The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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NBC Broadcast - 30 October 1963
Executive Producer Frank Price
Produced by Winston Miller
Written by William Fay
Directed by John English
Starring: (on ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill
James Drury as The Virginian
Albert Salmi as Brother Thaddeus (aka Willie Caine)
Joe Maross as Homer Slattery (boo, hiss)
Kathie Browne as Floss Delaney
Richard Devon as Arthur Faber
Christopher Dark as Benny Caboose
Bronwyn FitzSimons as Sister Jonas
Ann Ayars as Sister St. Luke
Ross Elliott as Sheriff Mark Abbott
Edward Colmans as Father Blaise
John Harmon as Harry Finnegan
Dee Carroll as Edna
Harry Antrim as the conductor
Joseph Mell as the bartender
Clancy Cooper as Deputy Joe Webb
William Challee as Duffy
Stephen Price as Laster
Bobby Buntrock as Andrew
Joey Scott as Grover
Jay Hector as Felix
Music Score - David Buttolph
Director of Photography - John L. Russell, a.s.c.
Story Editor - Cy Chermak
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - Richard G. Wray
Editorial Department Head - David I. O'Connell
Musical Supervisor - Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators - John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Color Consultant - Alex Quixoga
Color by Pathe
Assistant Director - Frank Losee
Sound - Lyle Cain
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Jack Barron
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
Theme Song - Percy Faith
Series Regular Characters in this Episode:
The Virginian, Trampas, Steve Hill, Judge Garth and Betsy
The only man to ever break out of the Medicine Bow jail has returned to town
as a holy man. With his help, the perpetrators of a train robbery are
caught and brought to justice. [bj]
It is nighttime and a monk is making camp when he's interrupted by a man
with a gun. Quick as a wink, the holy man slings the gunman to the ground.
Why, they're Willie Caine and Benny Caboose, two old friends, former
partners in crime! Willie is Brother Thaddeus now, by the Lord's redeeming
grace. He proceeds to serve up some supper for the two of them.
The next morning, "businessmen" Faber and Slattery arrive in Medicine Bow
and head toward the hotel. Slattery is looking forward to seeing Floss
again. In the meantime, Benny and Brother Thaddeus are on their way to
Medicine Bow - Benny to meet some of his "business associates" and Brother
Thaddeus to respond to a call at St. Joseph's Mission, which is on Judge
Garth's property. Brother Thaddeus urges Benny to change his ways because
Medicine Bow has a good sheriff and a first-class jail that's only been
broken out of once.
Trampas and Steve ride in to pick up the church bell that Judge Garth had
ordered for the Mission. As they're installing the bell, they notice
Brother Thaddeus and Benny coming down the road. At closer look, they
realize that's Willie Caine, who had torn up the Medicine Bow saloon last
time he was here, then he had broken out of the jail. Oh, no!
Brother Thaddeus arrives at Father Blaise's cottage and learns that the
Father is too ill to continue his work there. Brother Thaddeus is to take
his place running the mission and teaching the school until the nuns arrive.
Brother Thaddeus blanches. He doesn't have the education of a well-trained
mule and . . . . (He stops short of telling Father Blaise about the trouble
he'd caused in this town earlier.) Father Blaise counsels him to calm down
and accept his assignment. Not knowing what to do, Brother Thaddeus slowly
leaves the cottage. His troubled thoughts are cut short by a voice.
"Willie?" It's Trampas! How glad Brother Thaddeus is to see Trampas and
Steve! Steve's not so pleased to see Brother Thaddeus, though. After all,
Steve's the one Willie had sent sailing through a wall last time he saw
him - and he had just been an innocent bystander, too! Pushing those
unpleasant memories away, Brother Thaddeus enlists their help. In answer to
his inquiry, they tell him that Medicine Bow still has the same sheriff.
His deputy had gone into the feed and grain business, but has now regained
his confidence and is back 'tending the jail. Brother Thaddeus sees he's
got a big challenge ahead of him.
