CTVA - The Virginian 6.20 [169] "The Good-Hearted Badman" 7-Feb-1968

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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6.20 [169]
"The Good-Hearted Badman"

NBC Broadcast - 7 February 1968

Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by James Duff McAdams
Written by Robert Van Scoyk
Directed by James Sheldon

(shown on the ride-in)
John McIntire as Clay Grainger
Doug McClure as Trampas (not in this episode)
Clu Gulager as Emmett Ryker (not in this episode)
Don Quine as Stacey Grainger
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger
James Drury as The Virginian (not in this episode)

Guest Stars
Peter Deuel [Jim Dewey A.K.A. Thomas Baker] (this actor may be better
recognized by the name Pete Duel)
Jeanette Nolan [series regular Holly Grainger]
Special Guest Star: John Larch [Ben Hicks]

Complete end credits:
Anthony Zerbe as Powell
K.L. Smith  . . .  Bogen
Jim Boles  . . .  Farmer
Stuart Nisbet  . . .  Bartender
John Stevens  . . .  Dobbs
Robert Rothwell  . . .  Kelliher
Bobby Clark  . . .  Lookout
Associate Producer David Levinson
Music Score Leonard Rosenman
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Enzo A. Martinelli
Art Director  . . .  George Patrick
Film Editor  . . .  J. Howard Terrill
Unit Manager  . . .   Henry Kline
Assistant Director  . . .  Donald White
Set Decorators  . . .  John McCarthy and Ralph Sylos
Sound  . . .  Melvin M. Metcalfe, Sr.
Color Coordinator  . . .  Robert Brower
Editorial Supervision . . . Richard Belding
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 Elizabeth
Grainger with John, Holly, and Stacey Grainger.  Also appearing was Bart the

Brief Synopsis:
Despite evidence to the contrary, Elizabeth chooses to believe that the
wounded outlaw the Graingers have taken in at Shiloh really does have a good

