Shadow of a Pale Horse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shadow of a Pale Horse was a TV play written by Bruce Stewart which was produced for British, US and Australian tv.

Bruce Stewart was a New Zealand playwright who moved to London to work as a writer and actor. Shadow of a Pale Horse won him a Silver Dagger Award of the Mystery Writers of America.[1]


Set in the 19th century. In the New South Wales town of Cobar, a young man is found battered to death. A man called Jem is found next to him, drunk, and is accused of the crime. Jem is arrested but floods prevent him from being transported for trial. Condringer, an old German prospector, suggests the town hold its own trial. Rigger, the father of the murdered youth, is given the job of defending Jem. Kirk, the dead youth's employer, is given the job of prosecuting him.

1959 British TV Version[edit]

The play was first presented on English TV in 1959 starring Patrick McGoohan.[2]

1960 British TV Version[edit]

It was filmed again for English TV in January 1960 starring Patrick Macnee.[3]

1960 US TV Version[edit]

"Shadow of a Pale Horse"
US Steel Hour episode
Original air date20 June 1960
Running time60 mins
Guest appearance(s)

It screened on US TV as part of the US Steel Hour on CBS in June 20, 1960. Although adapted by Jack Palmer from Stewart's original script, the Australian setting was kept. The cast included Dan Duryea, Frank Lovejoy and Carroll O'Connor and the director was Jack Smight.[4] The Washington Post called it a "stimulating, above average production".[5] The New York Times called it "an unusual story, enhanced by a good production".[6]

The US Steel Hour would later film another Stewart play The Devil Makes Sunday.

1961 Australian TV Version[edit]

"Shadow of a Pale Horse"
The General Motors Hour episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 5
Directed byDavid Cahill
Teleplay byBruce Stewart
Produced byBrett Porter
Original air date1960
Running time60 mins
Episode chronology
← Previous
"You, Too, Can Have a Body"
Next →
"The Concert"

The play was produced for Australian TV by Sydney station ATN-7, it was also shown in Melbourne on station GTV-9, as this was prior to the creation of the Seven Network and Nine Network (it is not known if it was also shown in Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth).

It was part of The General Motors Hour,[7] a loosely scheduled occasional series which presented various types of one-off local productions.


  • Brian James as Kirk
  • Leonard Teale as Jack Rigger
  • Kurt Ludescher
  • Ben Gabriel
  • Thelma Scott
  • Lynne Murphy
  • John Gray
  • Henry Gilbert
  • Stuart Finch
  • Peter McCredie


The show won Best Drama at the 1961 Logie Awards.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stewart, Mark (6 October 2005). "Bruce Stewart". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Shadow of a Pale Horse 1959 British TV version at IMDB
  3. ^ { Shadow of Pale Horse 1960 British TV version] at IMDB
  4. ^ "US Steel Hour Season 7". CTVA.
  5. ^ Flesh-and-Blood Feelings Balk Impersonal Justice By Fred Danzig. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 22 July 1960: D6
  6. ^ TV: Lucid Documentary: 'Youth: A Summer Crisis?' on WABC Is Report on Lack of Jobs Here R.F.S.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 July 1960: 51.
  7. ^ "Trial in a Bush Town". Sydney Morning Herald. 12 September 1960. p. 7.
  8. ^

External links[edit]