The Search for a Crown
When Marshal Crown (Stuart Whitman) arrested killer Dickie Vardeman (Bud Davis) he knew that at some point the Vardeman clan would attempt to break him free. To foil them Crown has a plan to have the outlaws follow him with the prison wagon whilst Francis (Randy Boone) and MacGregor (Percy Herbert) take Dickie by normal wagon to the train to go to trial in another town. Unfortunately for Jim the plan doesn't quite work as he ends up in a shoot out with two of the following Vardeman brothers and ends up shot and in the middle of nowhere. When Jim doesn't return when he says he would Dulcey (Jill Townsend) in a panic tries to rally the town to help find him except Clo Vardeman (Jim Davis) head of the family offers a reward on Jim's head.
Joseph Cotten quite often played forgettable characters, similar sorts of people and he played them so well, but you won't forget his performance in "The Search", episode 9 of "Cimarron Strip", because he plays doctor Nathan Tio who is sort of a Southern mad scientist with his electronic gadgets to try and find bullets in the body. In truth Nathan Tio is one of only two really memorable things is "The Search" as whilst we have a story of Dulcey trying to raise up a search party it almost feels like an episode when the main characters took the week off and instead we got an episode filled by guest actors and supporting cast.
The other good thing about "The Search" is that it also features Jim Davis who many will remember from playing Jock Ewing in Dallas. Davis plays Clo Vardeman as tall, handsome and someone who doesn't need to say too much to instil fear in to you with a look of hell fire and damnation. Although having said that L.Q. Jones delivers a scene stealing comical performance as Lummy, the hillbilly with a split personality who finds Crown in the middle of nowhere.
What this all boils down to is that "The Search" isn't a great episode of "Cimarron Strip" as with the exception of Jill Townsend the other regulars are barely in it. But the enjoyment of "The Search" comes more from the supporting performances with both Jim Davis and Joseph Cotten doing a nice job whilst L.Q. Jones steals many a scene with a comedy performance.