This Ranch is Under Construction
The Opening Scene — The Rifleman was coming on the other day and my husband said "Hey, there aren't any hulls ejecting from that gun!" I asked him what he was talking about and he said whenever a rifle is cocked after firing, the spent shell should eject. I had never noticed that wasn't happening. The next episode I paid attention and he was absolutely correct. Has anybody else noticed this? Thanks Gloria's hubby!
The Sharpshooter — Did you know that The Rifleman was the first television show that LGL Productions produced? They had only done movies before The Rifleman. They had hired a young writer by the name of Sam Peckinpah, to adapt a book which they owned into a feature screenplay. Sam was paid $2000.00 for a half an hour script plus a small percentage of the profits. Arthur Gardner - The Badger Kid.
The Sharpshooter was originally an episode from the Zane Grey Theater. This particular episode was the pilot for The Rifleman. The Rifleman made its debut March 17, 1958. The first episode was written by Sam Peckinpah. He originally done this script for Gunsmoke, but was turned down and was told it was a piece of crap! He had thought that this was one of the best things he had written. So he took it back and reworked it. Dick Powell at Four Stars Production bought it as the pilot for The Rifleman. Thank goodness for Dick Powell, we may have never known Chuck Connors as The Rifleman! David Fury - Chuck Connors: "The Man Behind the Rifle."
Sam Peckinpah was the creator of The Rifleman and he wrote The Sharpshooter — Home Ranch and he wrote & directed The Marshal — The Boarding House — The Money Gun — The Babysitter. Cowgirl!
Did you know the original title for The Sharpshooter was called The Shooting Match? Cowgirl!
Did you know that originally Lucas was to have a six shooter and that It was Arnold Laven who came up with the idea of Lucas having a son. Lucas had to have a reason to throw the contest. Otherwise he would have bucked up against Big Jim Lewis & his men. Cowgirl!
So if the Turkey shoot was on October 12 — the McCain's must have gotten into North Fork on the 11th of October — but the plaque on their house said it was rebuilt August 1881? Cowgirl!
In the original script Lucas' name was suppose to be John. Lucas was a tall man, about forty—heavy-set, Indian quiet—a man of wry humor, easy friendliness and sudden violence. Cowgirl!
In the first episode The Sharpshooter ― Lucas didn't have Razor when Lucas & Mark first came to North Fork.....what horse was Lucas riding?
Article from the San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas ― July 15, 1958: Dodger star Chuck Connors starts his new ABC-TV The Rifleman series in September with a $1,500 horse (Razor), gift of Four Star topper Dick Powell.
This explains why Lucas had a different horse in The Sharpshooter / Zane Grey Theatre. I asked David Fury his thoughts on this: I know he gave the horse away after the show ended. He didn't want to, but had no place to board the horse. It might simply have been owned by the studio. Chuck didn't have a ranch back then, so I doubt he actually owned the horse... other than in terms of the show, he was the owner and sole rider. Cowgirl!
Madera House was California House. Cowgirl!
North Fork Saloon was Last Chance Saloon owned by Big Jim Lewis. That means that Eddie and Sweeney came to North Fork after The Rifleman. They must have bought these from the estate of Big Jim Lewis. Cowgirl!
The Sharpshooter versus Home Ranch. Cowgirl!
In the original script Big Jim Lewis and his brother Tom ran North Fork. He even had lines. They never acknowledge a brother or anybody by the name of Tom. His lines were said by Big Jim. Cowgirl!
When the original script first came out ― Mark called Lucas Dad instead of Pa. Do you remember which episode it was that Mark really did call Lucas Dad by mistake.....they never cut it out? Cowgirl!
Our favorite rifle, the one that Lucas used in North Fork, is sort of an oddity for the show. Winchester didn't even make that rifle (the model 92) during that time period. It was not even introduced until 1892. Lucas kept law and order way before than. So one might say that not only Lucas was one heck of a shot but also had great foresight. And that doesn't even touch on his gunsmithing skills. He was quite a man! Can you put that under bloopers? Is this the greatest blooper of all? Thanks Pete S.!
