The Rifleman: The Sharpshooter (1958)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Traditional Western  |   Run Time - 25 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Created and written by Sam Peckinpah, the premiere episode of The Rifleman stars Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford as Lucas and Mark McCain, father and 10-year-old son in search of settling down near North Fork, New Mexico. But when Lucas, a noted crack shot with a rifle, enters the local turkey shoot, he gets in the way of Jim Lewis (Leif Erickson), the local town czar, who has rigged the contest in favor of young Vernon Tippert (Dennis Hopper). All set to win the grand prize, Lucas is "persuaded" to throw the contest by Lewis, who uses little Mark as a bargaining tool. Sidney Blackmer and R.G. Armstrong also star in this fine television western, which premiered on ABC September 30, 1958.