza on Zorro) plays outlaw Cole Younger. Lynn Bari (starred in Always Goodbye, Sun Valley Serenade, and The Magnificent Dope and played Gwen Allen on Boss Lady) plays outlaw Belle Starr. Gregory Walcott (starred in Badman's Country and Plan 9 From Outer Space and played Det. Roger Havilland on 87th Precinct) plays gang member Reed. Tyler McVey (Gen. Maj. Norgath on Men Into Space) plays a U.S. marshal.

Season 1, Episode 2, "The O'Mara's Ladies": Sean McClory (shown on the right, played Jack McGivern on The Californians and Myles Delaney on Bring 'Em Back Alive) plays casino owner Tim O'Mara. Maggie Pierce (Barbara Crabtree on My Mother the Car) plays one of his dealers Kathy Dale. Della Sharman (Nurse Betty Johnson on Dr. Kildare) plays another of his employees Belle Malone. Tony Young (Cord on Gunslinger) plays outlaw The Sabine Kid. Joe Flynn (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 hotel clerk Eddie. Eddy Waller (Deputy Marshal Rusty Lee on Steve Donovan, Western Marshal, Red Rock Smith on Casey Jones, Mose Shell on Laramie, and Matt Krebbs on Lassie) plays station master Trinidad. Robert Foulk (Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman, and Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres) plays the leader of a band of miners. 

Season 1, Episode 3, "West of Boston": Kenneth Tobey (starred in Angel Face, The Thing From Another World, and It Came From Beneath the Sea and played Chuck Martin on Whirleybirds and Russ Conway on I Spy) plays bank robber Wyatt Cady. Frank de Kova (shown on the left, played Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop and Louis Campagna on The Untouchables) plays a Shoshone chief. Carolyn Craig (starred in Giant, House on Haunted Hill, and Studs Lonigan and played Cynthia Allison on General Hospital) plays Flip's fiancé Priscilla Cabot. Adrienne Marden (Mary Breckenridge on The Waltons) plays her aunt Jean. Arthur Hunnicutt (starred in The Red Badge of Courage, The Last Command, The Cardinal, and Cat Ballou) plays buffalo hunter Reb Haslett. Bob Steele (starred in Breezy Bill, Of Mice and Men, and The Big Sleep, played Billy the Kid in 6 westerns and Tucson Smith in 19 others, and played Trooper Duffy on F Troop) plays an unnamed station master. Guy Mitchell (popular singer backed by Mitch Miller who appeared in Those Redheads From Seattle, Red Garters, and The Wild Westerners and played George Romack on Whispering Smith) plays stage driver Murdock.

Season 1, Episode 4, "The High Bridge": George Wallace (starred in Radar Men From the Moon, Destry, and Forbidden Planet and played Judge Milton Cole on Hill Street Blues and Grandpa Hank Hammersmith on Sons and Daughters) plays renegade Matt Dooley. Rayford Barnes (Ike Clanton on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays his brother Tom. Robert McQueeney (Conley Wright on The Gallant Men) plays convicted killer Jim Arville. Whitney Blake (Dorothy Baxter on Hazel) plays his alleged accomplice Kate Maxwell. Arthur Space (appeared in Black Beauty, The Cockeyed Miracle, and Target Earth and played Herbert Brown on National Velvet and Dr. Frank Weaver on Lassie) plays the judge who sentences them. John Anderson (Virgil Earp on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Dr. Herbert Styles on Dallas, and Harry Jackson on MacGyver) plays the Lodestone marshal. Nora Marlowe (Martha Commager on Law of the Plainsman, Sara Andrews on The Governor and J.J., and Mrs. Flossie Brimmer on The Waltons) plays his deputy Mary. Linda Lawson (Renee on Adventures in Paradise, Pat Perry on Don't Call Me Charlie, and Laura Fremont on Ben Casey) plays saloon girl Ruby. Burt Mustin (Foley on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Finley on Date With the Angels, Gus the fireman on Leave It to Beaver, Jud Fletcher on The Andy Griffith Show, and Justin Quigley on All in the Family) plays High Bridge station master Len Mullen.
Season 1, Episode 5, "Westbound Stage": Adam West (shown on the right, played Det. Sgt. Steve Nelson on The Detectives, Bruce Wayne on Batman, Captain Rick Wright on The Last Precinct, and Dr. Noah Goddard on Black Scorpion) plays sheriff Wild Bill Hickock. Edward Platt (The Chief on Get Smart) plays fugitive doctor John Manderly. Ed Kemmer (Commander Buzz Corry on Space Patrol) newlywed Jody Cabel. Suzanne Lloyd (Raquel Toledano on Zorro) plays army wife Ann Cambers. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank on Gunsmoke) plays an old codger. 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 saloon owner Darby James. Mark Stevens (Martin Kane on Martin Kane and Steve Wilson on Big Town) plays James' saboteur Wade.