Four Star Television, also called Four Star Films, Four Star Productions, and Four Star International, was an American television production company which operated from 1952 to 1989. It was formed by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Ida Lupino, and Charles Boyer. The company produced many well-known shows of the early days of television, including The Rifleman, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Zane Grey Theater, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor, Burke's Law, The Rogues, and The Big Valley. Cowgirl!
Throughout the series, in North Fork, it's obvious from the prints made by people's footsteps and the marks left by wagon wheels and hoof prints, that the dirt in the street has been laid down to cover the real surface (wood staging? tarmac?) Thanks Rob!
The Merar Ranch — The name Merar was Arthur Gardner's (producer) grandparents on his mother's side, they lived in Marinette, Wisconsin. Arthur would insert the names of his relatives into the scripts. His cousins would go to see Arthur's movies because they knew that their names would pop up. If you watch McQ, you will find that John Wayne makes a reference to Dr. Merar. (Arthur's grandfather was an optometrist, Dr. Merar.) This was taken from Arthur Gardner's book, The Badger Kid. Cowgirl!
Another interesting fact about the name 'Merar' is also on The Big Valley which is produced by Levy, Gardner & Laven. In this TV series they have a Doctor Merar & a Mrs. Merar, played by Arnold Laven's wife, Wallace Earl. Cowgirl!
"Madera" is the name of a city in the San Joaquin Valley & "North Fork" is the name of a town in the nearby Sierra Nevada foothills.
The late screenwriter/director Sam Peckinpah grew up in the Valley & used those names in many of the TV shows & movies he wrote. Also, Peckinpah's family ranch was called The Dunlap Ranch same as in Home Ranch. Cowgirl!
Pictures of what was Chuck Connors "real" ranch — Medicine Hat Oaks. Cowgirl!
How many of you know who Archie Butler is? Cowgirl!
Love this finger pointing! — Lucas was good at getting his "point" across! Cowgirl!
I had someone in the messageboard ask me if I knew how Johnny got the hole in his hat? I found an article from an old TV Guide that quotes Johnny as saying.....Crawford treasures his Rifleman memorabilia, including the first felt hat he wore on the series. "One of my dogs chewed a hole through the peak". Mark's Hat
Not sure how many of you have seen Mark (Johnny) wet his lips a lot? I have noticed this in a lot of the episodes. Here is another part from the article....."Sometimes my voice sounds scratchy, I blink or I have a tendency to wet my lips. I have to watch that". Cowgirl!
Yuma Prison — Yuma prison has been referenced a number of times on The Rifleman. The prison received it's first inmate in 1876 and released it's last inmate in 1909 when a larger facility was built in Florence, Arizona. It was a territorial prison so a person convicted in New Mexico would not have been sent there. Today Yuma prison is a state park and museum. Thanks Earl!
Of course Sweeney the bartender would notice something like this — When and why did Micah become a heavy drinker? Has anyone else noticed that there seem to be more inconsistencies about Micah's background than about the location of the McCain Ranch?
When we first meet Micah, Sheriff Fred Tomlinson (The Marshal episode #4) remarks that when he knew Micah about 10 years ago and he was one of the finest peace officers on the border. It seems to be implied that Micah lost his nerve and started drinking heavily when his arm was hurt in a gunfight. Later we learn that this happened 5 years ago in a gunfight with Dan Maury (The Deadly Wait episode # 26). Yet there are several references to Micah having a long term drinking problem. In Closer Than a Brother episode #98 — He remarks that for 16 years he has had been afraid of Ansel Bain, a man who was nothing without his eyeglasses.
In The Guilty Conscience episode #137 with his evil twin Charming Billy. Micah tells Lucas that for 22 years, he rarely drank less than a quart of whiskey a day (would be dead in a week from a quart of whiskey a day)
I don't know why this hit me now but does anyone out there have any theories about this? Has anyone else even noticed it? Thanks Sweeney!
