This Date in MAVERICK TV History: Mona Freeman, Buddy Ebsen, and Richard Deacon star in “The Cats of Paradise,” airing Oct. 11, 1959

  1. THE CATS OF PARADISE
    Original Airdate: October 11, 1959

Synopsis. Bret goes into business selling cats to a town besieged by rats and mice. Bret doesn’t realize that his charming partner, Modesty Blaine (played by Mona Freeman), is also a crafty, and completely amoral, con artist who robs him of $500 and nearly has him shanghaied. Maverick locates Modesty in Paradise, where he finds her conveniently protected by the town’s two-faced mayor and its superstitious but equally corrupt sheriff.

“The Cats of Paradise” is the first of three episodes featuring Modesty Blaine, a Samantha Crawford-like character who bedevils Bret Maverick (and, later, brother Bart) over the remainder of the series. In this episode, however, Modesty comes across more like Dandy Jim Buckley, only worse: she doesn’t think twice about hiring a gunman to kill Bret. (While Buckley was an all-out grafter, even he had his limitations.) When Maverick‘s audience dropped 5 percent the week after “Paradise” aired, series producer Coles Trapnell took steps to refine the Blaine character.

LEARN MORE about this episode in the revised third edition of Maverick: Legend of the West, featuring more than 100 pages of new information about the show that made James Garner a star. 25 percent of the net proceeds from the sales of the third edition will be donated to The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to help rescue organizations, shelters, individuals, fosters, and veterans with emergencies, evacuations, medical care, adoptions, training, pet supplies, shelter, rehabilitation, boarding, transportation, food, and other pressing needs. JGARF is one way for Garner fans to honor Jim’s memory and extend his legacy. The revised third edition of Maverick: Legend of the West is available through Black Pawn Press, Amazon.com, and wherever books are sold online.
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