17 April 2014

Triggers in Leash (1955)
26 min.
Airdate: October 16, 1955
Directed by Don Medford.
With Gene Barry, Darren McGavin, Ellen Corby, and Casey MacGregor.
Jose Cruz
Restaurant owner Maggie (Corby) is given a surprise visit by notorious gunman Dell Delaney (Barry) one rainy afternoon. Suspicious of Dell’s jumpy behavior, the wise cook begins to think that there’s someone gunning for the desperado.

Sure enough, the front door swings wide again as Red Hillman (McGavin) comes stomping into the joint, calling Delaney out.

Turns out there were harsh words exchanged in the tavern the night before, and now the two men seek to settle their differences over the drawing of a gun. Maggie insists that the two bull-headed hombres go their separate ways, but the cowboys are determined to see the other dead and bleeding before the hour’s over.

Can Maggie forestall the inevitable fate of the two men? Who will come out victor of the gunfight? Only the chiming of the clock can determine the destiny of all involved...

Sadly, this rather promising premise suffers from some ho-hum tension that never truly takes advantage of the material. The actors are all fine enough, particularly Corby’s matronly Maggie and McGavin’s booze-scented braggart, and the episode is a joy to watch if only for their presence alone.

But the script is just packed with too much filler that it makes it seem as if the story isn’t headed in any real direction. Even the climax to the nail-biting set-up seems to lack the power and spark that an Alfred Hitchcock Presents production should and just comes across as being overly sweet. Perhaps Hitch himself says it best in his closing narration: “Well that was disappointing, wasn’t it?”

Not horrible by any means, but one wouldn’t miss much by checking out some of the other episodes.

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