1966 - 1967
#35 - "The Land Slickers"
The four Rangers stake out a bank to stop a robbery planned by the Emerson gang. Only Wayne Emerson, who's captured, and his younger brother Ed, who gets away, are left alive. When Reese gets his share of the reward, he buys a plot of land to build a cattle ranch and announces he's not going to re-enlist in the Rangers. Reese is thrilled with his purchase until he finds out it's under water, alkaline water. He's been slickered.
Erik goes after the land slickers posing as European royalty looking for Texas land. In order to stop Reese from spoiling his plan by rushing in to break some bones, they handcuff both Reese and Emerson
to the bed in the bridal suite, the only room left in the hotel. Wayne's brother Ed pays two "hostesses" $10 each to entertain Chad and Joe while he climbs a trellis to the room where Wayne is prisoner. When Ed climbs in the window to rescue him, Reese is drinking the champagne left for the displaced bridal couple. He just happens to toss the bottle out the window, knocking Ed to the ground.
In the meantime, Erik tells the slickers he wants ten plots including No. 16, the plot Reese bought. While they're considering the deal, the Rangers put Wayne in the jail and for good measure throw Reese in with him until he's ready to sign his enlistment papers. Then when he does sign them, Chad tells the sheriff it's a confession and puts it in his pocket. Ed gathers up some men and breaks Wayne out of jail. They take Reese hostage for good measure. Chad and Joe rush to his rescue. After they take out the entire gang, Chad is left hanging over a cliff. Reese refuses to help until he gets his enlistment papers back.  He leaves Chad dangling for Joe to help.
When the slickers decide to sell Erik the property they'd already sold Reese, he has them red-handed for fraud. After knocking out Conrad, Sally pulls a gun on him. Erik takes care of her the way he takes care of all beautiful female villains. When the Rangers get back to Laredo, the Captain plans an assignment for Chad, Joe and Erik. Reese insists they'll be killed without him so he ends up reenlisting for "just one more year."
NiteOwl Review: This was a good episode with some good physical action. We enjoyed the irony of a plot which had the other Rangers scheming to make Reese reenlist. This irony cannot have been lost on the cast and crew. Neville Brand's alcohol consumption caused chronic problems on the set and very expensive cost overruns. Robert Wolders had been brought in to lighten the load on Brand and there had been talk previously of Claude Akins or others replacing him. It's unlikely any of the cast would have begged him to stay despite the fact that they all would readily admit that when he was good he was very very good. Brand and all the others were in fine form in this episode.
Our Favorite Scene: The opening action sequence had some pretty good stunts, but our favorite scene was a little sequence in which Chad and Joe race to rescue Reese. The camera has a long shot as both run to their horses. Peter Brown vaults onto his horse from behind. Bill Smith makes a graceful scissors vault leap onto his horse. Of course, both these actors were excellent athletes and horsemen and the vaults were not exceptionally difficult. What must have been difficult was to get the shot with both of them doing the stunt perfectly and simultaneously. We wonder how many takes it took. And how thick the testosterone was in the air. Bill and Peter looked like two racers lined up at the gate as the lines were delivered leading up to the take off. Peter admitted that he and Bill engaged in friendly competition over such things. Bill tried to deny that they competed, but in watching this sequence couldn't help but point out that Peter hit his horse's rump before landing in the saddle.
Cast Note: We also enjoyed the comedy appearance of Alan DeWitt as the nervous hotel clerk who lets the Rangers rent the bridal suite and then has to stall the bridal couple when they show up. DeWitt did a similar comic turn as an undertaker taking part in a biker funeral in the William Smith biker film, Angel's Die Hard.
Chad and Joe try to stop Reese
from leaving the Rangers

Erik disguised as a
bankteller specializing in
financial advice to ladies

Joe watching the bank
from an outdoor barber chair

Chad watching the bank
charming the ladies
Reese assures the banker
they won't muss
bank too much
When the shoot out begins
William Smith makes an
athletic jump from the barber chair to take cover behind the water trough
Peter Brown has one of
the most graceful slide, roll
and shoot moves in Westerns
With his gang dead,
Wayne Emerson gives up

The Rangers get their reward
(They could accept rewards in those days)
Reese is happy to trade in
rangering for ranching
Erik slickers the slickers
Reese fumes at being
tricked into jail

Chad needs a hand up
And finally gets it from Joe
Original air date Oct 14, 1966
Directed by Sherman Marks
Written by William Hellinger
    & Clint Young

Regular Cast
Neville Brand as Reese Bennett
Peter Brown as Chad Cooper
William Smith as Joe Riley
Robert Wolders as Erik Hunter
Phil Carey as Capt. Parmalee

Guest Cast
ene Raymond as Conrad Fletcher
eo Gordon as Wayne Emerson
nna Capri as Sally Fletcher
on Russell as Ed Emerson
lan DeWitt as F.J. Wiggins
yron Foulger as Leslie Weems
uss Grieve as Sheriff
onnie Hunter as hostess
immy Joyce as bellhop
obert Goodwin as man
Official Peter Brown Fan Site