ABC (ended 1962)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 13

    One Of Our Trains Is Missing

    Aired 4/22/62

  • S 5 : Ep 12

    The Money Machine

    Aired 4/15/62

  • S 5 : Ep 11

    The Troubled Heir

    Aired 4/8/62

  • S 5 : Ep 10

    Marshal Maverick

    Aired 4/1/62

  • S 5 : Ep 9

    The Maverick Report

    Aired 3/11/62

  • Cast & Crew
  • Jack Kelly

    Bart Maverick

  • James Garner

    Bret Maverick

  • Roger Moore

    Beau Maverick

  • Robert Colbert

    Brent Maverick

  • Leo Gordon

  • show Description
  • Maverick told the story of the Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart, card sharps who lived during the Old West era. The show was originally a straightforward adventure tale, but it evolved when the writers began adding comedy to the scripts. Bret quickly became the television western's first quasi-mercenary, a character who would help the forces of justice but usually only if he stood to profit from doing so. When he resorted to gunfire, he wasn't the West's finest marksman. In fact, he was much more likely to outsmart his opponent or slip out the back door once trouble began. The writers also added a foil for Bret - his brother Bart. Bart was more conservative than the devilish Bret, but just as unlikely to join any fight that could be avoided. The two characters began alternating as leads on the show as they journeyed through small towns with odd names like Oblivion and Apocalypse. Along the way, they associated with fellow card sharps like Dandy Jim Buckley and Gentleman Jack Darby. There was also Samantha Crawford, a lovely female rogue who loved to challenge the Maverick brothers to see who could out-con the other.All these elements helped make Maverick a television western that stood apart from the crowd. Audiences responded to the mix of traditional Western adventure and good-natured humor, making the show an instant hit. Bret Maverick, in particular, became a hero for many armchair cowboys. As a result, the writers began to play up the comedy elements even more, expanding the storylines to satirize other prime time programming. Maverick lampooned everything from Gunsmoke to Dragnet. The show would also use actors known for other roles, like Edd "Kookie" Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip, for cameo roles designed to make viewers' heads turn.Maverick continued to enjoy solid ratings through the end of the 1950's, but hit a snag in 1960 when James Garner left the program over a contract dispute. To replace him, the producers introduced a new Maverick cousin, Beau. Beau had been sent to London for disgracing the family name during the Civil War (by winning a medal). Beau would be played by Roger Moore, who would later move on to greater fame as James Bond. The show also briefly added another brother, Brent, played by Robert Colbert, before finally ending its run in the summer of 1962. Since then, Maverick has continued to be a popular member of the cult television pantheon. Its enduring status as a beloved show led to two short-lived follow-up series, Young Maverick and Bret Maverick. There was also a 1994 movie version of Maverick which featured James Garner alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. The follow-ups proved that the magical Maverick mixture of laughter and tumbleweeds was an enduring, age defying source of great family entertainment.Aired Sunday nights at 7:30pm on ABC. The final season aired Sunday nights at 6:30pmmoreless

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  • Gislef

    User Score: 335


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1625)

    • Bret: I understand there's usually a … big game here Saturday night? Thayer: Upstairs. (points finger and shakes it "No") Bret: What's the matter - rigged? Thayer: Doesn't have to be. People in this town are so used to losing to Mr. Phineas King - they do it insinctively (clears throat) instinctively. Bret: Phineas King, the one who owns the mine? Thayer: And everything else in Echo Springs … including this, uh … that very excellent whiskey.

    • King: What's your business, Mr. Maverick, mining? Bret: Grass inspector. Crane: You inspect grass? Bret: The kind that's always greener in the other fellow's yard. King: (laughing) And you stop to do a little mowing, too, occasionally, I presume? Bret: When it's green enough. King: (laughing) Well, we can't say he didn't warn us.

    • (King "accidentally" turns over Bret's folded hand) King: Oh, excuse me, I … uh … folding on three aces? Why, you're a very conservative poker player, Mr. Maverick. Bret: I just hate to be second best, Mr. King.