Detailed Synopsis:
While out riding Elizabeth finds an injured man (Deuel).  At her
insistence Clay reluctantly brings the boy back to the ranch instead of
making the long wagon ride to the doctor in town but tells his niece, "This
is not a bird with a broken wing.  There are a lot of reasons why a man
shoots another man, and none of them are any good."  Holly and Elizabeth
tend to his wound, and when the patient regains consciousness his first
thought is for the welfare of his
horse.  Elizabeth assures him that the pinto is safe in the barn. Clay has
a number of questions to ask him, and
the boy answers that his name is Thomas Baker and he has no idea why someone
would want to shoot him.  But soon Ben Hicks (Larch) shows up looking for
his $5000 bounty--the notorious Nebraska outlaw Jim Dewey.  Clay, now aware of
who is resting in his house, refuses to hand Jim over to someone looking
only for reward and tells Hicks he will instead turn him in to the sheriff
so he can be returned to Nebraska to face the charges for his crimes.  As
Clay chases Hicks from the ranch the bounty hunter vows he will be back to get Dewey.
When Clay confronts "Tom"
with his true identity, Dewey tells him that his father had been an honest
farmer until the government took his land while he was fighting during the
Civil War.  Out of frustration his father turned to looting because he had
to live and was later captured and hanged in front of his young son.  Jim insists
he had no other choice but to go into thievery himself since, because of his
father's reputation, no one would give him honest work--
but he never killed anyone and shared what he stole with others less
fortunate than himself.  Elizabeth had read newspaper
articles about him and the dime novel "The Good Hearted Badman" (which
compared the bandit to Robin Hood), and she willingly believes Jim's story.
But Clay and Holly have their doubts, and Holly is
worried that Elizabeth will "get all mixed up inside" and have romantic
notions about the young, handsome "legend" of a man.  When Jim learns that
Clay plans to hand him over to the sheriff  as soon as he's able to ride he
plays on Elizabeth's sympathy telling her that he won't receive a fair trial
and will be hanged just like his father had been and asks her to carve a
sign in the Shiloh gate post so that his men will find him.  Liz refuses
but, after an unsuccessful attempt to make her uncle release Dewey
by trying to convince him that
Stacey might have turned out the same way if he'd been in those
circumstances, later complies with the outlaw's wishes because she can't
bear for him to die.  Powell (Zerbe), a member of Dewey's ruthless gang, kills a
farmer who had allowed Jim to carve the sign at his place but had also told
the bounty hunter the direction that Jim was headed.  In the Medicine Bow
saloon Hicks finds out from Bart that all the ranch hands in the area,
including the Shiloh bunch, were off taking a herd of cattle to the
railhead.  Taking advantage of his opportunity he enlists the help of some
greedy drifters by promising them a portion of the reward.  Powell finds the
mark on the gate post and makes his presence known to Jim who opens
the window for him to come in.  The gang has been waiting for him as
planned, but Jim has other things in mind than hiding out in a cold cave and
asks Powell for his gun.  When Clay comes to get Jim before daylight so
"Elizabeth won't have to see him go" the outlaw draws
the gun and informs the rancher that he has no intentions of leaving the
comfort of the ranch. In the mean time,
Stacey, riding home with a message from the Virginian, meets Hicks and his
men on their way to Shiloh, and Hicks decides that Stacey will make a good
hostage to trade in exchange for Dewey.
Liz and Holly come to the bedroom
and find Jim holding the gun on Clay.  Jim gets dressed and he,
Powell, and the Graingers meet in the parlor.  Powell suggests that
Elizabeth dance with Jim, but
Clay intervenes and Powell knocks him down.  Holly asks Liz what she thinks of her
"Robin Hood" now, and Jim taunts the young woman saying "You're a little
girl in a fine house and have everything you want.  All the men you've ever
seen never had a mean
thought about you."  Ridiculing her for being naive he tells Elizabeth it
was a big joke for her to talk about how he could make something of his
life. He had made up
the story about his father, who was actually a drunk who hanged himself, and
had spread a few dollars around to the poor just so
they'd "sing his praises"--he uses people because he wants to, and that's
the way it really is in life.  Liz counters with the fact that she knows
more about living than he gives her credit --"I know there's more pleasure in giving than
taking, and lying and cheating never pleased a person as much as loving and
trusting."  She  tells Dewey she was afraid for him because she feels a
hangman's noose "is all that's in store for a man who stopped feeling so long ago."  Hicks
now shows up wanting to make his trade, but Clay is unable to deal because
Jim has the gun on them.  Hicks says he'll get his man even if he has to
burn him out, but Stacey warns if  Dewey dies in the blaze there would be no
proof of the bandit's identity for collecting the reward. Hicks then decides
to instead set fire to the barn because he's heard Dewey "is crazy about horses" and would
surely come outside to save his pinto.  But when the barn is torched Jim tells Clay he can get
another mount and no one is to leave the house to try to save any of the animals.  However,
Elizabeth, distressed by the horses' screams, runs out the back door to the
stables. Dewey asks Powell to cover him and goes after her.  Jim pulls Liz
out of the way and goes in the barn himself to free the
horses from their stalls.  Clay follows to help.  In the gunfire that
follows Powell and one of Hicks men are killed, but Hicks manages to hit his
target, too.  Dewey falls back into the barn and, to
Elizabeth and Holly's horror, the burning structure collapses on him.  Hicks
boasts that it was his bullet that killed Dewey, not the fire, and tells
Clay to be his witness to the fact.  But Clay retorts that it was
some stranger who died in his barn, not Jim Dewey, and Hicks could never
prove any different.  As the disillusioned Hicks leaves Elizabeth sobs, "He was worth
saving.  He was good,"  and Clay replies, "He was Elizabeth.  But he  never
really believed that until he met you."

Character Note:
In this episode we see Elizabeth Grainger not only as a typical teen-aged
girl who picks up "birds with broken wings" to nurse back to health but as a
compassionate young woman who wants to believe the best about all people.
When she found Dewey, even though the weather was chilly, Liz took off her
jacket and covered him with it to keep him warm while she rode back to
Shiloh for help.  Although her
brother was away on the cattle drive she gave up her bedroom for Dewey's
comfort because Stacey's was the "coldest room in the house."  When she
chose to believe Jim's story of being the "Good Hearted Badman" and didn't
want him to be hanged, Liz's conscience was torn between carving the sign on
the gate post or complying with the uncle she loved.  She was disappointed in
Dewey when he confessed that his "legend" was all a lie and he liked to use
people to his own advantage yet still cared about his fate.  She also could
not allow helpless animals to burn in the stable and risked her life to go to free
them.  Ultimately her faith in a person's "goodness" was rewarded when Dewey
gave his life to protect her. (bj)

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