Yes, there are some discrepancies with Micah's history. In one story he says he's been a lawman for 26 years, in another it's 30. He did say he drank a bottle of whiskey every day for years. I think it was Dan Maury's bullet that damaged his arm. I'm not sure but I don't think that he started drinking when he was shot, but that he lost his nerve and left being a lawman and drank more heavily. After hearing him tell of losing his wife and his farm 30 years ago, I assumed that's when he started drinking. I don't think the different writers ever keep track of what was said in each episode and tried to keep continuity. The other discrepancy I noticed – The Blood Brother episode #35, the Elizabeth Cook, Micah indicates that just like Lucas, he is a widower.
Then in Guilty Conscience episode #137—he makes a comment that implies he was never married.
I also noticed that in The Day The Town Slept episode #139—it is stated that Micah has been North Fork’s marshal for 5 years. This is not possible because:
• We know from The Wyoming Story episode episode #96/97 that Lucas and Mark came to North Fork in 1881 (which is roughly when the show’s first season takes place). Micah became marshal not long afterward, I would assume.
• The fourth season takes place circa 1884, which would have been at the most 3 years since Micah became marshal. I say 1884 because in Two Ounces of Tin episode #131 — Tip Corey’s grave is marked 1884.
Unfortunately continuity and consistency was a weakness throughout the series. Of course in the 1950s/60s we didn’t have VCRs or DVDs to help us pick up on the slip-ups.
As far as Micah’s drinking, I think I have to go with Lucas’ explanation to Mark from The Marshal that Micah was wounded, then he turned to alcohol to assuage his fear. I guess I consider The Marshal an official reference to everything else that happened because it was the episode that first introduced Micah. (Maybe some of the writers should have watched it when THEY were writing their episodes.) Thanks Duane!
Has anybody ever come up with a body count? How many folks did Lucas actually shoot in the series? My guess is 300-400. Thanks Renewed Fan for this question.....
As far as a body count goes I will quote a part from Chuck's book.....The Man Behind the Rifle.....
Chuck Connors: "And there was a lot of violence on The Rifleman. We once figured out that I killed on the average of two and a half people per show." There were 168 episodes X 2 1/2 = 420 people for the whole 5 seasons.
Be sure & check out Donna's Casualty list — Thanks Donna a.k.a. Picklemum!
At one time The Rifleman and The Untouchables were consider the two most violent shows on TV.
What is your opinion? We'd sure like to hear it! How many shots..... Pete's theory
The "reading the rights" business came up in the 1960's. Some petty hoodlum named Miranda appealed to the Supreme Court because he contended he made incriminating statements without a lawyer present. Years later, Miranda supported himself by selling cards with the "Miranda warning" and his autograph on them. He was stabbed to death in a bar room fracas. Legend has it the police forgot to read the Miranda rights to the murderer.
Thanks Renewed Fan!
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense."
I use to love this on Hardcastle & McCormick! Judge Hardcastle was something else. He was a stickler for the "Miranda warning." Love this show! It's my modern day western! "Hunt 'em.....Hear 'em and Hang 'em.....That's the code of the west! Cowgirl!
North Fork Saloon curtains ― This is a sample of the different types of curtains that was in the North Fork Saloon. Cowgirl!
Watching Rifleman now and something seems odd to me. While Lucas and Mark are not wealthy and Lucas has chastised Mark for tearing his shirt fighting in one episode ("shirts don't grow on trees") how on Earth is it that on such tight money, Mark has bedroom slippers to wear with his nightshirt? In The Prisoner, Lucas goes to town and he buys Mark several new shirts. He does buy them a few sizes too big, so he gets more wear for his money out of them. Millie comments on this. Seems like a silly thing for a kid in the old West to have in his wardrobe, especially when basic clothing is such an expense. Thanks rooster davis!
roosters follow-up — I read somewhere that back in those days shirts were expensive and most guys didn't have a lot of them. When guys would get into a fight they usually took off their shirts first rather than get them torn or ruined, because they were costly, hence the old saying "Keep your shirt on" meant keep your cool, don't get into a fight". So with the cost of replacing shirts (as Lucas mentioned) it just seemed to me like a kid or even adult in the 1870's would've just gone barefoot in the house. With outdoor plumbing they'd have had to put on regular shoes anyhow to go out to use the 'facilities' and they sure weren't spoiled against some inconvenience and discomfort. The slippers just seem like an unnecessary expense for someone in Lucas' situation.
