Come along with us to North Fork and see how I, Lucas McCain struggled to build a ranch and make a home for my son, Mark.
This program has two special qualities that set this above and apart from any other westerns series. First of course is the way I handle my rifle. But this program is more than the story of a rifleman fighting for justice. It’s also a story of a father building a ranch for his son on the edge of the frontier. Ya’ know I figure the job of guiding a boy through his formative years is a big & challenging responsibility. That’s the way it is with me as "The Rifleman" as I teach Mark to appreciate the wild & beautiful country that surrounds him. To know the meaning of bravery & courage, and the necessity of tolerance and understanding. The wisdom behind justice and the physical skills necessity for a youngster living in untamed land before the turn of the century. Mark & I feel our stories have wide appeal but strong identification for every member of the family. This is true when I am fighting against an injustice, involved in the less violent adventure of building our ranch or watching and helping Mark as he goes through the often dangerous process that comes up. We hope you feel as we do…..
Chuck Connors......Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford....Mark McCain
Paul Fix......Marshal Micah Torrance
Harlan Warde.............John Hamilton
John Harmon.............Eddie Halstead
Joe Higgins...................Nils Swenson
Hope Summers............Hattie Denton
Joan Taylor.......…........…Milly Scott
Patricia Blair…......…….Lou Mallory
The series ran from September 1958 to April 1963.
There were 168 episodes in all.
♫ "The Rifleman" — opening theme
The Rifleman ― The First Season
1. The Sharpshooter ('The Shooting Match')…..After wondering the country for four years, Lucas and Mark finally find the ranch they’d been looking for, but the ranch comes with a price, and Lucas may have to decide between the ranch and his son’s life! Leif Erickson - Dennis Hopper - Sidney Blackmer - R.G. Armstrong - Charles Arnt - Mickey Simpson - Kathleen Mulqueen - Virginia Aldridge - Matthew McCue - Howard Wright - Archie Butler - Jack N. Young - Bobby Somers - Jesse Wayne (9/30/58)
Writer: Sam Peckinpah ~ Director: Arnold Laven
(Zane Grey Theatre—3/7/58 - Season 2 — Episode #52)
"The Rifleman," originally aired on CBS on Dick Powell's "Zane Grey Theater" on March 7, 1958. The title of the script for the pilot was "The Shooting Match," but the program aired as 'Sharpshooter,' with a slightly edited version debuting as the first episode of the series in the regular season; it was broadcast as 'The Sharpshooter' on ABC on September 30, 1958.
2. Home Ranch…..After two of Oat Jackford’s cowhands burn the McCain’s house, drag Lucas, and steal his rifle, Lucas goes to hunt Jackford and his men to inform them that he and his boy are there to stay. Lee Farr - Steve Rowland - Harold J. Stone - Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. - Don Kennedy - Jack N. Young - Bobby Somers (10/7/58) Writer: Sam Peckinpah ~ Director: Arnold Laven
3. End of a Young Gun…..When Mark gets caught on a mountain ledge, a young outlaw risks his life to rescue him and breaks his leg doing so. Michael Landon - Charles Cooper - Joe Haworth - Carolyn Craig - Mel Carter - Jesse Wayne (10/14/58) Writer: Frank D. Gilroy ~ Director: Jerry Hopper
4. The Marshal…..The notorious Shelton's ride into the town of North Fork to take revenge on an elderly Marshal who is now crippled and working for Lucas McCain. James Drury - Warren Oates - Robert J. Wilke - R.G. Armstrong - Abby Dalton - Bill Quinn - Bert Stevens - Archie Butler - Jesse Wayne (10/21/58)
Writer & Director: Sam Peckinpah
