Bonanza

Season 1 Episode 9

Mr. Henry Comstock

0
Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Nov 07, 1959 on NBC
6.9
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Mr. Henry Comstock
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The Cartwrights are met by an old coot with a gun who claims they're on his land; he even has a deed signed by Henry Comstock to prove it. They explain that the paper is worthless because Comstock was a con-man always on the run and perpetrating a scam. The episode flashes back to how Comstock accidentally found the huge silver deposit while trying to pull a swindle, and how Virginia City got its name.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A somewhat disjointed episode, but very entertaining.

    8.0
    This episode is one of my favorites from the first season. The story is a bit loose and confusing--partly because it mixes in actual historical events, and partly because it's mostly told in a flashback style. It also manages to work in a few hilarious scenes with all of the ground it covers, and the episode almost feels like a mini-epic.



    The Cartwrights' tree-cutting scene is a real gem. The boys complain about the time required to cut down the huge Ponderosa pine they just axed down, but Ben chastises them by pointing out that the tree took 400 years to grow; Adam waxes about all of the wonderful things these ancient trees will provide once cut: houses and ships! But, don't worry...the Cartwrights are "green" after all, and Ben requires the boys the plant a sapling everytime they cut one down...yep, it'll be a forest again in a hundred years!



    The next scene is even more amazing...the whole clan has a bit of fun with Hoss's new buffalo rifle. They have no idea who the men chasing Comstock might be (or even who Comstock is), but that doesn't stop them from having target practice on the clueless fellows from a half mile away. Joe even shoots one in the arm, much to the amusement of his siblings. These Cartwrights can be a downright ornery bunch, best stay away from their land!



    A few plotlines seem to go nowhere, such a the worthless "blue stuff" Comstock notices in the diggings (turquoise maybe?). The dance scene is just plain weird, including those ornery Cartwrights making fun of the weight-challenged ladies. Also notable is the assortment of background music, ranging from orchestral to surf guitar. The episode ends on an unusual note; instead of threatening the squatter, they actually give him a bit of charity...I guess the Cartwrights were in a good mood after recounting all of the fun stuff in recalling Comstock's story. Great stuff, this episode!moreless
  • One of my favorites. If you're a history buff you'll recognize the many historic characters in this one.

    10
    This series took actual historic accounts and interweaved the Cartwrights, especially in the first season. This is one of THEE most historical accounts I've seen in the series. Comstock was something of a swindler, although I'm not sure he was depicted in the W. C. Fields manner as shown. Lots of jokes and barbs by him. Cute "dosey doe" dance. I like the way Virginia City was depicted before it was founded. It was a mud town with canvas tents for housing because it was not yet settled. That's exactly the way it was shown here. I love the "rockers" (I had read about them, but I never saw one until this episode) they used to sift out gold as that's what brought prospecters out. It was 99% male. Notice men dancing with men at the dance. There was a lot of thought put into the details. So realistic! The way Virginia City got it's name and the fact that Comstock got swindled out of his own claim through greed. Reading the history before watching the episode makes it so much sweeter.

    moreless
  • One of my favorites. If you're a history buff you'll recognize the many historic characters in this one.

    10
    This series took actual historic accounts and interweaved the Cartwrights, especially in the first season. This is one of THEE most historical accounts I've seen in the series. Comstock was something of a swindler, although I'm not sure he was depicted in the W. C. Fields manner as shown. Lots of jokes and barbs by him. Cute "dosey doe" dance. I like the way Virginia City was depicted before it was founded. It was a mud town with canvas tents for housing because it was not yet settled. That's exactly the way it was shown here. I love the "rockers" (I had read about them, but I never saw one until this episode) they used to sift out gold as that's what brought prospecters out. It was 99% male. Notice men dancing with men at the dance. There was a lot of thought put into the details. So realistic!moreless
Dan Blocker

Dan Blocker

Eric "Hoss" Cartwright

Lorne Greene

Lorne Greene

Ben Cartwright

Pernell Roberts

Pernell Roberts

Adam Cartwright

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Joseph "Little Joe" Francis Cartwright

Richard H. Cutting

Richard H. Cutting

Ol' Virginny (as Richard Cutting)

Guest Star

Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon

Chief Winnemucca

Guest Star

Terence de Marney

Terence de Marney

Pat O'Riley

Guest Star

Victor Sen Yung

Victor Sen Yung

Hop Sing

Recurring Role

Bill Clark (I)

Bill Clark (I)

Cowboy at Dance (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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