The relative expense of buying shirts would explain Lucas' displeasure over Mark's fighting and tearing his up, as well as Lucas' reluctance to buy a new one for the church supper. Thanks rooster davis!
I wonder if the guy loading the wagon, bottom right on "stock" town scenes ever finished loading it....Thanks Jim!
Date Discrepancy—Okay, I know we've talked about this issue before but I really noticed a big date blooper.
In the first season, Mark is 10 and in The Vision episode #66 - season 2 — we learn that Mark was 6 when his mother died.
In The Wyoming Story episode #96 & 97 - season 3 — the sign on the McCain Ranch says it was rebuilt by Lucas and Mark in 1881 - so we think Mark is 10 in 1881 when they moved to North Fork.
Well, in Tension episode #45 - season 2 — Lucas said he buried his wife in June of 1871 and that proves he couldn't have been robbing a bank hundreds of miles away. That would have meant that Margaret died when Mark was born.
Let's not even bring in Mark's telling Micah he was 3 when his mother died in Waste episode #143 & 144 - season 5 — Did anyone else pick this up?
Well I also noticed that Mark aged funny throughout the series. When he starts the show he's 10.
Near the end of season one, in The Raid episode #37 - season 1 — Mark is still 10.
Only a few episodes later, in A Case of Identity episode #57 - season 2 — Mark say's he's 12.
Then, over a year later, in The Actress episode #94 - season 3 — when asked how old his son his, Lucas says he's 12. What happened to 11? And why was he 12 for so long?
I also wanted to let you know that you finally ended a mystery for us re: someone we noticed years ago on The Big Valley (my real passion) who appeared continuously in nonspeaking, character type roles. He is one of the main reasons, other than the producers, who made us realize that these two shows were intertwined, but we just couldn't find any information on him. The Virtual Valley site, which I've been on for years, hasn't picked up on him yet, at least I've never found any info. We were so glad to find him on your site and wanted to write to you sooner about
Archie Butler. We enjoy looking for him and really get a bang how they often have him in two shots in the same scene. For instance, in The Brother-in-law when Uncle Johnny is riding the bronc, Archie is the wrangler holding the horse before he blasts off. Cut to the cowboys sitting on the fence, and there is Archie clapping. Thanks Charlene F.!
It is so neat to see that you noticed Archie. Archie was on all those shows back then, you just need to look in the background. Sadly he went unaccredited for the most part. Arnold Laven speaks very highly of him.
Razor, Chuck's horse was given by Chuck to the president of the Houston Livestock Show, Neill Masterson, to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going into a scholarship fund. Cowgirl! - from Chuck's book by David Fury.
It is not really a blooper, but ... I have noticed that the first aid is nearly always the same: " Bring some water! " Okay, if they are in the desert ... But I do not believe that they are very thirsty with a bullet wound in the body or other injuries. Thanks Kira!
There are three episode were either a cinch was cut or broken..... can you name those three episodes. Cowgirl!
North Fork's Gunsmith Store sure changes a lot in North Fork. Cowgirl!
In real, life, Enid wasn't even founded until the late 1890's by the railroad, the area was barely settled and had been Indian Territory. But the settlers and cattle drives were using that land before it became Enid. Enid was named after a mythical character in a book by a railroad worker. Anyhow, this isn't to say Lucas couldn't have come from there, It just wouldn't have been called Enid at the time. Enid, Oklahoma
Thanks Frank aka Weinerdawgy!
