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Laramie (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Laramie
Laramie Final Season.jpg
Laramie DVD Cover
GenreWestern
Directed byEarl Bellamy
Thomas Carr
Herschel Daugherty
Tay Garnett
Jesse Hibbs
Herman Hoffman
Joseph Kane
Francis D. Lyon
Hollingsworth Morse
Lesley Selander
William Witney
StarringJohn Smith
Robert Fuller
Hoagy Carmichael
Stuart Randall
Eddy Waller
Robert Crawford, Jr.
Dennis Holmes
Spring Byington
Composer(s)David Buttolph
Cyril J. Mockridge
Arthur Morton
Milton Rosen
Hans J. Salter
Albert Richard Sendrey
Harry Sukman
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes124
Production
Executive producer(s)John C. Champion
Producer(s)Revue Studios
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Revue Studios
DistributorNBC Films
(1963–1965)
Universal Television
(2000-2004)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
(2004-2011)
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack-and-white (Sept 1959 – June 1961)
Color (Sept 1961 – May 1963)
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 15, 1959 (1959-09-15) –
May 21, 1963 (1963-05-21)

Laramie is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1963. A Revue Studios production, the program originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, owner of the Sherman Ranch, along with his younger brother Andy, played by Robert L. Crawford, Jr.; Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, an immature, hot-headed drifter who shows up at the Sherman Ranch in the premier episode; and Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy, who keeps the homestead/stage stop running while Slim and Jess usually alternate starring roles during the show. Actress Spring Byington was later added to the cast. STARZ!'s Westerns Channel and the Grit network began airing the series in July 2015.

Synopsis

The two Sherman brothers and a drifter, Jess Harper, come together to run a stagecoach stop for the Great Central Overland Mail Company after the Shermans' father, Matt, was murdered by a greedy land seeker. The Sherman parents are buried on the ranch. Near the end of the series, Matt Sherman was revealed to have been falsely accused during the American Civil War of having aided the Confederates. After Jess Harper finds on Sherman Ranch land the wreckage of a Union Army gold wagon stolen by Confederate raiders, Slim sets forth with the officer accused of helping the Confederates, portrayed by Frank Overton, and an Army major, the real culprit played by John Hoyt, to clear Matt Sherman's name. The gold dust in question had long ago been scattered by the wind.[1]

Hoagy Carmichael's contract was not renewed after the first season,[2] and his character was eliminated with the explanation that he had accompanied Andy to boarding school in St. Louis. Andy, however, returned to appear in three episodes in the first half of the second season.[citation needed]

To restore the chemistry of the original cast, as the third season began in 1961, Spring Byington, formerly of the sitcom December Bride, and Dennis Holmes joined the series in the roles of Daisy Cooper, a matronly widow, and Mike Williams, a young orphan permitted to live at the Sherman Ranch pending location of any next of kin, which never happened. At the beginning of its third season, Laramie was one of the first television programs that made the transition from black-and-white to color. On January 2, 1962, a new version of the NBC peacock "living color" logo was introduced before the Laramie broadcast that evening. This symbol, the "Laramie Peacock", was used before every color program on the network until 1975. Because of declining ratings in its last season, Laramie was cancelled.[2]

The series premiere "Stage Stop" (September 15, 1959), which was filmed in color, explains how Slim Sherman and Jess Harper become partners in the Sherman Ranch and Relay Station. Jess arrives in Wyoming from Texas in search of an erstwhile "friend", Pete Morgan, played by John Mitchum, who had robbed Jess. Morgan is part of the gang of Bud Carlin (Dan Duryea). The gang captures Judge Thomas J. Wilkens (Everett Sloane), to keep him from trying Morgan. Though Jess and Slim are at odds with each other in their first encounters, and friendship seems out of the question, Andy Sherman takes an instant liking to Jess. Andy even asks Jess to take him away from the ranch, where he lives with his older brother Slim. Their first housekeeper is Jonesy, the role filled by Carmichael. Slim and Jess must fight together when Carlin shows up at the relay station (Carlin says he likes to watch men fight), and proceeds to humiliate the judge.[3]

In "The General Must Die" (November 17, 1959), Brian Keith appears as Whit Malone, an old friend of Slim Sherman's from the Union Army. Malone and a mentally troubled Colonel Brandon, played by John Hoyt in another appearance on the series, arrive at the relay station with a daring but foiled plan to assassinate General William Tecumseh Sherman, who is scheduled to pass through the station on a stagecoach. Gilman Rankin makes a cameo appearance as General Sherman. This episode reveals that Slim Sherman entered the Army as a private and advanced to second lieutenant and fought under General Sherman (no relation) in the March to the Sea in Georgia.[4]

Subsequent episodes focus on the close friendship that develops between Slim and Jess, as they become like brothers with occasionally strong differences of opinion, but always finding reconciliation and common ground. Generally, Slim, who is taller than Jess and two years older, is depicted as the more level-headed and thoughtful, with Jess as more emotional, with righteous indignation and difficulty controlling his temper.

