How Well Do You Remember the TV Series, The Rifleman?

Carolyn Brooks Fleming

Image: ABC

About This Quiz

In "The Rifleman," Lucas McCain would rather use his words than his weapon. Of course, the show wouldn't be much of a Western without a fair share of shooting, right? How much do you remember about this classic TV show?

Who is the Rifleman?

Lucas McCain is the Rifleman. He is a widowed rancher.

Which actor played Lucas McCain?

Chuck Connors played the title role, Lucas McCain, in "The Rifleman." Did you know he also appeared as The Sarge in the 1982 comedy film "Airplane II: The Sequel"?

How is Mark McCain related to Lucas McCain?

Mark McCain, son of the Rifleman, was played by Johnny Crawford. Back in 1955, Crawford was one of the original Disney Mouseketeers!

What sort of rifle does Lucas McCain use?

Lucas' signature rifle is a Winchester. However, he prefers to work things out with words whenever possible.

Lucas McCain is a veteran of which war?

Lucas McCain is a veteran of the Civil War. Eleven states left the Union to support slavery during "The War Between the States." We all know how that turned out - thank goodness.

Where is "The Rifleman" set?

The show is set in North Fork, in the New Mexico Territory, back in the 1880s. New Mexico didn't become a state until January 6, 1912.

Who is the town marshal?

Marshal Micah Torrance was played by actor Paul Fix. In addition to many TV appearances, Fix was featured in the movies "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "El Dorado."

Who owns the General Store?

Milly Scott, known as Miss Milly, owns the General Store for most of the show's run. Actress Joan Taylor, who played the part, can also be seen in 1956's "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" and 1957's "20 Million Miles to Earth."

Which actor made a guest appearance on "The Rifleman"?

So many well-known actors appeared in the show! In addition to those mentioned above, famous visitors included Robert Vaughn, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Culp, James Coburn and Vic Morrow.

In what year did "The Rifleman" debut?

"The Rifleman" debuted in 1958. It ran for 168 episodes, over five seasons, until it went off the air in 1963.

Where did "The Rifleman" appear, before it became a series?

"Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater" was an anthology series on CBS, which ran from 1956 to 1961. The pilot episode of "The Rifleman" was called "The Sharpshooter."

Chuck Connors, star of the show, once played with which pro sports team?

Connors played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. He also played basketball with the Boston Celtics! And - believe it or not - he was drafted to play football with the Chicago Bears, but never played.

Which actor from the show was nominated for a Primetime Emmy?

Crawford was nominated for an Emmy in 1959, when he was only 13, but he did not win. However, in 2005 he won a Golden Boot Award for being a Kid of the West.

Which member of the famous Rat Pack appeared on the show?

Of course, the answer is Sammy Davis Jr. - the others are members of the Brat Pack! The Las Vegas Rat Pack included Davis, along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

What's the problem with McCain's famous rifle?

McCain's famous Winchester was from 1892, but the show was set in the 1870s and 1880s. Oh well - most of us wouldn't notice.

Writer Sam Peckinpah originally wrote the pilot for "The Rifleman" as an episode of what other show?

It was written for the only other Western in the list - "Gunsmoke." In that script there was no son, and Lucas McCain had the first name John. So how similar was it, really?

What former teammate of Chuck Connors made an appearance on the show?

Duke Snider, whose real name was Edwin Donald Snider, was a teammate of Chuck Connors with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Silver Fox appeared in an episode called "The Retired Gun."

Chuck Connors once said, “There was a lot of violence on 'The Rifleman.' We once figured out that I killed on the average of _______ people per show."

Yup, Chuck Connors once claimed that his character, Lucas McCain, killed an average of two and a half people per episode. He had a lot of explaining to do.

How many shots are fired during the opening credits of "The Rifleman"?

Twelve shots are fired each episode, during the opening credits. That's before the real action even starts!

What part of McCain's rifle allows him to spin it in his hand?

McCain's Winchester has a ring lever. That's a special modification that wasn't even available during the years the story takes place. Oh well.

Does Lucas McCain shoot left-handed or right-handed?

Lucas McCain fires both left- and right-handed. He could have left the ranch to be a stunt-shooting star.

What show was a spinoff of "The Rifleman"?

"Law of the Plainsman," starring Michael Ansara, aired in 1959. The title character appeared on "The Rifleman" twice before earning his own show.

What happened to the woman who was Lucas' wife and Mark's mother?

She never appeared in the show, but we're told she died of smallpox, back in the 1870s. The World Health Assembly declared the virus eradicated in 1980.

Lead actor Chuck Connors once said, "________ made my entrance to the film industry immeasurably easier than I could have made it alone."

Baseball doesn't seem to have much in common with acting, but that's what Chuck Connors said. Maybe he only acted like he could play ball.

Why did North Fork's marshal need McCain's help so often?

Marshal Micah Torrence was a recovering alcoholic. He meant well, but he spent too much time drinking at Sweeney's bar.

Who is Nils Swenson on "The Rifleman"?

Nils Swenson is the blacksmith in the series. Actor Joe Higgins played the role, and later became known as the Safety Sheriff in ads for Dodge.

The actress who played Hattie Denton, one owner of the general store, later voiced which famous TV commercial character?

Hope Summers played Hattie Denton, who owned the general store in North Fork during some seasons of the show. And yes, she was also the voice of Mrs. Butterworth! Delicious syrup.

"The Rifleman" featured which cinematic style?

"The Rifleman" featured dramatic use of light and shadows, and also creative camera angles. That's film noir in a nutshell.

Who is the town doctor on the show?

Doc Burrage was played by several actors, including Ralph Moody in 12 episodes. Moody later appeared in "Bonanza."

Who is John Hamilton on "The Rifleman"?

John Hamilton is the president of the North Fork Bank. He first appeared in episode 8, "The Safeguard."

In the episode called "The Vision," young Mark McCain considers going where?

Mark McCain has a high fever and considers joining his mother in heaven. Fortunately for everyone involved, the boy stays on Earth with his dad!

What happens to Mark McCain in the episode, "Old Tony"?

Yup, Mark gets trapped in quicksand, while trying to help his friend Lorrie. Of course, Lucas McCain saves them both.

Which character says, "I can always squeeze a hen or two if you want some more"?

Mark says this to Lou, when she runs out of eggs while cooking. Yikes! The episode was "Incident at Line Shack Six."

Before the McCains moved there, what was the name of the ranch?

It was the Dunlap Ranch before it was renamed the McCain Ranch. It was 4,100 acres.

As revealed in "The Trade," how much does Lucas McCain pay for his son's education?

Mark's education costs a dollar a week, at a time when that's real money. And the kid would rather just hang out at the ranch.

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