All four of Chuck Connors' sons appeared in one Rifleman episode

Filming the episode took twice as long because the kids kept ruining takes!

On Now
3 Facts You Might Not Know About ’The Rifleman’
Up Next:

In The Rifleman episode "The Schoolmaster," Arnold Moss plays a strict, no-nonsense teacher new to North Fork. The story starts when Lucas brings a group of children to school on his wagon. As they arrive, Schoolmaster Griswald chastises Lucas for bringing the children 12 minutes late.

Mark and the rest of the kids in the class soon learn what they're in for when Mr. Griswald informs them that "the standards at this school will be as high as they are at the Boston Academy." The new rules don't come easy for the kids, especially Mark's impulsive friend, Billy.

After Mark gets blamed for one of Billy's pranks, the pair decide to skip school and explore an abandoned mine. They're not there long when a collapse traps Mark inside. In the end, Lucas and Mr. Griswald have to put their differences aside to save the young McCain.

The episode is dramatic and tense onscreen — but behind the scenes was a friendly family affair. Chuck Connors brought his four sons to work with him to play some of Mark's classmates. Even more desks were filled by Connors' two nieces and the children of the show's producers Arnold Laven and Arthur Gardner.

According to a piece in LIFE Magazine from the time, having so many kids on set was fun but also time-consuming. The article reveals that filming the episode "took double the usual time as the children waved at the cameras, missed cues and laughed at the wrong time."

It also gives a hilarious tidbit about the end of the shoot. "The scenes were finally done to everyone's satisfaction — except a four-year-old who asked after a ninth retake, 'When does the show begin?'"

Watch The Rifleman on MeTV!

Weekdays at 3 PM & 3:30 PM
Saturdays at 5 PM & 5:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


MichaelHollander 45 months ago
I remember watching the schoolteacher episode..also Flip Mark was in the episode too....5 Stars...
Flip also appeard on "Lassie"with Jon
texasluva 46 months ago
Okay now that the participants worked so hard to get this movie right. I am going to show it below. It is a wonderful movie full of suspense. I was fraught for a good ending and it was perfect. Here is a poem first I wrote for this.

I was taken aback and mind running amok
How they could do this to these Canucks
I waited for retribution and revenge
To find how the movie would end
Because these Goose Steppers so nasty
It was all left up to Raymond Massey

There's a German U-Boat in Canadian waters and Hudson Bay...I say again There's a German U-Boat in Hudson Bay........
They are and sinking our Ships.......... Bring our war planes and ships to bare....
U-Boat sighted ......but.................6 escape and cause havoc through Canada. What will happen next.........
Yes the 49th Parallel and you'll have to watch what comes next.
49th Parallel (1941)
2 h 2 min
Video- very good
Leslie Howard
Laurance Olivier
Raymond Massy
Blakleys 46 months ago
Blakleys 46 months ago
This comment has been removed.
texasluva 46 months ago
I remember this episode. At times I had wished that Lucas would grab the teach and shake him up a good one. A real stickler he was. Mark is falsely accused of damaging a book belonging to the new school teacher, Mark and friend run off and get in a abandoned mine shaft. In the search for the children the teacher ends up changing his tune. All's well that ends well............
Load previous comments
texasluva MrsPhilHarris 46 months ago
For one I could not put up a Nazi flag or Maple leaf one or the whole world would know in an instant. I should've put the co-ordinates in code (maybe Morse or something to make it harder). . . . . _ _ _ _ .
MrsPhilHarris texasluva 46 months ago
I would have to hold a seance and contact my Dad to get him to translate the Morse Code! 😉

Fun fact (well maybe not fun): The Maple Leaf was not our flag until 1965. Prior to that the Red Ensign was our flag. If you had used it I doubt most would have recognized it.
texasluva MrsPhilHarris 46 months ago
The two numbers I put up were 5 & 9 and take me forever to do one place. I looked at your other flags but got confused. So thought most logical to work a tad more. Plus made it a point not to say war. Then you got the year and closing in on me 😳.
mawagner texasluva 46 months ago
I agree--that teacher needed a walloping himself. I hate it whenever Mark gets punished!!! He's such a good boy! He didn't even tattle on his friend.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?