The Tall Man (1960–1962)


The Tall Man (TV Series 1960–1962)

Fictionalized stories about Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid set in New Mexico in the 1870s.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
IMDb   7.5 /10
TheMovieDb    8.0 /10
RottenTomatoes  7.8 /10
Creator Samuel A. Peeples
Release Date1960-09-09
Content Rating
CompanyLincoln County Production Company, Revue Studios
Pat Garrettas Pat Garrett
Billy the Kidas Billy the Kid
Townsmanas Townsman…
Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Andyas Andy…
June McBeanas June McBean
Pa McBeanas Pa McBean
Hal K. Dawson
Hal K. Dawson
The Clerkas The Clerk…
Andy Gormanas Andy Gorman
May McBeanas May McBean
Hondoas Hondo…
Cyrus Canfieldas Cyrus Canfield…
Bob Orringeras Bob Orringer
Father Guesclinas Father Guesclin…
Deputy Sheriff Johnny Swiftas Deputy Sheriff Johnny Swift
Clint Latimeras Clint Latimer…
Cynthia Chenault
Cynthia Chenault
May McBeanas May McBean
Johnny Nagelas Johnny Nagel…

The Tall Man (TV series)

The Tall Man is a half-hour American western television series about Sheriff Pat Garrett and the gunfighter Billy the Kid that aired seventy-five episodes on NBC from 1960 to 1962, filmed by Revue Productions. It was also theatrically released and dubbed in North Korea in the 1960s.

The series is set in the late 1870s and early 1880s, and also depicts other figures of the period, such as John Tunstall and Lew Wallace.


The Tall Man stars 6'3" Barry Sullivan as Sheriff Pat Garrett, and Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid. Gulager was 32 in 1960, 11 years older than Billy the Kid was at the time of his death in 1881 at the age of 21. The highly fictionalized series provides a more humane image of the Kid than has history itself. In real life Garrett eventually shot Billy dead in a night-time ambush at a farmhouse in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, but no concluding episode depicting the grim conclusion was filmed. Set in and about Lincoln, New Mexico, the series opens with a view of the extremely long shadow cast by Sullivan on a western street, hence the name "the tall man".

In the premiere episode, "Garrett and the Kid" (September 10, 1960), Garrett arrives in Lincoln, depicted in the series as a gold-mining boomtown, as the new deputy sheriff, only to learn that a crooked saloon owner, Paul Mason (Robert Middleton), dominates the community, including the marshal, Dave Leggert (Denver Pyle). When he sees his power threatened, Mason tries to hire Billy to kill Garrett, unaware that the two were then on friendly terms. Vaughn Taylor is cast in this episode as Judge Riley, and King Donovan appears as a Mason henchman.

Marianna Hill was cast in several episodes as one of Billy's girlfriends, Rita. In one episode, Robert Lansing played the frontier dentist, gambler, and gunfighter John H. "Doc" Holliday in the episode "Rovin' Gambler."