5. The Brother-in-law…..Johnny Gibbs, Lucas McCain’s brother-in-law, visits the McCain ranch. Gibbs, a rodeo rider wanted by the law, begins stirring up trouble. Jerome Courtland - Charles Watts - Karl Lukas - Daniel White - Herman Hack - Fay Roope - Archie Butler - Bobby Somers - Jesse Wayne (10/28/58)
Writers: David Victor & Herbert Little ~ Director: Arnold Laven
6. Eight Hours to Die…..A bitter judge kidnaps Mark and plans to kill him to avenge his own sons hanging while Lucas watches. George Macready - Russell Collins - Hope Summers - Marilee Phillips - Irving Mitchell - Bobby Crawford Jr. - Bud Osborne - Jack N. Young - Bobby Somers - Fred Aldrich - Paul Kruger (11/4/58) Writer: Palmer Thompson ~ Director: Arnold Laven
7. Duel of Honor…..A stagecoach breaks down and an Italian nobleman. Count Di Montova is stranded overnight in North Fork. The count soon accept a challenge for a gun duel. Cesare Danova - Jack Elam - Glenn Strange - John Dierkes - Joe Bassett - John Harmon - Bill Quinn - Archie Butler - Robert H. Robinson - Jesse Wayne - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave (11/11/58)
Writer: Ken Kolb ~ Director: Joseph Lewis
8. The Safe Guard…..The first bank in North Fork is opening, and a Texas gunfighter is hired to guard the safe, but a gang of bank robbers are in town who knows the new employee at the bank. Claude Akins - Marc Lawrence - Sidney Blackmer - Harlan Warde - Hope Summers - Dennis Cross - Mel Carter - Fritz Ford - Robert H. Robinson - Bob Woodward - Jesse Wayne - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave - John Breen (11/18/58) Writer: David Swift ~ Director: Joseph Lewis
9. The Sister…..Mark tries to set Lucas up with a pretty young woman he thinks would make a perfect wife for his Pa. Lucas soon finds himself contending with the two brothers of this young woman as well as some outlaws bent on killing him. Dan Blocker - David Tyrell - John Dierkes - Lance Fuller - Michael Morgan - Mort Mills - Sherry Jackson - Hope Summers - Michael Harris - Bob Woodward - Archie Butler - Fritz Ford - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave (11/25/58)
Writer & Director: Montgomery Pittman
10. New Orleans Menace…..A gambling czar, fleeing from New Orleans, stops at the McCain ranch with his following of bodyguards, henchmen and gamblers and decides to take the ranch off of Lucas’s hands. Harlan Warde - Akim Tamiroff - Michael Pate - Hope Summers - Jerry Oddo - Galvan DeLeon - Jack Tornek - Bobby Somers - Archie Butler - Robert H. Robinson - Jesse Wayne (12/2/58) Writer: Cyril Hume ~ Director: Arnold Laven
11. The Apprentice Sheriff.....Not taking the advice he gave Mark that morning, Lucas gets involved in trying to help a young West Point reject who is standing in as Marshal and soon finds the town in the middle of a gun fighting disaster. Edward Binns - Fritz Ford - William Bryant - Grant Richards - Robert Vaughn - Russell Collins - Jimmy Noel - Forrest Burns - Elyse Gordon - Steven Gardner - Archie Butler - Fritz Ford (12/9/58) Writer: Barney Slater ~ Director: Arthur Hiller
12. The Angry Gun.....Lucas and Mark are riding the stage, returning from a cattle sale when the stage is robbed by three outlaws. After the outlaws take his money, Lucas sends Mark on in the stage while he goes after the outlaws without his rifle! Vic Morrow - Leo Gordon - Gregory Walcott - Harry Hickox - Kathleen Mulqueen - Joe Quinn - Jesse Wayne - Fritz Ford (12/23/58)
Writer: Samuel A. Peeples ~ Director: David Swift
13. The Young Englishman.....Lucas McCain accuses the young foreman of a neighboring ranch of rustling one of his calves. Allen Case - Dick Rich - James Coburn - Ted de Corsia - Bobby Somers - Jesse Wayne (12/16/58)
