The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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"the legacy of spencer flats"
Original NBC Broadcast - 27 January 1971
Universal City Studios, Inc.
executive producer leslie stevens (verified)
produced by glen a. larson (verified)
written by b.w. sandefur
directed by russ mayberryy
(shown on the opening sketch sequence)
stewart granger [Col. Alan Mackenzie] (not in this episode)
doug mcclure [Trampas--last appearance in the series *to be confirmed]
lee majors as tate (not in this episode)
james drury as the virginian (not in this episode)
guest stars (credited during the song "Take a Look Around" at the beginning
of the episode)
ann sothern [Della Spencer]
edgar buchanan [Teddy Birdwell]
special guest stars
bradford dillman [Deke Slaughter/A.K.A. Sheriff O'Dell]
carolyn jones [Annie Spencer]
full ending credits:
ann sothern della
edgar buchanan birdwell
bradford dillman slaughter
carolyn jones annie
associate producer bill egan
theme ennio morricone
"take a look around"
lyrics richard maltby, jr.
music david shire
sung by tim morgon
[note: this song was also featured in 9.2 "The Best Man," but no credit was
given for lyricist or singer. Also known as "Trampas' Theme"]
director of photography john m. stevens
[nice use of nature effects during
the song "Take a Look Around" with sunlight, haze, wind, and blowing leaves
and tumbleweeds in the foreground]
art director george webb
set decorations robert c. bradfield
unit manager joseph e. (or 'f.') kenny
assistant director ralph ferrin
film editor bob kagey
sound earl n. crain, jr.
main title design jack cole
titles and optical effects universal title
editorial supervision richard belding
costume supervision vincent dee
makeup bud westmore
hair stylist larry germain
Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
Trampas (last appearance in series *to be confirmed)
In this comedy, Trampas stops to take refuge from a wind storm in
Spencer Flats. His hopes rise for an enjoyable evening when, although the
town seems deserted, he hears calliope music and discovers beer at the
bar and a steak dinner waiting on a
table. However, his meal is abruptly interrupted by the rather eccentric
Spencer sisters who believe him to be the notorious escaped outlaw Deke
Slaughter. Annie (Jones), who inherited her late father's "romantic
nature," would like to "help herself to part of" the cowboy, but Della
(Sothern) has other plans--she's going to shoot him. Trampas can't prove
his identity because he lost his saddle bags, and he can't wire back to Shiloh
for help since the telegraph lines blew down in the wind. When he argues that he's
not Deke, Teddy (Buchanan), the only other resident of the town, tells him
to hush. The old man explains Spencer Flats had once been a booming mining town,
but the population had dwindled after the gold played out. With Col. Spencer's dying
wish, Teddy had been assigned the job of keeping the
village alive and seeing that his daughters were well cared for.
The women insist they won't leave the place named after their daddy
(who was "sent to his reward" by their mother who found him in the "arms of
the woman he loved"). Trampas figures they must be waiting for another gold
strike, but Della has come up with the perfect idea to make it the happy,
bustling place it once was: Spencer Flats is going to become the "last
resting place of Deke Slaughter," and tourists will visit by the stage full
just to get a glimpse of the outlaw's marker. To keep Trampas from leaving,
Annie decides to take his boots while he's sleeping. But as she is reaching
under the bed for them, Trampas turns over in a dream and puts his arm
around her. Della opens the door at that moment and blasts away with her
shotgun. Annie wants to explain to her sister the innocence of the
situation and manages to leave with one of Trampas' boots. Concerned for his
safety, Trampas climbs out the window and hobbles over to the stables. But
Teddy has taken the shoes off his horse. Desperate, Trampas "borrows"
Della's mule, but before he can make his escape Della and Teddy arrive in
the barn. Now back in the hotel, Trampas' leg is chained to the bed rail.
The next morning Della is ready to get on with the
shooting and burying, but a man, whom Della and Teddy assume to be the
sheriff of Clay Creek Teddy had sent for, arrives in time to prevent the ill
happening. When the man identifies Trampas as Slaughter (because of his "shifty eyes"),
Trampas begins to have suspicions
that the sheriff himself might be Deke and asks Teddy to check him out.
However, "O'Dell" has the badge
that "proves" him to be a lawman. Della is so set on burying Deke in
Spencer Flats that she suggests O'Dell save himself the problem of taking
the outlaw back to prison by having a trial, hanging, and burial there.
