In owing a favor to the town sheriff Dave Quinn, Paladin, after reading about the violence, heads to Big Spur, Colorado to offer his services to Quinn for free to resolve the lawlessness that has emerged in the once friendly town, and that Quinn, as one man growing older and wearier by the day, feels incapable of managing on his own. The problems stem from a dispute between the Texas, Colorado and Overland Railroad and the Continental Divide Railroad, with the General Agent for each side, Charles Foster and John Sukey, having hired gunmen to guard what each feels is rightfully his company's. Foster has gone further in having hired a "deputy agent", Ralph Coe, who, in reality, is Foster's chief gunman. Upon his arrival, Paladin learns the specific source of the dispute is that the former has leased the right-of-way to the latter over Raymond Gorge to and from town - this stretch part of the transcontinental route - but has kept control of the depot, meaning that any Continental Divide ...Written by
The title is based on the common expression: Birds of a feather flock together. This expression has been around since at least the 16th century as: "Birds of one kind and color flock and fly always together." See more »
The first re-telling of Dashiell Hammett's "Red Harvest"?
I just saw this episode, and immediately recognized the basic plot elements--talented stranger arrives in town divided between warring gangs, and ends the conflict by playing one side against the other.
Three years later, Akira Kurosawa released "Yojimbo", which retold Hammett's story in feudal Japan, and was much truer to the bloody nature of the original novel than HGWT could ever be. A few years after that, Sergio Leone took the story back to the American West in "A Fistful of Dollars", and they've never stopped remaking it since--last time was with Bruce Willis.
But this is the first time I know of that somebody took Hammett's basic idea and shifted eras and settings. They even tip the hat to Hammett's 'Continental Op' by referring to a Continental Divide Railway.
I wouldn't call this one of the best HGWT eps I've seen, but it's a fascinating bit of pop cultural history, nonetheless--they even beat Kurosawa to the punch. No mean feat. But I doubt he ever saw this episode. He was influenced by the same original source--the genius of Dashiell Hammett.
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