Original Airdate: (March 1, 1958)
“The greatest calamities in history were made by words set in anger. If you can’t back it up, don’t speak in anger”
Paladin is hired to stop a dam from being built, but ends up siding with the dam engineer instead.
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen, Writers: Malvin Wald, Jack Jacobs
VICTOR MCLAGLEN as Mike O’Hare
HERBERT RUDLEY as Henry Ritchie
CHRISTINE WHITE as Myra Ritchie
JOHN DOUCETTE as Joe Marsh
KEN MAYER as Eli Gardner
RICK VALLIN as Cal
ALEX SHARP as First Guard
PAUL HAHN as Carson
Your gunmen are here.
Good, bring ’em in.
You still have a minute to change all this. One minute.
My mind’s made up.
What right do you have to make up your mind about life and death?
The years I’ve spent in this town, and the sweat.
So you hire a filthy gunman to save the fruits of your life.
I don’t care what he is, so long as he does the job. If this gunman won’t help, there are others on the way. They’re not hard to find.
I never thought I’d say I’m ashamed of my own father.
Well, hello. Nicest scenery since I got here. I want to talk to Richie.
He’s in there.
PALADIN RIDES UP
Oh, thank you.
It’s entirely my pleasure. A pretty girl completes a beautiful morning.
You sound as though you’ve said that before.
I have, and I’m just as sure you’ve heard it before.
May I help you?
I believe Mr. Ritchie’s expecting me. My name’s Paladin.
Oh. Same breed, different feathers.
There’s another man with a gun to see you.
Oh? It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t talk to him, Marsh. He’s come a long way.
That’s alright, Mr. Ritchie, I understand. Me and my boys would like to do the job. The man needs calming down, we’ll calm him.
That’s exactly the situation I don’t want. You’ll step outside a minute, I’ll get rid of him.
I’ll see you later.
That’s enough of that, Marsh.
Marsh walks slowly and carefully past Paladin as he exits.
Your turn, Mr. Paladin.
Thank you. Mr. Ritchie.
My name’s paladin.
Was that Joe Marsh who just left here?
That’s who it was, you know him?
Not very well, but as well as I’d care to. Is your town doing business with him?
We’ll do business with the devil if he’s the man we need.
You were just interviewing one of his assistants.
Maybe I should be pleased about that. You read what’s been going on here?
A fight over the water in this area.
Central city wants the water for themselves. They don’t care what happens to our town. Hear that? Dynamiting to build a dam. And look there. Every spring, the snows melt in those mountains, Fill the lake, run over into the streams, And irrigate our lands. We live by that water. Without it, we’re done.
The newspaper interview quoted you quite fully.
Building a dam across our lake, aqueducts to their cities, Stealing our water.
Let’s say with their political power and influence they’re usurping your water, Sounds like you have reason to be angry.
You know about the situation?
It’s an unfortunately common condition in the west.
Tell the truth, I’d just about decided on Joe Marsh.
Oh, you want some killing done?
No, no, absolutely not. All I want is to stop the construction of that dam. I want to make it so hot for Mike O’Hare, He’ll take his men back to Central City.
Who’s Mike O’hare?
An engineer, very tough man.
Well, if he’s that tough you won’t beat him by scaring off some construction hands.
Maybe not. But we’ll make the cost of the project so high, the city’ll give it up.
If you hire Joe Marsh, it’ll be by the gun. He doesn’t think another way.
Mr. Ritchie, I never use this gun unless I have to. That’s why you’ll find my fee somewhat high.
How would you do it?
Shall we say $1,000?
How would you do it?
Well, I haven’t the faintest idea…Yet.
You understand, if it doesn’t work out the way you say, I’ll expect you to use your gun.
In two weeks, Central City should be looking for a new source of water.
I don’t know.
Worried about Joe Marsh? Suppose you let me do the explaining?
Yeah. Yeah, why don’t you settle it between you?
Mr. Ritchie, uh…When are me and my boys gonna work for you, huh?
Marsh, you’re gonna be terribly angry with me.
Yes, really. It seems I convinced Mr. Ritchie that I’m the man for the job.
You better change your mind, Mister, and fast. Think you can make us ride out here and say, “nothin’ doin’,” like that?
He’s right, Mr. Ritchie. You should pay these men for their trouble. $50 is a fair amount.
For the lot.
There you are.
You don’t mind if we hang around awhile, Just in case the job turns up again? Boys, let’s get a drink.
Well, he’s not afraid to ride alone. He’s carrying a gun, though.