Writer: Arthur Weiss ~ Director: Arnold Laven
14. The Gaucho.....Lucas helps an Argentina family who are new to North Fork when the other people make fun of them, but teaching his son that people who are different are as good as Americans may not be as easy as he thinks. Perry Lopez - Lawrence Dobkin - Bobby Crawford Jr. - Chana Eden - Stuart Randall - Harlan Warde - Dennis Cross - Morris Lippert - Loren Janes - Archie Butler - Montie Montana - Robert H. Robinson - Jesse Wayne - "Ernie" Who?(12/30/58) Writer: Bruce Geller ~ Director: Jerry Hopper
15. The Pet.....Lucas allows Mark to take in a horse left homeless after his owner is killed in an unfair gunfight, but Lucas soon discovers a horrible reality about the horse and races to save Mark’s life while fighting off a gunfighter who doesn’t want his secret to be exposed. Robert J. Wilke - Edgar Buchanan - Bill Erwin - Hal Jon Norman - Penelope Sue Carver - Robert H. Robinson - Archie Butler - Jesse Wayne - Fritz Ford (1/6/59)
Writer: Ken Kolb ~ Director: Joseph H. Lewis
16. The Sheridan Story…..Wanting to teach Mark a lesson in tolerance and acceptance, Lucas hires an injured and bitter confederate soldier to work on his ranch, but when a Union army comes to stay the night as well, trouble erupts. Lawrence Dobkin - Royal Dano - Frank Wilcox - William "Bill" Megis - Alden 'Stephen' Chase - Fritz Ford - Bobby Somers (1/13/59)
Writer: Cyril Hume ~ Director: Arnold Laven
17. The Retired Gun…..A famous gunman promises his new bride that he will retire from gun fighting and settle in North Fork, but five outlaws try to make him break his promise. Robert Webber - Eileen Harley/Amanda Ames - Jack Kruschen - Duke Snider - John Anderson - Herman Rudin - Joe Mell - Bobby Somers - Milan Smith - Jesse Wayne (1/20/59) Writer: Barney Slater ~ Director: Arnold Laven
18. The Photographer…..When a photographer, an old friend of the McCain’s, is accused of murder, Mark and Lucas find themselves on opposite sides against each other. John Carradine - Sidney Blackmer - Raymond Bailey - Robert Ellenstein - Matthew McCue - George DeNormand - Brick Sullivan - Bobby Somers - Jesse Wayne - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave (1/27/59)
Writer: Ken Kolb ~ Director: Arnold Laven
19. Shivaree…..A wagon train master forces a young couple to marry after they hide the fact that one is a girl, and Lucas takes them in to help them; but trouble soon arises when a drunken crowd calls for a Shivaree. Luana Anders - Paul Carr - Morris Ankrum - John Anderson - Olive Carey - Edgar Dearing - William Bryant - Bob Woodward - Chick Hannon - Foxy Callahan - Milan Smith - Whitey Hughes - Jesse Wayne - "Ernie" Who? - Jimmie Booth (2/3/59)
Writers: David Victor & Herbert Little ~ Director: Joseph H. Lewis
20. The Deadeye Kid…..Without telling his father, Mark helps a boy from Brooklyn hide from the law when the boy is accused of murder. Douglas Spencer - Kip King - Jason Johnson - Glenn Strange - Rod McGaughy - Bob Woodward - Jesse Wayne (2/10/59) Writer: Palmer Thompson ~ Director: Jerry Hopper
21. The Indian…..U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart arrives in North Fork to look for Indians who are suspected in the brutal murder of a Ranger and his family. Michael Ansara - Herbert Rudley - Lewis Charles - Frank DeKova - Mickey Simpson - Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer - Robert Chadwick - Eddie Little Sky - Ethan Laidlaw - Whitey Hughes - Bill Quinn - Carol Henry - Hal Needham - Bob Woodward - Archie Butler - Bobby Somers - Milan Smith - Jesse Wayne - Jimmie Booth - "Ernie" Who? (2/17/59) Writer: Cyril Hume ~ Director: Arnold Laven - This is the pilot for the series "Law of the Plainsman."
