CTVA US Western - "Death Valley Days" Season 1 (1952-53)

The Classic TV Archive - US  Western series

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Season 1 (1952-53)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:
Rina Fox, Louis H. Allgood, Tom Alger, Boyce Hart
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

 ############# Death Valley Days ##############
############# season 1 1952-53 ##############
 18 New episodes
(McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. nos. #301-#318)
Hosted by 
Stanley Andrews - The Old Ranger

1.01 Death Valley Days (pilot)
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 301. (ODAT: 7Apr52/ 1Oct52;; OREG: DU30563/LP2102)
10Dec52 syndicated airdate
Flying A Pictures
Executive Producer Louis Gray / Producer, Dorrell McGowan
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Brad Johnson
Kirkley Riley
Phyllis Coates
John Parrish

While seeking a shorter route to the California gold fields a group of pioneers stumble into a desolate wasteland which
they aptly name Death Valley. [BH]
"The transition (from radio) has been made with ease and the series should enjoy a consistent, though not necessarily
tremendous, following. (The story) is told with an almost documentary fidelity that enhances the atmosphere and helps
cover some minor story holes. Production by Dorrell McGowan takes full advantage of the rugged country to enhance the
grimness of the situation and Stuart McGowan's good direction paces a well selected cast through better-than-average
performances. Best is Brad Johnson as a rugged young frontiersman who even-tually saves the party, with the aid of
Kirkley Riley, a one-time storekeeper. Phyllis Coates as the latter's wife and John Parrish as a leader of the group
also are good." [Variety: Oct.8’52]

1.02 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 302 (ODAT: 16May52/14Nov52; OREG: DU30910/LP2143)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
James Griffith .......... Aaron Winters
Donna Martel ............ Rosie Winters
Alan Nixon
Rosa Turich
Hank Patterson
Synopsis 1:
Trouble and disappointment dog the footsteps of a man and his wife as he tries vainly to make a strike on the desert. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
Aaron Winters, a young prospector, goes to Death Valley with his beautiful bride, filled with hopes of a rich strike.
As they are repeated-ly disappointed, his wife finally leaves him. But in a quick reversal, as is a woman's priviledge,
she returns to him in time for both to strike it rich with the discovery of borax. [Variety: Nov.26'52][BH]

1.03 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 303 (ODAT: 16May52/10Dec52; OREG: DU30909/LP2446)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Bruce Edwards.........Sheriff
Richard Emory.......The Death Valley Kid
Ann McCrea
The exploits of a bandit of Death Valley who chooses to harass the province of one sheriff. After about 35 hold ups, the
townspeople begin to suspect that the lawman is in collusion with the outlaw. The sheriff says he'll get the "Kid" in
30 days or turn in his badge. The sheriff disguises himself as a woman and goes along on a coach that is carrying a gold
shipment, hoping to trap the outlaw. But he's caught with his skirts down when an Indian aboard the stage turns out to be
the bandit in disguise, who makes off with the loot. The sheriff eventually captures the outlaw, however, who turns out
to be his own brother! [BH]

1.04 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 304. (ODAT: 16May52/17Oct52; OREG: DU30912/LP2101)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Ralph Sanford..........Pegleg
Gilbert Frye, Gloria Eaton, Pat Mitchell, Andy Clyde, Kirkley Riley
Lyle Talbot, Rusty Westcoatt, Baker Sichol
Told partially in flashback form "The Lost Pegleg Mine" is a yarn of a pioneer of 1825, not the storybook type of
pioneer but one who flirted just outside the law with an intense interest in horses - other people's nags, that is.
He stumbles across a rich vein of gold, takes a few samples with him and makes a map of the location. He doesn't think
about it again until much later, then can't find the mine, and in the twilight of his life gives the valuable samples
and map to his doctor. They're handed down for generations, but the mine is never located. Updating the story with a
romance involving the latest generat-ion of the doctor's family, the tale carries on the search for the "Pegleg Mine."
The girl who is the doctor's kin, and her boyfriend both find gold and think they've solved the long mystery. But it
develops their guide, tired of hunting for the mine for 40 years on behalf of the family, had planted it to end the hunt.
But boy gets girl and the myth of the mine continues. [Variety: Oct.20'52][BH]

