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Bret Maverick: The Lazy Ace

Famed gambler Bret Maverick arrives in the Arizona Territory town of Sweetwater for a big poker tournament and ends up cleaning house, winning a saloon called the Red Ox and a large bundle of cash. Bret decides that Sweetwater would make a nice place for him to settle down so he uses the cash to purchase a ranch called the Lazy Ace. However, when robbers steal his money, Bret has to ride off after them with a lame-duck sheriff, a female reporter, and a scheming Indian scout as his only help.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 167501A-B
Airdate: Tuesday December 01st, 1981
Special Runtime: 120 Minutes

Special Guest Stars
Stuart MargolinStuart Margolin
As Philo Sandeen

Guest Stars
Bill McKinneyBill McKinney
As Ramsey Bass
Janis PaigeJanis Paige
As Mandy Packer
John McLiamJohn McLiam
As Doc Holliday

Co-Guest Stars
Jack GarnerJack Garner
As Jack the Bartender
Luis DelgadoLuis Delgado
As Shifty Delgrado
Ed BakeyEd Bakey
As Lyman Nickerson
David Banks (3)David Banks (3)
As Delta Fox (as David H. Banks)
Tommy Bush (1)Tommy Bush (1)
As Deputy Sturgess
Ruth EstlerRuth Estler
As Townswoman
Norman Merrill Jr.Norman Merrill Jr.
As Teller
Billy KerrBilly Kerr
As Blue-Eyed Kid
Richard MollRichard Moll
As Sloate
Chuck MitchellChuck Mitchell
As Joe Dakota
Ivan J. RadoIvan J. Rado
As Wolfgang Mieter
Al BerryAl Berry
As Townsman
Kirk CameronKirk Cameron
As Boy #1
Max MartiniMax Martini
As Boy #2 (as Max Martin)
Main Cast
James GarnerJames Garner
As Bret Maverick
Ed BruceEd Bruce
As Tom Guthrie
Ramon BieriRamon Bieri
As Elijah Crow
Richard Hamilton (1)Richard Hamilton (1)
As Cy Whittaker
John ShearinJohn Shearin
As Sheriff Mitchel Dowd
David KnellDavid Knell
As Rodney Catlow
Darleen CarrDarleen Carr
As Mary Lou "M.L." Springer


The townspeople of Sweetwater, Arizona Territory gather to watch as a black-suited man rides into town. Children approach the man as does Rodney Catlow, the local newsboy. His boss, newspaper publisher Mary Lou Springer, come running out to see the man: Bret Maverick. Mary Lou tries to take a picture of Bret but the flash spooks the horse, throwing him. Mary Lou apologizes and explains that she took pictures of all of the other gamblers in town for the big game...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
For repeat showings and initial syndication, this was split into a two-part episode to fit into the normal one-hour marketing slot.

Episode Quotes
Pappyism: Trust your fellow man to be exactly what he is.

Pappyism: Men who claim they just wanna talk generally have more than just words on their mind.

Pappyism: Stay clear of men who promise no regrets.

Pappyism: It's a wise coyote that lets a rabbit run into his mouth.

Boy: You are Maverick, aren't ya?
Bret: That's right, son, I am.
Boy: Told ya so! You going to win, Mr. Maverick?
Bret: I didn't come all this way to lose, son.

Rodney: You know, I've read just about everything that's ever been written about you.
Bret: Don't have much regard for what you do with your time, do you, son?

Bret: Lady, I don't like photographs of myself.
Mary Lou: Aw, that's because you've never been photographed by M.L. Springer.
Bret: I try to limit myself to one blinding a day.
Protester: Some people have no shame.
Bret: That's cause the others have enough for everybody.
Protester: Wastrel.
Bret: Biddy.

Mandy Packer: I tell ya, Tombstone's about through. Big Bonanza's all played out - miners and farmers. Oh, I tell ya, boys, times are changin' faster than a new girl on Saturday night.
Bret: Well, there's one thing that hasn't changed, Mandy, you still look great.
Mandy Packer: And you're still a liar.

Ramsey Bass: I was worried you wouldn't make it, Maverick.
Bret: Well, Bass, now you can start worryin' that I did.

Bret: I didn't bring the plague, Sheriff, I just came here for a little game of cards.

Doc Holliday: You come far for this game?
Bret: Oh, uh, thousand miles. Like you said, it's a big game.
Doc Holliday: Yeah. Yeah, maybe my last.
Bret: Come on, Doc, you're too rotten to die.
Doc Holliday: Thanks, Maverick. I consider that a compliment. But the fact is, all I need to be a cadaver is a tall, white candle and a place to lie down.

Tom: Before y'all start, I have an announcement which probably won't be too popular. Nevertheless, I'll be checkin' all your weapons at the door.
Mandy Packer: Why, Tom Guthrie, you can check my weapons any time you want.

