Rifleman: Volume 8:
trebe | 12/09/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Chuck Connors is Lucas McCain, nicknamed "The Rifleman", for his lighting quick shooting skills with a Winchester. A widower, he lives on a small ranch outside of the town of North Fork, New Mexico, with his son Mark (Johnny Crawford). His good friend is town Marshal, Micah Torrance (Paul Fix). This is the eighth collection of their adventures. Here are summaries and/or comments for the episodes in this set. Episode ratings are on a scale from one to five (best).The Schoolmaster: (2)Mr. Griswald (Arnold Moss) North Fork's new schoolmaster, is strict, demanding and generally uptight. Mark soon finds himself in the teacher's doghouse. Running away from school after being wrongfully punished, Mark and a friend get into trouble while playing in an abandoned mine. Three-Legged Terror (2):
A story about the schoolmaster, is followed by another adventure involving the town's schoolteacher. However instead of Mr. Griswald, the teacher is now Miss Adams (so much for continuity). Lucas finds her unconscious on the floor of the schoolhouse. A gifted, but troubled youth (Dennis Hopper) is suspected of the attack. When the young man gets out of control, Lucas steps in, offering to help. The boy's spiteful, deranged uncle takes offense at McCain's interference, and seeks to administer his own kind of punishment.The Wyoming Story (Parts 1 & 2) (4):
Hard times hit North Fork, as an epidemic of hoof and mouth disease strikes the ranches in the area. Soon Lucas is a rancher without a herd, and leaves town headed for La Mesa, Wyoming, on an undercover mission. Once there, with the help of the town marshal, Lucas attempts to get evidence on a gun dealer who is stealing from the Government. Meanwhile back home, Mark worries that he will never see his "Pa" again. Dabbs Greer guests, as a rather authentic town drunk, who gets in a bit over his head. McCain also plays the ladies man, with unfortunate results for the lady. The Young Englishman (4):
At a neighboring ranch, the hired hands are stealing the ranch's cattle, with the cooperation of the ranch owner's brother, an Englishman. But they make a mistake, when they take one of McCain's calves. When Lucas shows up to get his animal back, it sets up the kind of deadly confrontation that the Rifleman is famous for. A dapper James Coburn, guests as one of the rustlers.Volume 8 starts out weak, but finishes off very strongly. The plot of the two-part story, while flawed, is a departure from the standard Rifleman tale. This disc is recommended mainly to fans of the program, as well as fans of vintage TV westerns. This DVD is also part of the four DVD Rifleman Boxed Collection 2, which contains Volumes 5 through 8. If you found this review useful, please see my other reviews of this series."