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Conflict

1 9 5 6 – 1 9 5 7 (USA)
20 x 60 minute episodes

This dramatic anthology series from ABC featured hour-long self-contained stories with varying casts, and alternated with Cheyenne as part of Warner Bros. Presents.

The overall theme was people in conflict (hence the title), with settings ranging across time from Elizabethan England to the present day.

Some of the better productions included:

  • ‘Man From 1997’ – which told the story – set in 1956 – of immigrant janitor Johnny Vlakoz, who yearns to marry pretty tenant Maureen. She is set on marrying a rich man, so Johnny attends night school while working two jobs in an effort to become such a man. To help him learn English, Johnny buys a book from a local shop – which turns out to be an almanac of America in 1997 (the future). Johnny gives Maureen’s degenerate gambler brother Red (James Garner) a horse racing tip, but Red inadvertently gives up Johnny’s secret to a mobster.
  • ‘The Magic Brew’ – starring Jim Backus attempting to peddle his medicine show wares in a small town.
  • ‘The People Against McQuade’ – in which a soldier is charged with murder and questions are raised about the use of testimony gained from a person under the influence of sodium pentothal (“truth serum”).

At least two episodes served as prototypes for future series . . .

In one programme Will Hutchins appeared as an inept cowboy (the role he would play a year later in Sugarfoot), and in another Efrem Zimbalist Jr. portrayed detective Stuart Bailey (as he would go on to do in 1958’s 77 Sunset Strip).

Episodes

Shock Wave | Condemned to Glory | The Magic Brew | Captain Without a Country | The People Against McQuade | Man from 1997 | Stranger on the Road | Silent Journey | Girl on the Subway | Blind Drop: Warsaw | Passage to Maranga | The Money | Capital Punishment | Law vs. Gangster | A Question of Loyalty | Anything for Money | No Man’s Road | Pattern for Violence | Execution Night | The Velvet Cage