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The Tall Man is a half-hour American western television series about Sheriff Pat Garrett and the gunfighter Billy the Kid that aired seventy-five episodes on NBC from 1960 to 1962, filmed by Revue Productions. It was also [1] theatrically released and dubbed in North Korea in the 1960s.

The Tall Man
Clu Gulager Marianna Hill The Tall Man.JPG
Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid and Marianna Hill as his sweetheart, Rita
Written byArthur Browne, Jr.
D. C. Fontana
David Lang
Paul King
Samuel A. Peeples
Frank Price
Barry Shipman
Directed byTay Garnett
Sidney Lanfield
Sydney Pollack
Lesley Selander
William Witney
StarringBarry Sullivan
Clu Gulager
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes75
Executive producer(s)Nat Holt
Producer(s)Edward Montagne
Samuel A. Peeples
Frank Price
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Lincoln Country Production Company
Revue Studios
DistributorMCA TV
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 10, 1960 (1960-09-10) –
May 26, 1962 (1962-05-26)

The series is set in the late 1870s and early 1880s, and also depicts other figures of the period, such as John Tunstall and Lew Wallace.



The real Pat Garrett

The Tall Man stars 6'3" Barry Sullivan as Sheriff Pat Garrett, and Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid. Gulager was 32 in 1960, 11 years older than Billy the Kid was at the time of his death in 1881 at the age of 21. The highly fictionalized series provides a more humane image of the Kid than has history itself. In real life Garrett eventually shot Billy dead in a night-time ambush at a farmhouse in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, but no concluding episode depicting the grim conclusion was filmed. Set in and about Lincoln, New Mexico, the series opens with a view of the extremely long shadow cast by Sullivan on a Western street, hence the name "the tall man".

In the premiere episode, "Garrett and the Kid" (September 10, 1960), Garrett arrives in Lincoln, depicted in the series as a gold-mining boomtown, as the new deputy sheriff, only to learn that a crooked saloon owner, Paul Mason (Robert Middleton), dominates the community, including the marshal, Dave Leggert (Denver Pyle). When he sees his power threatened, Mason tries to hire Billy to kill Garrett, unaware that the two were then on friendly terms. Vaughn Taylor is cast in this episode as Judge Riley, and King Donovan appears as a Mason henchman.[2]

Marianna Hill was cast in several episodes as one of Billy's girlfriends, Rita. In one episode, Robert Lansing played the frontier dentist, gambler, and gunfighter John H. "Doc" Holliday.

Episode listEdit

Season 1: 1960–61Edit

Ep Title Original air date
11"Garrett and the Kid"September 10, 1960 (1960-09-10)
22"Forty-Dollar Boots"September 17, 1960 (1960-09-17)
33"Bad Company"September 24, 1960 (1960-09-24)
44"The Shawl"October 1, 1960 (1960-10-01)
55"The Lonely Star"October 8, 1960 (1960-10-08)
66"A Bounty for Billy"October 15, 1960 (1960-10-15)
77"The Parson"October 29, 1960 (1960-10-29)
88"Night Train to Tularosa"November 5, 1960 (1960-11-05)
99"Larceny and the Ladies"November 12, 1960 (1960-11-12)
1010"Counterfeit Law"November 19, 1960 (1960-11-19)
1111"And the Beast"November 26, 1960 (1960-11-26)
1212"Bitter Ashes"December 3, 1960 (1960-12-03)
1313"McBean Rides Again"December 10, 1960 (1960-12-10)
1414"Tiger Eye"December 17, 1960 (1960-12-17)
1515"Billy's Baby"December 24, 1960 (1960-12-24)
1616"One of One Thousand"December 31, 1960 (1960-12-31)
1717"First Blood"January 7, 1961 (1961-01-07)
1818"A Gun Is for Killing"January 14, 1961 (1961-01-14)
1919"The Grudge Fight"January 21, 1961 (1961-01-21)
2020"The Best Policy"January 28, 1961 (1961-01-28)
2121"The Reversed Blade"February 4, 1961 (1961-02-04)
2222"Dark Moment"February 11, 1961 (1961-02-11)
2323"The Reluctant Bridegroom"February 18, 1961 (1961-02-18)
2424"Maria's Little Lamb"February 25, 1961 (1961-02-25)
2525"Big Sam's Boy"March 4, 1961 (1961-03-04)
2626"The Last Resource"March 11, 1961 (1961-03-11)
2727"Rovin' Gambler"March 18, 1961 (1961-03-18)
2828"Hard Justice"March 25, 1961 (1961-03-25)
2929"The Legend and the Gun"April 1, 1961 (1961-04-01)
3030"A Kind of Courage"April 8, 1961 (1961-04-08)
3131"Millionaire McBean"April 15, 1961 (1961-04-15)
3232"A Scheme of Hearts"April 22, 1961 (1961-04-22)
3333"The Cloudbusters"April 29, 1961 (1961-04-29)
3434"Ransom of a Town"May 6, 1961 (1961-05-06)
3535"Ladies of the Town"May 20, 1961 (1961-05-20)
3636"Death or Taxes"May 27, 1961 (1961-05-27)
3737"The Great Western"June 3, 1961 (1961-06-03)

