|1965 - 1967
Military comedy about a misfit group of
cavalry soldiers stationed at Fort Courage, a
remote outpost in the Kansas/Missouri Territory
in the days following the Civil War.
Private Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), a bumbling city dude from
Philadelphia accidentally lead a charge of Union soldiers that defeated a sneak
attack of Confederate forces. Wilton was on his way to
fetch his commanding officer's laundry when pollen in the air made him
sneeze and a nearby Union soldiers believed he shouted "Charge!"
For recognition of his valor, the army promoted Wilton to Captain
(now known as the "Scourge of the West/Appomatox"),
pinned a medal on chest and assigned him to command F-Troop.
Wilton replaced "Cannonball" Bill McCormack, who retired as
commander of Fort Courage that was named for Colonel Sam Courage
Wilton's family included :
- Jeanette Nolan as Mrs. Parmenter who lived back East
and came to visit her son, on occasion.
- Patty Regan as Daphne Parmenter, Wilton's sister
- Allyn Joslyn as Colonel Jupiter Parmenter, Wilton's
uncle. Captain Thor X. Parmenter was another military relative.
The troopers under Wilton's command included:
- Forrest Tucker as Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke, a boisterous
Irish, 25-year-veteran soldier who runs O'Rourke Enterprises, an illegal operation
secretly based at the barracks. He sells trinkets, souvenirs and
watered-down whiskey made by the local Hekawis Indian
tribes. Part of O'Rourke's subterfuge with the Captain was making
him believe that the peaceful Hekawis Indians were ferocious.
O'Rourke also runs the local saloon, the only waterhole within 109
miles from the fort. For a while, a beautiful woman (Lee
Meriwether) opened a rival saloon in town. The sergeant's father
is Morgan O'Rourke, Sr. (Forrest Tucker in a dual role). Pete's
the bartender at O'Rourke's saloon.
Corporal Agarn and Sergeant O'Rourke
- Larry Storch as Corporal Randolph Agarn, O'Rourke's dim-witted
assistant who pulls off his hat and protests when O'Rourke says,
"I don't know why people call you stupid." From time to time, the
fort is visited by some of Agarn's strange relatives, including
his Russian cousin Dimitri Agarnoff, his Mexican cousin El Diablo,
and his French cousin Lucky Pierre. Agarn's horse is named Barney.
- Bob Steele as Trooper Duffy, one of the oldest
soldiers in F Troop. He claims to be a survivor of the Alamo and
often tells stories about his time there, "There I was with Davy
- James Hampton as Trooper
Hannibal Shirley Dobbs, the
fort's amiable bugler. He can't blow a proper tune, but he
keeps trying. Mama Dobbs (Nydia Westman) is Hannibal's mother.
- Joe Brooks as Private Vanderbilt, a nearly blind
trooper who is assigned lookout duties on the fort's tower.
- John Mitchum as Private Hoffenmuller, a German trooper
who speaks Cherokee, Sioux, Apache, and Hekawis, but not lick
- Ivan Bell as Private Duddleson, a sleepy, obese soldier.
- Henry Gibson as Private Wrongo Starr, a jinxed soldier
who visited the fort for a short time.
Jane Angelica Swift, aka "Wrangler Jane" (Melody Patterson) was
the attractive, blond cowgirl who ran the general store and post
office on the post. Good with horses and a gun, the outgoing Jane
wanted to marry Wilton but the shy and reserved Wilton was often
embarrassed at her advances. He's often heard saying "Jane, please
not in front of the men." Jane's horse is named Pecos. Henry Turkel
(George Gobel) is Jane's cousin..
Chief Wild Eagle and Crazy Cat
Not far from the fort lived the Hekawis Indian tribe. Their Chief, Wild Eagle (Frank De Kova) described his people as peaceful and
once said "Hekawis not hate nobody. We invent peace pipe." But,
occasionally, to keep the illusion that they were wild, the Chief ordered an attack Fort Courage, usually at the request of
The nearby Shugs Indians were however, very hostile and sometimes
both the Hekawis Indians and men of F Troop had to contend with
Other Hekawis Indians and relatives included:
- Don Diamond as Crazy Cat, Wild Eagle's ambitious
second-in-command who anxiously awaits the day he can lead
- Mike Mazurki as Geronimo, Wild Eagle's cousin.
- Don Rickles as Bald Eagle, Wild Eagle's son.
- Laurie Sibbald as Silver Doe, Wild Eagle's daughter.
- Cathy Lewis as Whispering Dove, Wild Eagle's sister.
- Paul Peterson as Johnny Eagle Eye, Wild Eagle's nephew.
- Edward Everett Horton as
Roaring Chicken, the medicine man.
Pat O'Malley also appeared as a Medicine Man.
- Milton Berle as Wise Owl, a crooked Indian detective.
- Phil Harris as Flaming Arrow, a 147-year-old Indian
whose determined to take back Indian land from the "White
- Ben Frommer as Smokey Bear.
- Marilyn Fisk as Kissing Squaw.
- Lew Wills, Jr. as Beware of Dog.
Listen to Theme Song
Theme Song Lyrics
(by William Lava & Irving Taylor)
The end of the Civil War was near
When quite accidentally,
A hero who sneezed abruptly seized retreat
And reversed it to victory.
His medal of honor pleased and thrilled
His proud little family group.
While pinning it on some blood was spilled
And so it was planned he’d command F-Troop.
Where Indian fights are colorful sights
And nobody takes a lickin’
Where pale face and redskin both turn chicken.
When killing and fighting get them down,
They know their morale can’t droop.
As long as they all relax in town
Before they resume with a bang and a boom
Obituaries: Forrest Tucker: 10/25/1986; Frank
Bob Steele: 12/21/1988; Ivan Bell: 04/04/1977; John
Mitchum: 11/29/2001; Edward Everett Horton: 09/29/1970;
Benny Baker: 09/20/1994.
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