Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Old Man Charvanaugh Story 

Flint escorts a wagon, leaving the train, to their new home. When they meet an old man with a wagon load of uncured buffalo skins he's trying to sell, they invite him along as he appears friendly enough. But Flint feels he's too friendly.


Virgil W. Vogel (as Virgil Vogel)




Episode cast overview:
Ward Bond ... Major Seth Adams
Robert Horton ... Flint McCullough
J. Carrol Naish ... Old Man Charvanaugh
Frank McGrath ... Charlie Wooster
Terry Wilson ... Bill Hawks
Dorothy Green ... Helen Lerner
Bernadette Withers ... Sybil Lerner
Ricky Klein Ricky Klein ... Duane Lerner
L.Q. Jones ... Squirrel Charvanaugh
Mickey Finn ... Sump Charvanaugh
Jeff Daley Jeff Daley ... Tucknis Charvanaugh
Quentin Sondergaard Quentin Sondergaard ... Josh Charvanaugh (as Quintin Sondergaard)
Kelly Thordsen ... Mr.
Fern Barry Fern Barry ... Mrs.


As Flint is about to take Mrs. Lerner and her two children to her husband, the train is met by Old Man Charvanaugh with what appears to be a wagon load of smelly uncured buffalo hides he wants to sell. Later, when Flint and the Lerners camp, Charvanaugh appears saying he is headed in their direction. After eating with them and playing music on his concertina he plays a particular song, a signal for his four sons to came out of the hollowed out wagon of hides to take Flint and the Lerners prisoners. After severely beating Flint and taking their shoes, the Charvanaughs leave them stranded. Flint leads them back toward the train but they collapse. Adams and Hawks find them when they go looking for Flint who is late. Once feeling better Flint goes alone to stop the old man and his sons. He catches up with them at a farm house where they are preparing to do the same thing to a husband and his wife. Flint tries to restrain the four sons but one breaks loose putting Flint and the couple in a... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

18 February 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Charvanaugh and his fragrant sons
1 December 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Watching this Wagon Train story put me in mind of the classic western Will Penny where Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett and her kids are held prisoner and robbed by a family gang of Rawhiders similar to the Charvanaugh clan that J. Carroll Naish heads here. Just about the same set of morals for Donald Pleasance's and his kids as for Naish's fine sons here. I could also very easily compare them to the Cleggs in Wagonmaster and the Clantons in My Darling Clementine. The Charvanaughs could have been in a John Ford film.

They have great modus operandi for their robberies. Naish comes along driving a wagon full of uncured buffalo hides which because they smell so bad no one goes near. After the old codger ingratiates himself with the victim(s), the sons come out from under the hides, no doubt kind of fragrant themselves and strip the victims of everything including most of the clothes off their back and leave them to die on the prairie.

In this case it's Robert Horton who gets stripped along with the Lerner family Dorothy Green and her two children Ricky Klein and Bernadette Withers. They nearly don't make it and fortunately Ward Bond and Terry Wilson are looking for Horton. After that there was no stopping Flint McCullough who had been Green and her kids to join her husband in a place he settled in.

Naish and the sons are really an evil group and Naish when he shows the other side of his character you are fascinated and repelled by such an evil creature. Naish was one of the most chameleon like of actors in those studio days, he could play anything and the man was never out of work.

I liked the episode, but I would have liked it a whole lot more had he and the boys, one of them is L.Q. Jones had met an end similar to what those evil clans in those cited movies did. It was a let down in the climax.

Still something to see though.

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