Cimarron Strip is an American Western television series starring Stuart Whitman as U.S. Marshal Jim Crown. The series was produced by the creators of Gunsmoke and aired on CBS from September 1967 to March 1968.
The Cherokee Outlet across the Cimarron River is the last free homestead land in America. It is leased and controlled by cattlemen, and the newly arriving farmers are expecting authorities in Washington, D.C. to send news that they would be given rights to the land, for which they had been campaigning. U.S. Marshal Jim Crown, who has led a rather wild life and has cleaned up Abilene, is assigned to the town of Cimarron. He arrives to find that The Sheriff has resigned, leaving Crown on his own to settle the increasing unrest caused by the news he brings, that the cattlemen's leases have been revoked and a final decision on the land is postponed indefinitely. With no sheriff and no support from Army troops, Crown is on his own to keep law and order in this borderland between the Kansas Territory and Indian Territory.
Tropes used in Cimarron Strip include:
- Artistic License Geography: Cimarron Strip was filmed in a variety of places, including Utah and Southern California; neither location looks anything like the Oklahoma! panhandle, where the series purportedly took place. While the real "Cimarron Strip" is flat and covered in prairie grass, the show's version is mountainous and sandy.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In the first episode, Marshal Crown is saved from death by two-bit alcoholic Screamer, who shoots the villain Ace Coffin from behind, even though he won't get a $10,000 prize for it. Not that Crown himself isn't above killing, even in self defense.
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In "Journey to a Hanging", Marshal Crown is cornered at gunpoint by the wanted criminal Ace Coffin. All of a sudden, Coffin is shot from behind by Screamer.
- Bound and Gagged: Francis in the episode "Blue Moon Train".
- Brownface: In "The Battle of Bloody Stones", all the main Native American characters in the episode are played by white men, despite having Native American extras.
- Enemy Mine: "Journey to a Hanging" has a gang member shot to death by his own leader in the Cimarron jail, so Marshal Crown enlists the help of the troublemaker in the adjacent cell, who had witnessed the murder, to find the one responsible.
- Facial Dialogue: In "Journey to a Hanging", Marshal Crown and jailed gang member Rocky exchange glances. Crown's face says, "I'll get the information of who you're working for out of you yet", while Rocky's face reads, "Not on my watch, you'll see."
- Fainting: When he's shot in the leg in "Journey to a Hanging", Screamer passes out.
- Hand Gagging: In "Journey to a Hanging", Crown does this to Screamer while they were staking out Coffin's gang; the posse had dozed while waiting and Screamer's snoring almost blew their cover.
- Hollywood Costuming: Dulcey's hair is more suitable for the 1960s than the 1870s.
- Jack the Ripper: In "Knife in the Wilderness", written by Harlan Ellison, Jack continues his work across America ending in Cimarron City, where he meets his end at the hands of Indians.
- Large Ham: Screamer.Screamer: I'M AS ORNERY AS A RING-TAILED SCREAMER! YEEEEE-HOO!
- Leeroy Jenkins: In "Journey to a Hanging", Screamer charges in headlong to kill Ace Coffin, and one of Coffin's men shoots Screamer in the leg.
- Lovable Traitor: "Journey to a Hanging" has Screamer, an avaricious cowboy who joins a posse to hunt down an outlaw for the bounty on his head and constantly endangers the mission so he can get the money. His enthusiasm, especially compared to the stoic and much less personable Crown, makes him lovable, even before he saves Crown at the end of the episode, although he wasn't going to get the dream saloon he wanted.
- The Place
- U.S. Marshal: Jim Crown is a U.S. Marshal assigned to bring order to ungoverned, virtually lawless territory known as the Cimarron Strip: the last free homestead land in the U.S. To make matters more complicated, the local sheriff has resigned, making him the only law in the territory.