Season 1, Episode 6, "All the O'Mara's Horses": Sean McClory (see "The O'Mara's Ladies" above) returns as casino owner Tim O'Mara. Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays the Carson City marshal. Mary Tyler Moore (shown on the left, played Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Brenner on Mary, and Annie McGuire on Annie McGuire) plays rancher's daughter Joan Ransom. Dan Sheridan (Summers on Lawman) plays an O'Mara gunman. Jack Reitzen (Chopstick Joe on Terry and the Pirates and Flores on Not for Hire) plays former Kelly employee Jarvis. Kelly Thordsen (Colorado Charlie on Yancy Derringer) plays wanted outlaw Chino. Karen Sharpe (Laura Thomas on Johnny Ringo) plays saloon girl Kathy.

Season 1, Episode 7, "Daughter of the Sioux": Harry Guardino (see "Perilous Passage" above) returns as Johnny Caldwell. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays fur trader Jason Coolidge. Mario Alcalde (Yellow Hawk on The Texan and Chuck Atwell on Peyton Place) plays Sioux chief Bloody Hand. Gilman Rankin (Deputy Charlie Riggs on Tombstone Territory) plays the elder Sioux chief. 

Season 1, Episode 8, "Lawyer in Petticoats": George Tobias (shown on the right, starred in Sergeant York, This Is the Army, and Yankee Doodle Dandy and played Pierre Falcon on Hudson's Bay, Trader Penrose on Adventures in Paradise, and Abner Kravitz on Bewitched) plays miner Hardrock Jackson. Dianne Foster (starred in Night Passage, The Last Hurrah, and The Deep Six) plays his daughter Helen. Barton MacLane (starred in The Prince and the Pauper, High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, and Treasure of the Sierra Madre and played Marshal Frank Crane on Outlaws and Gen. Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie) plays his partner Big Jed Braddock. Read Morgan (Sgt. Hapgood Tasker on The Deputy) plays Braddock's brother Phil. Denver Pyle (Ben Thompson on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Grandpa Tarleton on Tammy, Briscoe Darlingon The Andy Griffith Show, Buck Webb on The Doris Day Show, Mad Jack on The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays the Hastings sheriff. Olan Soule (Aristotle "Tut" Jones on Captain Midnight, Ray Pinker on Dragnet (1952-59), and Fred Springer on Arnie) plays a traveling photographer. Walter Sande (appeared in To Have and Have Not, A Place in the Sun, and Bad Day at Black Rock and played Capt. Horatio Bullwinkle on The Adventures of Tugboat Annie and Papa Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays stage clerk Sam Morton. John Qualen (starred in The Three Musketeers(1935), His Girl Friday, The Grapes of Wrath, Angels Over Broadway, Casablanca, Anatomy of a Murder, and A Patch of Blue) plays the circuit judge.