22. The Boarding House…..Julia Massini, a reformed gambler, runs a respectable boarding house in North Fork, but her old boss shows up and tries to force her to turn her place into a gambling house. Katy Jurado - Alan Baxter - Harlan Warde - Sarah Selby - Kay Cousins - Peggy Maley - Charles Fredricks - Charles Seel - Bill Quinn - Charles Tannen - Guy Wilkerson - Fritz Ford - Jesse Wayne (2/24/59) Writer & Director: Sam Peckinpah
23. The Second Witness…..After the witness to a murder case is killed, Lucas agrees to testify in order to convict a murderer, but there is someone out there who wants the prosecution stopped, and they’ll stop at nothing. Mark and the town folks try to talk Lucas out of testifying. Edgar Buchanan - Michael Pate - Bobby Crawford Jr. - Hope Summers - Bill Catching - Robert Foulk - William "Bill" Megis - Fritz Ford - Jesse Wayne - Archie Butler - "Ernie" Who? (3/3/59) Writers: Judy & George W. George ~ Director: Lewis Allen
24. The Trade…..After falling in love with a sick young women, Sam Morley, a man wanted by the law, asks his friend Lucas McCain to turn him in and give the reward money to Beth to pay for the medical help which she needs. Paul Richards - Edgar Buchanan - Katherine Bard - Chris Alcaide - Dan Sheridan - Michael Fox - John Harmon - Whitey Hughes - Jesse Wayne - Archie Butler "Ernie" Who? (3/10/59) Writer: David Lang ~ Director: Joseph H. Lewis
25. One Went to Denver…..Tom Birch, an old friend of Lucas McCain’s, comes for a surprise visit and Mark is upset he’s there because he is a renown bank robber; but what Lucas doesn’t know is that he plans to rob the North Fork bank. Richard Anderson - Jack Kruschen - John Goddard - Lewis Charles - John Harmon - Ben Morris - Bill Quinn - Harlan Warde - Jesse Wayne - Chet Brandenburg - Archie Butler - "Ernie" Who? (3/17/59) Writer: Pat Fielder ~ Director: Lewis Allen
26. The Deadly Wait…..Dan Maury, released from Yuma prison, arrives in North Fork with the intent on getting even with Marshal Torrance, who helped send him to jail. Edgar Buchanan - Lee Van Cleef - Bill Quinn - John Harmon - Archie Butler - Jesse Wayne (3/24/59)
Writer: Arthur Browne Jr. ~ Director: Joseph H. Lewis
27. The Wrong Man…..A crooked marshal from another territory intentionally kills an innocent man so that he can collect the bounty money and blackmails the real outlaw. Lyle Bettger - Robert H. Harris - Gordon Jones - Frank Sully - Fred Krone - Archie Butler - Roydon Clark - Jack Perkins - Tom Kennedy - Bobby Somers - Whitey Hughes - Fred Aldrich - Rod McGaughy - Fritz Ford - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave (3/31/59) Writer: N.B. Stone Jr. ~ Director: Arnold Laven
28. The Challenge♫…..An escaped killer holds Hattie and Micah hostage at the General Store to prove that he is still good with a gun. Les Tremayne - Adam Williams - John Durran - Harlan Warde - Bill Quinn - Hope Summers - Michael Harris - John Maxwell - Mel Carter - Ian Murray - Whitey Hughes - Jimmie Booth - Fred Aldrich - Jesse Wayne - Jack Perry - "Ernie" Who? - King Mojave
- Joe Polski (4/7/59)
Writers: David Victor & Herbert Little ~ Director: Lewis Allen
29. The Hawk…..After saving Mark from a rattlesnake, the McCain’s befriend a stranger; but the McCain’s soon discover that he’s not who he says he is. Patrick McVey - John Anderson - Fred Aldrich - Whitey Hughes (4/14/59)
Writer: Arthur Browne Jr. ~ Director: Lamont Johnson
30. Three Legged Terror…..After an orphaned teen being raised by his abusive uncle wrecks havoc on the school, Lucas takes him in. Dennis Hopper - John Hoyt - Patricia Barry - Robert Foulk - Bill Quinn - Larry Asmus - Whitey Hughes - Archie Butler - Jimmie Booth - "Ernie" Who? (4/21/59)
Writer: Palmer Thompson ~ Director: William Conrad
Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer -Whitey Hughes - Archie Butler - Bobby Somers - Daniel Borzage - Rod McGaughy - "Ernie" Who?- Joe Polski (5/5/59) Writer: Pat Fielder ~ Director: Arnold Laven
