Today I want to share one of my favorite episodes of “The Six Shooter,” Jimmy Stewart’s western series. First, some background on the show:
Beginning September 20, 1953, “The Six Shooter” starred Jimmy Stewart as roaming cowboy Britt Ponsett. It ran on NBC for 39 episodes. Stewart had previously played the character in a popular episode of “Hollywood Star Playhouse.” Frank Burt, series creator, wrote the scripts, Basil Adlam provided the music, and Jack Johnstone directed. It was an intelligent western, rather than action-packed shoot-’em-up.
“Trail to Sunset” is a favorite of mine because it is quite different from anything else I have heard. Lynch mobs are, of course, a common plot device in westerns. The Lone Ranger and Marshall Dillon stopped them frequently. I’ve never heard a lynch mob story from this angle before – what if the lynch mob was successful, but had the wrong man? It’s a very subtle episode, primarily conversation, but I find it to be a very powerful episode as well, raising questions of moral and ethical nature. If you listen, I hope you find it as good an episode as I do.
THE SIX SHOOTER
“Trail to Sunset”
January 31, 1954
Cast: James Stewart, Robert Griffin, Harry Bartell, Lamont Johnson, Howard McNear, Forrest Lewis
Writer: Frank Burt
Director: Jack Johnstone
Download and listen to this episode:
The rest of the series can be found here: