The Rifleman

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (60)

  • Carpenter: I just can't see how a crippled old drunk figures so large. Flory: If it makes any difference, it's a family concern. Carpenter: I'm goin' with - to watch. You might just acquire a bullet hole right through your mean, old heart.

  • (Micah awakens in jail and is introduced to Lucas by the Sheriff) Lucas: Mr. Torrance, I've heard a great deal about you. Micah: Nothing complimentary, I trust. I'm gettin' old and bitter, Mr. McCain, and useless. I was a good peace officer once - fast, too fast. Quit thinkin', thought I'd let my gun hand do my work for me. Don't ever let that happen to you, friend. Cost me this … (rubs his right arm) my nerve. Lucas: You're lucky, Mr. Torrance. Not many men with your reputation live long enough to take off their badges. Micah: Don't call me lucky, son.

  • Micah: (standing to leave) Thanks for the lodging, sir. Now, possibly you or your friend here could advance me a few dollars? I seem to be temporarily without funds. I'll pay you back, sir, you can depend on that.
    Lucas: No, you won't, You're a drunk. I wouldn't give you a dime for a drink, but I'll give you a job.
    Micah: (disbelievingly) You'll give me a job. Doin' what, swattin' flies?
    Lucas: Buildin' fences, mister. Hire out to me, you'll do a man's work - if there's any man left.
    Micah: Mr. McCain, you just hired yourself a hand--one of 'em anyway.

  • Micah: I'll sleep in the barn, Lucas. Lucas: No, you can stay here, Micah. Micah: Later, later. For the next few nights I'm companion to owls and brother to the dragon. You know what it is.

  • Micah: I got visitors, Lucas. Mark: I don't see nobody. Micah: Just a case of the whips and jingles, sonny. I better be gettin' back to town. Mark: What are the whips and jingles? Micah: Oo, uh, animals of a sort, come in various shapes and sizes - pretty big, generally. Now, you wouldn't know it, but I got a big one sittin' on my shoulder right now … Saddle me a horse, Lucas. Lucas: No. Micah: It won't work, I tell ya. I've got to leave. Lucas: Then start walkin'. You oughta make town by sun-up.

  • (Micah leaves, slamming the door, and Mark tries to follow)
    Lucas: You can't help him with this, son, he's gotta do it by himself. Now sit down and finish your dinner. (Mark is upset, thinking Lucas is being mean) Micah used to be a peace officer, son, one of the best. Then, well, he got hurt and he... went all the way to the bottom and now he's a-he's afraid. He's afraid to carry a gun... afraid to pin on a star - so he drinks too much.
    Mark: Whiskey, ya mean?
    Lucas: Yes.
    Mark: I know just how he feels. (Lucas is surprised) I took a big swallow once, Arch Quinn dared me. Guess I felt sick for an hour afterwards.
    Lucas: Well, I'll bet that taught ya a lesson.
    Mark: Taught Arch, too. He got sick just watchin' me. (Micah reenters, slamming the door)
    Micah: McCain! I'm useless here.
    Mark: Whiskey make ya work better...? Supper will. (Micah smiles and sits down to eat)

  • Andrew: Are we gonna get drunk or are we gonna finish Torrance? Flory: Well, we wuz drunk the first time we met Torrance, only seems proper and fittin' we're drunk on this special occasion. Andrew: Flory, I do believe that you're scared a that old man. (a fight ensues before they join together in trashing the bar)

  • (the Sheltin boys ride up while Micah is out working on the coral alone)
    Flory: My, my. How the mighty have fallen.
    Micah: Well, well, if it ain't the Sheltin boys.
    Flory: You see, Andrew, a marshal never forgets them he shoots holes into. We're still packin' your lead, Mr. Torrance.
    Micah: Must have been ten years or so since I straightened you boys out. Figured you'd be hung by now.
    Flory: Oh, we don't hang easy.
    Micah: What are you coyotees doin' around here, anyway? Lookin' for some eggs to suck?
    Andrew: We're lookin' to have another try at ya, Micah. Go get your gun.
    Micah: You're way too late. (holds his arm) I ain't been able to draw a gun in five years. Andrew (throws a gun on the ground): Jus' pick it up.
    Micah: (turns his back to them) Why bother with me? I'm already dead.
    Flory: (pulling out his gun) I aim to make sure.
    Andrew: Let me have him.
    Lucas: (comes up with his rifle at the ready) Not today, boys.

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Notes (59)

  • Although, especially early in his career, Dennis Hopper played in a several well-known Westerns - he is far more famous for his work in films such as Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, Colors, Easy Rider, Cool Hand Luke, Flashback, Speed and Hoosiers.

  • Besides working together several times on television, Warren Oates appeared in four of Sam Peckinpah's films : Ride the High Country (1962), Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974).

  • When he appeared in this episode, James Drury was just two and a half years into his television career and still four years away from starting a nine year run as the star of The Virginian.

  • This episode was Cesare Danova's introduction to American television. It was his first of three Rifleman appearances.

  • With a new bank comes a new recurring cast member. Harlan Warde makes his first of 18 appearances as John Hamilton, President of the North Fork Bank.

  • Steven Gardner (Schoolchild) is the son of series producer Arthur Gardner.

  • Although already a 20 year veteran of film and TV, Raymond Bailey (Col. Jess Whiteside) was still almost 3 years away from his "breakthrough" role as Dean Magruder on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - which led directly to his signature role as banker Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies.

  • Michael Ansara appeared as Deputy U. S. Marshal Sam Buckhart in two Rifleman episodes : The Raid and this one. This one, in fact, served as the pilot for Law of the Plainsman, a series which continued the adventures of Marshal Sam Buckhart.

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Trivia (32)

  • This is an edited version of the pilot which aired on Zane Grey Theater (March 7, 1958) - arguably the most successful offshoot of five Zane Grey episodes which went on to become series.

  • In this episode, the North Fork hotel is called The California House and is owned by Judge Hanavan. Later in the series, the town hotel would be called The Hotel Madera and would be owned and operated by Eddie Halstead (John Harmon).

  • Discontinuity: When Lucas is greasing his wagon's axle and talking to Will Fulton (Michael Landon), the stitching that forms the letter W - the logo for Wrangler Jeans - is clearly visible on his back pockets. However, according to network publicists (and the wooden plaque which would soon sit next to the home stating that it was rebuilt by Lucas and his son in August, 1881), the series was set in the 1880s - and Wrangler didn't begin making blue jeans until 1947, when it introduced the Wrangler 11MWZ to the world, with innovations incorporated especially for working cowboys.

  • This is the first of 39 episodes in which Bill Quinn appears as Sweeney the Bartender - the genial owner/operator of The North Fork Saloon.

  • Marshal Micah Torrance calls McCain "Lucas Boy" throughout the series. That affectionate practice begins with the aging marshal's very first appearance - in this episode.

  • Johnny Gibb, talking about his sister and Lucas's dead wife, mentions her name was Margaret.

  • Hope Summers makes her first of 16 appearances as Hattie Denton, owner of North Fork's General Store.

  • Lucas states that the size of his ranch is 4,100 acres.

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Allusions (1)

  • On the bulletin board in Micah's office is a wanted poster for the Hole-in-the-Wall gang. The Hole-in-the-Wall gang was not a single gang, but several outlaw gangs who used Hole-in-the-Wall Pass in Wyoming as their hideout from the late 1860s to the early 20th century. Perhaps the most famous were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.