Lucas' "trick" rifle ...as guest star: Richard Anderson once called it... is equipped with a screw/bolt mounted thru the lever that automatically 'trips the trigger' and fires the rifle each time it is cocked. We see that in every show open when Luke rapid fires more rounds than the gun would hold. And in several Close-Ups of the lever itself (ie. #90 Miss Bertie).
Given this fact about the rifle... in episode #49 Spiked Rifle Lucas has the rifle point right into the chest of Richard Devon (I just love to hate that guy, he was so good at being bad) as his character is telling Luke he has Mark kidnapped back at the McCain ranch. Luke promptly cocks the rifle in a threatening "don't screw with me Mr." gesture!
And the rifle does NOT fire! Normally, this would have killed the guy!
Also, in episode #91 Six Years & A Day.... the bad guy grabs Luke's rifle and rapidly cocks the rifle repeatedly (3 times I think) to empty the bullets from the rifle and it does NOT fire a shot. Again, normally this would have fired a trio of shots though his ceiling.
So apparently it is only a "trick" rifle when the directors want it to be. Thanks KC!
Pertaining to the above comment.....Is the writer above unaware that the bolt could be slightly unscrewed just so that it would not hit the trigger when cocked so that the rifle didn't fire? The adjustable screw gave one the option of it firing or not when using the lever. Thanks Greg Merrill!
Sometimes they have a hitching post along the front porch and sometimes they didn't. Thanks Rhiannon!
Zippers!!!!! One of the largest Bloopers in Bonanza were the zippers - because they were invented later. Is that the same with our Rifleman?
The McCain Ranch bedrooms — We are aware that in The Rifleman they used different sets/ranches. Another good example is "What happened with their bedroom?" Thanks Kira, markisddg, Rhiannon and Deanne Bertram!!
Did Hattie or Milly live in back of The General Store? Milly did have her own place in Millie's Brother. But in some of the episodes it makes you wonder if she didn't live in the back of the store.
I always thought Milly & Hattie live in back of the store. In Millie's Brother, Harry Chase takes her back to the store. He has already been to her house, so he does know where she lives. Why not her place? She probably had things to do at the store.
What about Hattie's cat, Penelope? Although we never saw Penelope, I can't imagine Hattie would keep a cat in the back of the store. But she could have! You'd think as many times as Hattie or Micah went in the back room, the cat would have gotten out.
I just happened to think..... In Sheer Terror Milly was going to bake a apple pie, but never had the chance to. I assume she was going to bake it there at the store. Also in Sheer Terror you see Lucas walk Milly back to the store. Lucas walks Milly back to the store. You can see her unlocking the door to the store. It dark so we assume she is settling in for the night.
In The Wyoming Story Milly calls the guys for supper. “Supper’s on the table. You boys coming?” "Yes ma'am! Last ones a rotten egg!" Yelled Mark. Looks like Micah's the rotten egg! She was in front of the store when she called to them. So we assume they are eating there.
Lucas sold The General Store for Milly what happen to her house/farm/ranch? Cowgirl!
Sidney Blackmer played Judge Hanavan in The Sharpshooter — The Safe Guard ― The Photographer. Judge Hanavan's last appearance was in The Photographer episode #18 which was in the first season.
What three episodes was Judge Hanavan mentioned in, but did not appear in? Judge Hanavan was not in (#51) The Legacy ― (#56) Mail Order Groom ― (#143) Waste he did have an honorable mention!
The Legacy — Seth confronts Phillip in the saloon. Seth draws his gun an tells Phillip: “Now, you’re coming with me to Judge Hanavan, and you’re gonna dismiss them charges.”
Mail Order Groom — Judge Hanavan sold Isabel Dent an option on 40 acres of land that the Profit Brothers wanted.
