Original air date Dec 13, 1957
Directed by Walter Grauman
Teleplay by Daniel Ullman,
Joel Rapp & William Driskill
Wayde Preston as Capt. Chris Colt
Peter Brown as Jimmy Benedict
Charles Bronson as Danny Gordon
Lurene Tuttle as Frances Benedict
Jaclynne Greene as Julie
James Anderson as Jeff Lanler
Hugh Sanders as Sheriff Powers
Murvyn Vge as Sheriff Willoughby
Roy Barcroft as customer
Nesdon Booth as bartender
In Peter's first Colt .45 episode, "The Peacemaker," he had a simple role as a town errand boy. In "Young Gun," Peter's second Colt .45 episode, his part as the title character is a much meatier role. As it was standard practice to have actors in their 20s play high school teens, it's not surprising that in this episode 22-year-old Peter was playing 16-year-old Jimmy, who tries to pass for 19.
That evening Chris Colt is visited by Jimmy Benedict who insists he's 19, then claims he wants to buy a gun as a birthday present for his father. The next morning, Colt gets a visit from Jimmy's mother, distraught because Jimmy is going to use the gun to avenge his father. Colt naturally feels responsible and takes off after him.
Our story begins when Danny Gordon (Charles Bronson) and Jeff Lanler rob the Maxwell bank. Banker Frank Benedict runs out to raise the alarm. Gordon shoots him down.
When Jimmy arrives in Saddle Hill, a town in which Danny Gordon is safe because everyone, including the sheriff is afraid of him, Julie, the saloon girl comments to the bartender that if he had his gun tied any lower, he'd trip over it. Jimmy orders whiskey he's clearly not used to. Then he announces he's looking for Danny Gordon, an announcement that brings silence to the room. When Jimmy tells Jeff Lanler that he's looking for Gordon because Gordon killed his father, Lanler decides to take care of Jimmy. However, Jimmy shows that the gun he bought from Colt was not the first gun he'd ever handled by shooting Lanler's gun out of his hand. (Shooting the gun out of a bad guy's hand was a common practice in tv westerns and even detective shows. That practice has caused no end of problems for real police officers because the public doesn't understand how difficult and dangerous it is to attempt this when faced with a man intent on shooting them.)
When Colt comes looking for Jimmy, Julie urges Colt to get him out of town before he's killed. Colt goes to Jimmy's hotel room and tries unsuccessfully to dissuade him from his goal. The next morning, Julie, who we now learn is Danny's girl, goes out to his place to urge him not to kill Jimmy. However, his partner tells him he can't let Jimmy hang around town calling him a coward or the town could get up the courage to turn on them. Julie returns to town to urge Jimmy to leave. Jimmy's mother also shows up to try to take him home. The scene between Jimmy and his mother is very sweet. Peter plays Jimmy with dignity, firmness of purpose and an affectionate concern for his mother.
Chick Note: The females in our video group commented that if the 16-yr-old boys in high school had looked like Peter did in this show, they wouldn't have spent their time in high school scheming after college men.
Colt gets a telegram in which he is given the legal authority to arrest Danny Gordon for mail robbery (a federal offense). Colt goes to Jimmy in his hotel room to let him know he'll be bringing Gordon to justice. Jimmy drops the telegram and knocks Colt over the head when he bends to pick it up. Before Colt arrives in the room, we see Jimmy in the mirror practicing his draw which also gives us a chance to admire Peter's gunhandling skills.
Jimmy faces Gordon in the street despite his mother's attempts to stop him. Instead of killing him, Gordon just shoots the gun out of his hand. As Jimmy tries to reach the gun, Colt pushes it out of his reach with his boot and tells Gordon he's under arrest.
Colt and Gordon have the inevitable shoot-out with the inevitable consequences. As Colt sends Jimmy home with his mother, he slips the revolver back in Jimmy's holster. He tells Jimmy's mother that she came to find a boy and is taking home a man.
NiteOwl Review: We can't decide whether Bronson's character in this show was inconsistent or complex. He shoots Jimmy's unarmed father for no good reason but only shoots the gun out of Jimmy's hand. Maybe he was heeding Julie's plea not to kill a boy. He holds a whole town in fear, but a nice girl like Julie apparently has regard for him. But not to quibble. We liked this episode, particularly the youthful dignity Peter brought to his part. This is a must have for Peter Brown collectors and a nice to have for Bronson or Colt .45 collectors.
Cast Notes: In a 1998 appearance at the Charlotte Western Film Festival, Peter Brown recalled his experience working with Charles Bronson in this episode of Colt .45. He said for the first two days of shooting, Bronson didn't say a word to him, not even good morning. Peter was bothered by this. After all, even if Bronson was a great actor and Peter was just starting out, they both had parts on the same show. Actually Peter was billed above Bronson in the credits.
On the third day, they filmed a fight scene. After Bronson threw a punch which sent Peter over a hitching rail, Bronson came over, picked Peter up out of the dirt, patted him on the back and said, "Good job there son." Those were the first words Bronson spoke to him. Unfortunately, this fight scene didn't make the final cut. The purpose was apparently to show a non-lethal confrontation between the two characters.
Peter with William
Smith (left) in 1998
Official Peter Brown Fan Site