I told him if he or his men set foot in this town, there could be some shooting.
What a bloodthirsty idea. Here, hold this. Never make a threat you don’t mean to carry out, Ritchie. Embarrassment could be the least result.
It was just said in anger.
The greatest calamities in history were the result of words just said in anger.
I’m here for the mail, Miss Mae Ritchie.
I’ll get it for you.
Ritchie, my men want to come to town. They want to buy things.
I’ll sell ’em nothing.
If it wasn’t for the post office,
I wouldn’t let you in the store.
Our needs are
stronger than yours.
If you weren’t such a
stubborn fool, you’d know it.
From now on, things
are gonna be different.
make a dent on you,
Maybe something else will.
Oh, I see.
I warned you.
I don’t care for that term.
Well, what do you know? A sensitive gunfighter. Well, take advice, if you will. If you want your thin skin unbroken, Keep away from my construction areas.
Now, you wouldn’t shoot a man without due cause, would you?
Well, don’t give me cause, that’s all. Thank you, miss.
Ritchie, if just one of my men get hurt, You better run for the hills.
Well, don’t look at me, Miss Ritchie, I just arrived.
It was a beautiful morning, Mr. Paladin, until you put clouds in it.
I’m not asking for your approval, gentlemen.
I wanted you to meet Paladin and know what he’s doing here.
You pull this off without killing, the rest of us will double what Ritchie’s paying you.
Now, don’t cinch him in too tight, Ed. He’s a gunfighter. What’s he gonna use in case of trouble?
Brains, Mr. Gardner.
That can have kind of temporary effects.
But it does leave people alive and that’s an advantage when the dust settles.
Pass the word to keep cattle and sheep out of the south wash. Paladin’s gonna blow one of the coffer dams and flood O’Hare out.
Just a minute, Ritchie, I said I’d look into it.
How do you expect to get direct results without direct action?
You hired me to do a job, now leave me alone to do it.
When you gonna start?
When I’m ready. Gentlemen.
EXT. O’HARE’S CAMP – RAIN
00:10:12,578 –> 00:10:15,179
Nothing but rain.
00:10:22,854 –> 00:10:25,556
Let’s hold it down tight.
Any water touches that cement and O’Hare’ll go up like a rocket.
Ritchie, you’re gonna pay for the destruction of my supplies.
00:11:47,740 –> 00:11:49,373
00:11:49,375 –> 00:11:51,708
Complaint department’s over there.
You’re my kind of fella, no question.
00:11:58,684 –> 00:12:00,584
Maybe I’ll hire some gunslingers
00:12:00,586 –> 00:12:02,586
To put you against your own kind.
00:12:02,588 –> 00:12:04,455
That ought to be interesting.
Oh? Do you have to hire from the outside?
00:12:06,625 –> 00:12:10,127
I was told you and your construction gangs were very tough men.
I’m an engineer. I spent most of my life building,
00:12:13,232 –> 00:12:15,032
00:12:15,034 –> 00:12:18,202
The likes of you have been around since the beginning of time.
You haven’t changed the world any.
And in regards to being tough,
Let me try and see if that’s true.
I’d rather not. There are a number of years between us.
What’s a’matter? Can’t you fight without a gun?
I don’t understand.
Don’t you, pop? It’s simple. There’s a man in town.
I don’t understand it. He had o’hare cold, right in front of him. He could’ve settled the whole mess right there, without gunplay. Why didn’t he?
Did you expect him to beat up an old man? What’s happening to you?
Paladin. I want to talk to you.
come on in.
That coffee smelled
so good last night
I thought it might
be worth a taste.
Give him a cup of coffee.
If you come here to
start a ruckus, mister,
I just want to say that handling
these things is not my business.
But at this distance,
I couldn’t miss.
you’re too close.
Come over to my tent.
What do you want?
A little civility
might be a good start.
I’m your guest.
Why didn’t you take
a slug at me this morning?
I was outclassed.
Oh, that’s a lot
You could’ve mopped the
streets with me. Why didn’t you?
I’ve always liked
men who build.
One of my great idols
was the emperor hadrian.
Hadrian? What do you
know about hadrian?
Well, he was an emperor,
00:15:47,913 –> 00:15:50,080
Is that what you think
you are, mr. O’hare?
00:15:50,082 –> 00:15:52,416
You seem to be making
the demands of an emperor.
What else could I do for those
stiff-necked jug heads of ashley?
00:15:56,822 –> 00:15:59,323
I offered them twice
the value for their soil.
