TV Review – THE VIRGINIAN: BELOVED OUTLAW (1966)

Sara Lane in “Beloved Outlaw” (5:11) – The Virginian WeblogTHE VIRGINIAN: BELOVED OUTLAW (1966, USA) ***
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. William Witney; w. True Boardman; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Winston Miller; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Edward A. Biery; ad. George Patrick; set d. Claire P. Brown, John McCarthy Jr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Bill Ford (Mono); tr. 23 November 1966; r/t. 75m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), John Bryant (Dr. Spaulding), James McCallion (Hostler), Bing Russell (Gabe Sloan), John Archer (Paul Nelson), James Beck (Peters), Don Wilbanks (Jenkins), John Harmon (Auctioneer).

(s. 5 ep. 11) A wild white stallion draws the attention of Elizabeth (Lane) who convinces her grandfather (Bickford) to buy it. Against his wishes, she tames and breaks the stallion when Trampas (McClure) is unable to. Her and the stallion become inseparable, but a problem occurs. The standard story of girl falls in love with wild horse and only she can tame him. All the stock story development is used in this tale, but it is done without becoming cloyingly sentimental and Lane delivers a genuinely charming and engaging performance.

TV Review – THE VIRGINIAN: DEAD-EYE DICK (1966)

The Virginian Episode Review~Deadeye Dick |THE VIRGINIAN: DEAD-EYE DICK (1966, USA) **½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Ida Lupino; w. Joseph Hoffman; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Winston Miller; ph. Walter Strenge (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Sidney Fine; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Robert F. Shugrue; ad. George Patrick; set d. Claire P. Brown, John McCarthy Jr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Frank H. Wilkinson (Mono); tr. 9 November 1966; r/t. 77m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Alice Rawlings (Marjorie Hammond), David Macklin (Bob Foley), William Schallert (Harry Foley), Patricia Donahue (Mrs. Livvy Underhill), June Vincent (Mrs. Lucille Hammond), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), Simon Scott (District Attorney), William Phipps (Hank), Dennis McCarthy (3rd Townsman), Chuck Courtney (Blake), Ollie O’Toole (Bank Teller), Walter Woolf King (Judge Winters), Mike Ragan (Burt (uncredited)), Frank Sully (Danny the Bartender (uncredited)).

(s. 5 ep. 9) A woman (Vincent) visits her sister in Medicine Bow bringing her teenage daughter (Rawlings) who is enamoured with a Dead Eye Dick western novel. She develops a crush on The Virginian (Drury) after he settles her horse aggravating a teenage boy she meets who likes her. A lightweight and totally predictable episode, the kind that made a diversion from the more serious material around it. The big positive is Rawlings, who captures the girl’s naive charm well. Everything else in this tale is moderate and instantly forgettable.

TV Review – THE VIRGINIAN: THE OUTCAST (1966)

THE VIRGINIAN: THE OUTCAST (1966, USA) ***
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Alan Crosland Jr.; w. Lou Shaw; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Joel Rogosin; ph. Walter Strenge (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Robert F. Shugrue; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Robert R. Bertrand (Mono); tr. 26 October 1966; r/t. 76m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Fabian (Charlie Ryan), Milton Selzer (Harold Bitz), George Wallace (Sheriff in Portersville), Carole Kane (Charlotte Rivers), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), Quentin Sondergaard (Zach), Marvin Brody (Horace), Boyd Stockman (Stage Driver).

(s. 5 ep. 7) A man (Fabian) wanted for murder and robbery escapes jail and ends up in Medicine Bow where he befriends Stacey (Quine) in a fight. He goes to work at Shiloh as a ranch hand and Elizabeth (Lane) takes an interest in him. However, Stacey is less certain about him. The story progresses at a pretty slow rate with little dramatic impetus until the final act. Former teen idol Fabian makes his third appearance as a guest star in the series and acquits himself fairly in interpreting the ambiguity of his character. Lane is endearing as Elizabeth who falls for Fabian’s charms and tries her best to help him clear his name.

