CTVA - The Virginian 2.22 [052] "Smile Of A Dragon" 26-Feb-1964

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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2.22 [052]
"Smile Of A Dragon"

Original NBC Broadcast - 26 February 1964

Revue Productions
Executive Producer Frank Price
Produced by Don Ingalls
Teleplay by Cy Chermak & Don Ingalls / Story by Borden Chase
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen

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

Guest Stars (credited during the ride-in)
Miyoshi Umeki
[Kim Ho]
Richard Carlson
[Sheriff Marden]
Frank Overton
[Mr. Umber]

Full ending credits:
Roberta Shore as Betsy (regular)
Randy Boone as Randy (regular)
Buck Taylor
as Deputy Plumb
Kam Tong
as Ning Yang
[character name mix-up in this episode: Kim Ho's
uncle was credited as Ning Yang, and Sheriff Marden referred to him by this
name. However, the sign on his wagon read MING Yang, and the old man in
High Water referred to him in this manner]

Phyllis Coates
as Mrs. Marden
Patricia Morrow
as Ellie Marden
Hank Patterson
as The Old Man
Pitt Herbert
as The Telegrapher
Stephen Price
as Jonathan [Marden]
Ken Hudgins
as The Bartender
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Lionel Lindon, A.S.C.
Story Editor Cy Chermak
Art Director . . . George Patrick
Film Editor . . . Edward Biery
Assistant Director . . . Ben Bishop
Set Decorators . . . John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound . . . Earl Crain, Jr.
Color Consultant . . . Alex Quiroga
Color by Pathé
Editorial Dept. Head . . . David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Costume Supervision . . . Vincent Dee
Makeup . . . Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist . . . Larry Germain
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
featuring Trampas with Steve and a brief appearance by Betsy and Randy

Brief Synopsis:
While in Colorado on a cattle buying trip, Trampas becomes suspect as one of
the outlaws in a ring of stage robberies and killings. Sheriff Marden
(Carlson), an "ambitious man without a heart and therefore dangerous," has
reason to refuse to believe the cowboy's innocence and determines to hunt
him down. Trampas is finally able to prove his identity to the posse with
the help of Kim Ho (Umeki)--a Chinese girl who has been mal-treated since
coming to America--and Steve's timely arrival.

Notes and Comments:
The well chosen title of this episode comes from Kim Ho's comment when she
and Trampas were hiding from the posse in a cave:
Kim Ho: "If the gods are kind, it will rain. The rain will wash away our
Trampas: "But it will also slow us down getting to Montrose."
Kim Ho: "My uncle says, 'It is difficult to make a dragon smile at you
without singeing your hair'."

On relationships in the series:
After the stage holdup, Trampas' letter of
introduction (which he was to have given to a rancher when he bought cattle)
was lying next to the body
of one of the outlaws. Although he knew differently, Sheriff Marden sent a
telegram to Shiloh to inform them Trampas had been killed. Steve somberly
told Betsy and Randy he had to leave for awhile, and Betsy, who could only
say, "Trampas, dead?", ran into the house. At the sheriff's office in
Gunnison, Steve was informed the burial had already taken place and was
asked if he recognized any of the hats. The affection Steve held for
Trampas was quite evident in the way he looked at and touched the hat.
On this series' view of prejudice: This episode was but one of several
dealing with prejudice. Kim Ho had only received negative experiences since
coming to America. Marden called her a "pretty heathen" after threatening
her if she didn't tell him where Trampas was. While hiding in the cave Kim
Ho explained to Trampas that in China her uncle was a very important man but
also very poor. They had come to America for advancement, but "in San
Francisco we learned what our opportunities really were." Her uncle could
have sold her for a "considerable amount" but decided to use his knowledge
of herbs to earn money to send her back to China. She wanted to return to
her homeland with all her heart. When she was a little girl her father told
her she was like a "beautiful doll to be adored" and had the "blood of
royalty" in her veins. But in America she was less than a woman and her
blood was yellow. When she asked Trampas about the ladies he knew, Trampas
appraised there was a difference between a lady and a woman--dance hall
girls were women and she was a lady. Kim Ho replied, "I am also a woman."
Later in the show Trampas told Kim Ho, "Some people are stupid, but not
everybody." Kim Ho believed, "Only those that matter." Trampas commented,
"A few narrow-minded people here and in San Francisco, but that doesn't make
up the whole world."

On Trampas' character:
After he escaped from Marden the desperate cowhand
took Kim Ho hostage in order to force her to help him and prevent her from
telling the sheriff his whereabouts. But later he tried to befriend and
encourage her after she talked about her desire to go back to China.
Another aspect of his character is brought out when he must make the
decision to keep running from Marden or go to High Water to find the real
stage robbers. Kim Ho stated, "It will be High Water . . . With you it will
always be better to fight than to run." Kim Ho also gave us this
description of Trampas: "You are kind, even gentle with a love for life yet
to survive you must be something perhaps you don't want to be," then added,
""We are very much alike, you and I."

On Universal Studios promotions:
While several episodes of season 2
(beginning with 2.01 "Ride a Dark Trail") seem to build up Trampas as more
of a featured character than just a "side kick" to the Virginian, I wonder
if comments by Kim Ho in this particular story might also have been used to
promote Doug McClure as an up-and-coming Universal "star:" "You are modest,
and this is a quality to be admired. You are also tall and handsome, so I'm
sure if you did not seek out the ladies the ladies would seek you" and (when
describing Trampas to Steve) "Young, like you, very tall, light colored
hair, and when he smiles his face is warm and his teeth very white . . ."

TV trivia:
In 1958 Doug McClure co-starred in an episode of Richard
Carlson's series MACKENZIE'S RAIDERS

Horse trivia:
Gary Clarke (Steve) was riding a beautiful dark brown horse with four white stockings
in this episode while Richard Carlson (Sheriff Marden) rode the bay horse Clarke had
previously used in the series.  Also, the bay Lee J. Cobb (Judge Garth) often used
did double duty, ridden by an outlaw at the beginning of the show and later by the man who
brought the telegram to Shiloh regarding Trampas' (alleged) death. (bj) 

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