Season 1, Episode 9, "The Vigilantes of Montana": Walter Coy (Zoravac on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and the narrator on Frontier) plays Banic Sheriff Plummer. Myrna Fahey (shown on the right, played Katherine "Kay" Banks on Father of the Bride) plays his daughter Harriet. Werner Klemperer (shown on the left, starred in Five Steps to Danger, Operation Eichmann, and Judgment at Nuremberg and played Col. Klink on Hogan's Heroes) plays store owner Arnold Braun. Sherwood Price (Gen. Jeb Stuart on The Gray Ghost) plays stage robber Sam Kemp. Charles Maxwell (Special Agent Joe Carey on I Led 3 Lives and the voice of the radio announcer on Gilligan's Island) plays his accomplice Tex Tobey. James Chandler (Lt. Girard on Bourbon Street Beat) plays Overland clerk Jake Horan. Alan Dexter (Frank Ferguson on Days of Our Lives) plays vigilante Ben.  

Season 1, Episode 10, "Fire in the Hole": Claude Akins (Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays tunnel digger Jumbo. Susan Cummings (Georgia on Union Pacific) plays his girlfriend Nitro Nell. Robert Bray (Simon Kane on Stagecoach West and Corey Stuart on Lassie) plays rival stage employee Matt Peak. John Pickard (Capt. Shank Adams on Boots and Saddles and Sgt. Maj. Murdock on Gunslinger) plays miner straw-boss Cavanaugh. Lane Chandler (Tom Pike on Lawman) plays an unnamed miner. Frank Warren (Officer Simpson on Highway Patrol) plays another unnamed miner. Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand on Star Trek) plays a saloon girl.

Season 1, Episode 11, "Mission Into Mexico": Robert Loggia (shown on the right, starred in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Revenge of the Pink Panther, Scarface, and Big and played T. Hewitt Edward Cat on T.H.E. Cat, Admiral Yuri Burkharin on Emerald Point, N.A.S., Nick Mancuso on Mancuso, FBI, Ben Benedict on Sunday Dinner, and Judge Thomas O'Neill on Queens Supreme) plays Mexican insurgent Porfirio Diaz. Barbara Luna (Maria on One Life to Live) plays fellow insurgent Estrelita. Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Luis Valdez on Viva Valdez) plays sadistic insurgent Carlos Hernandez. Ron Hayes (Wyatt Earp on Bat Masterson, Lincoln Vail on Everglades, Ben Jones on The Rounders, and Hank Johnson on Dallas) plays Overland station master Luke. John van Dreelen (starred in The Leech Woman, 13 Ghosts, and Topaz) plays hussar commander Capt. Fortesque.

Season 1, Episode 12, "First Stage to Denver": Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays Governor George Sutcliff. Kelton Garwood (Beauregard O'Hanlon on Bourbon Street Beat and Percy Crump on Gunsmoke) plays outlaw Chisolm. Peter Brocco (Peter the waiter on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays imposter Dr. Courtney.  

Season 1, Episode 13, "Sour Annie": Mercedes McCambridge (shown on the right, starred in All the King's Men, Johnny Guitar, Giant, and A Farewell to Arms and played Kate Wells on Wire Service) plays prospector Annie Tatum. Richard Devon (Jody Barker on Yancy Derringer) plays mustang catcher Harlan Deal. Slim Pickens (shown on the left, starred in The Story of Will Rogers, Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and The Howling and played Slim on Outlaws, Slim Walker on The Wide Country, California Joe Milner on Custer, and Sgt. Beauregard Wiley on B.J. & the Bear) plays mustang catcher Vince Allard. Andrew Prine (starred in The Miracle Worker, The Devil's Brigade, Bandolero!, and Chisum and played Andy Guthrie on The Wide Country, Dr. Roger Helvick on Dr. Kildare, Timothy Pride on The Road West, Dan Costello on W.E.B., and Wayne/Wyatt Donnelly on Weird Science) plays mustang catcher Hank Paulson.  