TV Review – THE VIRGINIAN: THE CHALLENGE (1966)

THE VIRGINIAN: THE CHALLENGE (1966, USA) ***
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don McDougall; w. Joy Dexter, Harry Kronman (based on a story by Joy Dexter); exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Joel Rogosin; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Michael R. McAdam; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 19 October 1966; r/t. 75m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Dan Duryea (Ben Crayton), Don Galloway (Jim Tyson), Michael Burns (Bobby Crayton), Barbara Anderson (Sarah Crayton), Ed Peck (Sheriff Milt Hayle), Bing Russell (Sam Fuller), Hal Bokar (Hank Logan), Grant Woods (Walt Sturgess), Clay Tanner (Station Agent), Byron Keith (Dr. Manning), Clyde Howdy (Marshal Coons), Lew Brown (Deputy Hart Ellis).

(s. 5 ep. 6) After a stagecoach holdup and accident, Trampas (McClure) stumbles into a farm with a concussion and amnesia. The farmer (Duryea) and his two kids (Anderson and Burns) tend to Trampas but the white-handled gun he is carrying puts him into danger from the law and the outlaws. Loss of memory and implication in some crime is a well-worn plot device, so there are not many surprises in this familiar tale. The story is tight and well-acted by a strong cast, with McClure getting to explore his range a bit more. It is competently made and the story retains interest throughout. Galloway and Anderson (here making her TV debut) would go on to work together on the popular crime drama Ironside (1967-75).

TV Review – THE VIRGINIAN: JACOB WAS A PLAIN MAN (1966)

THE VIRGINIAN: JACOB WAS A PLAIN MAN (1966, USA) **½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don McDougall; w. Eric Bercovici; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Joel Rogosin; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. George Ohanian; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 12 October 1966; r/t. 73m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Aldo Ray (Jacob ‘Jake’ Walker), Alfred Ryder (Ketch), Robert Pine (Curley), Edward Faulkner (Packer), Peter Duryea (Nicky), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), L.Q. Jones (Belden), Larry J. Blake (Barker), Harry Harvey (Bartender), Frank J. Scannell (Ticket Seller), Tim Donnelly (2nd Cowhand), Cal Bartlett (1st Cowhand), Stephen Burnette (Townsman (uncredited)), Ross Dollarhide (Townsman (uncredited)), Harper Flaherty (Harper (uncredited)), Joseph Glick (Townsman (uncredited)), Richard LaMarr (Townsman (uncredited)), Ted Mapes (Townsman (uncredited)), Clyde McLeod (Townsman (uncredited)), Joe Phillips (Townsman (uncredited)), Harry Raven (Townsman (uncredited)), Frank Sully (Danny (uncredited)), Jack Tornek (Townsman (uncredited)), George Tracy (Townsman (uncredited)), Harry Varteresian (The Angel (uncredited)).

(s. 5 ep. 5) Jake (Ray) who can’t hear or speak runs after he accidentally kills a man in a bar. He lands at Shiloh where his hard work results in a job. Stacey (Quine) seeing Jake can’t express himself decides to teach him to read and write but puts him in danger. Told in flashback, which has little dramatic effect on the story, this is a familiar tale of a misunderstood misfit with a disability and a heart of gold. For the most part, the story avoids dropping too deep into sentimentality, largely through the sympathetic performance of Ray as the deaf-mute on the run from a murder charge. There is a side plot about two ranch hands stealing heads of cattle from the Shiloh stock and their need to keep Ray from informing on them. The story is wrapped up all too neatly and without a resolution to the incident that started it and as such leaves the viewer unfulfilled.

TV Review: THE VIRGINIAN: THE CAPTIVE (1966)

The Captive (1966)THE VIRGINIAN: THE CAPTIVE (1966, USA) ***½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don Weis; w. Peter Packer; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Winston Miller; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Sidney Fine; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. John Elias; ad. George Patrick; set d. Claire P. Brown, John McCarthy Jr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 28 September 1966; r/t. 75m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Susan Strasberg (Liliota / Katherine Ann Emory), Virginia Vincent (Louise Emory), Don Hanmer (Roger Emory), Than Wyenn (Grey Horse), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), Michael Forest (Cavalry Lieutenant), Gus Trikonis (Running Elk), Tina Menard (Elk Woman), Alex Sharp (Ranch Hand).

