The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
<Previous The Virginian Next>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
"Image Of An Outlaw"
Original NBC Broadcast - 23 0ctober 1968
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman MacDonnell
Produced by Winston Miller
Written by Joseph Hoffman
Directed by Don McDougall
(shown on the ride-in)
John McIntire as Clay Grainger
Doug McClure as Trampas
David Hartman as David Sutton (not in this episode)
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger
James Drury as The Virginian
Don Stroud [in duel role as Rafe Judson/Wally McCullough]
Amy Thomson [Angie Becker]
Full ending credits:
Jeanette Nolan as Holly Grainger
Ross Elliott as Sheriff Abbott
Sandy Kenyon as Ben Robbins
Ed Prentiss . . . Carl Jensen
Walter Reed . . . Mr. Stephens
John Cliff . . . Bounty Hunter
Warren Hammack . . . Gunsmith
Dennis McCarthy . . . Editor
Boyd Stockman . . . Stagecoach Driver
Quent Sondergaard . . . Shotgun
David Farrow . . . 1st Player
Stephen Coit . . . Wells Fargo Clerk
Music Score Jack Marshall
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Enzo A. Martinelli
Art Director . . . William J. Kenney
Film Editor . . . Edward Haire, A.C.E.
Unit Manager . . . Henry Kline
Assistant Director . . . Donald A. Klune
Set Decorations . . . John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound . . . Frank H. Wilkinson
Color Coordinator . . . Robert Brower
Editorial Supervision . . . Richard Belding
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Costumes by . . . Helen Colvig
Makeup . . . Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist . . . Larry Germain
The Title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.
Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
Virginian, Trampas, Sheriff Abbott, Elizabeth, Clay, and Holly Grainger
When the bank refuses to make him a loan Rafe Judson, a
seemingly even-tempered and honest cowhand, becomes impatient to get money
to buy a ranch of his own and uses his amazing resemblance to an outlaw
(Stroud in a duel role) as a cover to rob a stage. (bj)
More Detailed Synopsis:
New Shiloh cowhand Rafe Judson is mistaken
to be the notorious stage robber and murderer Wally McCullough.
At Shiloh, Trampas is putting Buck through some reining exercises as
the Virginian and Sheriff Abbott arrive. When Trampas sees
Mark he is quick to comment, "I didn't do it."
Rafe is arrested and jailed on suspicion -- but he does have an
alibi: He had been branding with Trampas at the time the witness said he
saw McCullough rob the stage. While the Virginian, Trampas, Liz,
and Holly are discussing the possibility of having
harbored a criminal, they find it hard to believe the laid-back Rafe
could be an outlaw, and Trampas declares, "I'd as soon suspect my own
brother." The Virginian reminds him,
"You don't have a brother" (see episode 6.16 "The Death
Wagon"). Sheriff Abbott joins the group and is assured by all
that Rafe was indeed with Trampas that day. The
Virginian comments that everyone is supposed to have a double
somewhere, and their paths might have crossed.
Now satisfied that this is simply a case of
mistaken identity, the people at Shiloh come to Rafe's defense against
others, including a bounty hunter, who still confuse him with the outlaw.
Rafe works hard and won't waste his
money on beer at the saloon because he's saving to buy a ranch in Montana.
But while in town, he receives a letter informing him that the owners of
the ranch want a $500 payment by the end of the month or he will
forfeit his option to buy. As Rafe is leaving the post office,
he meets Sheriff Abbott and informs
him a bounty hunter is probably at his
office right now to check out the story Trampas had told him.
Rafe heads to the bank where he asks for a loan,
but the banker feels it is not good business since Rafe has no collateral
and tells the cowboy to have patience -- he's young,
and another ranch will come along some day.
But this is the place Rafe had been set on buying,
and he feels he is more in need of money than patience.
While leaving a package at Wells, Fargo & Co.,
Rafe overhears an irate customer
bemoaning about the stage being late and the unhappy
miners who are waiting for their payroll. Since he "might as well be
broke as the way I am now," Rafe buys a beer at the saloon
and loses some of
the money he'd been saving in a poker game. When
Rafe is later than usual getting back from town,
Trampas suggests that maybe he had stopped by the saloon for a drink.
The Virginian reminds him, "Not unless
someone else was buying. He's saving his money." Trampas muses that he
should try that sometime. As Rafe is coming out of the saloon, Mark meets
him and tells him he had spoken with the bounty hunter and
couldn't really blame him for thinking Rafe was the outlaw because
even McCullough's own mother would have trouble
telling the difference. That night in the bunkhouse Rafe
considers a plan, and the next day he goes to the newspaper office to
read an article about McCullough. He then buys a carbine
from a local storekeeper, but the proprietor only has one box
of shells to go with it. Later in the afternoon a second stage is
held up and the shotgun rider injured by a man thought to be McCullough.
