"A Thing to Fight For"
Episode 8.1 (Sept. 26, 1958)
Rod Taylor plays Boyd Harland, a slick southern lawyer in this installment of
a 30-minute CBS anthology
series. The episode stars Rod Steiger and also has Martin Landau in a small
"A Thing to Fight For" features quality performances, good southern
accents, tense action and does a good job of depicting a chase
through a Florida swamp, complete with wildlife footage. The only
false note comes early, with the opening card that says "Florida
1860," but Rod Steiger's character is supposed to be a Civil War
veteran. It's more likely set in the 1880s.
Rod Steiger plays Hume Searcy, who has been hired to manage an
orange grove. He has arrived from Alabama with his wife, Eleanor
(Marianne Sheridan), and son, Del (Kim Charney) and hopes that
trouble has not followed them once again.
His hopes are soon dashed by threats from the Jaurines, a
local family of ruffians who keep running off the caretakers of the
grove. They want to claim it for their own, but lost the fight in
court. Neither the family nor their lawyer, Boyd Harland, will give
Boyd Harland uses all his charm to ingratiate himself with the
family. While the Jaurines try to bully the husband, Harland
befriends his son and woos his wife. He seems sincere in his pleas
for her to follow him to New Orleans, but it's likely he's just
trying to break up the family so that the Jaurines can take over the
In a touching scene, Hume Searcy explains to his son why he tries
to avoid violence. He had been a sharpshooter for the Confederate
Army, but later came to see that the hatred did no good. Eventually,
however, he has to stand up to the Jaurines and defend his family
The episode was directed by John Brahm,
who is credited on dozens of other episodes of great TV shows of the 1950s and '60s, such as "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Bonanza,"
and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." Brahm also directed Rod in
"The Story of Marjorie Reardon."
Sponsorship of this anthology series alternated between "Schlitz Playhouse"
and "Lux Playhouse." The "coming next week" previews in "A Thing to Fight
For," promoted another Rod Taylor appearance in "Best House in the Valley."