    • (King reaches for the envelope but Bret stops him) Bret: You call the bet, Mr. King? King: (chuckling) Well, if you don't mind, I'd like to see the money. Bret: You call the bet and I'll open the envelope. (King puffs furiously on his cigar and then forces a laugh) King: By Jonathan, Mr. Maverick, I gotta hand it to you. You're a very smart poker player. Looking right down my throat, weren't you? Bret: I could almost see what you had for lunch, Mr. King.

    • McComb: (laughing) Whatever you're drinkin', lad's, on the house. First time anyone ever tucked Phineas King's tail between his legs and tickled his chin with the end of it. Tell me, lad, was the money in the envelope or wasn't it? Bret: Mike, there's two things a gentleman doesn't discuss : the ladies he's known and his poker.

    • (Bret's been given a card with "Get Out of Town" written on the ace of spades) McComb: What do you think about this, Maverick? Bret: Well, it's a heck of a way to ruin a good deck of cards. McComb: Did you check out? Bret: No, I guess I should have, but I got a serious vice : curiosity. I'd like to find out why anyone would want me outta town. McComb: But you were at the desk? Bret: Just payin' two weeks rent in advance.

    • Bret: I never had a town pulled out from under me like that before. I don't like it. Stoller: There are lots of other towns - and vengeance is a poor reason for doing anything. You weren't robbed, what are you going back for? Bret: Answers, Mr. Stoller. There's someone mighty anxious to get sir of me - I'd like to know who and why.

    • McComb: Well, if you know why, I wish you'd tell me. Bret: Because your Mr. King is a card cheat - and he knows I know it. McComb: Aw, you're crazy. He owns the town - and five million dollars. Bret: Maybe so, but he still cheats - the way some men drink, because they have to.

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    Notes (85)

    • War of the Silver Kings was not actually Maverick's pilot episode. Warner Brothers' policy at the time was to avoid paying royalties to the creators of their shows by using a "studio-owned" script for the pilot. The actual series pilot was the second episode aired, Point Blank, written by Maverick's creator Roy Huggins - who never even received any on screen credit as creator until the 1994 Mel Gibson movie.

    • This episode was originally written by creator Roy Huggins to be the pilot for the series but Warner Brothers decided to use War of the Silver Kings instead. The script from this episode was later re-worked and used in an episode of 77 Sunset Strip entitled Perfect Set-Up.

    • Mike Connors, who would later be famous for Mannix, guest stars. He would return in The Naked Gallows.

    • Peter Brown would later star in Lawman and Laredo. He would also appear in Maverick again in Stage West and Hadley's Hunters.

    • Director Budd Boetticher and Karen Steele were husband and wife at the time this episode was filmed.

    • Pappyisms : In this episode, we see the show taking its first turn towards comedy and also get to hear Bret spout the first "Pappyism" of the series. Pappyisms were often witty and always insightful words of advice on life, love and the human condition given to the Maverick boys by their father.

    • This episode marked the first of four appearances for Diane Brewster as conwoman Samantha Crawford. She had earlier played the same character in an episode of Cheyenne entitled The Dark Rider.

    • Tol Avery makes his first of seven Maverick appearances, joining Gerald Mohr and Gage Clarke as the series' most frequent male guest stars. As here, playing George Cross, Avery was invariably cast as a wealthy, powerful, corrupt, but ultimately inept, "heavy".

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    Trivia (90)

    • Maverick's main horse on the series was named "El Loaner."

    • A camel is seen in this episode. The U.S. Cavalry actually did experiment with using camels in the desert regions of the old west during the 19th century.

    • The opening credits show the title as Hostage but the end credits show the title to be Hostage!. That closing exclamation point causes this episode to be erroneously listed many places with the exclamation point added.

    • Guest star Don Durant sings the song Cindy in this episode. Durant actually tested for the role of Bart Maverick. He was given the role of Jody Collins here as a partial consolation prize when Jack Kelly was cast as Bart instead. Rod Taylor and Stuart Whitman were also considered for the role.

