Bonanza (1959–1973)
3 user

Feet of Clay 

A woman dies. Her husband is in prison, and the sheriff needs someone to look after the boy until the boy's uncle can come to claim him. The Cartwrights begin to take care of the boy at the... See full summary »


Arthur Lubin


John Furia (as John Furia Jr.)

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Episode cast overview:
Pernell Roberts ... Adam Cartwright
Dan Blocker ... Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright
Michael Landon ... Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright
Lorne Greene ... Ben Cartwright
David Ladd ... Billy Allen
Logan Field Logan Field ... Vance Allen
Robert Tetrick Robert Tetrick ... Pike
Victor Sen Yung ... Hop Sing
Tom Greenway Tom Greenway ... Sheriff Fred
Guy Prescott Guy Prescott ... Charlie
Philip Grayson Philip Grayson ... Orville Sherman
John Eldredge ... Mr. Sherman
Riza Royce Riza Royce ... Sarah


A woman dies. Her husband is in prison, and the sheriff needs someone to look after the boy until the boy's uncle can come to claim him. The Cartwrights begin to take care of the boy at the Ponderosa. When the boy arrives at the ranch, he does not know that his father is in prison. The boy learns the truth about his dad, and news reaches the Ponderosa that the convict has escaped from prison. The Cartwrights deal with the possibility that the boy's father may be coming their way. Written by Ken Miller <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis










Release Date:

16 April 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Copyright has expired and is now in the public domain. See more »


In the opening scene, it is clear there is artificial light, as there are multiple shadows cast in multiple directions. See more »


[first lines]
[Ben, Hoss and Charlie are attending a funeral]
Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright: It's a doggone shame, ain't it, Charlie.
Charlie: Yep, sure is. Doc said she had pneumonia. By the time he got there, wasn't much he could do 'cept call the sheriff.
Ben Cartwright: Well, didn't anyone know she was sick?
Charlie: [indicating young Billy] First they knew was him riding all the way in to fetch the doc by himself.
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Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Hoss Bonds With A Ladd
8 November 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Dan Blocker takes center stage in this particular Bonanza episode Feet Of Clay in which young David Ladd who idolizes his father finds he has Feet Of Clay.

The episode opens with a funeral in which David Ladd's mother has just passed away. His father isn't there and he's got an uncle in the east somewhere. When no one else takes him in of course the Cartwrights are always ready to help.

David bonds with Hoss who like everyone else is reluctant to tell him that his father isn't just away, he's away in prison. The father did promise he'd return and the father played by Logan Field busts out of prison along with another convict Bob Tetrick to do it. Of course a few people die in their escape and these guys have one heavy duty manhunt after them.

Given the man's size and bulk Dan Blocker was probably lucky to have landed the role of Hoss Cartwright otherwise he would probably have been confined to character roles as thugs. But in this episode he really rises to thespian heights, especially in his scenes with David Ladd and later with Lorne Greene after tragedy has struck.

David Ladd had a brief career in the early Sixties as a child star, he had appeared in some of his father's films and others, but in the same year that Feet Of Clay was broadcast on Bonanza, young Mr. Ladd had a starring role in Dog Of Flanders. David got rave reviews for both the big and small screen.

The other convict in the escape was played by Bob Tetrick and he's a big man, taller than Dan Blocker, bulky, but not quite as bulky as Blocker. The two of them have a really nasty fight and the casting directors must have combed the lists to find an actor who would have been believable in a fight with Blocker. Tetrick gets the better of Hoss for a while also.

Feet Of Clay is a nice Bonanza episode and a real treat for the fans of Dan Blocker.

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