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Bret Maverick

Season 1 Episode 10

A Night At The Red Ox

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Feb 23, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A Night At The Red Ox

Determined to lynch former Sweetwater sheriff Tom Guthrie for a murder they claim he committed at the end of the Civil War, boss lady Addie Burnett and her hired guns take over the Red Ox Saloon. Bret stumbles into this ticklish situation and poses as Tom's lawyer before a wild "kangaroo court" presided over by the "esteemed" and liquored-up Judge Cobb.


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  • Well-used stage devices

    A welcomed entry to the series. It relies on elements of the theater to tell the story. The way the cast are gradually added to the seated gallery and how they become members of the jury. Toms' developing history given in flashback testimony. Deepening insight into the recurring characters' personalities through their reactions to the events. Bret even mentions at the end that using the Red Ox as a stage improved all their performances.

    Although this is mostly tense drama (perhaps the most of any episode) there's plenty of comic relief. Delgrado's stealing the whiskey, that absurd chess game between Dowd and Sturgess, and mostly Bret's sly jokes and approaches in trying to soften up the judge.

    Of note is Murray Hamilton as the judge. His was a long career of memorable characters. He brought that variety to his portrayal here. He would be dead four years after this appearance so it's nice to have him captured in this re-runned series.

    The narrative is dense so the viewer must keep alert. Overall a good balance of style and substance.moreless
Paul Koslo

Paul Koslo

Fletcher Mabry

Guest Star

Murray Hamilton

Murray Hamilton

Judge Nat Cobb

Guest Star

Tony Duke

Tony Duke


Guest Star

Jack Garner

Jack Garner

Jack The Bartender

Recurring Role

Luis Delgado

Luis Delgado

Shifty Delgrado

Recurring Role

Tommy Bush

Tommy Bush

Deputy Sturgess

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Plot Hole: When Cobb calls upon the jury to give the verdict, Fletcher initially puts out eight shotgun shells, one for each juror who votes "not guilty," up to a maximum of eight. First, there are nine jurors: Addie, Fletcher, their three men, Shifty, Jack, Rodney, and Mary Lou. But even if Fletcher omits himself, there's no reason for him to put out shells for his own men. He knows they're not going to vote "not guilty," and in fact when the vote is called, he announces how they're voting.

    • Continuity: The final vote for Tom is 4 to 4, as Cobb clearly states. Fletcher, Tucker, and Frank vote guilty, as does Shifty. Mary Lou, Rodney, Jack, and Brett vote not guilty. However, Addie brought Cobb and four gunsels with her, not three. The fourth clean-shaven gunsel, who is clearly seen when they first enter the saloon and appears intermittently throughout the episode, would vote with the others but he's conveniently forgotten.

    • Continuity: At the 11-minute mark when Judge Cobb comes in, Addie says, "I want you to set this up, Nate." The rest of the episode, she properly refers to him as Nat.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Addie: (concerning Bret's defense) Well, I suppose it's only fair as long as it's gonna turn out the same.

    • Pappyism: When the lead starts flyin', anybody that ain't scared is probably already dead.

    • Tom: Oh, another bad night, huh?
      Bret: (counting money) Well, now that you mention it, I did feel Lady Luck watching over me this evening.
      Tom: You don't suppose she'd consider runnin' the saloon, do ya?

    • Tom: Uh, how about our problem?
      Bret: The problems will be here tomorrow, Tom.
      Tom: I know they will. It's you I'm askin' about.
      Bret: Tom, I got a ranch just south of town. I thought you'd heard about it. Yeah, you know I got a big ranch house, and a barn, and we got trees. I ain't goin' anywhere. (quickly walks out)
      Tom: For a man not goin' anywhere, he sure is hard to pin down.

    • Tom: (to Bret) My lawyer? You don't much care what comes out of your mouth, do you?

    • Judge Cobb: (about "attorney" Bret) And the verdict is all but assured. Well, it might lend an air of propriety to the proceedings.
      Addie: Which is the long-winded way of saying we should let him talk.
      Judge Cobb: If you have no objection, of course.
      Addie: Well, I suppose it's only fair...as long as it's gonna turn out the same.

    • (Sheriff Dowd is trying to teach Deputy Sturgess how to play chess)
      : And the queen?
      : Well now, to hear you tell it, the queen can go anywhere she damn pleases. But that don't seem natural to me, Mitch...her runnin' around loose while the king's gotta set back...

    • Judge Cobb: I'm very impressed by your technique, Doodle, very impressed. Unfortunately, there are other and more sensitive opinions to be considered.
      : You think I'm comin' on too strong, huh?
      Judge Cobb
      : In a word...much. Justice, in this case, means limiting the casualties to one. If you're receivin' my meaning.

    • Bret: If we get 'em skittish enough, maybe they'll..uh..leave us an opening somewhere, but your testimony's gonna be the clincher.
      Tom: I'm not testifying...
      Bret: What?
      Tom: ...and you're fired.

    • Bret: There is a reward out with the warrant, right?
      Fletcher: There may be.
      Bret: Yeah, er...worth about $10,000, right?
      Fletcher: What about it!?
      Bret: Nothin', nothin'. I was just wondering if you were here for some other reason than vengeance.
      Fletcher: That man killed my brother, mister, and I swore to my Pa that I'd get him for it...you hear me?
      Bret: Oh, we all hear you, Fletcher. We don't blame you one bit, not one bit, no sir. A man has a right to avenge his brother. 'Course it doesn't hurt to get paid for it the same time, does it?

    • Judge Cobb: (after shooting Fletcher) All right, boys, untie these people. I may not be much of a judge to most, but I'll be damned if justice is abused in a court like this.

    • Addie: Is there any sense to it?
      Tom: No. War seems to kill more than just people.

  • NOTES (1)