In the episode "Cactus Lady" (February 21, 1961), it is revealed that Jess Harper had been nearly hanged by mistake in the border city of Laredo, Texas, because of the McCanles gang, played by Arthur Hunnicutt, L. Q. Jones, Harry Dean Stanton, and Anita Sands. The gang arrives suddenly in Laramie.[5]

The German title of Laramie is Am Fuß der blauen Berge (At the Foot of the Blue Mountains).

Cast

Episodes

Season 1 (1959–60)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Stage Stop"Herschel DaughertyRobert PiroshSeptember 15, 1959 (1959-09-15)
22"Glory Road"Herschel DaughertyKathleen HiteSeptember 22, 1959 (1959-09-22)
33"Circle of Fire"Virgil W. VogelStory by : John C. Champion & John Dunkel
Teleplay by : John Dunkel
September 29, 1959 (1959-09-29)
44"Fugitive Road"Thomas CarrStory by : Daniel B. Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
October 6, 1959 (1959-10-06)
55"The Star Trail"Douglas HayesDouglas HayesOctober 13, 1959 (1959-10-13)
66"The Lawbreakers"Lesley SelanderJay SimmsOctober 20, 1959 (1959-10-20)
77"The Iron Captain"Robert B. SinclairStory by : Robert Pirosh
Teleplay by : E. Jack Neuman
October 27, 1959 (1959-10-27)
88"General Delivery"Richard H. BartlettFrank L. MossNovember 3, 1959 (1959-11-03)
99"The Run to Tumavaca"Lesley SelanderStory by : John Falvo & Paul Savage
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
November 10, 1959 (1959-11-10)
1010"The General Must Die"Francis D. LyonStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : John Dunkel
November 17, 1959 (1959-11-17)
1111"Dark Verdict"Herschel DaughertyDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinNovember 24, 1959 (1959-11-24)
1212"Man of God"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Kathleen Hite
December 1, 1959 (1959-12-01)
1313"Bare Knuckles"Earl BellamyDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinDecember 8, 1959 (1959-12-08)
1414"The Lonesome Gun"Alvin GanzerStory by : Daniel B. Ullman
Teleplay by : Arthur Browne Jr.
December 15, 1959 (1959-12-15)
1515"Night of the Quiet Man"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Lee Erwin
December 22, 1959 (1959-12-22)
1616"The Pass"Lesley SelanderDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinDecember 29, 1959 (1959-12-29)
1717"Trail Drive"Paul LandresJohn C. Champion & Samuel A. PeeplesJanuary 12, 1960 (1960-01-12)
1818"Day of Vengeance"Francis D. LyonEdward J. LaksoJanuary 19, 1960 (1960-01-19)
1919"The Legend of Lily"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Kathleen Hite
January 26, 1960 (1960-01-26)
2020"Death Wind"Francis D. LyonDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinFebruary 2, 1960 (1960-02-02)
2121"Company Man"Don McDougallStory by : Warren Douglas
Teleplay by : Warren Douglas & Daniel B. Ullman
February 9, 1960 (1960-02-09)
2222"Rope of Steel"Thomas CarrStory by : Rod Peterson & Daniel B. Ullman
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
February 16, 1960 (1960-02-16)
2323"Duel at Alta Mesa"Lesley SelanderStory by : Jerry Adelman & Jay Simms
Teleplay by : Jerry Adelman
February 23, 1960 (1960-02-23)
2424"Street of Hate"Herman HoffmanStory by : Daniel B. Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
March 1, 1960 (1960-03-01)
2525"Ride or Die"Lesley SelanderMilton GeigerMarch 8, 1960 (1960-03-08)
2626"Hour After Dawn"Francis D. LyonStory by : John Dunkel & Daniel B. Ullman
Teleplay by : John Dunkel
March 15, 1960 (1960-03-15)
2727"The Protectors"Lesley SelanderStory by : Oliver Drake & Al Martin
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Lee Erwin
March 22, 1960 (1960-03-22)
2828"Saddle and Spur"Thomas CarrSherman Vincent HarperMarch 29, 1960 (1960-03-29)
2929"Midnight Rebellion"George BlairArthur E. OrloffApril 5, 1960 (1960-04-05)
3030"Cemetery Road"Thomas CarrBuckley AngellApril 12, 1960 (1960-04-12)
3131"Men of Defiance"Lesley SelanderJohn C. ChampionApril 19, 1960 (1960-04-19)

