The Rifleman (1958–1963)
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Short Rope for a Tall Man 

On his way through a strange little town, Lucas is arrested and accused of being a horse thief.


Paul Landres


Tom Gries


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Episode cast overview:
Chuck Connors ... Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford ... Mark McCain
Paul Fix ... Micah Torrance (credit only)
Hal Baylor ... Charlie Crown
Norman Leavitt ... Jephtha Docking
Charlie Briggs Charlie Briggs ... Artie Quint
William Schallert ... Joe Lovering
Bert Freed ... Ben Crown


Lucas and Mark are on a trip out of town and after buying two horses learn that Ben Crown has had some of his horses stolen. The town Marshal is away and Crown let's it be known that he is going to catch the horse thieves and they will pay the price for what they've done. Crown's son George catches up with Lucas and Mark on the trail and the two horses they've bought are part of those stolen. When Ben Crown arrives he makes it clear that as far as he is concerned, Lucas is guilty and will hang the next morning. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Western





Release Date:

28 March 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lucas McCain: It's over and done with now Mark. Why so glum?
Mark McCain: If they'd have hung you pa, it would have been all my fault.
Lucas McCain: Now wait a minute son. Don't you ever think that way. If they'd have hung me it would have been Charlie Crown's fault. Nobody else's.
Mark McCain: Charlie Crown. Stealing his own pa's horses and then selling them to poor Mr. Schneider. Just to get money. Guess I didn't make such a good trade after all. Guess I better leave the business to you.
Lucas McCain: No siree! We're partners. Every lesson you learn makes you...
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Crazy Credits

Chuck Connors breaks the 4th wall in the opening credits after he shoots his rifle and then stares into the camera. See more »

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User Reviews

Another fine episode
13 April 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

Lucas and Mark are in a town outside North Fork in the market of buying some horses. A man named Henry Schneider is selling horses but the price is too high. Mark asks Lucas if he can talk to the horse trader one more time and Lucas agrees but says he will not pay over $25 for a horse. When Mark asks about the horses is the same time rancher Ben Crown comes into town. All of the sudden Henry Schneider agrees to sell the two horses for $25 a piece.

Ben Crown is being harassed by horse thieves and is looking for a few men to go help him find the thieves. Along with Ben is his son named Charlie which is a hot head and some of his hired hands. They head off looking for signs of the bandits.

Later while Lucas and Mark are traveling back to North Fork, they are stopped by Charlie Crown and accused of stealing the horses. Now when the rest of the Crown gang catches-up they are set to hang Lucas as a horse thief.

Another nice story, well written and well acted. Bert Freed, as Mr Crown, does a nice job of bring his character to life as a father that has lost the relationship that Lucas and Mark possess. Good Watch.

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