User Reviews (4)

  • bkoganbing4 May 2016
    The brothers Dunnigan
    This Big Valley story has the Dunnigan Brothers played by Russell Johnson and Charles Grodin robbing the Stockton Bank and killing two people and wounding Jarrod Barkley. That sends Peter Breck and Lee Majors after the two Dunnigans to the place they call home.

    Where Johnson and Grodin are looked at as Northern California's version of the James Brothers. Where they hail from is a Southern sympathizing town where the Dunnigans have bought a lot of good will among the populace. It will not be easy for Nick and Heath to get these two out without blood being spilled, mainly their own.

    Even Hitler has a fan club as this episode proves. Russell Johnson is miles from playing the amiable and ever helpful Professor on Gilligan's Isle. He's smart and shrewd, definitely the brains of the outfit. He proves too smart for his own good. There's a limit to which even the blindest and dumbest people will swallow.

    Check this one out.
  • skiddoo14 November 2013
    Charles Grodin delightfully insane-looking
    This takes the tired, old "corrupt town" plot and puts a slight twist on it. I'm giving all the stars for Grodin who is hilariously strange. He is an excellent actor. I love the bit of business near the end with his suit jacket. Johnson's acting suffers in comparison but I do like the small touches he adds like his idly playing with the ribbon.

    The end is the best part. I liked seeing the strategy between smart adversaries. There's even a fleeting moment of, "Okay, how are they going to get out of this one."

    The theme of the episode was summed up in the warning about what people will do when you destroy their gods and the statement about hero worshipping the wrong hero. It might have been a statement about the political situation of the day.
  • summerfields13 April 2010
    Perhaps my least favorite installment
    It looks as if that I'm in the minority according to the ratings above, but I really think that this episode is mighty poor.

    For one thing, Russell Johnson (the beloved Professor Roy Hinkley of "Gilligan's Island") plays such a phoney character and his acting/accent is likened to a cartoon character - which never works in Barkleyville.

    (Nobody talks like that - but then, I never met a gal speaking like Kate Hepburn, either!)

    A really odd-ball episode, it hardly fits inside the package of such a great TV series.

    The theme is a corny Robin-Hoodish one: about two thieving brothers who 'help' the locals....

    Try something more substantial than this rot.
  • grizzledgeezer27 June 2015
    the James boys
    Warning: Spoilers
    There are few "good" "Big Valley" episodes, and this sure isn't one of them. But it would help if the people writing reviews knew a bit about history.

    The thieving brothers are, of course, Frank and Jesse James. The James boys were Southern raiders who, like most Southerners, hated the North for invading their country, and were constantly trying to get even.

    They continued their thieving ways after the war, and for a time were considered modern Robin Hoods who stole from the rich to give to the poor. The script spells this out in a most unsubtle fashion.

    It's a clever way of bringing the James brothers into the Barkley milieu. But, like most "Big Valley" episodes (and most TV Westerns, for that matter), it has all the subtlety of a locomotive rolling over a puppy. The writer can think of no other way to resolve the situation than by having the giggly Russell Johnson brother shoot a boy in the back, and try to pin it on the Barkleys. (See? Now you don't have to watch it.)