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Bret Maverick: The Ballad of Bret Maverick

A drifter arrives in Sweetwater and he's out to finish a song he's writing about the life and death of Bret Maverick. Meanwhile, Bret tries to unload a silver mine he won in a poker game but every potential buyer thinks it's a scam.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x9
Production Number: 167509
Airdate: Tuesday February 16th, 1982

Director: Jeff Bleckner
Writer: Gordon Dawson

Guest Stars
Priscilla MorrillPriscilla Morrill
As Mrs. Springer (Estelle Springer)
James Whitmore, Jr.James Whitmore, Jr.
As Justice Smith
Sandy McPeakSandy McPeak
As Jacob Voorsanger
Cliff EmmichCliff Emmich
As Titus Openshaw
Howard CaineHoward Caine
As Tercius Openshaw

Co-Guest Stars
Jack GarnerJack Garner
As Jack the Bartender
Luis DelgadoLuis Delgado
As Shifty Delgrado
Tommy Bush (1)Tommy Bush (1)
As Deputy Sturgess
Beans MoroccoBeans Morocco
As Jacob Voorsanger #2
Donegan SmithDonegan Smith
As C. B. Whitfield
Lawrence LaktinLawrence Laktin
As Granger
Main Cast
James GarnerJames Garner
As Bret Maverick
Ed BruceEd Bruce
As Tom Guthrie
John ShearinJohn Shearin
As Sheriff Mitchel Dowd
David KnellDavid Knell
As Rodney Catlow
Darleen CarrDarleen Carr
As Mary Lou "M.L." Springer


A drifter, Justice Smith, rides into town on his elixir wagon. As he puts up signs for his medicine show at the Red Ox, Bret comes out and bumps into him. Bret apologizes and leaves for the stage. Inside, a distracted Tom tells Jack to order more beer, and Jack warns Shifty that it’s that time of year. One of the customers shoves Smith away and Tom tells him to get out. When Smith tries to convince Tom to let him stay, Tom prepares to throw him out. Mary Lou arrives with a bill for Bret’s advertising and when she mentions Maverick’s name. Smith recognizes it and realizes who he bumped into. He quickly leaves and Tom invites Mary Lou to a walk later. Outside, Mary Lou approaches Smith and gives him the handbills that he dropped. ..

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Episode Notes
For the first time in the series Bret specifically mentions his brother Bart in the dialogue.

"The Ballad of Bret Maverick" and "Dolores," written by Alex Harvey.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
John Bennett PerryThe Ballad of Bret Maverick 
John Bennett PerryDolores 

Episode Quotes
Pappyism: The good Lord gave us wide mouths so we could swallow a lot of pride.

Estelle Springer: I know some dreams don't come true, but there is a bright side: neither do most nightmares.

Mary Lou: Tom, I can tell what's on your mind by the way you're holding your hat.

Mary Lou: Well, now they're even writing songs about you. Where will it ever end?
Bret: Right here. The last thing I need is some vagabond puttin' my life to music. I can't even make a decent killing anymore. As soon as they hear the word "Maverick," I'm left shakin' hands with a cloud of dust.

Justice Smith: I ain't gonna hurt nobody.
Dowd: No, I didn't think you could. All the same, I want you out of here by first sparrow's twit tomorrow morning. Is that understood? First sparrow twit.

Tom: I don't know, it seems like every time you think you know where it's at with a woman, they up and move it on you.
Bret: Well, I hope they haven't moved it too far.
Tom: Ah, I don't need the first thing that comes to your mind, Bret. I need some advice. Can you define imagination for me?
Bret: Imagination? That is the foresight to get it before it gets you.
Tom: You're not helpin' much
Bret: Well, it might help if you told me what it was I was supposed to be helpin'.

Bret: Ever since I drank that drifter's magic elixir, I've been jumpier than a tote sack full of frogs.

Smith: I'm sorry, Mr. Guthrie. I thought for a minute she was Dolores. I'm sorry. I got carried away
Tom: (strangling him) That's next.

Bret: Tom, what happened to you?
Tom: Your simple feather's touch, that's what happened to me.
Bret: Nothin' worse than a man can't handle his love life. Next time you need advice just don't ask.
Tom: Don't worry. I'm goin' back to my original plan, and I'm gonna need your barn. If you say no, I'll tear your head off and shout down the hole.
Jack the Bartender: Now ain't love grand?
Bret: Man's comin' apart like a haystack in a hurricane.

Bret: Truth doesn't seem to get you anywhere anymore.

Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerMeta Rosenberg
Supervising ProducerGordon Dawson
ProducerGeoffrey Fischer  |  Chas Floyd Johnson
Associate ProducerMark Horowitz
EditorPaul H. Dixon  |  Diane Adler
CastingDodie McLean
Unit Production ManagerSam C. Freedle
First Assistant DirectorLeonard R. Garner, Jr.
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 MixerCharlie King (3)
Special EffectsLarry L. Fuentes
Costume SupervisorLe Dawson
Main Title ThemeEd Bruce  |  Patsy Bruce  |  Glenn Ray
Main Title GraphicsRon Grover
Executive Story ConsultantLee David Zlotoff
Sound Effects EditorAl Kajita
Assistant To The StarMaryann Rea
Main Title Theme Performed ByEd Bruce
Developed ByGordon Dawson
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