Episode list

Season 1: 1960–61

EpTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Garrett and the Kid"Herschel DaughertySamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 10, 1960
22"Forty-Dollar Boots"Richard IrvingSamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 17, 1960
33"Bad Company"Richard IrvingSamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 24, 1960
44"The Shawl"Herschel DaughertyFrank PriceOctober 1, 1960
55"The Lonely Star"Henry S. KeslerSamuel A. PeeplesOctober 8, 1960
66"A Bounty for Billy"Franklin AdreonStory by : D. C. Fontana
Teleplay by : Martin Berkeley
October 15, 1960
77"The Parson"TBATBAOctober 29, 1960
88"Night Train to Tularosa"TBATBANovember 5, 1960
99"Larceny and the Ladies"Herschel DaughertyFrank PriceNovember 12, 1960
1010"Counterfeit Law"Franklin AdreonSamuel A. PeeplesNovember 19, 1960
1111"And the Beast"TBATBANovember 26, 1960
1212"Bitter Ashes"TBATBADecember 3, 1960
1313"McBean Rides Again"Frank ArrigoFrank PriceDecember 10, 1960
1414"Tiger Eye"TBATBADecember 17, 1960
1515"Billy's Baby"Franklin AdreonFrank PriceDecember 24, 1960
1616"One of One Thousand"TBATBADecember 31, 1960
1717"First Blood"TBATBAJanuary 7, 1961
1818"A Gun is for Killing"TBATBAJanuary 14, 1961
1919"The Grudge Fight"TBATBAJanuary 21, 1961
2020"The Best Policy"Franklin AdreonFrank PriceJanuary 28, 1961
2121"The Reversed Blade"TBATBAFebruary 4, 1961
2222"Dark Moment"William WitneySamuel A. PeeplesFebruary 11, 1961
2323"The Reluctant Bridegroom"Lesley SelanderFrank PriceFebruary 18, 1961
2424"Maria's Little Lamb"Frank ArrigoBarry ShipmanFebruary 25, 1961
2525"Big Sam's Boy"TBATBAMarch 4, 1961
2626"The Last Resource"Richard BartlettFrank PriceMarch 11, 1961
2727"Rovin' Gambler"TBATBAMarch 18, 1961
2828"Hard Justice"William WitneySamuel A. PeeplesMarch 25, 1961
2929"The Legend and the Gun"TBATBAApril 1, 1961
3030"A Kind of Courage"TBATBAApril 8, 1961
3131"Millionaire McBean"William WitneyFrank PriceApril 15, 1961
3232"A Scheme of Hearts"R.G. SpringsteenTom SellerApril 22, 1961
3333"The Cloudbusters"R.G. SpringsteenD. C. FontanaApril 29, 1961
3434"Ransom of a Town"Franklin AdreonStory by : Mark Weingart
Teleplay by : Barry Shipman
May 6, 1961
3535"Ladies of the Town"TBATBAMay 20, 1961
3636"Death or Taxes"Frank ArrigoBarry ShipmanMay 27, 1961
3737"The Great Western"TBATBAJune 3, 1961

Season 2: 1961–62

EpTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
381"Full Payment"Lesley SelanderDavid LangSeptember 9, 1961
392"The Liberty Belle"Tay GarnettLes CrutchfieldSeptember 16, 1961
403"Where is Sylvia?"TBATBASeptember 23, 1961
414"The Female Artillery"Lesley SelanderFrank PriceSeptember 30, 1961
425"Shadow of the Past"Tay GarnettRichard FielderOctober 7, 1961
436"An Item for Auction"TBATBAOctober 14, 1961
447"The Judas Palm"Sidney LanfieldDavid LangOctober 21, 1961
458"The Woman"Ted PostArthur Browne, Jr.October 28, 1961
469"Trial by Hanging"Sidney LanfieldArthur Browne, Jr.November 4, 1961
4710"The Leopard's Spots"TBATBANovember 11, 1961
4811"Petticoat Crusade"TBATBANovember 18, 1961
4912"Time of Foreshadowing"TBATBANovember 25, 1961
5013"Fool's Play"Lesley SelanderDavid LangDecember 2, 1961
5114"The Legend of Billy"TBATBADecember 9, 1961
5215"A Tombstone for Billy"TBATBADecember 16, 1961
5316"Sidekick"TBATBADecember 23, 1961
5417"Apache Daughter"Tay GarnettRichard FielderDecember 30, 1961
5518"Substitute Sheriff"Lesley SelanderFrank PriceJanuary 6, 1962
5619"The Girl from Paradise"Edward MontagneRichard FielderJanuary 13, 1962
5720"St. Louis Woman"Sidney LanfieldArthur Browne, Jr.January 20, 1962
5821"The Hunt"TBATBAJanuary 27, 1962
5922"The Impatient Brides"Edward MontagneFrank PriceFebruary 3, 1962
6023"Rio Doloroso"TBATBAFebruary 10, 1962
6124"A Day to Kill"TBATBAFebruary 17, 1962
6225"Property of the Crown"Frank McDonaldTom SellerFebruary 24, 1962
6326"Night of the Hawk"Tay GarnettRichard FielderMarch 3, 1962
6427"Three for All"Tay GarnettArthur Browne, Jr.March 10, 1962
6528"Quarantine"Sidney LanfieldSamuel A. PeeplesMarch 17, 1962
6629"The Four Queens"Sidney LanfieldTom SellerMarch 24, 1962
6730"The Long Way Home"Tay GarnettD.D. BeauchampMarch 31, 1962
6831"A Time to Run"Tay GarnettPaul KingApril 7, 1962
6932"Trial by Fury"Edward MontagnePaul KingApril 14, 1962
7033"The Frame"Edward MontagneMargaret ArmenApril 21, 1962
7134"The Runaway Groom"Edward MontagneFrank PriceApril 28, 1962
7235"The Black Robe"R.G. SpringsteenCyril HumeMay 5, 1962
7336"The Woman in Black"Edward MontagneRichard FielderMay 12, 1962
7437"Doctor on Horseback"Edward MontagneFrank PriceMay 19, 1962
7538"Phoebe"Sydney PollackDavid LangMay 26, 1962

