"Deathwatch" begins with a thirsting Johnny Yuma taking a drink from the canteen of a lone shepherd (James K. Best), who promptly captures him to bait a trio of Mexican bandits led by Cota (Frank Silvera), who promises them both one hour to live before dawn. Johnny learns that the shepherd was a Confederate soldier hailing from Virginia, son of a heroic father, who believes that because he cracked after being captured and whipped by union soldiers that he is a coward deserving to die with dignity in such a desolate location far from home. Johnny is able to convince him that each soldier served a different purpose during the war, depending on strengths or weaknesses, and that many lives were no doubt saved by his efforts. James Best previously appeared in "Night on a Rainbow," while Frank Silvera had previously appeared on THRILLER ("The Guilty Men"), going on to do THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR's memorable "The Life Work of Juan Diaz."
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