Showdown with Rance McGrew

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Showdown with Rance McGrew"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 20
Directed by Christian Nyby
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Stock
Production code 4812
Original air date February 2, 1962
Guest appearance(s)

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
Robert McCord: Man in Saloon (uncredited)
Alvy Moore: Man on stool (uncredited)
Chalky Williams: Man in Saloon (uncredited)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Hunt"
Next →
"Kick the Can"
List of season 3 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Showdown With Rance McGrew" is episode 85 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]


Actor Rance McGrew, who stars in a TV series as the fictional heroic marshal of the same name, arrives late to shoot the final scenes of an episode in which his character pursues Jesse James. According to the script, Rance turns away from a seemingly beaten Jesse, who then tries to shoot him in the back. The man playing Jesse says Jesse James fighting dishonorably is historically inaccurate, and asks permission to shout at Rance before firing, but Rance points out that shouting out a warning to a gunman who has already proven himself to be a better fighter makes no sense.

Suddenly, Rance finds himself in a real Old West saloon. The real Jesse James walks in and says that he, Billy the Kid, and other famous outlaws are not pleased with the way that they are portrayed on McGrew's show. He challenges Rance to a fast draw showdown. Rance is unwilling, realizing he has no chance against a real gunfighter, but Jesse will not allow him to walk away. When the countdown finishes, Rance struggles for several seconds to get his gun out of its holster, then unintentionally flings it in the air in his panic. As Jesse aims his gun at Rance's forehead, Rance drops to his knees, pleading that he will do anything if Jesse spares him. James accepts, and disappears.

Rance finds himself back on the set, and his agent is announced. The agent turns out to be Jesse James himself, in Hollywood garb. He insists that the episode be revised so that instead of trying to shoot Rance in the back, Jesse James throws Rance McGrew out the saloon window and makes his escape. The scene is shot to Jesse's satisfaction. As Jesse drives Rance back home, he goes over revisions to future episodes in which Rance McGrew fights Jesse's afterlife buddies.

Closing narration[edit]



  • 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


External links[edit]