Selected episodes

Andy Clyde was cast in five episodes as Pa McBeam; Judy Nugent plays McBean's daughter, June. Different actress were cast as the other daughter, May. Olive Sturgess played the part of May in "McBean Rides Again" (Nº 13), "The Reluctant Bridegroom" (Nº 23), and "Millionaire McBean" (Nº 31). In "The Reluctant Bridegroom", Ellen Corby is featured as Hannah Blossom, a potential mail order bride, for Pa McBeam. Hannah is lured to Lincoln through a fraudulent letter written by the McBeam daughters. In "Substitute Sheriff" (Nº 55), the McBeam daughters enlist their father as an acting sheriff in a scheme to thwart the seizure of their property for right-of-way by the railroad. Bob Hastings appears in this episode as J. S. Chase. Andy Clyde also appeared at the time in the role of the neighboring farmer George MacMichael on ABC's The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan.

In "The Reversed Blade" (Nº 21), Murray Matheson portrays Billy's employer, John Tundall, though the name of the historical person is John Tunstall. Tundall grows indignant when the con-man Ben Webster (John Archer), who stole his wife and $10,000 eight years earlier, arrives in Lincoln. Jeanne Cooper plays Tundall's former wife, now Mrs. Elmira Webster. John Tunstall died at twenty-four, but Matheson was forty-nine when he assumed the role as Billy's employer.

Two episodes focus on visits to Lincoln by Governor Lew Wallace of the New Mexico Territory. In "The Great Western" (Nº 37), Frank Ferguson plays Wallace in a story about Big Mamacita (Connie Gilchrist), the owner of a rowdy cantina outside Lincoln and her grandson, who is a Wallace aide. In "The Black Robe" (Nº 72), Robert Burton plays Governor Wallace. In the story line, after the fall of Emperor Maximilian, a French foreign agent is supplying arms to the Mescalero Apaches in a murky plot to reoccupy Mexico. Chief Yowlachie is cast as "The Great Chief"; Slim Pickens as Starr, and Martin Landau as Father Gueschim, a Roman Catholic priest. (Landau had previously appeared in the Season 1 episode "Dark Moment" (Nº 22) as Francisco Valdez.)

In "The Cloudbusters" (Nº 33), Frank de Kova plays Mike Gray Eagle, who sells water to Lincoln residents at inflated prices during a drought, during which the only flowing stream is on the Apache reservation.

In "Death or Taxes" (Nº 36), Garrett rides into a railroad company town that abuses its workers, runs illegal gambling halls, and refuses to pay its taxes. Character actor Will Wright plays Mayor Hackett in this episode, which features James Seay as Holman.

In "Apache Daughter" (Nº 54), J. Pat O'Malley portrays Sam Bartlett, whose daughter, Sally (Sherry Jackson), is released from Apache captivity after nine years. However, Sally wants to return to her husband, Talano, (Anthony Hall, aka Sal Ponti) a Chiricahua warrior.

In "Shadow of the Past" (Nº 42), Charles Aidman is cast as Ben Wiley, the father of Billy's newest girlfriend, Sue Wiley (Barbara Parkins). Sheriff Garrett recognizes Wiley as an informant who stopped Garrett from escaping from a Confederate prison during the American Civil War. Nancy Davis Reagan appears in this episode as Ben's wife, Sarah.

In "The Girl from Paradise" (Nº 56), Billy is framed for murder by his old nemesis, Rafe Tollinger (Kelly Thordsen), the sheriff of a neighboring county. He is sent to the gallows along with Anne Drake (Pippa Scott), a pretty young woman who is also framed for murder. The two are handcuffed together but manage to escape and then must flee from an approaching posse.

