The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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"Big Day, Great Day"
(no on-screen title)
NBC Broadcast - 24 October 1962
Revue Studios Production
Produced by Charles Marquis Warren (no Exec)
Written by Charles Larson
Directed by Harmon Jones
(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill
James Drury as The Virginian
Aldo Ray [Frank Krause]
Michael Shaughnessy [Peter Muldoon]
End Credits (complete)
Carolyn Kearney as Maxine
Rosemary Murphy as Pearl Krause (she was credited as Krause, but her maiden
name was Dodd--she wasn't "Krause" until the end of the episode)
Richard Shannon as Sheriff Ed Wilcox
Dan Sheridan as Pilbeam
Barry McGuire as Harry Krause
Robert Patten as Dr. Blaine
Dorothy Neumann as Martha
Dennis Patrick as Cappy Donald
Harper Flaherty (Shiloh hand Harper in later seasons) was an extra in
this episode standing in the bar entry when it was announced
Muldoon had arrived in town
Virginian theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Lionel Lindon, A.S.C.
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - Edward Haire, A.C.E.
Editorial Dept. Head - David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision - Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators - John McCarthy and James M. Walters
Color Consultant - Alex Quiroga
Color Processing by Consolidated Film Industries
Assistant Director - Edward K. Dodds
Sound - David H. Moriarty
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Leo Lotito
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.
Series Regulars in this episode:
Judge Garth, Steve, Trampas
with brief appearance by Virginian
On a trip to Casper, Judge Garth meets up with an old friend who is
in town to compete in the Wrestling
Championship of the World, and Trampas decides for the first
time in his life to be his brother's keeper by trying to prevent Steve
from marrying the saloon girl who reminds him of his lost love.
In Denver, Colorado, fight manager Cappy Donald (Patrick) is angered that
wrestler Frank Krause (Ray) refuses to renew his contract with him.
Cappy telephones Pilbeam (Sheridan), asking him to come over
to discuss throwing the upcoming Fourth of July title match in
Casper, Wyoming, between Frank and Pilbeam's client
Peter Muldoon, the current "Champion of the World."
Cappy insists on $2000 for the deed, arguing that doping Frank would be
dangerous for himself as well as the wrestler. Pilbeam finally agrees to
this amount but
tells Cappy, who wants payment now, he will give him the money
at the Casper Hotel the day of the fight. . .
At Shiloh, the day begins with a rooster's crow as Steve drives the
wagon up to the house. Since Trampas doesn't want to miss
the big Fourth of July celebration, he greets Steve as "Son,"
attempting to belittle him as being too naive to accompany the
Judge to a town like Casper. But Steve remains smug
reminding his friend that the Judge had picked him,
and there was no way he was
going to trade places. Inside Judge Garth is having a discussion
with the Virginian regarding traveling to the Freight Transfer Company in
Casper to personally pick up the "masterpiece" of a bed with a
"carved headboard and silk canopy" he'd ordered
from Italy (which was supposed to have been Betsy's Christmas
present). The Virginian recounts that Betsy had asked for
a hammock, but Garth is sure his daughter has taste and will like the bed
better. Trampas enters to let the Judge know Steve is ready and waiting then
suggests, with all the work that needs doing at Shiloh, he would be glad
to go in his boss's place. The Judge tells the hopeful cowhand "no. . ."
"no. . ." "no. . ," but Trampas' face brightens when he overhears the
Virginian tell Garth he had given Steve the invoice for the bed.
When the Judge expresses concern about the management of the ranch while he
is away, the Virginian assures him, should anything go wrong,
"We'll pray a little and struggle through somehow
until you come home." While Trampas warns Steve to stay away from the
Casper women, he lifts the invoice from his unsuspecting friend's jacket
pocket. As Steve and the Judge head off, Steve comments, "I had to laugh at
Trampas. I guess they really blow the lid off a town like Casper, especially
on the Fourth of July. If Trampas had one chance--" Shouts of "Judge,
Judge!" are heard as Trampas gallops his horse up beside them to hand Garth
the invoice he says he found on the ground where Steve had dropped it.
