Showdown with Rance McGrew

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"Showdown with Rance McGrew"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 85
Directed by Christian Nyby
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Stock
Production code 4812
Original air date February 2, 1962
Guest actors

Larry Blyden: Rance McGrew
Arch Johnson: Jesse James
Robert Cornthwaite: Director
Robert Kline: T.V. Jesse James
William McLean: Property Man
Troy Melton: Cowboy #1
Jay Overholts: Cowboy #2
Robert J. Stevenson: T.V. Bartender
Hal K. Dawson: Old Man
Jim Turley: T.V. Double for Rance

Episode chronology
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"The Hunt"
Next →
"Kick the Can"
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Showdown With Rance McGrew" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


TV cowboy star Rance McGrew is ready to shoot a scene—in which Jesse James shoots him in the back—when he suddenly finds himself in a real Old West saloon. The real Jesse James walks in and explains that he, Billy the Kid and other famous outlaws are not pleased with the way that they are portrayed on McGrew's show.

James then challenges McGrew, who has never shot a gun in his life, to a showdown. McGrew attempts to flee, but James corners him. McGrew drops to his knees, pleading. He says that he will do anything if James will only spare him. James accepts ("We may be stiffs up there...but we're sensitive."). McGrew finds himself back on the set, and his agent is announced. The agent turns out to be Jesse James himself, in Hollywood garb (wearing a beret and a loud sport shirt), come to ensure that outlaws get their due, beginning with the TV bad guy throwing McGrew out the saloon window.


  • Amory, C. (1966, January 15-21). Review: The Loner. TV Guide, p. 2
  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0


Zicree, Marc Scott. The Twilight Zone Companion, Bantam Books, 1982. ISBN 0-553-01416-1

External links[edit]