    • Unlike many western stars of the day, such as, Clint Walker in Cheyenne and Robert Conrad in The Wild, Wild West, James Garner tended to keep his shirt on in Maverick. But here, he's put on rare "bare" display as, stripped to the waist, he enters the squared circle against the mighty "Battling Krueger".

    • This episode, which takes place in 1876, functions mostly as Jack Kelly's first solo appearance although James Garner appears briefly in the opening and closing scenes. It is the only episode where Garner makes a cameo appearance in a Jack Kelly episode, although Kelly would make several cameos in James Garner episodes.

    • This episode's theme is based upon Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Wrecker.

    • The cargo ship Bart and Bret purchased in this episode is named the "Flying Scud" based on a real ship by the same name, only that vessel was a fast clipper ship, first launched from Maine in 1853.

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    Allusions (20)

    • The General: I wouldn't wait breakfast for Fanny Davenport. Fanny Davenport was a famous American stage actress in the second half of the 19th century. She performed many of the roles originally performed in Europe by the great Sarah Bernhardt.

    • The baddies in this episode are named Plummer which was the same last name of the baddies in the classic 1939 western Stagecoach.

    • Anne: Leave an address. I may drop in on you someday. Bart: Lovely. How about Pitcairn Island? Pitcairn Island, in the southern Pacific, was still a British colony at the time of Bret's adventure. It was already well-known, however, as home to the descendants of the original HMS Bounty mutineers (and the Tahitians who helped them) - the infamous "Mutiny on the Bounty". Made famous in our time by maybe half a dozen films, the incident was made notorious in Bret's time by the literary efforts of Lord Byron and Sir John Barrow.

    • Miller: I did not know Beauregard Maverick in life. Therefore I cannot at this time praise him. I can merely bury him. The faux doctor is referencing the famous funeral soliloquy in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where Marc Antony declaims: "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."

    • Bret: (on being ordered out of town) Paradise lost. John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, first published in 1667, is about the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Bret's reference to the poem is sarcastic, since he hardly views himself as an innocent.

    • Modesty: Oh, Mr. Maverick, Bret, I reckon I have known men like you - but they were in books and they clanked in armor and they ate at round tables. Modesty is referring to The Knights of the Round Table, those men awarded the highest order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur. Although based in shadowy fact, the legend of Arthur and Guinevere and Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad, et al, has graced literature and art since the 9th century - from opera to drama to comics and movies and video games. One small but popular literary example would be Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Of the thousands of examples of modern media keeping the Arthurian legend alive, a brief sampling includes : Camelot (1967), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), First Knight (1995) and even Stargate SG-1 (2006-2007).

    • Bart: It's yours to lead Sheriff, and "mine but to follow". Bart quotes from the epic poem, The Voyage of Columbus (1812), by Samuel Rogers. He is poking fun at Hardy's rather rigid world view. Canto VII: -- Yet if thou canst (not for myself I plead! Mine but to follow where 'tis thine to lead)

    • The title of this episode, A Tale of Three Cities, is a reference to the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Both stories feature a devoted daughter who saves her father following a grave injustice. In the novel, the daughter rehabilitates her father after he has suffered many years of wrongful imprisonment. Justice and the rule of law are central themes of this episode, which features two diametrically opposed Sheriffs, one who cares nothing for the rule of law, and another who follows the rules slavishly.

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  • Fan Reviews (7)
  • A unique Western featuring intelligent dialog, interesting characters, superb acting, and intriguing history.

    By m00nshadow, Apr 20, 2010

  • Changed television forever

    By satlov, Feb 22, 2009

  • A classy western classic, well ahead of its time ...

    By DBizTV, Aug 19, 2008

  • James Garner James Arness Ken Curtis Milburn Stone Gene Barry

    By dishman777, Jul 29, 2008

  • This was a classic TV Western drama.

    By vicmackey31, Apr 13, 2006

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