Waste — Lucas talking to Mark: “Alright now, listen. Just follow the North Star. By daylight you’ll see the mountains, just north of home. You’ll cross the trail to North Fork not far from the house. Don't go to the ranch...go right into town, and find Judge Hanavan, tell him what happened.” Cowgirl!
Pete Villafea's page on Rope Portier (door drapery) in westerns. Thanks Pete!
The Town of North Fork — What does these five episodes have in common?
The Actress episode #94
The Mescalero Curse episode #106
Skull episode #124
The Man From Salinas episode #130
Outlaw's Shoes episode #141
Thanks to everyone involved! maxman, Gloria Fortner, markisddg & cowgirl too!
The Blacksmiths — Here we have several pictures of the Blacksmith's / Feed and Grain.
Horsehead Hitch Ornament — In The Marshal you can see a Horsehead Hitch Ornament - In The Deadly Wait and several other episodes there is no Horsehead Hitch Ornament. Cowgirl!
The McCain Ranch ― Here is a collection of several picture of the ranch and different angles.
"Just how far is it to the McCain Ranch?" It it all depends who you ask.....
Has anyone else noticed that the bars of the North Fork Jails are spaced wide enough apart to permit almost any detainee to walk free if he steps sideways? I imagine this was deliberate to permit viewers to see the actors' faces more easily. In some of the pictures, the bars looked fairly close. In the picture of Meeting at Midnight, they look somewhat escapable. In the episode I saw, I marveled how wide apart the bars appeared, perhaps 10 to 12 inches. Could be different jails were used in different seasons. It's hard to tell from still pictures. I imagine myself lying on my side and slipping through at floor level. Thanks wantafanta!
Matching belt buckles — After fixing Will’s leg, Lucas and Mark go outside. You can see they have matching belt buckles! So cute! They also wore matching buckles in a few other episodes.....The Marshal ― The Pet ― The Sheridan Story ― The Retired Gun ― Shivaree ― The Dead Eyed Kid ― The Indian and The Boarding House, you can see the matching buckles. Thanks Ann Marie!
In which three episodes do we see two of the 'Cartwright boys?'
There were four actors who appeared on The Rifleman that were regulars on Bonanza — do you know who they are?
What two Rifleman Alumni went on to win supporting actor Oscars?
Yes Martin Landau won in 1994 (year movie came out) for Ed Wood playing Bela Lugosi and James Coburn won in 1998( year movie came out) for Affliction. Both were great in Rifleman especially Landau as Miguel. There were many actors who could have won since there was so much talent in that show.
Hopper got nominated for Hoosiers and he was terrific in it, but IMO was even better in Blue Velvet for which he was not nominated. I watched Easy Rider once and barely made it through it. You are right, some of the talent that shows up in this show is astounding.
Rodd Redwing was associated with Stembridge Gun Rentals, the largest and best known firearms rental company in Hollywood. It was Rodd that designed the large loop rapid fire modification to the 1892 Winchester carbine used by Chuck Connors on TV’s The Rifleman and Chuck's tutor. Redwing taught a lot of stars, and he ranked Chuck up there as one of the best rifle-handlers he had seen. Of course we all knew that, didn't we? ; )
Rodd is famous for throwing a knife and hitting a bullet hole dead center with the same move drawing and firing a single action. The knife supposedly always stuck in the bullet hole. Rodd is quoted as saying that his gun was cocked in the holster before he threw the knife. He was famous for this. Was Rodd the gun coach for the Sammy Davis in the episode Two Ounces of Tin on The Rifleman? Sammy was a very good fancy gun handler, and may have been fast, but did he do this stunt or did Rodd Redwing? I know Sammy was known for his fancy gun work, but I'm not so sure about this kind of stunt.
I wrote to Don Murray back on May 2014. I had asked him about this article that was on the internet and about The Rifleman and his experience with Rodd Redwing was true..... I did hear back from him, here is what he had to say.....
Howdy Cowgirl, All this is true except there was no gimmick on my rifle. It was a regular Remington. Don Murray
p.s. I used no sights in another rifle in a shooting contest in Denmark. The judge said 'You missed the target entirely' then he inspected the target closely. All six shots were in the black bulls eye, which he couldn't see in a distance.