Season 2 (1960–61)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
321"Queen of Diamonds"Lesley SelanderStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Jerry Adelman
September 20, 1960 (1960-09-20)
332"The Track of the Jackal"Francis D. LyonStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
September 27, 1960 (1960-09-27)
343"Three Rode West"Lesley SelanderJerry AdelmanOctober 4, 1960 (1960-10-04)
354"Ride the Wild Wind"Francis D. LyonStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
October 11, 1960 (1960-10-11)
365"Ride Into Darkness"Lesley SelanderJerry AdelmanOctober 18, 1960 (1960-10-18)
376"The Long Riders"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : John Dunkel
October 25, 1960 (1960-10-25)
387"The Dark Trail"Francis D. LyonStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Milton Geiger
November 1, 1960 (1960-11-01)
398".45 Calibre"Lesley SelanderDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinNovember 1, 1960 (1960-11-01)
409"License to Kill"Lesley SelanderDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinNovember 22, 1960 (1960-11-22)
4110"Drifter's Gold"Francis D. LyonStory by : Norman Jacob
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
November 29, 1960 (1960-11-29)
4211"No Second Chance"Earl BellamyFrank ChaseDecember 6, 1960 (1960-12-06)
4312"Duel at Parkinson Town"Maury GeraghtyCalvin J. ClementsDecember 13, 1960 (1960-12-13)
4413"A Sound of Bells"Joseph KaneFred FreibergerDecember 27, 1960 (1960-12-27)
4514"The Passing of Kuba Smith"Lesley SelanderDavid LangJanuary 3, 1961 (1961-01-03)
4615"Man from Kansas"Joseph KaneStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
January 10, 1961 (1961-01-10)
4716"Killer Without Cause"Lesley SelanderDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinJanuary 24, 1961 (1961-01-24)
4817"Stolen Tribute"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Lee Erwin
January 31, 1961 (1961-01-31)
4918"The Lost Dutchman"Tay GarnettJerry AdelmanFebruary 14, 1961 (1961-02-14)
5019"Cactus Lady"Maury GeraghtyMaury GeraghtyFebruary 21, 1961 (1961-02-21)
5120"Riders of the Night"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Milton Geiger & Rod Peterson
March 7, 1961 (1961-03-07)
5221"Mark of the Manhunters"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
March 14, 1961 (1961-03-14)
5322"Rimrock"Herman HoffmanStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
March 21, 1961 (1961-03-21)
5423"Run of the Hunted"James P. YarbroughDonn Mullally & Lee ErwinApril 4, 1961 (1961-04-04)
5524"Two for the Gallows"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Dan Ullman
April 11, 1961 (1961-04-11)
5625"The Debt"Joseph KaneDavid LangApril 18, 1961 (1961-04-18)
5726"Killers' Odds"Lesley SelanderJerry AdelmanApril 25, 1961 (1961-04-25)
5827"Bitter Glory"Herschel DaughertyEdward J. LaksoMay 2, 1961 (1961-05-02)
5928"The Tumbleweed Wagon"Lesley SelanderRaphael HayesMay 9, 1961 (1961-05-09)
6029"Trigger Point"Lesley SelanderArthur Browne Jr.May 16, 1961 (1961-05-16)
6130"Badge of the Outsider"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Kathleen Hite
May 23, 1961 (1961-05-23)
6231"Men in Shadows"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Calvin Clements
May 30, 1961 (1961-05-30)
6332"Strange Company"Harold SchusterStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
June 6, 1961 (1961-06-06)
6433"Widow in White"Joseph KaneRod PetersonJune 13, 1961 (1961-06-13)