Steve protests that Trampas had picked his pocket, and Garth's nod attests
to the truth of Steve's accusations. However, as Trampas starts to voice
his excuse, to his delight, the
Judge gives in, "All right, come on ahead." The three men arrive in Casper
amid the noise of firecrackers and little girls' squeals. Trampas' eyes
catch those of two young women, and he smiles,
"Now, that's a sweet welcome." Steve notices a poster advertising a
wrestling match and wonders if they couldn't stay over to see "the big
international important event." But
the Judge is eager to pick up the bed and return
home. The sound of clanging bells replaces those of the happy screams and
fireworks as two horse-drawn fire engines race down the street. Amid the
mass of bucket brigade volunteers running toward the flames Garth
recognizes his old friend Frank Krause. Frank is in a hurry to
help put out the fire and invites the Judge to join him. At Garth's bidding,
Trampas and Steve follow. While Trampas is passing a bucket of water
he notices the sign "Wyoming Freight Transfer Company" on the building
and taps the Judge. As the fire engulfs the structure and its contents,
Trampas asks, "Is that what you call a canopy?"
As the next scene opens, Trampas is driving the wagon through an alley
and almost runs over Pilbeam. He then joins
the downhearted Judge, Steve, and Frank in the Oriental Palace Saloon and
relates his near miss with a man behind the Casper Hotel. The
Judge finishes his whiskey and declares it's time for them to be heading
back to Shiloh. But Frank wishes Garth would stay for the match
between him and Muldoon. The Judge realizes this is why Frank is in Casper
and recounts to his cowhands how, many years ago, Frank had
been brought before him for disturbing the peace and had
even then proclaimed he was
going to be "Champene." Frank continues that the Judge
had gotten him his first match and even helped coach him for awhile.
Garth is happy for his friend's opportunity, "It's a great day for
you, Frank." But the match isn't the only big doing of the day -- Frank is
finally going to marry Pearl Dodd (Murphy), the woman he's been dating for
15 years. The wedding ceremony is to take place first in the Palace followed
by the match in the park and then the wedding supper to which everyone
is invited, even "poor broken Muldoon." Trampas winks,
"What if you lose?" But Frank is serious: This is too important.
He can't lose--nothing can take his
moment away, not even his own manager. As Cappy walks into the
saloon Frank tells Garth this is the last day of his contract with "the
cockroach among men" then lights up with the idea that the Judge
could be his new manager.
When Garth says he has a ranch to run, Frank asks him to at least stay
the afternoon and "work my corner for old time's sake."
Pearl arrives at their table for a happy reunion with the Judge.
Concerned that he and the Shiloh boys are skinny and "peaked" she brings
sandwiches and orders them to eat. Without partaking of the food, Steve
puts the tray on the counter next to a pretty barmaid
who informs him it doesn't matter if he's not hungry,
he should "eat, eat." Pearl introduces Maxine (Kearney) to the group.
Maxine's mother and Pearl used to work together at the Palace, and
now Max is following in her mother's footsteps.
Cappy also wants an introduction to Maxine so he can ask
her to dance with him. The man's attitude not to
her liking, Max looks to Steve. But
Trampas realizes she wants an out and tells Cappy this is his dance.
Steve grumbles, "She wanted to dance with me.
I had my mouth open to ask her."
Garth suggests he ask another girl since there are plenty around, but
Steve replies, "Not like her. That's the girl I'm going to marry." Max
comments that Trampas dances very well for a cowboy, and he tells her he had
learned that step in New Orleans. Why, he's been all over the world, even
Nome, Alaska, where he has
his eye on a place called the Klondike. She is intrigued that he has
traveled so extensively and wishes she could do so. When the music stops,
Trampas goes to get them a drink. As the pianist plays the melody
"Tomorrow," Max dances with an imaginary partner until Cappy comes and takes
her in his arms. She doesn't want to have anything to do with him, and
Steve has his chance to come to her rescue. Trampas comments to the Judge,
"Now that's what I call a gentlemanly act. He must have seen I had my hands
full." The Judge questions, "You think he did it for you?" and Trampas
replies, "He's my friend." Max, concerned that Steve had been hurt
when Cappy kicked him in the side, invites the cowboy to get some
fresh air with her and see
their park. Trampas is left with his jaw dropped, and Garth tells him
not to feel bad about "running second."
