Rance McGrew is the star of a weekly TV western where he plays the town Marshal. He is, to say the least, difficult to deal with. He is frequently late on the set, arrives unprepared and often requests script changes just as they are about to shoot a scene. To top it off, he's quite inept at handling his gun which he inadvertently tosses into the saloon mirror on more than one occasion. He's given a dose of reality however when he inexplicably finds himself back in time, coming face to face with the real Jesse James.Written by
This episode reunites director Christian Nyby and actor Robert Cornthwaite, who previously worked together on The Thing from Another World (1951). In this episode, Cornthwaite plays a nervous and frustrated director who has to deal with a vain, bumbling cowboy actor. On the DVD commentary, Cornthwaite states that Nyby told him to play the director character as a funny version of Nyby himself. Cornthwaite praised Nyby's sense of humor. See more »
At different times while they are filming Rance's various takes in the saloon, his Ford T-Bird with the longhorns is clearly visible out in the street. See more »
[Mocking Rance McGrew]
Just like I figured. This guy couldn't outdraw a crayon.
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TZ was never known for its comedy which makes this episode stand out. A lot of the gags are played a little too broadly but are still fun. My favorite is the Marshall's repeated calls for "Stuntman!". Another good aspect of this episode is the high quality actors playing the director, the AD, the lead, and Jesse James. They all seem to be enjoying the ride, maybe a little too much, as the acting is a little more hammy than needed at times. It has the requisite twist ending but even it is played for laughs. So many TZ episodes seem stretched too far beyond the twist just fill the time. This episode is slightly too long but the comedic acting keeps your interest. Highly recommended.
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