1.05 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. must be 305 (ODAT: 30Jun52/15Oct52; OREG: DU31377/LP2100)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Gail Davis ............. Mamie
Jimmy Lloyd, Hal Smith, Wade Crosby, Emmett Lynn, James Seay
Mamie, a waitress, is the belle of the town of Bullfrog (a mining hamlet in Death Valley) and the local boys are
hot and heavy after her hand in marriage. One of them puts up a Rube Goldberg-style shower stall to help his wooing and
another lets her use his gramaphone. It's a tight, 3-cornered fight, but the girl has a craving for eggs and when the
third suitor learns this, he buys up all the eggs in town, thereby unlocking her heart. [Variety: Nov.5'52][BH]

1.06 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 306 (ODAT: 12Dec52; OREG: LP2447)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA]
William Henry
Doris Merrick
House Peters Jr.

A young miner loses his arm when a rival in romance shoots him. Despairing that he will ever get anywhere now that he's
physically handicapped, he's given a lift by his girlfriend, a dancehall girl, and they're married. He's bitter at what
happened and the fact that he's supported by his wife. Reluctantly, he agrees to her plan to foot the bill while he studies
law. He winds up one of the West's most successful attorneys and when the man who shot his arm off comes begging for him
to handle his defense on a murder charge, he gets him off with an acquittal. He philosophically realizes that if he hadn't
lost his arm he might still be a miner. [Variety: Dec.17 '52][BH]

1.07 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 307 (ODAT: 16May52/7Jan53; OREG: DU30911/LP2294)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Roy Regnier
Harry Lauter
Tyler MacDuff
Joyce Jamison
Eula Morgan
Martin Twain

A proper Bostonian arrives in a Death Valley hamlet hunting butterflies and moths for his collection. He winds up winning
the town belle and angering the local bully who had a hankering for the gal. Determined at least to ruin his rival's
wedding night, the heavy organizes the chivaree, but the dude lets it be known he'll have no part of it. For three days
and three nights the chivaree continues - from the outside only because the groom won't let 'em in. As his angry bride is
about to ankle, the groom lets everybody in and discloses to his girl he deliberately kept the heavy occupied. Seems the
heavy had planned to file an important claim being given up by someone else, and the dude tipped an impoverished femme
prospector about it so she could stake the claim while the heavy was busy at the chivaree. [Variety: Jan. 29'53][BH]

1.08 Death Valley Days:
McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 308 (ODAT: 12Nov52; OREG: LP2144)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Tracey Roberts ............ Tiger Lil
Myron Healey, Arthur Space, Ray Bennett, Regina Gleason, Walter Johnson, Jill Hersog
Dick Alexander, Robbin Morse, Virginia Lee, Pat Wright, Clark Stevens
The story of Tiger Lil, queen of Virginia City in the roaring days of the gold rush. When Lil is jilted by the guy she
loves, she leaves the saloon circuit, takes on a new name and vocation, and becomes a dressmaker in the tiny High Sierras
town of Bodie. She was rejected because the Easterner she loved didn't think she was a lady so she's determined to prove
to herself she is, even though he's gone, and succeeds. Six years later he walks back into her life, tells her he's been
searching for her ever since he realized he made a "mistake" and there's a clinch for the happy ending. [BH]
"This series never uses well-known names, but it isn't necessary, because Ruth Woodman's scripts are sufficiently meaty
to carry their own weight. Tracey Roberts puts warmth and feeling in her role ... while Myron Healey is good in the role
of her suitor." [Variety: Dec.2 & 3'52][BH]

1.09 Death Valley Days:
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 309 (ODAT: 3Mar53; OREG: LP2538)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Virginia Lee .... Cynthia
Brad Johnson
Lyle Talbot