He goes into the chapel and prays for strength and guidance. His prayers
come to a halt when he hears a tune coming from the organ. It's Benny,
playing what sounds to him like a hymn. Benny explains that it's a song he
wrote for a friend named Floss.
In the next scene, we see Floss is singing that song at the saloon. Trampas
and Steve go into the saloon, and Trampas recognizes Floss from his youth.
He is so happy to see her again. She's still as gorgeous as ever. Slattery
and Faber are there, too; and Slattery's disturbed by the fact that Floss
and Trampas are eyeing each other. When she's finished for the night,
Trampas walks Floss to her hotel. He wants to see her again, but she
discourages any romantic thoughts on his part. She's no better for him now
than she was back then, she says. She then leaves him and goes up to the
hotel room, where Slattery is. Slattery grills her about Trampas, but she
reassures him that there's nothing between them. They are soon joined by
Faber and Benny, and the men discuss their next evil deed - getting Medicine
Bow's payroll money that comes in on the train. When Benny realizes that
Floss is supporting them with the money she earns singing in the bar, he
decides to go stay at the Mission so he won't be an extra burden on her.
Faber informs Slattery in confidence that he'd better watch out for Benny -
he's stuck on Floss. Slattery sees that as no problem - he doesn't plan for
Benny to live much longer.
Brother Thaddeus has received a letter from Father Blaise and comes upon
Benny, who's hanging clothes to dry. After expressing his appreciation for
the hard work Benny has performed that week, he gives him the St. Francis
medal that Father Blaise had enclosed in the letter for him. Knowing of
Brother Thaddeus' lack of education, Benny teases him about teaching school,
but Brother Thaddeus assures him that he's half a lesson ahead of the
students. Once the lessons begin, though, he realizes that the boys are
much more advanced than he thought they were. "Smart man, that Father
Blaise," he says uncomfortably. Instead, he decides to rehearse the boys in
their welcome ceremony for Sisters Jonas and St. Luke. Once Benny hears
that the train stops at the Mission to deliver nuns, he rushes to town to
tell Slattery his discovery.
Slattery and Faber come to visit Judge Garth to order 150 head of cattle for
the Army. After the deal is made, Faber tries to elicit a bribe from the
Judge, but is soon rushed back outside by Slattery. They then go to the
Mission, ostensibly to give them a donation, but really to watch the arrival
of the nuns to see if Benny had been correct. He was. Seeing the train
stop in this relatively isolated area gives Slattery an idea. Floss would
pose as a nun and they'll then rob the train. When he presents that idea to
Floss back at the hotel, she becomes furious. She resists participating in
such a scam, but Slattery roughly forces her to do it.
The nuns are now teaching the boys and that leaves Brother Thaddeus free to
do some construction work that is needed nearby. The subject today is
Samson, the judge of Israel. In answer to a student's question, the Sister
answers that Samson was a man of tremendous strength and moral resolution.
"Like Brother Thaddeus?" the boy asks. Yes, she agrees that Brother
Thaddeus is a good example, especially if he were ever to get that angry.
They look over at Brother Thaddeus lifting a huge beam of wood as he,
Trampas and Steve work on the building project. After he sets the wood
down, Trampas gives Brother Thaddeus a telegram, which says that Sister
Benedict will be arriving on the Friday train to help teach.
On Friday, everyone is ready to welcome the new nun - Sister St. Luke,
Sister Jonas, Brother Thaddeus, the students, Trampas, Slattery and Faber.
As "nun" Floss gets off the train, Faber knocks Trampas unconscious with a
gun and Slattery robs the train. Brother Thaddeus moves to stop Slattery,
but the Sister urges him not to because of the children. He helplessly
watches as they get away with the payroll chest, and he throws his hat down
in anger and frustration.
Trampas and Brother Thaddeus are in the sheriff's office. After questioning
about the robbers, the sheriff has his deputy lock Brother Thaddeus up, then
plans to form a posse to catch the robbers.
