Gill at Realweegiemidget Reviews and Barry at Cinematic Catharsis are our hosts for THE VINCENT PRICE BLOGATHON on April 17 - 19. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Encore
THE MOOR'S REVENGE
First aired: Saturday, December 27, 1958
Written by Melvin Levy
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Richard Boone as Paladin, Have Gun - Will Travel series lead
A gunfighter/brains for hire of refined taste.
Vincent Price and Patricia Morison as traveling Shakespearean actors
Charles Matthews and Victoria Vestris
Morey Amsterdam as Lucien Bellingham
Saloon owner and would-be impresario
Richard Shannon as Ben Jackson
A gunman with something to prove and a heart pining for an actress
While the rest of their company heads east, Charles and Victoria have accepted an engagement at the Opera House in San Diego. It is the time of the annual round-up; a time when all hell breaks loose in the town. Paladin's concern for the safety of the artists is genuine as he feels they do not provide the sort of entertainment that will go over in a wild town. The couple assures Paladin that they have yet to find an audience who is not moved by Shakespeare.
Lucien Bellingham, who hired the players to bring culture to the town and his saloon has also hired Paladin as security due to the sheriff managing to be out of town during troubled times. Bellingham wants things to go smoothly with the Shakespearean performers.
Paladin's first sign of trouble is with tough guy Ben Jackson who has become besotted with an advertising cut-out of Miss Vestris. He has been gazing upon the "art" and daydreaming of the time he and she will spend together upon her arrival. Ben's other ambition is to beat Paladin to the draw, so if the hired gun is looking for trouble, Jackson will be only too happy to provide the same.
Charles and Victoria arrive in San Diego to a venue and advertising like nothing they have experienced previously in their storied career.
Their first reaction is to renege on the contract, but they backtracked with the publication of an editorial expressing their dismay along with their determination to bring the Bard to town. The editor added some strong words against Ben Jackson which does not go over well with the bruiser.
Selections from Shakespeare begin with Desdemona's death in Othello which is interrupted by an agitated Ben Jackson. Guns are fired and chairs are thrown until Paladin takes charge. He relieves Ben Jackson of his gun and tosses it to Charles Matthews on stage.
Charles: "I don't know anything about firearms."
Victoria: "He is very good with a sword."
Paladin: "All you have to do is close your eyes and squeeze. With a crowd like this, you're bound to get a few."
Ben Jackson: "This will take but a minute, Miss. I'll be back for you."
Paladin: "Ben, you better ask the lady's husband about this."
Ben Jackson: "Husband?"
Victoria Vestri: "Of course he's my husband. What sort of woman did you take me for?"
Ben Jackson: "Well how come you got different names?"
Victoria Vestri: "We're actors, not people!"
Ben Jackson: "Well, you coulda said something."
Charles Mattews: "Well, you coulda asked!"
The assembled audience finds this exchange extremely funny. Since she's a married lady, romance for Jackson is out. After all, he has standards! Ben's anticipated showdown with Paladin is shut down as well. Paladin hurt his hand (perhaps) during the earlier set-to and Jackson won't have it be said he took advantage of the situation. There will be another time.
The show continues with something from the lighter side of Shakespeare promised by Charles. Paladin returns to his home base of San Francisco pleased with an assignment that ended in laughter instead of fatal gunplay.
Vincent Price (1911-1993) and lovely Patricia Morison (1915-2018) were perfectly cast as stage performers in this episode.
Vincent made his Broadway debut as Prince Albert opposite Helen Hayes in Victoria Regina by Laurence Housman which began its successful run in 1935.
Patricia's greatest success was as Lillie Vanessi/Katherine in Cole Porter's phenomenal 1948 hit Kiss Me, Kate, with music and Shakespeare side by side.
Patricia was also the understudy for Victoria in that earlier run of Victoria Regina with Vincent Price. One wonders if Helen Hayes ever caught a cold; just a little one.