Maverick (1957–1962)
4 user 2 critic

War of the Silver Kings 

We first glimpse Bret unshaven & dirty, lugging a rifle, trying to register at a classy hotel. Using the $1000 bill pinned inside his jacket, and adding some dollar-size strips cut from a ... See full summary »


Budd Boetticher


James O'Hanlon (teleplay), C.B. Glasscock (book)




Episode complete credited cast:
James Garner ... Bret Maverick
Edmund Lowe ... Phineas King
John Litel ... Judge Joshua Thayer
Leo Gordon ... Big Mike McComb
Carla Merey Carla Merey ... Edie Stoller
John Hubbard ... Richard Bixby
Robert Griffin ... Fennelly
Fred Sherman ... John Stoller
Bob Steele ... Walter Jackson
Donald Kirke ... Crane


We first glimpse Bret unshaven & dirty, lugging a rifle, trying to register at a classy hotel. Using the $1000 bill pinned inside his jacket, and adding some dollar-size strips cut from a newspaper, Bret cadges a room via a bulging envelope for the guest safe. Changing into his gambler's duds for a poker game including the company town's silver baron Phineas King, Bret (James Garner) wins - and only Bret hints that King is a card cheat. King's casino manager, Big Mike McComb has Bret beaten, but won't have him killed. Big Mike (screenwriter/ex-con Leo Gordon) becomes a memorable recurring character in the series. After King still takes a crack at having Bret iced, Bret runs an ad in King's paper: "King did NOT try to kill me - today. See this space tomorrow !" Directed by one of the best Western specialists, Budd Boetticher. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western





Release Date:

22 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First appearance of James Garner as Bret Maverick. See more »


Bret Maverick commits a serious breach of poker etiquette. It is in the first hand of the first poker game. Maverick drops a card into his lap. When reaching to retrieve it he is holding all five cards under the table. See more »


[first lines]
Hotel Clerk: [to guest checking in] Thank you, sir.
Hotel Clerk: [to Bret] Don't bother to sign, we haven't anything.
Bret Maverick: I'd like something comfortable in the front, with a view of the street.
Hotel Clerk: We're completely out of accommodations. I suggest you try one of the miner's boarding houses.
Bret Maverick: I wonder if you'd mind, uh, keeping this in a safe for me, please.
See more »

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User Reviews

Feeling for the character
14 March 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In this inaurgural episode of Maverick, James Garner rides in dirty and dissheveled but heads to the best hotel in town and asks that a sealed envelope rather bulging with contents be deposited in the hotel safe. That makes the clerk give him a room. When he returns in the attire we know him best in Maverick for it's off to the poker game where cattle baron Edmund Lowe is king at the table.

Some movie fans and some Mark Twain fans will not fail to notice the story the Million Pound Note, written by Twain and made into a film starring Gregory Peck is closely parallel to this story.

Garner is not quite the conman we grew to love on Maverick. It seems like he was feeling for the character. The episode is directed by Budd Boetticher who did so many Randolph Scott features.

It was an interesting beginning.

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