Brother Thaddeus is now in jail, praying for deliverance so he can continue
serving Him - but deliverance without violence this time to the deputy, who'
s just doing his job. He asks that justice be done. The deputy comes in
with dinner, sets it down, unlocks the cell, and has a gun pointed at
Brother Thaddeus as he's instructed to come out, pick up the tray, and go
back into the cell. Brother Thaddeus complies, then says, "Bless you,
friend" for his kindness and devotion to duty. This rattles the deputy so
much that he neglects to turn the key in the lock. After he leaves, Brother
Thaddeus checks the door and finds he can open the cell. "Thank you, Lord," he grins.
Later in the evening, Trampas is passing the jailhouse and sees Brother
Thaddeus coming out the front door. Thinking he harmed the deputy and is
escaping, he's urged to look through the window. Doing so, he sees that the
deputy is sound asleep at his desk. It's just an act of providence, assured
Brother Thaddeus, and he's determined to catch those thieves himself. When
Trampas tells him they have a posse to do that, Brother Thaddeus says
intently, "Your posse can't catch cold in the rain! Believe me, I know!"
He explains to Trampas that he knows every hideout around here and everybody
that runs them, so who best could track them down? After seeing the look on
those children's faces when he was arrested and called a thief, he doesn't
want them to keep thinking that about him. "You'd better shoot me,
Trampas," he says. "That's the only way you're gonna stop me." He then
gets onto a horse and looks over to see Trampas disgustedly putting his gun
down. "Bless you, Trampas," he smiles as he starts galloping away. Trampas
then hops upon a horse and goes with him.
They check most of the hideouts in that area, but have no luck. Making camp
that night, Trampas is quite worried. "If we get caught before we find
them, there isn't anybody in the whole world that's going to believe us," he
says. Brother Thaddeus calmly responds, "That's the way of the world,
Trampas. You can only do what's right and hope people understand." He
quotes scripture, which always has a soothing effect on him, "Ask and ye
shall receive. Seek, and ye shall find."
The next morning, they're headed to the final hideout.
Slattery's people are at this last hideout, with Faber standing lookout
nearby. Floss and Benny, left to wait in the hotel room, feel bad about the
robbery. Benny regrets betraying his friend, Brother Thaddeus, and Floss
couldn't bear to look at the conductor when he had asked her to say a prayer
for him. "I guess we're just getting soft, Benny," she says. She needs a
drink. Benny goes downstairs to the bar and trades his St. Francis medal
for a bottle, returning back upstairs with it.
Brother Thaddeus and Trampas arrive at the hotel. After a grand welcome
from the innkeeper and his wife, Trampas is treated to a drink and Brother
Thaddeus to a cup of coffee. Brother Thaddeus notices the St. Francis medal
on the shelf, a dead giveaway that the thieves are here. He nonchalantly
leads Trampas back outside to water their horses, but they're immediately
the objects of gunfire. They take cover and Trampas fires back. Faber
tries to sneak up on Brother Thaddeus and Trampas and shoot them from
behind, but Benny shoots Faber just in time. As Trampas covers him, Brother
Thaddeus sneaks around to the back of the hotel and bursts into the lobby,
picking up the innkeeper and throwing him onto Slattery, then he tosses both
men over the bar and, just for good measure, pushes the bar over on top of
them. Samson, indeed!
Trampas then comes inside as Floss and Benny descend the steps. The guilty
parties are delivered to the jail, then Trampas escorts Brother Thaddeus
back to the Mission for a glorious reunion with the happy boys, who run to
Brother Thaddeus for a group hug. [clarice trettel]
Albert Salmi did most, if not all, of this impressive fight scene himself.
This role might not have been written just for him but, because of his
exceptional strength and conscientious nature, it certainly seems to havebeen. [clarice trettel]
Series regular Lee J. Cobb and guest star Albert Salmi had appeared together
five years earlier in the classic film "The Brothers Karamazov', for which they both won awards.
Albert Salmi Website
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