Season 3 (1961–62)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
651"Dragon at the Door"James P. YarbroughRod PetersonSeptember 26, 1961 (1961-09-26)
662"Ladies' Day"Lesley SelanderStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
October 3, 1961 (1961-10-03)
673"Siege at Jubilee"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
October 10, 1961 (1961-10-10)
684"The Mountain Men"Joseph KaneStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Lee Erwin
October 17, 1961 (1961-10-17)
695"The Fatal Step"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
October 24, 1961 (1961-10-24)
706"The Last Journey"Joseph KaneStory by : Edward J. Lakso
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
October 31, 1961 (1961-10-31)
717"Deadly is the Night"Lesley SelanderJerry Adelman & John C. ChampionNovember 7, 1961 (1961-11-07)
728"The Accusers"Ted PostStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
November 14, 1961 (1961-11-14)
739"Wolf Cub"Lesley SelanderRon Bishop & Wells RootNovember 21, 1961 (1961-11-21)
7410"Handful of Fire"Joseph KaneStory by : Rod Peterson
Teleplay by : Raphael Hayes
December 5, 1961 (1961-12-05)
7511"The Killer Legend"Hollingsworth MorseStory by : Robert Hamner & Rod Peterson
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
December 12, 1961 (1961-12-12)
7612"The Jailbreakers"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
December 19, 1961 (1961-12-19)
7713"The Lawless Seven"Lesley SelanderDan UllmanDecember 26, 1961 (1961-12-26)
7814"The Perfect Gift"Lesley SelanderTom SellerJanuary 2, 1962 (1962-01-02)
7915"The Barefoot Kid"Joseph KaneDick NelsonJanuary 9, 1962 (1962-01-09)
8016"Shadows in the Dust"Joseph KaneLowell BarringtonJanuary 16, 1962 (1962-01-16)
8117"The Runaway"Lesley SelanderMeyer DolinskyJanuary 23, 1962 (1962-01-23)
8218"The Confederate Express"Lesley SelanderStory by : Paul Savage
Teleplay by : John C. Champion
January 30, 1962 (1962-01-30)
8319"The High Country"TBAStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Donn Mullally & Lee Erwin & Paul Savage
February 6, 1962 (1962-02-06)
8420"A Grave for Cully Brown"Joseph KaneStory by : Edward J. Lakso
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
February 13, 1962 (1962-02-13)
8521"The Runt"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion & Leon Schotter
Teleplay by : Raphael Hayes & Rod Peterson
February 20, 1962 (1962-02-20)
8622"The Dynamiters"Lesley SelanderStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Ron Bishop
March 6, 1962 (1962-03-06)
8723"Day of the Savage"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
March 13, 1962 (1962-03-13)
8824"Justice in a Hurry"Joseph KaneHerman EpsteinMarch 20, 1962 (1962-03-20)
8925"The Replacement"Lesley SelanderRichard NewmanMarch 27, 1962 (1962-03-27)

Season 4 (1962–63)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
931"Among the Missing"Joseph KaneRod PetersonSeptember 25, 1962 (1962-09-25)
942"War Hero"Lesley SelanderSam RossOctober 2, 1962 (1962-10-02)
953"The Fortune Hunter"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Buckley Angell
October 9, 1962 (1962-10-09)
964"Shadow of the Past"Herman HoffmanStory by : David Lang
Teleplay by : David Lang & Dan Ullman
October 16, 1962 (1962-10-16)
975"The Long Road Back"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
October 23, 1962 (1962-10-23)
986"Lost Allegiance"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Dick Nelson
October 30, 1962 (1962-10-30)
997"The Sunday School"Lesley SelanderStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Ron Bishop
November 13, 1962 (1962-11-13)
1008"Double Eagles"Joseph KaneRichard NewmanNovember 20, 1962 (1962-11-20)
1019"Beyond Justice"Lesley SelanderWilliam Blinn & Michael GleasonNovember 27, 1962 (1962-11-27)
10210"Bad Blood"Joseph KaneFred Freiberger & Herman MillerDecember 4, 1962 (1962-12-04)
10311"Time of the Traitor"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
December 11, 1962 (1962-12-11)
10412"Gun Duel"Thomas CarrStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
December 25, 1962 (1962-12-25)
10513"Naked Steel"Harmon JonesStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Donald S. Sanford
January 1, 1963 (1963-01-01)
10614"Vengeance"Joseph KaneStory by : Ray Buffum
Teleplay by : Ray Buffum & Rod Peterson
January 8, 1963 (1963-01-08)
10715"Protective Custody"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion & Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
January 15, 1963 (1963-01-15)
10816"The Betrayers"Jesse HibbsStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
January 22, 1963 (1963-01-22)
10917"The Wedding Party"Jesse HibbsStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley & John C. Champion
January 29, 1963 (1963-01-29)
11018"No Place to Run"Lesley SelanderDavid LangFebruary 5, 1963 (1963-02-05)
11119"The Fugitives"Joseph KaneStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Donald S. Sanford
February 12, 1963 (1963-02-12)
11220"The Dispossessed"Jesse HibbsBuckley AngellFebruary 19, 1963 (1963-02-19)
11321"The Renegade Brand"Lesley SelanderPaul SavageFebruary 26, 1963 (1963-02-26)
11422"The Violent Ones"Lesley SelanderStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Paul Savage
March 5, 1963 (1963-03-05)
11523"The Unvanquished"Hollingsworth MorseStory by : Joyce Perry
Teleplay by : Dick Nelson
March 12, 1963 (1963-03-12)
11624"The Sometime Gambler"Lesley SelanderStory by : John Meredyth Lucas
Teleplay by : John Meredyth Lucas & Rod Peterson
March 19, 1963 (1963-03-19)
11725"Edge of Evil"Hollingsworth MorseStory by : John Rosser & Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : Ron Bishop
April 2, 1963 (1963-04-02)
11826"Broken Honor"William WitneyStory by : Joyce Perry
Teleplay by : Robert Vincent Wright
April 9, 1963 (1963-04-09)
11927"The Last Battleground"Lesley SelanderRon BishopApril 16, 1963 (1963-04-16)
12028"The Stranger"Jesse HibbsDonald S. SanfordApril 23, 1963 (1963-04-23)
12129"The Marshals"William WitneyStory by : John C. Champion
Teleplay by : Albert Aley
April 30, 1963 (1963-04-30)
12230"Badge of Glory"Joseph KaneGeorge F. SlavinMay 7, 1963 (1963-05-07)
12331"Trapped"Joseph KaneStory by : Joyce Perry
Teleplay by : Rod Peterson
May 14, 1963 (1963-05-14)
12432"The Road to Helena"Herman HoffmanStory by : Dan Ullman
Teleplay by : John McGreevey
May 21, 1963 (1963-05-21)