Helen Brown, Ralph Littlefield, Diane Carroll, Steve Conti, Kenne Duncan, Timothy Carey
The men who follow the will o' the wisp gold trail in the bleak desert provide the peg for many of the Death Valley Days
stories but this one has an added springboard in a young wife's long-standing desire for a pretty silk dress. Spun with
the care and competence that is the hallmark of the series, it's an engrossing romance of a young couple's tilts with lady
luck. Virginia Lee is the gal who hankers for the frock. She misses it once when the hubby (Brad Johnson) gets taken by
slickers after striking pay dirt. She misses it again when he gets cautious after a second strike. His third one is the
bonanza, however, and his rapid realization of what the gown means to her cues her recovery from the potentially fatal
combination of boredom, fatigue and despair. [Variety: March 12'53][BH]

1.10 Death Valley Days: THE RIVAL HASH HOUSES [BH]
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 310 (ODAT: 3Feb53; OREG: LP2292)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest cast: [LHA/BH]
Gordon Jones .......... Steve Bassett
Jane Frazee ........... Melodie Marshall
Rusty Wescoatt ........ Pete
William Fawcett ....... Flapjack
Lyle Talbot
Minerva Urecal ?
Steve Bassett is the hash house proprietor who has a corner on the eatery market until a pretty young widow comes to town
and opens a restaurant. First he's sorry for her; then he falls for her, but when she winds up taking away all his business
he misses the ring of the cash register more than he does the ring in his heart. He sells her a vacant lot for a stiff sum,
and feels he's really put one over on the young widow. But gold is found on the lot! At first he feels he's been slickered,
but the ardor eventually shows she's fallen for the guy and there's a clinch at the end. [Variety: Feb.12 '53][BH]

McCann Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 311 (ODAT: 9Jan53; OREG: LP2293)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Cathy Case........Mary Crosby
Ernestine Barrier, Howard Negley, Rick Vallin, Paul Power, Glase Lohman, Leonard Penn
Crane Whitley, Keith Richards, Don Anderson, Reed Howes, Joe Dante
The story is set in 1805, a time when Congress is deadlocked over the California issue. Ernestine Barrier uses her
influence on an old flame (Paul Power), to swing his all-deciding vote favoring admittance of California to the Union.
Then, along with her daughter (Cathy Case), she sails for California in the party of Howard Negley, custodian of the
admission papers, and aide Rick Vallin, to join her husband. To evade those trying to steal the papers and thus postpone
California's admission, Miss Case hides them in her umbrella for safe presentation to the governor in San Francisco five
weeks later. [Variety: Jan.16'53][BH]

1.12 Death Valley Days:
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 312 (ODAT: 3Feb53; OREG: LP2291)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast: [LHA/BH]
Jack (Jock) Mahoney
Margaret Field
Denver Pyle
Hank Patterson
Henry Rowland
Tex Terry

A white man, raised as an Indian, is in love with a white girl who refuses to marry him despite her own love for him,
because he is a tribesman. Sent away by the girl, a red brother brings him word that his Indian mother has just died,
leaving him a golden locket with a white baby's picture inside. The truth about him, his mother's last words were
"is on the rock by the wagon wheel." Setting out to establish his true identity so he may marry the girl, he takes a job
as a swamper on one of the 20-mule-team borax wagons. Eventually he finds the rock covered with Indian writing which tells
he is really the child of white pioneers who died of thirst. [BH]
"The story..is a fitting entry in the series, bearing a stamp of authority in its realistic unfoldment. Purportedly drawn
from the true annals of Death Valley, its plot carries persuasive action, further enhanced by the bleak but magnificent
Death Valley photographic background. Mahoney handles his role easily and seems perfectly at home in the setting."
[Variety: March 4'53][BH]
Note:  Jock Mahoney also starred in the series "The Range Rider" & "Yancy Derringer"

