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The Rifleman TV show is a story about the adventures of a Wild West rancher in the 1880's who wields a customized Winchester rifle. It was one of the first primetime series ever to have a widowed parent raise a child. This western style TV series ran from 1958 to 1963. There were 168 episodes in all.
The main cast of characters on the show were;
Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain, a widowed rancher in the fictitious town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory
Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain, the only son of Lucas McCain
Paul Fix as Marshall Micah Torrance, who tries to monitor Lucas McCain and keep gunfighters away from him.
The series had several guest stars that appeared in an episode or two. Some of the guest stars were Sammy Davis JR., Dennis Hopper, Buddy Hacket, John Carradine, Claude Akins, Dan Blocker, Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Culp, James Drury, Michael Landon, Martin Landau, George Lindsey, Agnes Moorehead and Adam West
Westerns were popular in the 1950's when The Rifleman premiered. The producers struggled to find a gimmick to distinguish this show from all the others. The Rifleman's gimmick was a modified Winchester Model 1892 rifle with a trigger mechanism allowing for rapid-fire shots. Despite the anachronism, Connors demonstrated its rapid-fire action during the opening credits as McCain shot at an unseen villain on North Fork's main street.
Various episodes of The Rifleman promoted fair play, neighborliness, equal rights, and the need to use violence in a highly controlled manner. One of the rifleman's quotes to his son was, "A man doesn't run from a fight, Mark, but that doesn't mean you go looking to run TO one!"
The Rifleman was created and initially developed by a young Sam Peckinpah, who went on to become the director of classic Westerns. Peckinpah wrote and directed many of the best episodes from the first season. Many of the characters and situations were based on real-life scenarios from his own childhood growing up on a ranch.
Did you grow up watching the Rifleman??? Did you also watch the fictitious Red Skelton character Sheriff Dead-Eye?? Re-live the golden age of television afternoons in Pigeon Forge. Click on Show Schedule to make your reservations to see Brian Hoffman's tribute to Red Skelton. "Goodnight now and may God bless"
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