Season 2: 1961–62Edit

Ep Title Original air date
381"Full Payment"September 9, 1961 (1961-09-09)
392"The Liberty Belle"September 16, 1961 (1961-09-16)
403"Where Is Sylvia?"September 23, 1961 (1961-09-23)
414"The Female Artillery"September 30, 1961 (1961-09-30)
425"Shadow of the Past"October 7, 1961 (1961-10-07)
436"An Item for Auction"October 14, 1961 (1961-10-14)
447"The Judas Palm"October 21, 1961 (1961-10-21)
458"The Woman"October 28, 1961 (1961-10-28)
469"Trial by Hanging"November 4, 1961 (1961-11-04)
4710"The Leopard's Spots"November 11, 1961 (1961-11-11)
4811"Petticoat Crusade"November 18, 1961 (1961-11-18)
4912"Time of Foreshadowing"November 25, 1961 (1961-11-25)
5013"Fool's Play"December 2, 1961 (1961-12-02)
5114"The Legend of Billy"December 9, 1961 (1961-12-09)
5215"A Tombstone for Billy"December 16, 1961 (1961-12-16)
5316"Sidekick"December 23, 1961 (1961-12-23)
5417"Apache Daughter"December 30, 1961 (1961-12-30)
5518"Substitute Sheriff"January 6, 1962 (1962-01-06)
5619"The Girl from Paradise"January 13, 1962 (1962-01-13)
5720"St. Louis Woman"January 20, 1962 (1962-01-20)
5821"The Hunt"January 27, 1962 (1962-01-27)
5922"The Impatient Brides"February 3, 1962 (1962-02-03)
6023"Rio Doloroso"February 10, 1962 (1962-02-10)
6124"A Day to Kill"February 17, 1962 (1962-02-17)
6225"Property of the Crown"February 24, 1962 (1962-02-24)
6326"Night of the Hawk"March 3, 1962 (1962-03-03)
6427"Three for All"March 10, 1962 (1962-03-10)
6528"Quarantine"March 17, 1962 (1962-03-17)
6629"The Four Queens"March 24, 1962 (1962-03-24)
6730"The Long Way Home"March 31, 1962 (1962-03-31)
6831"A Time to Run"April 7, 1962 (1962-04-07)
6932"Trial by Fury"April 14, 1962 (1962-04-14)
7033"The Frame"April 21, 1962 (1962-04-21)
7134"The Runaway Groom"April 28, 1962 (1962-04-28)
7235"The Black Robe"May 5, 1962 (1962-05-05)
7336"The Woman in Black"May 12, 1962 (1962-05-12)
7437"Doctor on Horseback"May 19, 1962 (1962-05-19)
7538"Phoebe"May 26, 1962 (1962-05-26)

