These are the Black Hills. Ceded in 1868 to the noble Sioux Nation in perpetuity. If the Sioux were not entirely clear on how long perpetuity was, they soon learned. It was exactly seven years. 1875, being the year the news got out. There was gold in those hills. And those half-naked savages were doing absolutely nothing about it. We moved in to show them how. There are only two things wrong with those Black Hills mining camps. They weren't in United States territory, so...
See more »
There's only one reason to comment on this highly uneven episode, and that's the stunningly unexpected moral surprise sprung at the end. Unfortunately, the entry features some of the least inspired acting of the entire series. Kelly appears to be reading his lines from a cue card, enunciating each syllable in woodenly precise fashion, while even the usually reliable Dandy Jim Buckley seems to have left his charming demeanor somewhere behind. Thus the central characters fail to gel in the usual Maverick way. Nonetheless, the episode features the great Franklyn Ferguson, the busiest actor of the day, in a patented role as the sly old prospector. The plot itself is interesting enough-- who killed the old prospector and stole his swag. Too bad the direction is too slack to heighten the suspenseful possibilities.
I don't want to give away the ending, but it has two phases-- first, the reminder Bart puts forth, and second, how that idea is received by the goldminers. Now, how Bart's reminder is received is poorly handled and quite unbelievable given the headstrong nature of gold camp rowdies, a stereotype never known for appreciating the finer points of morality and the law. Nonetheless, the idea itself is wholly novel and (I think) unprecedented for a Western of any sort. It's certainly food for thought and a rather risky historical reminder for a popular series to plop in the lap of a 1950's audience. For that reason alone, the entry is worth watching.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?