Selected episodes

In "Dark Verdict" (November 24, 1959), L. Q. Jones portrays John MacLane, who is falsely accused of murdering a doctor. MacLane, who is a friend of Jess Harper's, is apprehended by a lynch mob led by James Hedrick (Warren Stevens). Hedrick is the son of eccentric Judge Matthew Hedrick, portrayed by Thomas Mitchell, who stacks the trial against MacLane, who is quickly convicted and hanged. Judge Hedrick then serves as defense attorney for the lynch mob in a collective trial before the circuit judge. The mob is released on grounds that the homicide was without criminal intent, leniency is recommended by the jury, and the suspects must be retried under individual indictments, a technicality that outrages Jess Harper. Slim Sherman, who had tried to defend MacLane at the trial, cautions Jess against precipitous action, and the two come to temporary blows. Jess and Slim find that Hedrick, grieved by his own corruption, has committed suicide. Walter Coy plays the prosecutor, and Harry Dean Stanton portrays Vern Cowan, the doctor's real killer.[6]

On December 1, 1959, James Gregory appeared as Father Elliott in the episode "Man of God." The priest hires Charlie Root, played by Bill Williams, to guide him to meet with the Sioux Chief Sitting Bull to foster a peace treaty on the lawless Wyoming frontier of the early 1870s. Series character Jess Harper fears for Father Elliott's safety when he learns that Charlie Root is wanted for murder and sets forth in pursuit of both men. Douglas Kennedy appears in this episode as a gunrunner and Tyler MacDuff as an Army lieutenant.[7]

Claude Akins appeared four times on Laramie, including the role of former Sheriff Jim Dark in the episode "Queen of Diamonds" (September 20, 1960), with Julie London, who was cast in 1972 with Robert Fuller and her husband, Bobby Troup, on NBC's Emergency! London plays Dark's estranged wife, a card dealer using the name "June Brown." Dark foiled a robbery by the Reeves brothers, one of whom was killed, but his right hand was severely injured, and he can no longer handle a gun. June avoids her husband for his own protection when the outlaw brothers pursue them. Clem Reeves is portrayed by Tony Young, later cast as "Cord" in the short-lived Gunslinger series on CBS. Ultimately, the gang is captured, and the Darks are reconciled and leave Laramie by stagecoach. This episode has comic scenes of Slim Sherman and Jess Harper with repeated household chores since Slim's brother, Andy, had left the ranch for boarding school.[8]

In "Three Rode West" (October 4, 1960), Vera Miles appears as Annie Andrews, a woman seeking a husband. When the outlaw Frank Skinner, played by Myron Healey, admits that he will not marry her, Annie set her sights on Slim Sherman, who is not interested in marriage either but is looking for Skinner, for whom he had earlier ridden shotgun on the stagecoach. Skinner then robbed the stage of its $10,000 shipment and shot to death Jack Adams, played by Ross Elliott, the manager of the stage line in Rockland City. Slim had never met Adams, who had been a friend of his late father, Matt Sherman. Skinner tries to use Annie to lure Sherman into an ambush. The episode also features Chris Alcaide and Denver Pyle.[9]

In "Ride the Wild Wind" (October 11, 1960), Ernest Borgnine guest stars as Boone Caudie, a "compassionate" outlaw who is courting a kind widow, Hannah Moore, played by Vivi Janiss (the second of the five wives of Bob Cummings), whom he plans to marry after one more bank holdup, this time in Casper. The outlaws find Andy Sherman on the trail riding a wild horse which they had stolen a year earlier from the Sherman ranch. The horse had just been returned after its rider, a member of the Caudie gang, was shot to death following a bank robbery in Laramie. Slim Sherman tracks down the gang in search of his brother. He finds a painting of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant on Hannah's mantle. The painting was stolen by Caudie in the Laramie bank robbery and presented as a surprise "gift" to Hannah. The outlaws, including Caudie, are all killed in the foiled bank robbery in Casper.[10] Borgnine had previously guest starred in the episode "Circle of Fire" originally airing on September 29, 1959.