31. The Angry Man…..A neighboring rancher refuses medical assistance when his son is seriously hurt in an accident because he blames doctors for the death of his wife. Edgar Buchanan - George Matthews - Kim Charney - Fritz Ford - Bob Woodward - "Ernie" Who? (4/28/59)
Writer: Arthur Browne Jr. ~ Director: Jerry Hopper
32. The Woman…..After a boy admits to his Pa that he and the school teacher are in love, the rancher chases the advocator for women’s rights out of town; but Lucas wants to get at the truth. Patricia Barry - Paul Carr - Mel Carter - James Westerfield - David Leland - Fern Barry - Hope Summers - Bill Quinn - Glenn Strange - Jack Younger -
33. The Money Gun…..Bookkeeper Asa Manning hires a professional gunman to provoke his client, a bully rancher who suspects him of embezzlement, into a gunfight. Bert Freed - William Phipps - John Dehner - Jason Johnson - Earl Hodgins - Harlan Warde - Frank Hagney - Whitey Hughes - Archie Butler - Rod McGaughy - Fritz Ford - "Ernie" Who? - Jack Lowell (5/12/59)
Writers: Bruce Geller & Sam Peckinpah ~ Director: Sam Peckinpah
34. A Matter of Faith…..Although a drought has forced local cowhands to seek work on a railroad construction project, railroad executives are afraid that their workers will desert them if they believe an old man’s claim to have found a way to make rain. Royal Dano - Parley Baer - Bing Russell - Michael Hinn - Rod McGaughy - Fred Aldrich - "Ernie" Who? (5/19/59)
Writer: Harry Kronman ~ Director: Don Taylor
35. Blood Brother…..Lucas is surprised when Micah wishes death on a dying man he brings into North Fork. Then Lucas discovers that Micah holds a big secret. Richard Devon - Rhys Williams - Ian Murray - Max Wagner - Kelton Garwood - Larry Perron - Whitey Hughes - Bobby Somers - Fritz Ford - Archie Butler - "Ernie" Who? (5/26/59)
Writers: Pat Fielder & Chuck Connors ~ Director: Arnold Laven
36. Stranger at Night…..Mark stumbles across a dead man and the only clue to his identity is a belt with the initials RM. Thomas Gomez - Jack Hogan - Bill Quinn (6/2/59) Writer: David Lang ~ Director: Lewis Allen
- Harlan Warde - Robert Foulk - Whitey Hughes - Fred Graham - George DeNormand - Archie Butler - "Ernie" Who? - Whitey Hughes(6/16/59)
37. The Raid…..A renegade band of Indians captures Mark and disappears into the hills of New Mexico. Michael Ansara - Mike Forest - Robert Foulk - Pat Hogan - Robert Dix - Clancy Cooper - Mark Goddard - Hope Summers (6/9/59)Writer: Harry Julian Fink This is the sequel to the episode ‘The Indian.'
38. Outlaw's Inheritance…..The towns' people question the reputation of Lucas when he is named in a will of a notorious outlaw. William Bishop - Dabbs Greer -
Writers: Judy & George W. George ~ Director: Don Taylor
39. Boomerang…..Lucas takes in an orphan boy and teaches him how to use a gun, not knowing that the boy plans on killing the banker he believes is responsible for his father's death. Lee Kinsolving - Dabbs Greer - Harlan Warde - Hope Summers - Whitey Hughes - Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer - Archie Butler - "Ernie" Who? (6/23/59) Writer: Arthur Browne Jr. ~ Director: Joseph H. Lewis
40. The Mind Reader…..A young man accused of a murder he didn’t commit, is finally cleared by the accidental discovery of a “mind reader.” John Carradine - Sue Randall - Michael Landon - Charles Seel - William Schallert - James Chandler - Steve Ritch - John Harmon - Robert Bice - Vic Perrin - Whitey Hughes - Archie Butler - Ethan Laidlaw - Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer - Robert H. Robinson (6/30/59)
Writer: Robert C. Dennis ~ Director: Don Medford
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"Hi!" "I'm — I'm the one who maintains 'The McCain Ranch' for
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*The original idea for Lucas telling
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The original episodes were written by Cowgirl/Margie & revised/written
by Michelle Palmer.
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