Bret: Can't we just skip this? I only carry one gun in self-defense. I, uh, never pull it in anger. I hate violence.
Tom: Hand it over. I'll take that, uh, Sharps four-barrel you pulled on Lucas yesterday. Right sleeve. I read a newspaper account, uh, how you pulled a Colt .41 on Wyley Cooter
Bret: Well, only after he shot me in the leg.
Tom: Left sleeve, I believe.
Bret: Damn newspapers. (Bret hands it over)
Tom: I read another account where you, uh, won a set of matched Bricbottoms from Zlotof the Russian. I'll take those, too. Now, I'll take that Barnes 50-caliber you're said to carry in your boot. Told you sometimes keep a palm gun in the crown of your hat?
Bret: Aw, no, I quit doin' that - gave me headaches. No… uh, I think you got everything but my suspender button and my pocket watch, so…
Tom: No! No, I don't have the belly gun you pulled in Meeker last year. Denver Star.
Bret: For a sheriff, you sure do read a lot.
Tom: I guess you gotta be kinda careful not to fall in a pond. Bass tells me that you sometimes keep a holdout gun in the small of your back. You know the procedure by now. For a man who hates violence, you come pretty well-heeled.
Bret: With Ramsey Bass around, I don't want any of that violence happenin' to me. Never felt so naked in my life!
Tom: Maybe I better take a look inside your hat.
Bret: I told ya, I don't pack that one anymore!
Tom: Well, you won't mind takin' off your hat then. (finds the gun there) Is that all?
Bret: Of course that's all.
Tom: How about your pocket watch?
Bret: I promise not to throw it at anyone.
Tom: Let me see it. (Bret pulls out a derringer on a chain and hands it over) Is that all?
Bret: No … think I'll strangle someone with my string tie.

Bret: Sheriff, since you're so set on havin' an honest game, that blue-eyed killer back there is a known associate of Mr. Bass. They got more signals than the Southern Pacific. I don't want him standin' behind me.

Bret: Well, there's a hundred thousand dollars and a saloon in the middle of the table, and both of you are tapped out. I could buy this pot for ten dollars.
Doc Holliday: Not and live to tell about it.
Bret: But, since we're all such… good and old friends, I'll just call.

Tom: There's no law against buying votes. Some of the folks around here need the money more than the choice. That's just the way it's done. Now, if you'll excuse me …
Rodney: Well, M. L. says you should give longer speeches.
Tom: So she's told me more than once. But speechmaking and handshaking don't have anything to do with being a good sheriff. When I came to this town they didn't even have elections. I ran off the Banovich Gang and they hired me, it's as simple as that. Now a man's gotta kiss babies - among other things.

Cy: Turn around! I don't allow no bankers on my property!
Bret: I'm not a banker, I'm a gambler.
Cy: That don't cut no hay with me - gambler's just two notches above a banker!

Philo Sandeen: Most folks know me as Philo Sandeen. The Comanches call me "Standing Bear", the Utes call me "In The Wind". But you're lucky I happened by, you're in need of my services.
Bret: Which are?
Philo Sandeen: Professional guide.
Bret: You know the Badlands?
Philo Sandeen: Like the inside of my mouth. I've been a pathfinder, provisioner and Army scout. Fact is, I was General Custer's chief scout. Oh. I tried to warn him, just as I'm warning you. It's the Devil's own maze out there

Philo Sandeen: And considering the nature of your quest, I'll be collecting my fee in advance - $500.
Bret: That's all I've got left to my name.
Philo Sandeen: You can keep your name. 'Course, it's your business, you want to go out there alone. Most men… never return. Never.
Bret: All right, Sandeen, looks like I don't have much choice.
Philo Sandeen: And if you do get your money back, there was some mention of a reward.
Bret: We'll cross that trail when we come to it. You ready to ride?
Philo Sandeen: I was born ready, Pilgrim

Mary Lou: So you're just gonna let him ride out there like that?
Tom: No law against bein' a fool.
Mary Lou: There was a time when you would've gone with him, Tom.
Tom: I'm smarter than I used to be.

Bret: I want my money back! You know, I don't believe a word you say--you lived with the Comanches, studied their medicine, know their laws. None of it! Uh, you throw twigs in the air. You--you chant. You find meaning in flat, gray rocks. You get us hopelessly lost! I want my m…
Philo Sandeen: Silence!
Bret: What are we listening for?
Philo Sandeen: I hear a voice in the wind.
Bret: There's no wind.
Philo Sandeen: Because your ears have been stopped by the silence of the white man. I am "Standing Bear," he who sows for the Sioux, and I am one with the land.
Bret: In a minute, you're gonna be layin' on it.

