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The Harvest (26 March 1966)

Appearing as David McGovern

Broadcast 26 March 1966 on the CBS television network.

Three generations of Scots immigrants, David McGovern (James MacArthur), his father, Ian (Karl Swenson), and his father's mother (Alma Platt) have travelled long and far in search of the perfect homestead, and have at last found a place that will suit them. Having filed their claim, they settle in to begin farming and building a new home.

Unfortunately, their new property has long been considered by Ben Payson (George Kennedy) as part of his own spread. He doesn't take at all kindly to his new neighbors, whom he considers nothing better than squatters and thieves.

He appeals to his good friend, Matt Dillon (James Arness), for aid. But Matt, being an officer of the law, points out that the McGoverns have filed for the land legally, and Ben has no legal title to it.

Ben storms out, telling Matt over his shoulder that he'll take the law into his own hands, if necessary, to keep what he feels is rightfully his.

Complicating matters is a growing love affair between Betsy (Lesley Ann Warren), Ben's daughter, and young David. Despite several heated warnings to keep away from his land and his daughter, David and his family decide to stay put, refusing to be intimidated.

Even when David saves Betsy's life during a run-in with a wild boar, it's not enough to change Ben's attitude. At the end of his rope and infuriated over the McGovern family's stubborn tenacity, Ben rounds up some friends and sets out to forcefully drive then away.

The confrontation ends in tragedy when the McGovern wagon is set ablaze, and David badly burned while trying to save the family's possessions. Ben realizes that his land greed has driven him too far. He gives himself up to face the legal consequences of his actions.

The McGoverns find they can't stay in a place full of so many tragic reminders. As the family once again packs up to head farther west, Betsy runs to David, choosing to marry him over her father's objections and leaving with her new family, likely never to see her father again.

Ben, Matt, and Festus (Ken Curtis) watch sadly as the wagon draws away, all painfully aware that in his overzealous desire to protect and cherish both his daughter and his land, he has ultimately lost both.

Special Note: No, it's not your browser or your monitor; the images presented on this page really are fuzzy. Due to the scarce availability of this program on video, we've had to make do with a less than perfect copy; however, we thought fans unable to view any version of this program would appreciate even low quality images rather than nothing at all. Therefore, we've cleaned up the images as best we can and present them here for your viewing pleasure. If at some future date we are able to acquire a video with better picture quality, we'll update this page with better images.

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James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Lesley Ann Warren

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Lesley Ann Warren

James MacArthur, Lesley Ann Warren

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