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Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley


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#241 TopBilled

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 10:14 AM

Another very good season 2 episode of The Big Valley is the one that features a young Richard Dreyfuss. Originally, I was looking at the IMDb cast lists and reviews for each episode before watching them, but it was spoiling the fun. So with Boy into Man, I decided to watch first then read up later. Imagine my surprise when Dreyfuss turned up as a 16 year old. 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-09-18%2Bat%2B8.15.3

What I really love about this episode, and I will not give away the outcome of the plot, is that there are two separate storylines running at the same time. We see an old gold prospector as well as this young boy whose mother has disappeared. The stories are not at all connected in the first half, and a murder neatly brings them together. The boy has taken his two younger siblings to live with the Barkleys, and while he attempts to runaway and locate the mother, he gets caught up in the murder.

 

At first, I thought it was going to turn out the kids were orphaned and the mother had died. But she turns up very much alive and in a most shocking way. Diane Ladd plays the mother, and she's truly amazing in this role. The scene where she and Victoria confront the boy in jail about whether he had anything to do with the killing is very powerful. All three of them-- Stanwyck, Ladd and Dreyfuss just nailed that scene.

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This offering of The Big Valley was directed by Paul Henreid, and I've always found his episodes to be among the strongest. He brings out the human predicaments faced by the characters.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#242 TopBilled

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 03:08 PM

I just watched season 2's Day of the CometIn this story, Audra (Linda Evans) meets a man played by Bradford Dillman.

 

He's been on the run for 2500 miles, before showing up at the Barkley ranch. We learn that he is a poet (which comes in handy when courting Audra) and that during the war, he was responsible for the death of 63 fellow soldiers. An ex-army lieutenant and his men have tracked Dillman to Stockton, and the stage is set for a confrontation. 

 

This episode works largely because of the innocence that Linda projects as Audra. We believe how special her relationship with Dillman is and we want him to live. But near the end, he tells her not to love a dead man, which gives us some idea how it will turn out.

 

Stanwyck was great in the final scene, where Audra is still mourning the loss of her beloved and Victoria gives her the space she needs to grieve. Excellent episode, and I gave it a 10 on the IMDb.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#243 TopBilled

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 01:08 PM

TopBilled, it would be difficult for me to pick out a favorite episode.  So many were excellent.  And definitely the one with Colleen Dewhurst was one of the best.  Her character gave me the chills.  

 

"A Day of Terror"-- Season 2, Episode 13

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Very chilling. Especially when the children were having their bible study and her wickedness was contrasted with their innocence. 

 

Not only did Stanwyck get to remove a bullet in this episode, she got to blow Dewhurst to smithereens. 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-09-17%2Bat%2B11.10.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#244 Terrence1

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 12:36 PM

TopBilled, it would be difficult for me to pick out a favorite episode.  So many were excellent.  And definitely the one with Colleen Dewhurst was one of the best.  Her character gave me the chills.  One that I enjoy is a comic episode  about a couple of badmen trying to open a safe.  Stanwyck is wonderful in this and she puts her comic skills to great use.  And the guest stars!  The list goes on and on:   Julie Adams, Ellen Burstyn, Lew Ayres, Karen Black, Diane Baker, and Ray Danton, to name only a few.  I hope others comment in this show.

 

Terrence.


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#245 TopBilled

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 08:46 AM

I like the actors - Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, Peter Breck, Linda Evans and Lee Majors.

 

Yes, what a cast. I even liked the guy who played brother Eugene in the first season. But it's the guest stars that put this show over. I watched two more last night-- an episode where James Whitmore is a crook running for political office (his acting was just excellent); and another one where Colleen Dewhurst is a Ma Barker type who holds Victoria and Audra hostage inside a church with the help of her deranged sons.

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-09-17%2Bat%2B11.09.

I had vaguely remembered the Dewhurst episode from watching it on the Family Channel years ago. But I had forgotten Michael Burns played her injured youngest boy. The scene where Dewhurst plans to go into the other room to kill Audra and Victoria stops her is one of The Big Valley's greatest moments.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#246 rayban

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 08:03 AM

I thought I'd create a thread about this classic western TV series from the late 60s. I've been watching episodes from the second season. 

 

This show seems to have maintained a loyal following over the years. I'm a bit partial to it since I share a first name with one of the Barkley brothers. LOL

 

There was a thread on the IMDb where someone said the writers were inspired by some of Stanwyck's movies. And there was another thread that commented on the similarities of some stories with ones that aired on Bonanza. Maybe that's because some of the scriptwriters worked on both shows.

 

So what's your favorite episode of The Big Valley...?

I like the actors - Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, Peter Breck, Linda Evans and Lee Majors.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#247 TopBilled

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 10:45 PM

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-09-17%2Bat%2B11.25.

I thought I'd create a thread about this classic western TV series from the late 60s. I've been watching episodes from the second season. 

 

The show has maintained a loyal following over the years. I'm a bit partial to it since I share a first name with one of the Barkley brothers. LOL

 

There was a thread on the IMDb where someone said the writers were inspired by some of Stanwyck's movies. And there was another thread that commented on the similarities of some stories with ones that aired on Bonanza. Maybe that's because some of the scriptwriters worked on both shows.

 

So what's your favorite episode of The Big Valley...?


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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