CTVA - The Virginian 1.25 "A Distant Fury" 20-Mar-1963 NBC

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1.25 [--]
"A Distant Fury"

Original NBC Broadcast - 20 March 1963
Review Studios
Executive Producer Roy Huggins
Produced by Winston Miller
Teleplay by Howard Browne
Story by Howard Browne and John Francis O'Mara
Directed by John English

Starring:
(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill
and
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Stars (during ride in)
Ida Lupino [Helen Blaine]
Howard Duff [Ed Frazer]

End Credits (complete)
Co-Starring
Roberta Shore as Betsy
#
Joey Heatherton as Gloria Blaine
#
With
Rees Vaughn as Wilfred Simms
Ross Elliott as Sheriff Abbott
Willis Bouchey as Glen Hubbard
Francis DeSales as Dave McCoy
Ken Patterson as Mr. Colby
Roy Engel as Wade (it seems Mr. Engel's "neighboring rancher" recurring
character went through several name changes before settling on Barney
Wingate)
#
Virginian Theme - Percy Faith
#
Director of Photography Benjamin H. Kline, A.S.C.
#
Supervising Producer Frank Price
#
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - Edward Biery
Editorial Dept. Head - David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision - Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators - John McCarthy and Robert C. Bradfield
Color Consultant - Alex Quiroga
Color Processing by Consolidated Film Industries
#
Assistant Director - Frank Losee
Sound - Corson Jowett
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Jack Barron
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.
#
Regular series characters appearing in this episode
Steve Hill, Trampas,
Virginian, Judge Garth, Sheriff Abbott, with brief appearance by Betsy

Synopsis:
Ed Frazer (Duff) shows up in Medicine Bow after serving but three of his five year prison sentence for robbing the lumber company. Steve is sure Frazer is in town to get even with him for his testimony at the trial.  But all the parolee has on his mind is collecting from his accomplice and former lover Helen Blaine (Lupino). However, Ed's early release poses a problem for Helen who had made plans to use the money taken during the holdup to move herself and her spoiled daughter Gloria (Heatherton) to New York.  Steve is interested in "Glory" and (refusing to let Frazer's presence in the community rule his life) takes her to a barn dance.  The local optometrist, young Wilfred Simms (Vaughn), is also attracted to the girl and wants to marry her. But she has bigger ambitions for her life. It seems that Frazer is around every time Steve is involved in a mishap, and one night in the saloon Steve (fed up with it all) challenges the man to a showdown.  Sheriff Abbott intervenes and tries to make it clear to Steve he'd better watch his actions. Much to the woman's dismay, Frazer visits Helen's home and declares he's come for her as well as the stolen money. He urges her to get Gloria and leave town with him immediately. However, Helen still wants the cash for herself and tells Ed that leaving together might arouse suspicion.  Helen suggests he go on to Chicago by himself, and she and Gloria will meet him there later.  Now Frazer begins to have his own suspicions and demands Helen give him the entire sum before he departs-- just in case her feelings for him had changed during his absence. Gloria is disturbed when she learns of Frazer's request, and Helen decides to set up a rendezvous with the man soon after her daughter is to return home from her date with Steve. Things don't look good for Steve when Frazer's body is found with a bullet in his back. Even though Judge Garth convinces the prosecutor there isn't enough evidence to bring him to trial, the townspeople assume Steve to be a murderer and begin to make life hard on him. While standing in the street, Steve gets some dirt in his eye and goes to Wilfred's office to have it removed. He's a bit hesitant since he and the optometrist are "rivals" where Gloria is concerned, but Wilfred comments he had lost interest in Gloria when he asked her to marry him but she refused because she was headed for the good life in New York.  Wilfred notes that Gloria's mother had been filling her with all kind of fantasies, and as they both wonder how Helen and Gloria could afford such a move, Steve suddenly has his misgivings and confronts Mrs. Blaine with them.  Helen won't abide by such an accusation and sends him away, but Gloria overhears the conversation. Helen tries to assure her she had to do away with Frazer because he would have spoiled everything. They can still leave for New York as planned, and no one will suspect that it was she who killed Frazer.  Gloria replies that SHE would know, and Helen, distraught because all she had wanted was to do well for her daughter, decides to commit suicide.   She leaves a confession note and the key to a box at the bank in Denver to be given to the proper authorities after her death. Standing at the edge of a cliff, Helen changes her mind about killing herself but slips as she's leaving the rim. She grabs an overhanging bush, and a passerby hears her cry but is too late to save her from falling to her demise.  Gloria takes the safety box key, tears up her mother's note, and packs her bags. But when Steve confronts her, the girl must choose to keep the $30,000 and leave town on the stage or heed Steve's pleas to restore his reputation by admitting that she knows who killed Frazer and the whereabouts of the money. (bj)

Note:
At the dance, Trampas refers to episode 1.18 "Say Goodbye to All That" by mentioning to Gloria that Moses (the bear) had "teeth as long as your arm."

Notes on characters and their relationships:
Although Steve had shown a bit of a temper in previous episodes he exhibits more of a hot-headedness about him in this show.  He is also given a more dramatic characterization than his usual "side-kick" role.  The Virginian wants to play things cool and suggests he not suppose Frazer had come back to haunt him. Trampas, on the other hand, makes light of Steve's concern, seemingly more interested in the $30,000 than his friend's possible plight. He pats Steve on the shoulder and tells him he had done his duty testifying against Frazer at the trial, and if Steve got gunned down they would give him a hero's funeral.  The Virginian would like Steve to stick around the ranch for awhile just in case, but Steve insists he isn't going to let Frazer's presence keep him from taking "Glory" to the dance.  Trampas would be glad to take Gloria instead, just to show him what a good friend he is.  But Steve is not impressed and mutters, "That's the kind of friend I can do without."   Trampas still acts as if this whole matter is a big joke and tells Steve he'd better get in some target practice. The Virginian's eyes express his displeasure with Trampas' inconsiderate behavior.  This may have quieted Trampas, for at the saloon after Steve is nearly killed in a wagon wreck Trampas is concerned that Steve is drinking too much.  Then when Sheriff Abbott confronts Steve about Frazer's death, Trampas believes Steve would not have shot anyone in the back and tries to cover up for his friend by lying that Steve had been in the bunkhouse at the time Frazer was killed.  We see Betsy not at all impressed by Steve's choice of women when she hints Gloria was "stuck up" then asks if he had kissed her after the dance.  When Steve has no answer for her she calls after him, "I bet you didn't!"  Judge Garth is sure Steve didn't kill Frazer and defends him, but when his young cowhand goes to fists with hecklers after the inquest, the Judge calls him away and tells him, "If you have any fighting to do, do it on your own time." Steve wanted time off to prove his innocence, and Garth (unable to convince him that was the sheriff's job) lets him go with the warning, "All right, Boy.  Just be careful you don't make it any worse."  We also are given some insight into Sheriff Mark Abbott's character. He has to be a tough lawman, and sometimes he believes the worst about people because of what he views as incriminating evidence against them. However, he does think it would have been better for Steve to have gone to trial and been acquitted than just let off after the inquest since, without proof of innocence, everyone in town would always suspect his guilt. Mark becomes very angry when Steve wants him to go through Gloria's luggage looking for the money. He seethes that every man in town is going to line up to punch him, and if he wasn't wearing a badge he'd be the first in line.  But in the end, after Steve is vindicated, Mark's way of apologizing is, "Buy you a drink?" (bj)

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