(s. 5 ep. 3) A white girl is caught with her adoptive Arapaho parents stealing Shiloh cattle. She stays at Shiloh while the authorities try to find her white parents. She wants to return to the Arapaho but is forced to learn to live in the white world. The diminutive Strasberg gives a good performance as the adoptive Indian with emotional conflicts splitting her bond with her adoptive Arapho guardians and her natural parents. This is a good episode for Lane whose frustration in her attempts to bond with Strasberg are sensitively played. Good direction from Weis keeps the story the right side of sentimental and the finale is genuinely touching.

TV Review: THE VIRGINIAN: RIDE TO DELPHI (1966)

THE VIRGINIAN: RIDE TO DELPHI (1966, USA) ***½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Anton Leader; w. Andy Lewis (based on a story by Don Tait); exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Joel Rogosin; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Russell Garcia; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Michael R. McAdam; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 21 September 1966; r/t. 73m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Angie Dickinson (Annie Carlson), Harold J. Stone (Einar Carlson), Warren Oates (Buxton), Ron Russell (Lemoine Carlson), Bernie Hamilton (Ransome Kiley), John Kellogg (Sheriff), Robert Cornthwaite (Judge), Stephen Coit (Welk), Ross Hagen (Tern), Byron Berry (Elber Kiley), Myron Berry (Jethro Kiley), Boyd Stockman (Stagecoach Driver), George DeNormand (Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)), George Ford (Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)), Fred Krone (Brawler (uncredited)).

(s. 5 ep. 2) The Virginian counted 50 cows that were delivered to Grainger but the next morning five of them are missing. The Virginian feeling responsible tracks the stolen cattle down but finds himself arrested on murder charges and can’t explain it. Drury is at his stoic best in this episode of secrets and blackmail. Dickinson is excellent as the ex-saloon girl trying to make good as Stone’s wife. Best of all is Hamilton as a dignified black sodbuster out to make an honest living for himself and his boys. Russell overplays his spoilt brat role, but that is the only negative aspect of this strong and emotive episode.

TV Review: THE VIRGINIAN: LEGACY OF HATE (1966)

Legacy of Hate (1966)THE VIRGINIAN: LEGACY OF HATE (1966, USA) ***½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don McDougall; w. Frank Chase; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Winston Miller; ph. Ray Rennahan (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. Robert F. Shugrue; ad. George Patrick; set d. John McCarthy Jr., James M. Walters Sr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 14 September 1966; r/t. 75m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Jo Van Fleet (Lee Calder), Jeremy Slate (Jim Dawson), L.Q. Jones (Belden), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), Tyler McVey (Gillman), Dennis McCarthy (Cooper), Clyde Howdy (Nash), Ed Prentiss (Parker), Elizabeth Harrower (Mrs. Grant), Troy Melton (Ed), Bob Hoy (Pete), Robert Board (Townsman (uncredited)), Jimmie Booth (Lee’s Carriage Driver (uncredited)), George DeNormand (Townsman (uncredited)).

(s. 5 ep. 1) The new owner of Shiloh quickly finds his hot-headed grandson accused of cattle rustling. He learns his neighbour is the widow of a friend who died with him. The sullied family name reduces their finance options putting Shiloh in jeopardy. Season five opens with a strong episode built around Bickford and Van Fleet. Lane and Quine are also introduced as Bickford’s devoted granddaughter and volatile grandson and acquit themselves well. The drama is resolved a little too neatly in its final act, but still another example of how the series retained a high quality producing up to 30 episodes a year at 75m each.

Film Review – WHIRLPOOL (1949)

Image result for whirlpool 1949Whirlpool (1949; USA; B&W; 97m) ***  d. Otto Preminger; w. Ben Hecht, Andrew Solt; ph. Arthur Miller; m. David Raksin.  Cast: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer, Charles Bickford, Richard Conte, Barbara O’Neil, Constance Collier, Fortunio Bonanova, Eduard Franz. A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence. Film noir is interesting for its premise and Ferrer’s sinister performance as the hypnotist. But after a promising start the plot descends into melodrama and loses its sense of logic in a weak finale that too neatly wraps up the story. Evocative score by Raskin. Based on the novel “Methinks the Lady” by Guy Endore. [PG]