CTVA - The Virginian 1.24 "The Golden Door" 13-Mar-1963

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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1.24 [--]
"The Golden Door"

Original NBC Broadcast -13 March 1963

Revue Studios Production
Executive Producer Roy Huggins
Produced by Warren Duff
Teleplay by Maxwell Shane / Story by Thomas Fitzroy and Maxwell Shane
Directed by John Brahm

(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill (not in this episode)
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Star:
Karl Boehm [ Karl Rilke]

End Credits (complete)
Roberta Shore as Betsy
Robert Duvall as Johnny Keel
Paul Carr as Kane
Ilze Taurins as Maria Rilke
Russell Thorson as Sheriff Evans
(the font was a little larger and bolder on his name than the rest on this list)
Donald Barry as Shorty Downs
Lew Brown as Hank
John Bryant as The Doctor
Bobs Watson as Jeremy, The Hotel Clerk
Henry Hunter as The Banker
John Hoyt as Judge Wickersham
Virginian Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography - John L. Russell, A.S.C.
Supervising Producer - Frank Price
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 - Jack Doran
Sound - Lyle Cain
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Leo Lotito, Jr.
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series Regulars appearing in this episode:
Judge Garth, Betsy, Trampas, Virginian, Sheriff Evans, Dr. Spaulding

Judge Garth establishes reasonable doubt and successfully
defends an immigrant (Boehm) charged of killing a local rancher. Rilke,
with his wife and newborn son, then considers establishing a carpentry
business in Medicine Bow. However, when another man is accused of the
murder Rilke, who tells his wife America had given them good things and he
had given only lies, confesses that he had killed the rancher accidentally
in self defense. He expects to be put in prison but is assured by Garth
that he was free to go because in America no man could be tried twice for
the same crime. (bj)

Notes on characters and their relationships:
At the beginning of the episode Trampas and Betsy were horse racing up the
hill and stopped at Mr. Keel's home. Betsy went inside calling for the man.
She seemed quite distressed when she saw the disarray, and then
she discovered his body. When Betsy screamed in horror,
Trampas came in the house and shielded her from the gruesome sight. The
Judge assigned Trampas and another hand to search a section of the area for
clues. The men galloped their horses toward the wagon carrying Rilke and
his wife. When Rilke resisted them because he was afraid,
Trampas took the rifle from him then tried to explain
they were looking for a murderer. After Hank
searched the wagon, Trampas was going to hand the rifle back to Rilke but
noticed it was similar to the one Mr. Keel had. Mrs. Rilke began to feel
faint from the "ruckus." Trampas asked if she was pregnant and then decided,
because of her condition, it would be best to take them to Shiloh instead
of directly to town. The Judge and Betsy welcomed the Rilkes into
their home. Sheriff Evans interrogated Mr. Rilke, and Keel's son Johnny
arrived at Shiloh insisting Rilke be arrested. When it was decided
that Rilke was to be jailed until he could come up for trial, Betsy
graciously offered for Mrs. Rilke to stay at Shiloh ("Can't she, Daddy.").
A little glimpse of the relationship between Trampas and Judge Garth was
noted when Garth cross-examined his cowboy
at the trial and began his questions with a smile and chuckle to which
Trampas responded with a broad smile, also.

When Garth met with Judge Wickersham about possible lawyers for Rilke's
trial, Charlie Steel (who was the one who would be assigned to the case)
came in with the excuse that he wasn't sure he wanted to defend an
immigrant. Charlie's attitude upset the Judge who vowed, even though
he hadn't practiced law in twelve years, he could
do a better job defending Rilke than Charlie could. This
is just what Charlie and Wickersham had hoped for, and Garth
realized, "I don't know if I jumped or I was pushed."
He certainly proved himself to be a capable lawyer in this case.

New evidence was brought to light that made it appear there was little hope
for Rilke's acquittal. In this scene we were given some insight into
the relationship between the Judge and the Virginian
when Garth asked his foreman if he'd ever felt "completely empty"--
There was a man in jail waiting for his life to end and a woman
at the hotel waiting for
a life to begin, and the fate of them all was in his hands: "Unless some
little seed drops from out of heaven tonight, I haven't the slightest idea
what I'm going to do in that courtroom tomorrow." The Virginian was
"puzzled" about one of the Judge's own men being the person
who had given the incriminating evidence yet had not seen fit to go to the
Judge with it beforehand. According to the worksheet, there was only one
ranchhand, Shorty Downs, who had been in the vicinity of the Keel place around
the time of the murder. With the Judge deep in thought, the Virginian posed
questions as to why the prosecutor hadn't placed Shorty on the stand instead
of "bludgeoning" the fact that Rilke had indeed been at the Keel place out
of Rilke himself. When the foreman noted that it looked as though the
prosecutor hadn't wanted the Judge to know about the evidence, Garth mused
he had thought about that but maybe it could have been a "trap"--"Unless
maybe...Maybe this could be that little seed I've been praying for." He
invited the Virginian, "Come back to the hotel with me. We'll water it,
nourish it, give it a lot of good thought. Maybe by morning we can make it sprout."

Some thoughts from this episode:
Rilke was upset that Trampas and Hank arrested him when they were not duly
sworn officers. Garth informed him (at the time in the territory)
"In this Country any citizen can
make an arrest if they suspect a felony has been committed." When Rilke
still objected because in Latvia only those in office could take that
kind of responsibility, the Judge noted, "That's one of the obligations in a
democracy. To make it work everyone must take responsibility."(bj)

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