Trampas is charged with horse stealing, conveniently found guilty by "Judge"
Della, and made to dig his own grave in the middle of the town square. By
now, Teddy is satisfied Trampas is not really Slaughter and tries to hold
off the execution by insisting a criminal has to be lawfully hanged on a
scaffold. He also mentions to Trampas that, although it wouldn't be right
to just turn him loose, he would look the other way if Trampas escaped on his
own. Trampas now knows "O'Dell" is Slaughter after noticing the "iron
burns" on his wrists. Teddy comes with Trampas' "last meal" and brings a bottle of
whiskey which Deke gleefully opens for himself. With Deke occupied for the
moment, Teddy goes through the pockets of a jacket trying to find the key to the
chain. But Slaughter catches him in the act and accidently knocks the old
man unconscious in the ensuing
scuffle. Deke then threatens Trampas with his gun, but the cowhand drops
the chain ball on the outlaw's foot then punches him in the face. Trampas
unlocks his fetters and puts them around Deke's ankle. He then
heads for the saloon and notifies Annie that Teddy needs her help at the
hotel. When Annie comes into the room, Slaughter asks her to get the key for
him so he can catch "Deke" before he leaves town. Trampas finds Della in the
barn. The woman won't
listen to his explanation that the other man is Slaughter and shoots her
shotgun at him. When she's exhausted her ammunition, Slaughter begins
firing at the both of them then jumps on Della's mule to make his get-away.
But Trampas runs him down, and they fight in the mud around the mine tunnel.
Della is disappointed that the real Deke hadn't been killed in the tussle. As
Trampas is washing the dirt off in the tub he finds gold in the bath water.
Teddy assures him he knows about the ore for that is how he has taken care
of the girls all these years. But that information needs to be kept quiet because
if other people knew
about the gold they would take over the town and lock the sisters away
from "normal people"--it was best to let the eccentric duo have their
dreams. Della has decided Trampas can turn Deke over to
the authorities since he was the one who found out his true identity. After
Trampas and Deke leave Della starts putting the soil back in the "grave" and
bemoans "things are really awful around here, and someday, somehow, this
town is going to mean something." Deke reminds Trampas how lonely it is in
prison and asks him to write. As they gallop down the road, Trampas
promises to "keep in touch."
It was noticeable that Doug McClure did all his own stunt work in this
episode (jumping down from the roof, grabbing "Deke" off the mule, and fist fighting).
Horse trivia: The horse McClure rode in this show was not the "regular" one
he had ridden in the other MEN FROM SHILOH episodes (except, for comparison, notice a brief
film editing spot during "Take a Look Around" when he is riding on the flat range)
His regular horse was a blocky Quarter-type gray
with a roached (shaved) mane and short tale. This horse was whiter in color
with a long mane and tail. It was hard to hear the name Trampas called the
animal because of the wind noise, but it sounded like he called this horse "Cloud."
Character Note: Since James Drury, Doug McClure, and Lee Majors "revolved"
in the ninth season,
(each one taking a turn at carrying an episode) this was probably McClure's
last appearance as Trampas
in the series. Again, as in his other MEN FROM SHILOH shows, this episode was
enjoyable simply as comedy relief. Yet, although the Spencer sisters did
say that Trampas was a nice man, Slaughter's pronunciation of the cowboy's
name definitely sounded derogatory.
It appears for the most part that Leslie Stevens
(the executive producer for all the Trampas episodes) used McClure's comedic
talents for the lighter, less dramatic, less "meaty" stories of season nine.
But in so doing the character of Trampas seemed degraded, and in the end I was left
wishing for more of the compassionate, hard-working, (and for the most part)
morally upright man I had known and grown to love in the previous eight seasons.
Bradford Dillman also appears in 1.26 "Echo of Another Day" (bj)
Mr. Nick Campbell shared this information regarding the wonderful song "Take
a Look Around"--
"A friend of mine, folksinger Tim Morgon, recorded a song called
'Take a Look Around' in the 70's for Doug McClure which was featured
on 'The Men from Shiloh' TV series as a theme in an episode that he said
was called, 'Trampas' Theme.' Tim knew McClure I think from his work on the
series. He was by then recording for MCA Records and was former with
Kapp Records. The song, 'Take a Look Around' was Trampas' theme for
that later series, which you might not know and want to know; also it is
available through Tim Morgon if you would like a copy of it and will be
available soon on a CD, I believe, called 'Should Have Been Hits.' It
received quite a bit of radio airplay in addition to being featured not
only on the 'Men from Shiloh' TV series, but also as background music
for 'Alias Smith and Jones,' which they used it as a kind of 'Butch
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-like allusion' and it was also featured in
one episode of 'McCloud' starring Dennis Weaver. It was written by
greats Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire."
"Take a Look Around" was also featured in the "Alias Smith and
Jones" episode "Return to Devil's Hole" which aired 25Feb71 on ABC.
Song "Take A Look Around"
Sung by Tim Morgon
Composed by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire
Universal-MCA recording MCA-40033 (K-12614)
The 45 R.P.M. recording wasn't released until 1973.
Published by Leeds Music Corp.
originally released on Kapp Records by the same vocalist, Tim Morgon.
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