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Wagon Train: The Countess Baranof Story

A Russian countess, in a hurry to reach Alaska before it's sold to the United States, uses all her wiles to persuade Flint to leave the train and guide her over a shorter route to San Francisco.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x31
Airdate: Wednesday May 11th, 1960

Director: Ted Post
Story: Lee Karson
Teleplay: Norman Jolley

Guest Stars
Ethel ShuttaEthel Shutta
As Friend
Roy EngelRoy Engel
As Marshal
Simon OaklandSimon Oakland
As Colonel Vasily
Ann B. DavisAnn B. Davis
As Susan Foster
Peter LeedsPeter Leeds
As Alex Foster
Taina ElgTaina Elg
As Countess Olga Baranof
Main Cast
Ward BondWard Bond
As Major Seth Adams
Robert HortonRobert Horton
As Flint McCullough
Frank McGrathFrank McGrath
As Charlie Wooster
Terry WilsonTerry Wilson
As Bill Hawks
Episode Notes
Ann B. Davis would go onto play housekeeper Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch.

This episode takes place in 1867 as that was the year that the United States purchased Alaska from Russia.

Episode Quotes
Vasily: (to Flint) On your feet! A peasant does not sit in the presence of the Countess. I warn you, Countess, the American does not know his place.

Flint: (about Wooster and Hawks) These are the only two peasants we have on the train.

Vasily: You cannot refuse the request of Countess Baranof.
Adams: Well, you're a little too late. I just did.

Countess: (to Vasily) You have a talent for bringing the worst out in people.

Flint: You want me to believe you can buy the U.S. Senate?
Countess: That's the rumor in Washington and I just came from there.

Countess: What gave you the impression I was interested in you?
Foster: The best reason in the world--you're a man and I'm a woman.
Countess: That's one thing I wish you were--a man.

Cultural References
William H. Seward was the United States Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians for the sum of $7 million in 1867. The purchase was called "Seward's Folly" and "Seward's Icebox" at the time by its opponents.

The basic premise of this episode is a bit on the silly side but the chemistry between Robert Horton and Tania Elg is undeniable. Simon Oakland does well as the heavy of the piece with Peter Leeds and Ann B. Davis providing welcome comic relief.

Other Episode Crew

ProducerHoward Christie
Music SupervisorStanley Wilson
HairstylistFlorence Bush
Make-upJack Barron
Set DecoratorRalph Sylos
Director of PhotographyBenjamin H. Kline
Art DirectorHoward E. Johnson
Costume SupervisorVincent Dee
Film EditorMarston Fay
SoundDavid H. Moriarty
Assistant DirectorJames Hogan
Editorial SupervisorRichard G. Wray
Theme MusicJerome Moross
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