In "The Long Riders" (October 25, 1960), Slim Sherman and Jess Harper, while rounding up mustangs for extra money, save from an Indian attack the life of Luke Gregg (Dan Duryea). Slim invites Luke to work temporarily at the ranch, but Jess believes something is awry when Luke mentions Slim's past association with a vigilante group in Adobe Wells, Kansas. Luke is tied to Ed McKeever (John Anderson), a gunman who has been targeting the former vigilantes one by one. McKeever and his gang try to ambush Slim, who comes to the aid of Sheriff Mort Corey, another former Adobe Wells vigilante shot and wounded by McKeever. Ultimately, McKeever shoots Luke to death as Luke warns Slim of danger.[11]

In "License to Kill" (November 22, 1960), R. G. Armstrong plays Sam Jarrad, a former bounty hunter and a sheriff in Colorado, who comes to Laramie with a warrant for Jess Harper, who is accused of murdering a powerful rancher named Blake Wilkie. Slim Sherman is deputized to accompany Jarrad and Jess to Colorado. Denny Miller, later cast on Wagon Train as a regular, Duke Shannon, along with Robert Fuller as Cooper Smith, appears in this episode as Wilkie's son who has framed Jess for Blake Wilkie's death.[12]

In "Drifter's Gold" (November 29, 1960), Rod Cameron, who appeared six times on Laramie, plays Tom Bedloe, an outlaw who has started the rumor of a nearby gold strike. When Slim Sherman comes to Laramie to buy supplies, he finds the town nearly deserted and must pretend to be an outlaw to survive. Meanwhile, Bedloe is looking for Marcie Benson, the daughter he has never seen, played by Judi Meredith. Gregory Walcott plays Duke, Bedloe's partner in crime.[13]

In "Duel at Parkison Town" (December 13, 1960), Henry Hull guest starred as Ben Parkison, an embittered rancher who challenges Slim Sherman to a duel after Parkison's younger son accidentally kills himself on Sherman ranch land while stealing a calf. Ron Harper portrays the other Parkison son, Tom. The episode reveals that the Parksions and Shermans had many past disagreements that had resulted in a feud, but Slim had thought that the two families, now reduced in number, could live in peace.[14]

In "Stolen Tribute" (January 31, 1961), Jess Harper is forced at gunpoint to journey into the Utah Territory by a released prisoner, Clint Wade, played by Jan Merlin, in search of $80,000 in stolen gold coins. Jess had killed and buried Wade's brother five years earlier at an abandoned Spanish mission in the desert but without finding the whereabouts of the buried gold. Soon Wade's former cellmate, Deke Beldon, played by Dennis Patrick, joins them with plans to take the money for himself. At the outpost, the three come upon crusty recluse Tully Casper, played by Edgar Buchanan, who also has his eyes on the gold. Ultimately, Jess forces Casper to turn over the gold to authorities after Casper has spent some $200 in a saloon.[15]

In "The Lost Dutchman" (February 14, 1961), Slim Sherman and Jess Harper arrive in Jackson City to purchase cattle from a state senator, George Lake, played by Robert Emhardt. Lake, however, reneges on the deal and is then murdered. Circumstantial evidence points to Slim as the culprit. When Jess sets forth to clear his friend, he comes across several persons seeking to find a cavalry spur that supposedly contains a map to the fabled Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine in Arizona. Lake was killed for the map, and Jess races to find the decisive spur before Slim can be tried, convicted, and hanged. Karen Steele appears as Linda Lake.[16]

In "Killer Odds" (April 25, 1961), Jess Harper comes upon Fred Powers, a stranger with a price on his head, played by John Lupton, formerly of the Broken Arrow series. Slim Sherman offers Fred employment on the ranch though Fred is pursued by gunslingers portrayed by Lee Van Cleef and Russell Johnson. The charge against Fred is fraudulent because he had killed in self-defense. Fred begins to court Sue Fenton, played by Patricia Michon, in whom Slim also has a romantic interest. Ultimately, Slim, Jess, and Fred must rescue Sue and her family from the gunmen. As the episode ends, Fred, not Slim, gets the girl, and the two head by covered wagon to California, where Sue had inherited unseen property.[17]

