Surfing through STARZ westerns the other night turned up an unexpected Death Valley Days episode from 1958 in which Percy Helton and Hope Emerson star opposite one another in an episode called "Big Liz." Emerson's ultra-mannish Liz rescues Helton's "Scrubby" in a mineshaft cave-in. Indebted, he buys her a dress, something she hasn't worn since childhood. She nonetheless invites him along on a prospecting expedition, where they strike up a bizarre love-hate friendship and also strike it rich by finding a silver lode. Liz's estranged husband, hearing of the discovery, shows up in town to try and make off with their riches. In the end, Helton/Emerson scare him off and cement their relationship.
A piece of fluff, to be sure, but it was phenomenal to see these two noir faves of such opposing statures get a half-hour to light up the screen together. It rivals the extended meeting of Elisha Cook Jr and Esther Howard in Born To Kill, or Helton himself with Beverly Michaels in Wicked Woman. If you've never seen it, worth the look. Hey, it gets an 8.5 rating on IMDB.