When Trampas wonders what had gotten into Steve, the Judge simply states,
"Love." Trampas reckons Steve is the one he feels sorry for because he doesn't
understand that kind of a girl -- "She'll take him for every penny he makes.
If he ever makes a penny." The Judge suggests he watch out for Steve, but
Trampas declares, "He's a grown man. I'm not his keeper."
Muldoon (Shaughnessy) and Pilbeam arrive with fanfare. Frank tells
Muldoon that he and Cappy are staying at the Casper Hotel, but there
isn't room for the likes of him there. Muldoon brags that he has no need of
a hotel room since he has his own private railroad car. Trampas
questions that Pilbeam had just gotten into town since he was the man
with the "head of skin" he
had almost run down in the alley. As the wrestlers exchange
insults, a photographer readies to snap a photo of
Casper's "greatest day." The count down switches to another photographer on
the beach taking a picture of Steve and Max who are dressed in the
appropriate bathing attire of that era. Steve is insulted at the photo
taker's assumption that this is their "second honeymoon"
and declares he'd never even seen anyone like Max before --
she's so pretty she makes him "sick to my stomach." As Steve and
Max sit down on the sand,
Max spies a canoe with a big umbrella floating toward them on the water.
If it isn't Trampas in a blue and white bathing suit who is just "paddling
by" and thought he'd "drop in" with a beach umbrella (which
comes apart when he falls out of the canoe with it) to
protect Max's "pretty skin." Steve is not at all impressed with
Trampas' uninvited arrival, but Max bids the wet cowboy to stay.
When Trampas tells Max they have to go back tonight after the match,
Steve states he might not go back at all. He explains for a long time he
had wanted to start his own ranch in Texas, and he wants Max to marry him
and head down there with him. Max had "never had any one sober"
propose marriage to her and has to "think about it."
Trampas is stunned by Steve's proposition, noting Maxine would go
"screaming crazy in a week." For him, looking into Max's eyes
is "like looking into a mirror" -- "she wants fun and lots of
it." Trampas snatches the wallet out of Steve's bathing suit pocket
from which he pulls a photo of another girl which bears a
striking resemblance to Maxine. He notes that as long as he has known
him Steve has been carrying around that picture. Steve reminisces he was
going to marry the young woman, but she died. Trampas appraises,
"Don't you see it?" -- it really isn't Max Steve wants but the girl in the
picture. Steve insists Trampas is just jealous, and he IS going to
marry Maxine, "So you just put that in your pot and cook it -- SON."
In the saloon Krause and Muldoon continue their insults until a
sentimental song (and the beer) soften Muldoon and he
makes a "serious toast" to his mother.
Deep in thought, the Judge wonders why Frank would take up with a man
like Cappy. Pearl tells him Frank wondered the same thing
himself, noting that the match between Frank and Muldoon was ten years
overdue, but once they finally got around to it
Cappy and Pilbeam had "hammered the whole thing out
in Denver" in a short period of time. Garth inquires if the two managers
had done any more business since setting up the fight. Pearl doesn't think
so, but the Judge reveals that Trampas had seen Pilbeam coming
from behind the Casper Hotel. Pearl declares that Frank needs to know
about this. Cappy interrupts the wrestlers' toasts to tell
Frank it's time to get ready for the wedding. As Cappy heads
upstairs, Pearl whispers something in Frank's ear. Frank
joins Cappy, who has poured them each some whiskey for one last
drink together. Frank confronts the man with accusations that
he had met with Pilbeam earlier that afternoon and asks if he was
planning to throw the match. When he senses a foreign "powder" in his
liquor, Frank demands Cappy turn out
his pockets then drink from the suspicious glass himself. Cappy does
take the glass but throws the whiskey in Frank's face.
The two men tussle, and when Cappy takes out his knife Frank slugs him.
Garth opens the door upon the commotion just as Cappy
falls motionless to the floor. While Frank explains about the
argument Garth checks Cappy's pockets and finds
$2000. He assures Frank that any judge could see
this was simply a matter of self defense. But the wrestler informs him
Casper only has a circuit judge, and the nearest one is three days away.
Asking Sheriff Ed Wilcox (Shannon) to fix bail for him
isn't an option either. He and the lawman have never gotten
along, especially since Ed has always had an eye for Pearl, too.
Frank states that in half an hour the wedding is to take place and then
he would fight for the championship. It's "now or never" for him. "Muldoon
will be off to Ireland tomorrow," and he won't have time to track him down
again. Frank pleads with Garth to "close his eyes" until
after the match. He then asks the Judge what he would do in his place.
Meeting with only silence from his friend's lips when entreating
him to agree that he is "right," the wrestler knows deep
inside what he must do and decides to give himself up sighing, "I'd have
been Champion." Pearl is about to put on the dress
that Frank had picked out for her and recounts how the girls always told her
Frank was just stringing her along, but she knew it would be worth
the wait and he'd do it up right when
he could. "Did you ever hear of a more wonderful day," beams Pearl,
"I'll die remembering it. This and when they hold up his
hand and he's Champion." Frank wants to inform his bride-to-be about
the incident with Cappy, but the Judge tells him to let her go.
And since Sheriff Wilcox looks "busy" at the moment
they'll find him after the ceremony. Meanwhile Maxine questions Steve's marriage intentions,
"You don't know what I'm like, you don't know what I want out of
life." Steve pledges he will find out what she likes and that will be
what he will want. Suddenly satisfied, Maxine hugs Steve
and exclaims, "I think you're
crazy, but I'll marry ya!" Steve is in a hurry to get the marriage
license and assures Max an extra $5.00 will
open closed doors even on a holiday. Max suggests a double ceremony
with Pearl and Frank. The happy girl runs to the Palace to
tell Pearl the news, and Trampas overhears their conversation.
As Max is holding up her mother's wedding dress
she hears a knock on the door. Thinking it might be Steve, she
says he "can't see the dress until the ceremony." But it's "only" Trampas.
Maxine tells the cowboy that Steve wants him to be his best man. When
Trampas inquires if this was her idea since Steve wasn't exactly on
speaking terms with him lately, she confesses she might have had something
to do with it since she doesn't approve of girls who go around breaking up
friends. Maxine finds it hard to believe that "a man like Steve" would want to marry her.
Trampas mentions, "How are you going to like ranching?"
As far as Max is concerned, this just isn't an acceptable life for her.
Trampas notes that Steve is a "different kind of a man"
and wants to get her away from saloons and the like. Max wishes
Steve was just a little more like Frank Krause, but she knows
she can "coax" him into seeing things her way. Trampas
states she'll have about as much chance changing Steve as "frying a
snowball" -- why doesn't she wait awhile and find somebody she won't
have to change, "like me, for instance." Trampas advises,
"Cut him loose, Max, he's not for you. You wanted
to see New Orleans, you come with me. We'd have some bad times
but we'd have some high ones." As Trampas kisses the girl, Steve comes in
the room and grabs him from behind by the hair and throat.
Steve demands Trampas leave and threatens to kill him if he
ever sees him again. Trampas merely stands aside as Steve
admires the bridal gown as being as white as Maxine's skin,
not like the colorful frock she
is wearing now. Steve imagines how he will build her "a little house that
will make all the women in Texas just die from envy. . . be on the
school board and join the church." "Do they play good poker in your church?
Does the school board know the latest dances?" Maxine retorts.
Steve answers if that is what she wants she will have it,
right here in Casper if that would make her
happy -- "I love you so much, Maxine, I'd turn into a toad frog if you wanted me to."
Maxine realizes she can't expect Steve to change even though he insists
"I could bust my back trying."
The girl finally admits to the folly of such a union and tells Steve she doesn't want him.