"The Mountain Men" (October 17, 1961) is not set in the wilderness as the title implies but at the Sherman Relay Station, from which Ben Sanford, played by Dan Duryea, and one of the original settlers in the Laramie area, and his two sons intend to remove a prisoner, Joe Vance, who is being transported to Fort Leavenworth after conviction of the manslaughter of a third Sanford son. The Sanfords plan to lynch the prisoner to get the justice that they believe the court denied them. At the time the Sanfords arrive at the relay station, Slim Sherman and Jess Harper are painting the roof, and Daisy Cooper and Mike Williams have gone into town for supplies. Ultimately, the younger of the Sanford sons, John, played in his acting debut by Alex Cord, a long-time friend of Robert Fuller's, fires a warning shot to alert the stagecoach carrying Vance. The older belligerent son, portrayed by Jason Evers, falls in a gunfight with Jess, but Vance proceeds to serve his sentence at Leavenworth.[18]

In "The Fatal Step" (October 24, 1961), Gary Clarke appeared as Tad Kimball, a young friend of Jess Harper. Kimball, however, joins a partner, portrayed by Dennis Patrick, in the sabotage and robbery of a stage in which Jess is riding shotgun. He regrets taking part in the crime and tries belatedly to make amends.[19]

In "Deadly Is the Night" (November 7, 1961), Jess Harper stops at the former stagecoach outpost of Ma Tolliver (Olive Carey) to rest his lame horse. Suddenly Matt Dyer, an outlaw played by Lloyd Nolan, arrives with his gang and takes as hostage Jess, Ma, and her granddaughter, Sue (Marlene Willis). Dyer proceeds to humiliate the hostages, and when a posse arrives, he tries to use Ma and Sue to prevent the storming of the house. However, the posse forces his hand, and the outlaws flee, but Jess prevents Dyer from running away. Harry Lauter appears as Rafe Andrews.[20]

In "The Accusers" (November 14, 1961), housekeeper Daisy Cooper identifies Slim Sherman's stage line boss, Allen Winter, played by Charles Drake, as having left a hotel room right after a saloon girl, Carla Morton, portrayed by Joanne Linville, is murdered there. At first, few believe Daisy because Winter is a respected man in Laramie. Carla had pressured Winter to leave his wife and marry her. When Daisy searches for further proof of Winter's guilt, Winter resorts to sabotage of Daisy's carriage and stakes out the Sherman ranch house, posing as an Indian, while Slim is away on an overnight assignment authorized by Winter. Slim suddenly becomes convinced of Daisy's story and rides to her rescue.[21]

The episode "Handful of Fire" (December 5, 1961) is loosely based on historical events. A Colonel John Barrington, played by George Macready, and presumably modeled on John Chivington of the Sand Creek massacre in 1864 in Colorado, escapes while facing a court martial at Fort Laramie for his role in the later 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota. The episode reveals that Slim Sherman was present at Wounded Knee and hence testified against Barrington, but that time sequence is inconsistent with the other episodes of Laramie, set in the 1870s. Barrington's daughter, Madge takes Slim hostage. She has documents in her possession which she contends justify Barrington's harsh Indian policies. Slim escapes but must negotiate with the Sioux to avoid massacre.[22]

Later episodes

In "The Confederate Express" (January 30, 1962), the outlaw Matt Grundy, played by John Larch, arrives in Laramie with a scheme to win back the affection of his wife, Martha, portrayed by Peggy Webber, and their young daughter, Tina. As a favor to their neighbor, Martha, Slim Sherman and Jess Harper defend Grundy, who is pursued by the Kerrigan brothers, played by Harry Dean Stanton, Steve Brodie, and James Beck. Grundy fools Slim and Jess into thinking that he must reach Laramie to deposit a bank draft, but he really intends to rob the bank. Grundy had saved Jess from an accident while he was repairing the wheel of a stagecoach but then injects him with a dangerous chemical to keep him from talking after Jess learns that Grundy is indeed an outlaw. Grundy shoots Slim in the arm. As he died, Grundy asked Slim to make sure that Martha received the reward money on his head.[23]

In "The Fortune Hunter" (October 9, 1962), Ray Danton plays Vince Jackson, a suave but nefarious suitor for a young woman, Kitty McAllen, played by Carolyn Craig, whom he plans to marry in order to extort money from her wealthy father, Fred McAllen, portrayed by Parley Baer. However, Slim Sherman has his own interest in Kitty who is using Vince's alleged affections to make Slim jealous. Ultimately, Kitty leaves Laramie to attend college.[24]

In "Gun Duel" (December 25, 1962), Jess Harper is the weekend deputy while Sheriff Mort Corey is away on business. Mort's newly married nephew, Johnny Hartley, played by Ben Cooper, wants to become a deputy too but finds he is unsuited for the work only after nearly getting killed by gunshot from two bank robbers, played by DeForest Kelley and Richard Devon. Carole Wells, formerly of National Velvet, portrays Carol Hartley, Johnny's wife. Jack Elam appears in this episode as the comical Pastor Hawks, dressed in black, who is an unconventional jail "guest". Gail Kobe, formerly of CBS's Trackdown, plays Lottie Harris, a saloon girl who had hoped to marry one of the bank robbers and then head to California. Jess advises Lottie to stop gazing out the window at the dusty Laramie street and to look instead in the mirror to overcome her own weaknesses.[25]