Selected episodesEdit

Andy Clyde was cast in five episodes as Pa McBeam; Judy Nugent plays McBean's daughter, June. Different actress were cast as the other daughter, May. Olive Sturgess played the part of May in "McBean Rides Again" (Nº 13), "The Reluctant Bridegroom" (Nº 23), and "Millionaire McBean" (Nº 31). In "The Reluctant Bridegroom", Ellen Corby is featured as Hannah Blossom, a potential mail order bride, for Pa McBeam. Hannah is lured to Lincoln through a fraudulent letter written by the McBeam daughters.[3] In "Substitute Sheriff" (Nº 55), the McBeam daughters enlist their father as an acting sheriff in a scheme to thwart the seizure of their property for right-of-way by the railroad. Bob Hastings appears in this episode as J. S. Chase.[4] Andy Clyde also appeared at the time in the role of the neighboring farmer George MacMichael on ABC's The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan.[5]

In "The Reversed Blade" (Nº 21), Murray Matheson portrays Billy's employer, John Tundall, though the name of the historical person is John Tunstall. Tundall grows indignant when the con-man Ben Webster (John Archer), who stole his wife and $10,000 eight years earlier, arrives in Lincoln. Jeanne Cooper plays Tundall's former wife, now Mrs. Elmira Webster.[6] John Tunstall died at twenty-four, but Matheson was forty-nine when he assumed the role as Billy's employer.

Two episodes focus on visits to Lincoln by Governor Lew Wallace of the New Mexico Territory. In "The Great Western" (Nº 37), Frank Ferguson plays Wallace in a story about Big Mamacita (Connie Gilchrist), the owner of a rowdy cantina outside Lincoln and her grandson, who is a Wallace aide.[7] In "The Black Robe" (Nº 72), Robert Burton plays Governor Wallace. In the story line, after the fall of Emperor Maximilian, a French foreign agent is supplying arms to the Mescalero Apaches in a murky plot to reoccupy Mexico. Chief Yowlachie is cast as "The Great Chief"; Slim Pickens as Starr, and Martin Landau as Father Gueschim, a Roman Catholic priest.[8] (Landau had previously appeared in the Season 1 episode "Dark Moment" (Nº 22) as Francisco Valdez.)

In "The Cloudbusters" (Nº 33), Frank de Kova plays Mike Gray Eagle, who sells water to Lincoln residents at inflated prices during a drought, during which the only flowing stream is on the Apache reservation.[9]

In "Death or Taxes" (Nº 36), Garrett rides into a railroad company town that abuses its workers, runs illegal gambling halls, and refuses to pay its taxes. Character actor Will Wright plays Mayor Hackett in this episode, which features James Seay as Holman.[10]

In "Apache Daughter" (Nº 54), J. Pat O'Malley portrays Sam Bartlett, whose daughter, Sally (Sherry Jackson), is released from Apache captivity after nine years. However, Sally wants to return to her husband, Talano, (Anthony Hall, aka Sal Ponti) a Chiricahua warrior.[11]

In "Shadow of the Past" (Nº 42), Charles Aidman is cast as Ben Wiley, the father of Billy's newest girlfriend, Sue Wiley (Barbara Parkins). Sheriff Garrett recognizes Wiley as an informant who stopped Garrett from escaping from a Confederate prison during the American Civil War. Nancy Davis Reagan appears in this episode as Ben's wife, Sarah.[12]

In "The Girl from Paradise" (Nº 56), Billy is framed for murder by his old nemesis, Rafe Tollinger (Kelly Thordsen), the sheriff of a neighboring county. He is sent to the gallows along with Anne Drake (Pippa Scott), a pretty young woman who is also framed for murder. The two are handcuffed together but manage to escape and then must flee from an approaching posse.[13]