1.13 Death Valley Days: THE BELL OF SAN GABRIEL [BH]
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 313 (ODAT: 17Mar53; OREG: LP2690)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Pedro Regas, Carlo Schipa, Charles Wagenheim, David Leonard, Marta Mitrovich, Julian Upton, Gilbert Frye
Kirkley Riley, Melodie McGowan, Peter Votrian, George Lewis, Cathy Case, Neyle Morrow, Jack George
A youngster is adopted by a wealthy Spanish nobleman and grows to manhood with his benefactor looking upon him as his
son and heir. A romance develops between the young man and the nobleman's daughter, but the youth gives up all these
worldly potentials to become a Franciscan monk. Sent to the New World, he travels through Death Valley en route to the
San Gabriel Mission, but is lost when his guide deserts him. He hears the notes of a mission bell, leading him out of
the desert, and discovers it's the same bell which he once helped cast, when as a Spanish urchin he contributed the
only silver he ever had to help the tone of a church bell being cast in the local foundry. [Variety: March 26'53][BH]

1.14 Death Valley Days:
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 314 (ODAT: 31Mar53; OREG: LP2691)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Irene Barton ............... Jennie
Karen Sharpe ............... Linda
Wallace Ford ............... Buck Hansen
Harry Harvey
Guy Wilkerson
Robert Cunningham .......... John
Charles Stevens
Synopsis 1:
A single mother with a daughter in finishing school back East,Jennie works the hard life of a prospector out West to
provide her daughter the things she herself never had. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
A refined, finishing school girl is embarrassed to discover her mother is not the important mine owner she thought,
just a hard-rock miner.
Synopsis 3:
Jennie, a hard-bitten female prospector, has a habit of jumping claims so she's not well liked by the other miners and
prospectors, and when Wallace Ford catches her trying to jump his claim, a bitter enmity results. Meanwhile, Jennie's
daughter sur-prises her with a visit from the East, where she's been attending a finishing school and all the time
believing her mom is a wealthy mining tycoon. She's disillusioned and ashamed when she finds her mother is just a
prospector. Ford, meanwhile, gets lost in Death Valley and is rescued by Jennie. Grateful, he convinces the daughter
she's been somewhat of a heel in her treatment of her mother.To complete the happy ending Ford and Jennie split the
claim in question. [BH]
"Irene Barton's portrayal... has conviction and Ford is excellent as the grizzled prospector. Karen Sharpe adds a good
bit of emoting as the daughter. Stuart McGowan directs with a firm hand..." [Variety: April 24'53][BH]

1.15 Death Valley Days:
McCann-Erickson, Inc. prod. no. 315 (ODAT: 31Mar53; OREG: LP2692)
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
with: Rosemary DeCamp as The Borax Spokesperson
Guest cast:
Rick Vallin ......... Red Ross
Glase Lohman ........ Cupe McFarland
Sheila Ryan ......... Gwen
Howard Negley ....... Senator Stewart
Gloria Winters
George Sherwood
Gregg Barton
Bob Woodward
Synopsis 1:
Two notorious bandits escaping a posse discover a rich vein of silver but must find a way to claim their treasure without
going to jail. Gwen, Ross's girlfriend approaches the famous bombastic Senator from Nevada who's passion for silver mining
drives him to agree to an unusual bargain - acquisition of the claims must include dropping all past charges against the
two outlaws. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
While making their escape from a posse following their latest Wells Fargo holdup, two outlaws stumble across a silver
vein. They naturally can't file on the claim themselves, so one of them has his girl file for them. While assaying proves
it to be extremely valuable, the girl goes to a senator and asks that the bandits be given immunity if they sell him the
mine. The politician's indignation at being asked to help a couple of outlaws evaporates in the face of the silver, and
he promptly arranges immunity for the pair, whom he gives only $25,000 for the mine. After the senator begins mining
operations, he learns to his consternation that Wells Fargo won't take his ore out, because the two outlaws are standing
by, obviously waiting to grab $75,000 more in silver, since that's what they figure is still due them. The politico is
frustrated, until the bandit's girlfriend finally comes to the rescue by conceiving the idea of pouring the ore into
1,500-pound silver spheres, which the bandits can't lift. It's then that they cheerfully admit they're outwitted, give
up their attempt at vengeance and go straight. [BH]
"Ruth Woodman...has an excellent story in "Panamint" and it's well handled by director Stuart McGowan." [Variety: April 9'53][BH]