Season 1, Episode 14, "The Baron Comes Back": Gerald Mohr (narrator on 19 episodes of The Lone Ranger, Christopher Storm on Foreign Intrigue, and voice of Mr. Fantastic and Reed Richards on Fantastic 4) plays mythical con man James Addison Reavis. Denver Pyle (see "Lawyer in Petticoats" above) plays prospective farmer Jonathan Kale. Ken Lynch (appeared in I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Anatomy of a Murder, and Dead Ringer and played Lt. Thomas Brand on Checkmate, Det. Lt. Tom Handley on Arrest and Trial, Lt. Barney Keller on Honey West, and Police Sgt. Grover on McCloud) plays stage robber Quint. Michael Hinn (Luke Cummings on Boots and Saddles) plays bridge worker Jacobs. Milton Frome (starred in Pardners, The Delicate Delinquent, and The Swinger and played Lawrence Chapman on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays a bartender. Barry Kelley (starred in The Asphalt Jungle, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Love Bug and played Mr. Slocum on Pete and Gladys and Mr. Hergesheimer on Mister Ed) plays saloon owner Jake Talby.  

Season 1, Episode 15, "Escort Detail": David Wayne (starred in Adam's Rib, M, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Three Faces of Eve, and The Andromeda Strain and 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 U.S. Cavalry Lt. Adam King. Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays U.S. Cavalry Maj. Evans. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays Pvt. Cullen. John Marley (starred in Cat Ballou, Love Story, and The Godfather) plays Sioux chief Crazy Horse. Pat Hogan (Black Cloud on Brave Eagle) plays renegade Sioux Running Dog. 

Season 1, Episode 16, "The Reckoning": Monica Lewis (shown on the right, popular singer who starred in Excuse My Dust, Affair With a Stranger, and The D.I.) plays blind estranged wife Anne Michaels. Harold J. Stone (John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays her estranged husband John. Denny Miller (Duke Shannon on Wagon Train and Mike McCluskey on Mona McCluskey) plays her son Jimmy. 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 played Gen. Joshua McCord on Branded) plays newspaper publisher Caleb Nash. Forrest Taylor (starred in True Nobility, Big Calibre, Too Much Beef, and The Lost Planet and played Doc Brannon on Man Without a Gun) plays the Laramie doctor. Stuart Randall (Sheriff Art Sampson on Cimarron City, Al Livermore on Lassie, and Sheriff Mort Corey on Laramie) plays the Laramie marshal.

Season 1, Episode 17, "Most Dangerous Gentleman": John McIntire (shown on the left, starred in Call Northside 777, The Street With No Name, Winchester '73, Psycho, and Elmer Gantry and played Lt. Dan Muldoon on Naked City, Christopher Hale on Wagon Train, Clay Grainger on The Virginian, and Dutch McHenry on Shirley) plays railroad baron Gen. William Palmer. Lang Jeffries (Skip Johnson on Rescue 8) plays his construction engineer Mike Day. Jeff Donnell (Alice on The George Gobel Show, Evelyn Driscoll on Dr. Kildare, and Mrs. Bennett on Julia) plays his secretary Jennifer Dean. Ron Randell (starred in Pacific Adventure, Bulldog Drummond at Bay, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, Lorna Doone, and Kiss Me Kate, was the host for The Vise and played Capt. Frank Hawthorn on O.S.S.) plays hired saboteur Bill Jordan. Robert Emhardt (Sgt. Vinton on The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.) plays rival railroad baron Jonathan Edwards. Christine White (Abigail Adams on Ichabod and Me) plays co-conspirator Miss Traynor. Onslow Stevens (starred in The Three Musketeers (1935), The Creeper, Angel on My Shoulder, Mark of the Gorilla, and Them!) plays President Ulysses S. Grant. Wesley Lau (Lt. Andy Anderson on PerryMason and Master Sgt. Jiggs on The Time Tunnel) plays Grant's bodyguard Maj. Daniels.