Don Murray ― Cinecon 46-The 46th edition of the Classic Film Festival
For From Hell To Texas Native American actor Rodd Redwing, the "world’s greatest quick-draw artist with six-guns," coached Murray in his rifle tricks. Redwing trained Murray to shoot without using the gunsight and in rapid-fire shooting, to use the rifle lever to fling the gun into shooting position. The style they practiced, using the rifle "as a pistol", inspired the TV series The Rifleman. Actor-producer Dick Powell, then the head of Four Star Television, watched them rehearsing tricks on the set and offered Murray the starring role in the show Powell envisioned. Murray, contracted to Fox, had to turn it down, giving Chuck Connors his big break. (The gimmick rifle used in The Rifleman, used a screw-lever combination to replicate some of the tricks Redwing could do on the natch.)
You can also see Don Murray's interview on YouTube and From Hell To Texas in full length.
What does The Sharpshooter ― A Friend in Need ― Panic ― Skull & The Vision all have in common? In all of these episodes we hear Lucas referred to as "Dad" or "Daddy".
#1. The Sharpshooter ― Dennis Hopper/Vernon refers to Lucas as "your Dad". This scene is when Mark and Vernon are in the lobby of the hotel, right after the Turkey Shoot. In the original script you can see where they changed Dad to Pa.
#47. Panic - Mark told Lucas he would see him tomorrow.
#66. The Vision - Hazel: “I wish I could say the same thing for his Daddy."
#123. A Friend in Need - Carl Avery: “Hello, kid,” the man greeted him. You wouldn’t want to see anything happen to your dad…would you now?”
#124. Skull - The Lordsburg Sheriff: "Now you see son...why we have to stay here and wait. We can't go looking for your daddy ―"refers to Lucas as “your daddy". This is right before Lucas, Coyle & his men ride into town.
Holt Coyle invites you to The Skull Ranch
How many times did Mark say 'Pa' while filming episode #124 - Skull?
Mark's Rifle - episode #150 — The kiss that never happened or did it?
What do The Rifleman and Wanted Dead or Alive have in common?
Riding Bareback ― In two different episode we can see Lucas & Mark riding bareback. InEnd of A Young Gun Lucas tells Will he is going down to check the fence on the north pasture. He then mounts Razor bareback and then rides off. In the beginning of The Wyoming Story we see Mark riding into North Fork on Blueboy bareback looking for town’s vet, Doc. Todd. We also see Mark riding bareback in The Raid and Waste. Cowgirl!
Smokehouse / Outhouse ― inThe Baby Sitter episode #52 this building is a Smokehouse with a peep hole on the door, but in Squeeze Play #152 what is this building? Notice there is a moon on the door. Cowgirl!
Horse Auction Poster ― InThe Blood Brothers and The Coward, plus several other episodes we see an Auction Poster usually outside of the Marshal's office, but not always. We all know that poster in The Big Valley. The Rifleman and The Big Valley was produced by LGL Productions. Here is a sample of this poster in The Rifleman and The Big Valley.
I also found another poster, which is a wanted poster that was first shown in The Rifleman and later in The Big Valley.....Ed Nelson played Ben Vargas in First Wages. His wanted poster that was delivered to Micah's office also showed up on The Big Valley — Into the Widow's Web - In the sheriff's office they had Liberty show off her shooting skills, they had her aim at the bulletin board full of posters, the same poster of Ben Vargas was on this bulletin board. Did Ben Vargas escape? What is the amount Vargas is wanted for? Cowgirl!
Just got through watchingMark's Rifle, I think it said that Mark bought a model 73 Winchester. The only model 73 Winchester rifle was the 1873 center fire rifle lever action very similar to Lucas' model 1892. Winchester never made a 73 model as not to confuse people with the 1873 model. The rifle Mark bought was a rim fire 22 caliber pump action. My research indicates the first pump action.22 made by Winchester was in 1890. Not sure that would fit the timeline, especially since it was a used rifle when Mark bought it Thanks Boneyard!
