When Roy Huggins believed he had found an obscure point in the 1876 edition of "Hoyle's Games," around which to build a memorable scene in Maverick. Indeed, the scene has become classic, whether the Rule of Hoyle is authentic or not. But to Huggins' chagrin, it was not written realistically:
After the episode aired, he received several letters from poker-playing viewers pointing out that, unless Bret Maverick had an ace on the hole, he would have thrown his cards away when faced early on with Samantha Crawford's pair of nines. Huggins admitted they were right. He had been careless, and had violated his own rule in television: to always cater to the intelligence of the upper 20% of his audience.
"According to Hoyle" holds another memorable feature, that of being the first story to quote Maverick's old Pappy. The idea came about once day when Marion Hargrove was dictating to his secretary, Iris Chekenian. As he spoke, he came up with a very clever line for Maverick to speak and noticed Iris paused in her note-taking. It had struck her as "too good a line for a dumb cowboy." Hargrove agreed, and said, "Let's start off with something like, 'As my old Pappy used to say…'" Afterwards, Hargrove told Roy Huggins about Pappy. Huggins immediately recognized the potential for the character, and it became one of the hallmarks of not only Maverick, but all three Maverick television revivals and the 1994 motion picture.
Samantha's ruse of targeting Bret to pay off her father's debt was borrowed from RKO Radio Pictures' "Texas Lady" (1955), starring Claudette Colbert. The opening scenes, set in 1885 New Orleans, are very similar to those of "According to Hoyle," but there is no subterfuge or obscure Rule of Hoyle, and the heroine's motivation was truly to pay off her father's embezzlement debts. From there she moves on to take over her legacy as publisher of a Texas newspaper.
Season 1, Episode 3
“The Gambler and the Lady”
October 6, 1957
Russell B. Hughes
Based on the story “A Lady Comes to Texas,”
by Horace McCoy
Clem Fuller (uncredited)
Sol Gross (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien (uncredited)
Don Turner (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent (uncredited)
Ellis W. Carter
Frank M. Miller
Jack N. Young
Gordon Bau, S.M.A
Poker Game Spectator
Stonewall Jackson Stewart
Director of Photography
Supervising Film Editor
01. All credits, unless otherwise noted: Maverick, According to Hoyle (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. Robertson, Ed, Maverick: Legend of the West (1994), Pomegranate Press
03. Maverick: According to Hoyle, The International Movie Database
04. Texas Lady (1955) The International Movie Database
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