In "St. Louis Woman" (Nº 57), Jan Clayton, formerly of CBS's Lassie, portrays Janet Harper, a widow engaged to marry Tom Davis (Russ Conway), a longtime friend of Sheriff Garrett. While Tom is away from Lincoln on a cattle drive, Janet begins to show a romantic interest in Garrett. Roger Mobley appears in this episode as David Harper, Janet's young son.[14]

In "The Hunt" (Nº 58), a wealthy young man, Edward Van Doren (Richard Ney) hires Billy to guide him into the wilderness to kill a mountain lion. However, Van Doren's real target is Billy himself. This episode presents details about the Colt Model 1877 .41 caliber, the gun used by Billy the Kid.[15]

In "Three for All" (Nº 64), Irene Tedrow portrays the fiery Maw Killgore, who breaks her sons out of the Lincoln jail, where they are being held for having vandalized a saloon. The Killgores then place Garrett in his own cell while they go on a crime spree. George Kennedy plays Hyram Killgore.[16]

In "Trial by Fury" (Nº 69), Billy receives a letter from a prospector, Johnny Red (Fuzzy Knight), informing him of the potential discovery of a lost Spanish mine near San Miguel, a ghost town, in southern New Mexico. James Griffith is cast in this episode as James Cutter and Robert Emhardt as Judge Oliver Cromwell.[17]

In "The Frame" (Nº 70), Harry Townes is cast as Henry Stewart, diagnosed with a fatal illness and jealous of his wife's former association with Sheriff Garrett. While mentally unbalanced from his illness, Stewart plots his own suicide and plans to frame his wife, Isobel (Lori March), for murder.[18]

In "The Runaway Groom" (Nº 71), the Tugwell Brothers seek the husband of their sister, Sally (Roberta Shore), who deserted his wife right after the marriage a year earlier. They believe Billy the Kid is the missing husband and father of Sally's baby, rather than Charlie Fox (Gary Vinson).[19]

Ed Nelson, prior to Peyton Place, was cast as a talented but arrogant young physician, Wade Parsons, in the 1962 episode "Doctor on Horseback" (Nº 74). Dr. Parsons, who has assumed the practice of a beloved doctor who retired, must attempt to save the life of a young pregnant woman after she attempts suicide when her husband deserts her.[20]

In the series finale, "Phoebe" (Nº 75), George Macready portrays Cyrus Canfield, a vengeful father searching for his runaway teenaged daughter, played by Floy Dean. When Canfield sees Billy with a necklace owned by Phoebe, he suspects that the young gunfighter may have killed his daughter. Billy, however, explains that Phoebe gave him the necklace as a gift after he rescued her in a rockslide.[21]

Other guest starsEdit

DVD releasesEdit

On October 30, 2007, Timeless Media Group released fifteen episodes of the series on a Region 1 three-DVD set in the United States.

On December 6, 2011, Timeless Media Group released The Tall Man- The Complete TV Series on DVD in Region 1.[22]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Garrett and the Kid". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  3. ^ ""The Reluctant Bridegroom", February 18, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  4. ^ ""Substitute Sheriff", January 6, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "Andy Clyde". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  6. ^ ""The Reversed Blade", February 4, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  7. ^ ""The Great Western", June 3, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2003.
  8. ^ ""The Black Robe", May 5, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  9. ^ ""The Cloudbusters", April 29, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  10. ^ ""Death or Taxes", May 27, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  11. ^ "Apache Daughter". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  12. ^ ""Shadow of the Past", October 7, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  13. ^ ""The Girl from Paradise", January 13, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  14. ^ ""St. Louis Woman", January 20, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  15. ^ ""The Hunt", January 27, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  16. ^ ""Three for All", March 10, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  17. ^ ""Trial by Fury", April 14, 1962". Internet Movie Data base. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  18. ^ ""The Frame", April 21, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  19. ^ ""The Runaway Groom", April 28, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 1962. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  20. ^ ""Doctor on Horseback", May 19, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  21. ^ ""Phoebe", May 26, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit