on July 24, 1999
This is the quintessential episode of "Maverick," the one that everyone remembers first and the one that sticks in everyone's mind. The entire supporting cast of running con-artist characters is featured, including the perfect Diane Brewster as Samantha Crawford, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Dandy Jim Buckley (his most winning role), Richard Long as Gentleman Jack Darby, and Leo Gordon as Irishman Big Mike McComb, among others, with John Dehner as the sublimely execrable villain of the piece ("If you can't trust your banker, whom can you trust?"). Jack Kelly as Maverick's brother Bart runs a complex con that is the forerunner for the film "The Sting" while James Garner as Bret Maverick spends most of the show sitting in a rocking chair and whittling, telling scoffing townspeople that ask how he intends to recover a stolen $15,000 within a self-imposed two-week deadline that he's "working on it." Somehow the image of Garner rocking and smiling and whittling is one of the three most memorable television images of the 1950s, along with Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show and Fess Parker as Davey Crockett on Walt Disney's Disneyland series. If you can't understand how this can possibly be the case, see for yourself.
on November 25, 1998
Here's what you need to know about Shady Deal at Sunny Acres: even though surrounded by some of the best talent of 50's TV, James Garner still steals the show, and he does it while sitting on a porch and whittling most of the episode. In the town of Sunny Acres, a crooked banker swindles Bret Maverick out of $15,000. Shortly thereafter, brother Bart arrives under the name of Mr. Mansfield, and sets in motion a con game to get Bret his money back, and to teach the banker a lesson. Participating in this romp are Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Richard Long and Regis Toomey. If you ever wondered why people recall Maverick fondly still, this episode will satisfy your curiousity.
on June 29, 2000
I'm apparently a little young to remember this show when originally broadcast. I bought this one 'coz I love James Garner, and now I'm hooked on it. What a great show! It's got a solid plot, wonderful and well-executed characters, a good balance between humor and compassion, and the good guys win! What more could you ask for? I recommend this video even if you're not a great fan of the western genre.
on August 15, 2002
I was about eight years old when Maverick was popular but I remember my family sitting around the television in the evening and watching the original episodes. When I found the Maverick video website I ordered two immediately. I looked forward to their arrival with great anticipation. At the same time I wondered if the program would live up to my recollections. I was astounded to find that it did, and we all laughed out loud at Shady Deal at Sunny Acres and the other videos I have purchased. The writers and producers of Maverick put a lot of time into these scripts and it shows. Its great to enjoy them again.
on July 18, 1999
I think this gem is my second-favorite Maverick episode (behind "A Fellow's Brother"). Some of the Mavericks were basic westerns, but this great sting episode showed the genius and humor of the show. John Dehner is once again great as a comedic villian. Definitely makes me wish that more Maverick episodes were available.