Philo Sandeen: Get down, gringo dog!
Bret: Aw, come on, don't tell me this whole thing was a set-up for $500? I've been taken by a greedy banker, a lifelong friend and now some cutthroat who's about 12 biscuits shy of a dozen. I must be gettin' old.

Bret: Well, looks like that mule of yours just stops as fast as he starts.
Philo Sandeen: (sinking in quicksand) The Great spirit has saved me again! Come on! Get me out of here! I beg of you!
Bret: And a "hawk-a-hay" to you too, "Standing Bum."
Philo Sandeen: But I saved your life!
Bret: There were no Apaches.
Philo Sandeen: There coulda been Apaches! Doesn't that count for something!?
Bret: Well, I got a dilemma. My head tells me one thing, my heart tells me another.
Philo Sandeen: Could I put in a word for the heart?
Bret: Sure. My head tells me to shoot you before you go under. My heart tells me to let you go down on your own.

Bret: I know I'm gonna regret this.
Philo Sandeen: You won't regret it, I promise!
Bret: My pappy always told me to stay clear of men who promised no regrets. And here I am throwin' a rope to one

Philo Sandeen: You had me worried there for a minute, Pilgrim.
Bret: Just don't press it again, eh?
Philo Sandeen: My people have a custom. When you save a life … you own that life. I am your servant. I am your brother.
Bret: I already have a brother and I don't want a servant - particularly some bogus Indian who thinks he's Sitting Bull.
Philo Sandeen: Standing Bear.

Bret: You know, I know it's bad manners, but, uh, mind if I ask you a personal question?
Tom: Depends on the question.
Bret: About you and Mary Lou, I detect a sort of, uh, history, if you get my drift?
Tom: That was the wrong question, gambler.

Tom: I had to get out of town. If I had to listen to one more of Dowd's speeches, I'd a killed him myself - and that wouldn't do for a man running for sheriff.
Bret: Think he's gonna win that election?
Tom: I hear it's bought and paid for.
Bret: Could be. Be easy to stuff the ballot box while you're out here.
Tom: Well, I got a couple of deputies supposed to be watchin' for that, but I think they're spendin' Crow's money already, so who knows?

Tom: Mind if I ask you a personal question?
Bret: Depends on the question.
Tom: What's so important about this money that you'd risk your life to try to get it back?
Bret: Well, I don't know. I always figured that money was just a way of keepin' score, but this time - I dunno, it's more'n that.
Tom: Why? Another town, another game. You're good enough--you're bound to hit again.
Bret: Yeah, sure, and pretty soon it's time to crawl up in some pesthole and die. I'd just rather it didn't work out that way.

Bret: Well, they got us pinned flatter'n a brown tick on a white dog.
Tom: Look at the positive side of it.
Bret: I fail to see it.
Tom: We've also got them pinned to the side of that hill. They're not goin' anyplace either.

Tom: Can you two keep 'em busy while I work around in back and come in on top of 'em?
Bret: We can try but I don't have a lot of ammo.
Tom: Well, I don't imagine you'll run out of mouth for the next hundred years or so. It is our only chance.

Tom: Don't try me, boys! I don't have an ounce of bluff in my soul!

Bret: Can I buy you a drink?
Tom: Election day. The saloon's closed.
Bret: I own it.
Tom: I'm not ordinarily a drinkin' man, but I could surely use one now.

Philo: Hey, don't take the picture till I get in!
Cy: Oh, if brains was leather, Philo Sandeen couldn't saddle a bug.

Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerMeta Rosenberg
Supervising ProducerGordon Dawson
ProducerGeoffrey Fischer  |  Chas Floyd Johnson
Associate ProducerMark Horowitz
EditorGeorge R. Rohrs  |  Diane Adler
CastingDodie McLean
Unit Production ManagerLarry Y. Albucher  |  Sam C. Freedle
First Assistant DirectorRobert Jones (5)
Second Assistant DirectorDon Wilkerson
MusicMurray MacLeod  |  J.A.C. Redford
Music EditorJay Alfred Smith
HairstylistCharlotte Harvey
Make-upCharlene Roberson
Set DecoratorRobert L. Zilliox
Property MasterWilliam Fannon
Director of PhotographyAndrew Jackson (2)
Art DirectorScott T. Ritenour
Sound MixerDean Gilmore  |  Charlie King (3)
Costume SupervisorLe Dawson
Main Title ThemeGlenn Ray  |  Patsy Bruce  |  Ed Bruce
Executive Story ConsultantLee David Zlotoff
Sound Effects EditorJoe Von Stroheim
Still PhotographerGene Trindl
Assistant To The StarMaryann Rea
Main Title Theme Performed ByJames Garner  |  Ed Bruce
Developed ByGordon Dawson
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