I even convinced legislation to
set aside fertile lands upstate,
To be given to them
as extra compensation.
He said, “unfair.”
Do the people
of ashley know this?
Of course they do.
00:16:12,171 –> 00:16:14,204
They were notified
for two months.
By letter from
the state capital.
00:16:17,543 –> 00:16:20,377
Mr. Ritchie has one himself.
Do you have a copy?
No, I haven’t, but I can
get one from central city.
How long will that take?
Oh, about two days.
00:16:28,788 –> 00:16:31,955
Maybe sooner. I’ll get one
and I’ll bring it to you.
I’m a builder.
00:16:34,827 –> 00:16:38,662
I want to make this beautiful
place, well, a new athens.
But the first necessity
You’re back early tonight.
I thought we might have
a little chat, mr. Ritchie.
What’s on your mind?
A letter, the contents of which
you seem to have kept to yourself.
Letter? I don’t know
what you’re talking about.
How many other people in Ashley know the terms for surrender of the town’s water rights?
That’s no concern of yours. You’re hired to do a job, do it.
O’hare’s given me his version of what goes on, now I’d like yours.
00:17:25,310 –> 00:17:27,711
You’re being paid
for only one version.
00:17:27,713 –> 00:17:29,179
00:17:29,181 –> 00:17:30,514
I built this town.
00:17:30,516 –> 00:17:32,850
I watched it grow
for twenty-five years,
00:17:32,852 –> 00:17:34,951
And it’s gonna
grow even more.
Every year, more farmers and
ranchers come out here to settle.
Why wouldn’t they be willing
to settle on the new town site?
The new town site? No, sir.
00:17:42,762 –> 00:17:45,763
Not after the years of sweat and labor
that went into making this valley.
take it away from me.
00:17:48,133 –> 00:17:51,468
Nobody’s gonna push me out
and tell me where to go.
What I did when I was young,
I can’t do again.
I won’t even try.
I’ve got a plot of ground
next to my wife’s grave
And I aim to be here in
this town when my time comes.
That’s a highly
What about the other
people in this town?
People here have always
done what I asked them.
What did you do
with the letter?
00:18:11,791 –> 00:18:13,657
I tore it up.
Ritchie, this is
an old fight.
00:18:16,028 –> 00:18:18,695
The rights of the many
against the rights of the few.
00:18:18,697 –> 00:18:21,698
And I don’t agree you have
the right, moral or legal,
00:18:21,700 –> 00:18:23,366
To decide for your neighbors.
I’ll see that you’re paid for your expenses, paladin.
You’re no longer needed here.
That’s your privilege. Goodnight, sir.
I wish you hadn’t. He’ll turn to joe marsh now.
I’m afraid so.
Why don’t you talk to
joe marsh first?
Get him to move on,
Then you really don’t
mind a little shooting?
That would have to follow.
I’ve got ten square miles to cover. I can’t do it with my men. You said so yourself.
I took you by surprise. We know joe marsh is coming, it won’t be that easy for him.
We practically have no ammunition.
That’s telling you
How many rounds?
Two or three
to the rifle.
00:19:38,777 –> 00:19:41,277
Unless you’d like to
pick some out of that cement.
I’m afraid we haven’t time.
Hey, what made you
Didn’t that same education
warn you to get out
When you know marsh and
his gang will arrive?
You know, I must’ve
skipped that class.
That’s north, number three dam. Get mounted, men!
Cover me. Every time a head shows, try and hit it.
Let’s get him.
Alright, hold it.
EXT. BACK IN TOWN – NIGHT
Thought you’d left town?
I did. I helped Mr. O’Hare. He gave me a copy of a very interesting letter. I’m just debating whether to post it on the town bulletin board Or let the people hear it from their leading citizen, Who always has their best interest at heart.
I don’t doubt it. But I don’t like to see one man control the lives of an entire community.
Well, Mr. Ritchie?
You’ve run out of gunfighters, pop.
Oh, smile, Mr. Ritchie.
You and your town can have a prosperous year before we leave.
Me and my men need an abundance of supplies.
00:24:31,904 –> 00:24:33,369
00:24:33,371 –> 00:24:35,906
Mr. Paladin explained how you feel.
Be hard starting again. New place at my age. No, thanks.
Continuity: Joe Marsh tussles with and is knocked out by Paladin during a fight between his hired guns and O’Hare. The next scene shows him standing with those same men, not a hair out of place.
Quotes => Myra Ritchie: Same breed, different feathers.