In "St. Louis Woman" (Nº 57), Jan Clayton, formerly of CBS's Lassie, portrays Janet Harper, a widow engaged to marry Tom Davis (Russ Conway), a longtime friend of Sheriff Garrett. While Tom is away from Lincoln on a cattle drive, Janet begins to show a romantic interest in Garrett. Roger Mobley appears in this episode as David Harper, Janet's young son.

In "The Hunt" (Nº 58), a wealthy young man, Edward Van Doren (Richard Ney) hires Billy to guide him into the wilderness to kill a mountain lion. However, Van Doren's real target is Billy himself. This episode presents details about the Colt Model 1877 .41 caliber, the gun used by Billy the Kid.

In "Three for All" (Nº 64), Irene Tedrow portrays the fiery Maw Killgore, who breaks her sons out of the Lincoln jail, where they are being held for having vandalized a saloon. The Killgores then place Garrett in his own cell while they go on a crime spree. George Kennedy plays Hyram Killgore.

In "Trial by Fury" (Nº 69), Billy receives a letter from a prospector, Johnny Red (Fuzzy Knight), informing him of the potential discovery of a lost Spanish mine near San Miguel, a ghost town, in southern New Mexico. James Griffith is cast in this episode as James Cutter and Robert Emhardt as Judge Oliver Cromwell.

In "The Frame" (Nº 70), Harry Townes is cast as Henry Stewart, diagnosed with a fatal illness and jealous of his wife's former association with Sheriff Garrett. While mentally unbalanced from his illness, Stewart plots his own suicide and plans to frame his wife, Isobel (Lori March), for murder.

In "The Runaway Groom" (Nº 71), the Tugwell Brothers seek the husband of their sister, Sally (Roberta Shore), who deserted his wife right after the marriage a year earlier. They believe Billy the Kid is the missing husband and father of Sally's baby, rather than Charlie Fox (Gary Vinson).

Ed Nelson, prior to Peyton Place, was cast as a talented but arrogant young physician, Wade Parsons, in the 1962 episode "Doctor on Horseback" (Nº 74). Dr. Parsons, who has assumed the practice of a beloved doctor who retired, must attempt to save the life of a young pregnant woman after she attempts suicide when her husband deserts her.

In the series finale, "Phoebe" (Nº 75), George Macready portrays Cyrus Canfield, a vengeful father searching for his runaway teenaged daughter, played by Floy Dean. When Canfield sees Billy with a necklace owned by Phoebe, he suspects that the young gunfighter may have killed his daughter. Billy, however, explains that Phoebe gave him the necklace as a gift after he rescued her in a rockslide.

Other guest stars

In addition to the aforementioned, other actors appearing on The Tall Man in individual episodes include:

  • Claude Akins
  • Chris Alcaide
  • John Anderson
  • R.G. Armstrong
  • Malcolm Atterbury
  • Patricia Barry
  • Don Beddoe
  • Lyle Bettger
  • Lane Bradford
  • Jocelyn Brando
  • X Brands
  • Edgar Buchanan
  • Michael Burns
  • Harry Carey, Jr.
  • Paul Carr
  • James Coburn
  • Iron Eyes Cody
  • Jim Davis
  • Cyril Delevanti
  • Richard Devon
  • Pamela Duncan
  • Faith Domergue
  • Jena Engstrom
  • William Fawcett
  • Mona Freeman
  • Ron Harper
  • Don C. Harvey
  • Raymond Hatton
  • Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr.

  • Clegg Hoyt
  • Kathleen Hughes
  • Tommy Ivo
  • Richard Jaeckel
  • I. Stanford Jolley
  • Sandy Kenyon
  • Michael Landon
  • Nan Leslie
  • Adele Mara
  • Howard McNear
  • Don Megowan
  • Jan Merlin
  • Mark Miller
  • Vic Morrow
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • Gregg Palmer
  • Dennis Patrick
  • William Phipps
  • Ford Rainey
  • Stafford Repp
  • Addison Richards
  • Julie Sommars
  • Harold J. Stone
  • Regis Toomey
  • Harry von Zell
  • Gregory Walcott
  • Robert J. Wilke
  • Elen Willard

DVD releases

On October 30, 2007, Timeless Media Group released fifteen episodes of the series on a Region 1 three-DVD set in the United States.

On December 6, 2011, Timeless Media Group released The Tall Man- The Complete TV Series on DVD in Region 1.