In "No Place to Run" (February 5, 1963), Don Durant played the role of Gandy Ross, a likeable safecracker trying to go straight. Ellen Burstyn plays Ross's girlfriend, Amy, and Arch Johnson is cast as the outlaw Sam Wellman, who forces Ross to open the safe in the bank at fictitious Granite City. Tom Skerritt plays the role of Price. Jess Harper does his best to rescue his friend Ross from the clutches of the outlaws.[26]

In "Broken Honor" (April 9, 1963), Rod Cameron and Peggy McCay portray Roy and Martha Halloran, a farm couple who stumbles upon $30,000 in money found inside a strong box on their property. The loot had been seized in a stagecoach heist and hidden away for later retrieval. Roy, who is bound to a wheelchair, insists on keeping the money until Jess Harper arrives amid grave danger to all of their lives from the bandits searching about for the missing money. One of the bandits is played by Don "Red" Barry, best remembered from the 1940 film Adventures of Red Ryder.[27]

In "Trapped" (May 14, 1963), guest stars include Tommy Sands, Claude Akins, and Jim Davis.[28] In the story line, Slim Sherman finds an injured kidnap victim in the woods, portrayed by Mona Freeman. Dennis Holmes, as Mike Williams, rides away to seek help, but the kidnappers reclaim the hostage. Slim pursues the kidnappers but is mistaken as a third kidnapper by the girl's father, played by Barton MacLane. Sands plays the girl's boyfriend, who had been ordered by her father to cease seeing her.[29]

In "The Road to Helena" (series finale, May 21, 1963), Slim Sherman, while in Cody, Wyoming, is hired by David Franklin, played by Henry Hull, and his barmaid daughter, Ruth, portrayed by Maggie Pierce, to guide the pair to Helena, Montana, so that Franklin can return money that he had previously stolen. John M. Pickard, who appeared seven times on Laramie, guest stars in the final episode as Bradford.[30][31]

Other guest stars

The "Laramie Peacock"

The NBC peacock logo, in use since 1956, was given an update in 1962. The "Laramie Peacock" (named for the series that introduced it) featured the bird fanning its plumage against a kaleidoscopic color background (with the eleven melded feathers shrinking and separating into the peacock's form); it used the same "living color" spiel as with the first peacock but the music piece that accompanied it was a soft, woodwind-based number. The peacock was retired in 1975, but the Laramie version has made special appearances throughout the ensuing years, mostly in a retro-kitsch context or to commemorate a significant broadcast event on NBC.

Home media

Timeless Media Group has released all four seasons on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 31 March 15, 2011
The Complete Second Season 30 February 7, 2012
The Complete Third Season 28 March 30, 2009
The Complete Final Season 32 September 15, 2009

References

  1. ^ "The Last Battleground" on IMDb
  2. ^ a b Sudhalter, Richard M. (2003). Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael. Oxford University Press US. p. 303. ISBN 0-19-516898-4.
  3. ^ "Stage Stop" on IMDb
  4. ^ "The General Must Die" on IMDb
  5. ^ "Cactus Lady" on IMDb
  6. ^ "Dark Verdict" on IMDb
  7. ^ "Man of God" on IMDb
  8. ^ "Queen of Diamonds" on IMDb
  9. ^ "Three Rode West" on IMDb
  10. ^ "Ride the Wild Wind" on IMDb
  11. ^ "The Long Riders" on IMDb
  12. ^ "License to Kill" on IMDb
  13. ^ "Drifter's Gold" on IMDb
  14. ^ "Duel at Parkison Town" on IMDb
  15. ^ "Stolen Tribute" on IMDb
  16. ^ "The Lost Dutchman" on IMDb
  17. ^ "Killer Odds" on IMDb
  18. ^ "The Mountain Men" on IMDb
  19. ^ "The Fatal Step" on IMDb
  20. ^ "Deadly Is the Night" on IMDb
  21. ^ "The Accusers" on IMDb
  22. ^ "Handful of Fire" on IMDb
  23. ^ "The Confederate Express" on IMDb
  24. ^ "The Fortune Hunter" on IMDb
  25. ^ "Gun Duel" on IMDb
  26. ^ "No Place to Run" on IMDb
  27. ^ "Broken Honor" on IMDb
  28. ^ "Trapped" on IMDb
  29. ^ "Laramie: "Trapped", May 14, 1963". tv.com. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  30. ^ "The Road to Helena" on IMDb
  31. ^ "Laramie: "The Road to Helena"". tv.com. Retrieved September 23, 2012.

External links

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