Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Rifleman


I watched this episode of The Rifleman, a half hour TV western that ran from 1958 to 1963. I watched to the bitter end and was deeply disappointed.

A guy demands to buy Lucas McCain's (Chuck Conners) ranch. He refuses to sell. So the guy hires some goons who lock McCain's son in a shed and brutally beat him (McCain, not the kid).

I sat there watching this with my mother. She thought his son, Mark, (Johnny Crawford) should have shot his way out of the shed and killed a few of them, but they never let women or teenagers kill anyone on these shows and it would be out of character for them to keep guns stashed in a shed. She wanted me to change the channel.

"It's almost over," I said. "He'll kill everybody in a minute."

But the guy and his goons simply give up and leave. They had firebombed Lucas McCain's house, locked his son in a shed and beat him up, but they decided McCain was too tough to give in, so they moved on. I think he should have killed them.

Either that or he should have sold them the stupid ranch. I've never understood the thrill of ranch ownership. It just seems awful to me. How did they make any money? I don't think we ever saw any cattle on that show. That would be horrible, having to slaughter cattle. I know it's ironic for me to say that since I wanted him to kill actual human beings, but cows never did anything to him. They could have sold the ranch, taken the money and moved someplace good in New England or somewhere. He could have gotten a job in a factory or a textile mill.

According to Wikipedia, Lucas McCain killed 120 people over the course of the series---an average of two a month for five years. What was the population of the town on that show? A lot of the people he killed were from out of town, but he still must have decimated the place.



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