A bit of History.....
An old show referred to someone who was at In 1881 it was a mining town. I think North Fork would have been between "E" town and Cimarron. The show has some good, accurate history to it. The book "The Last Cowboy" has law history very much like the Rifleman. Cimarron and James Hotel stories. Gunman were plentiful. Thanks Ed Thomson!
Another show were Lucas needed ice to keep swelling down on someone's broken leg: He rode up to higher ground to get snow/ice. N and W of Cimarron there are snow covered peaks. Big ranches in that area - in 1870+ owned by absent foreign investors who hired gun fighters to protect the land from squatters and to try force small ranchers to sell their land. Interesting that a lot of the shows have that theme. My friend "Leroy Webb" (80+ yrs) (Google him) was/is a cowboy who worked his life on those ranched. His family were lawmen in the days of Pat Garratt. It was much like the rifleman - killing every day. The James Hotel in Cimarron still has bullet holes in the bar room ceiling. I think the rifleman writers did their homework.
Continued location location of North Fork: Watched a show- man was riding out of town and asked how far to the nearest town. He was told Willow Springs is about an hours ride. Willow Springs in 1878 changed its name to Raton, NM. (Google). I think Cimarron is generally the location of N Fork. It also is near Elizabeth Town (mining town). Area is much the same type ranch country at east slope of mountains. I know it quiet well. Ed Thomson
Also near Cimarron is the Vermejo Ranch owned by Ted Turner. from 1926 to 1947 the Vermejo Club was an exclusively ranching and hunting retreat for movie stars and notables like Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Cecil D DeMills, Herbert Hoover... They learned the areas history we enjoy on The Rifleman. The St James hotel, still running, tells of 20+ killings there. A newspaper wrote that Cimarron must be quiet as no killings reported in 3 days. Sound familiar? Thanks Ed Thomson for this info!
Lima News (lima, Ohio) February 2, 1961 ― The Channel Swim: "The Rifleman", starring Chuck Connors, will remain part of ABC-TV's Western Spread next season. The CBS-TV campaign to bring the series to its own schedule has failed.
I was super excited, because I thought the writers actually got something right... but unfortunately, the timing was flawed.
At the beginning of season 4, Lucas says Mark is 13. So if Mark was 10 when they settled in North Fork, 3 years have passed since they settled in 1881, making it 1884.
In episode 10 of season 4, Mark gets super excited because Mark Twain arrives in North Fork. Our Mark starts asking about Huckleberry Finn. Our problem is that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn wasn’t released in the U.S. until February of 1885. Well then I thought, maybe in those eight episodes, they made it to the new year.
...But in episode 21 of season 4, Tip Corey is buried and his cross says, “Died 1884.”
...Maybe Mark got a U.K. version? He says it takes a long time for the chapters to come from Boston, so maybe he’s talking Boston, England?
Nope... the book wasn’t released in the U.K. until December 1884. Considering how slow the mail was back then, they couldn’t have even gotten the first chapter from Boston, MA by the end of the month, so that doesn’t work, either. (Because unless they could time travel, Tip Corey still had to die in 1884 eleven episodes later.)
Alas... the writers were so close, yet so far... Thanks Morgan!
Edited version of the 1997 book, with lots of new photos, and also a complete Rifleman episode/plot synopsis guide.
Now available on Kindle..... Chuck Connors.....The Man Behind the Rifle by David Fury
Episodes 1 thru 40 — Season 1
Episodes 41 thru 76 — Season 2
Episodes 77 thru 110 — Season 3
Episodes 111 thru 142 — Season 4
Episodes 143 thru 168 — Season 5
Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?
One Timers Only
This is a list of character actors who have appeared on The Rifleman — one time only.
Whether they have appeared one time only or 168 times, they are just as important.
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