1.16 Death Valley Days:
possibly prod no. 316,317,or 318 (copyright date 28Apr53)[BH]
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Robert Hutton ............. David
Sally Mansfield ........... Wilhelmina
Ella Ethridge ............. Sarah
John Dierkes .............. Erastus
Hank Patterson ............ Nephi
John Halloran
Charles Hayes
David Cannon, a young Mormon pioneer takes his Boston-bred wife Wilhelmina to St.George, Utah, to help found a new
settlement. Wilhelmina is not happy living a pioneer life, however, but tells David if he can show her one thing of
beauty in the rugged land she’ll stay. The situation drags on until she's about to pack her things and head back to
Salt Lake City with their baby. A neighbor tries to persuade her to stay but Wilhelmina is adamant. Suddenly two men
bring her injured husband into their cabin. It seems he fell off a cliff and broke his leg while trying to pick a bunch
of Sego lilies for her. Wilhelmina realizes she's been been wrong and decides to stay. [BH]
"..(writer) Ruth Woodman missed the boat on this story. Basic concept that he has faith and she doesn't just doesn't
come off with any degree of realism. Hutton and Mansfield are OK in the leads ...if they're not very convincing...
it's more the fault of the dialog. Stuart McGowan's direction is slow." [Variety: May 8'53][BH]

1.17 Little Oscar's Millions:
possibly prod no. 316,317,or 318 (copyright date 28Apr53)[BH]
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
Percy Helton............Oscar
Claire Carleton, Keith Richards, Ralph Sanford, John Frank, Helen Brown, Beverly Cotterel, George Norris,
 Byron Foulger, John Alban, Tex Terry, Rusty Westcoatt, Margie Stapp, Wade Crosby, Charles Hayes
By sheer accident, a shy guy finds himself half-owner of a piece of land in Rawhide, Nevada, and as the village becomes
the site of a gold rush he and his partner soon sell the land for a huge profit, little Oscar realizing $22,500 on his
$10 investment. Stunned, he goes to the local bar to treat the boys, 24-sheeting his wad of dough in a manner calculated
to lose it in a hurry. A dancehall girl has no trouble in getting him drunk and rolling him. But as the happy-sappy tells
her what a wonderful gal she is, she melts and slowly, begrudgingly returns the moola she's tucked away in her garter.
[Variety: May 21'53][BH]

1.18 Death Valley Days:
prod. possibly prod no. 316,317,or 318 (copyright date 26May53)[BH]
Directed by Stuart McGowan/ Teleplay by Ruth Woodman
Hosted by Stanley Andrews
Guest Cast:
James Adamson
Felix Nelson

Gail Davis
Coulter Irwin, Kirk Riley, Edythe Elliott, Willa Pearl Curtis
House Peters Jr. Frank Richards, Jack O'Shea
Two Negro slaves persuade their owner to stake them to a trip to California to work for their freedom. Despite adverse
conditions, they patiently pan for gold until they have almost enough to pay their owner the grubstake and the price for
their freedom. Then their gold is swiped by one of the men in the mining camp. Discouraged and disillusioned, the slaves
prepare to return to Kentucky and forget their quest for freedom. By this time they have won so many friends in the camp
through their persistent fight for a new life, that the other miners contribute more than enough for the pair to pay off
their owner and become free men. [BH]
"Outstanding portrayals by James Adamson and Felix Nelson as the slaves. Stuart McGowan directs with a good deal of
sensitivity and imagination." [Variety: 1953][BH]
The episode "The Land of the Free" won a television award from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge for "an outstanding
achievement in helping to bring about a better understanding of the American way of life." [BH]

############# Death Valley Days ##############
############## end of season 1 ###############

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