Steve drops the dress on the floor and, with loathing apparent in his voice,
addresses Trampas, "Friend."
After Steve leaves, Trampas assures Maxine the break-up was the best for her
sake as well as Steve's. "You'll find him someday, Max, I swear you will, and he'll
be the right one." While Frank and Pearl's wedding ceremony
is taking place, Judge Garth has a message taken to Muldoon.
When Sheriff Wilcox comes to congratulate the happy couple and kiss Pearl,
Frank confesses that he killed Cappy. The Judge assures Ed he can testify
Frank had only acted in self defense. As Wilcox goes upstairs to find Cappy's body,
Muldoon bursts into the saloon irate at the note which said he
"wasn't good enough" to attend the wedding. This time the wrestlers
exchange more than insults and
begin pushing each other around. Others join in a free for all fight,
and while Max is hitting a bully with
her shoe a stranger comes to her rescue. The young man explains he
is in town to see his cousin wrestle. "Your name wouldn't be
Krause, would it?" inquires Maxine. It is Harry Krause to be exact,
and the gleeful Max invites him to get out of the "mess"
and go see their park. As Steve watches
her go out the door with another fellow he snaps at Trampas,
"You know what makes me the maddest?
That you were right." With those words of affirmation, Steve turns
and hits Trampas in the face.
A stunned Trampas replies, "You know what makes me the maddest? You just don't get
it, do you. You still think I was trying to cut you out, that she was just
some pretty face I couldn't resist. You really think I was interested in
her." Steve argues, "Come on Trampas, I've never seen a girl that you
weren't interested in." Trampas blurts, "For the first time in my life I
try to do something
for a friend, not want anything for myself, just to keep you from ruining
your life, and what happens? I get a punch in the jaw." Steve's
anger subsides and he
finds a little humor in the situation, "You do all that for
me, and I punch you in the jaw. Don't hardly pay to have friends, does it?"
Comrades once more, the cowboys direct their attention to
the center of the Palace where the two would-be-champions continue
their bantering. The Judge asks, "What about the title?" Frank
suggests they fight for it now -- unless Muldoon is afraid. Nearly
pinned to the floor, Frank asks the Judge,
"Now who do you think would send a nasty,
lying note like that?" Garth smiles at him, "I can't imagine,"
and Frank perceives his friend had set up the title match for him.
To the joy of the crowd,
Frank breaks Muldoon's hold and becomes the victor.
The "dethroned" Muldoon
realizes they have just lost all the money that would have been
taken in for tickets at the scheduled event,
and now he will have to sell all his furniture to pay for his private
railroad car. Frank asks Muldoon if he has a bed.
Indeed he does -- a beautiful one with a canopy.
Ed returns from upstairs miffed that not only had Frank married
his best girl, but in front of everybody he "tried to make a clown"
out of him. Cappy Donald is no where to be found. A boy runs
into the Palace with the town doctor's request that Sheriff Wilcox
come to his office right away to check out
the man with $2000 that was "hurt bad." The Judge and Frank
wonder if it could really be Cappy who was found
"fainting in the street"
since they had checked his heartbeat and were sure he was dead.
Dr. Blaine explains the man has a concussion, and when a person
is knocked unconscious sometimes
the vital signs are hard to detect -- that's why doctors use a stethoscope.
Since Cappy is alive it means Frank and Pearl are free to go
on their honeymoon. But before leaving Frank insists that Ed arrest
his ex-manager for trying to poison him.
That evening as the Shiloh trio heads for home with the canopied bed,
they stop for a moment to watch the fireworks explode in the darkening sky.
While Trampas reflects on all the grand happenings, he shakes his head
and grins with contentment, "What a day." (bj)
This episode is one of my favorites. It is flavored with the
good-natured bantering and downright jealousy often seen during
the first season between Trampas and Steve. It also fits well as an
introduction to 2.01 "Ride a Dark Trail" which would later
explain Trampas' statement "for the
first time in my life I try to do something for a friend, not want
anything for myself. . ." (bj)
Aldo Ray also guest stars in 5.05 "Jacob Was a Plain Man"
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