Rafe has the excuse that he had been away from the ranch
chasing cattle and forgot the time. Since a posse is after the outlaw
the Virginian suggests Rafe stay close to home.
However, Rafe's masquerade isn't
without consequence. McCullough reads about the other robbery
and is angered that Rafe had
gotten all the goods while he got the blame. He and his girlfriend Angie
(Thomson) find Rafe and have him lead them to his stash of money.
McCullough then orders Rafe to dig his own grave,
but Rafe is able to defend himself and kills McCullough instead.
Back in town the storekeeper asks the Virginian
and Trampas to tell Rafe that more shells that fit the
carbine Rafe had purchased from him had arrived. The Virginian
can't imagine why a man that won't even spend his money
on a glass of beer would buy an expensive rifle.
It is known that McCullough uses a carbine, although not the same caliber.
Trampas thinks there must be a reasonable explanation and,
while the Virginian and Sheriff Abbott are mulling this
over, proposes that the way to find out one way or another about
Rafe is to catch McCullough. Mark observes, "I wonder why I didn't think
of that." In the mean time, Rafe finds Angie,
who is packing up her saddle bags with the money Rafe had stolen,
and kills her, too. Later, Trampas, who still wants
to believe the best about Rafe, asks the cowhand if he
had gotten the message about his shells and then
inquires if he could try out the carbine sometime. But Rafe lies that
he had sent it to his brother for a birthday present.
Trampas tries to assure the Virginian that they could all "relax." The
whole case against Rafe that had been built around him using the carbine to
make people believe he was McCullough could be thrown out
if he had only bought the gun to give to his "kid brother." Not
convinced, the Virginian appraises that is a "big if."
Trampas remarks, "Did anybody ever tell you you were stubborn?"
The foreman replies, "All the time." Now ready
to pull out, Rafe informs the Virginian he wants to draw his pay with
the excuse that he needs to move on for his
safety since too many people are confusing him with McCullough. The
evidence mounts against him, however, with the discovery of the real
outlaw's and Angie's dead bodies. Clay feels there is only one
man that would benefit by killing McCullough and not turning in his
body for the reward. But still lacking
concrete proof, the Virginian, Mark, and Trampas set out to trap the man.
Trampas polishes up the buggy and calls Rafe over to ask him if it would
pass inspection. When Rafe inquires if he was getting ready for a party,
Trampas makes up a story that a rich cash-in-hand cattle buyer is coming
to town by stage, and Mr. Grainger wants
to pick him up at the depot in style at 3:00. After Rafe leaves, the
Virginian asks, "Do you think he went
for it?" Trampas responds, "If he didn't, I wasted a lot of elbow grease."
Trampas and the Virginian follow Rafe at a safe distance and see him take
the carbine from
the place he had hidden it. A disappointed Trampas remarks, "Some kid
brother." As the Virginian and Trampas stay on
his trail, Rafe does indeed hold up the stage. However, Mark is aboard the
coach to make an arrest.
Rafe flees, but the Virginian and Trampas apprehend him.
Trampas observes, "If he'd been smart
enough to quit while he was ahead he'd be home free." The wise Virginian
assesses, "If he was that smart, he never would have started in the first place." (bj)
Notes on characters and their relationships:
Sheriff Mark Abbott has a major part in this episode. He seems more even-tempered and less
gruff than in some other shows, even joking with a man who says he wondered why he had voted
for him. Mark quips that in the next election he can vote for another candidate - if there is
anyone else that is "foolish enough" to take the job.
Elizabeth Grainger is portrayed as a little miss know-it-all (often a typical teenage behavior).
When Rafe is taken to jail because he is suspected of being McCullough, Liz
feels that, according to her "woman's intuition," the man is not an outlaw. And after Rafe is vindicated,
Liz boasts that maybe people should pay more attention to a woman's discernment. Holly agrees,
"They certainly will, until the next time." Liz then declares there's no need for a jury as long as
she is around. Clay warns her not to let it go to her head just because
she was right once. When the mention is made, "I think she really believes in female intuition," Holly
replies, "Why shouldn't she. It's true." In another scene, as the Virginian is informing Clay that
he has begun to suspect Rafe is taking advantage of looking like the outlaw, Liz enters the room
and inquires about the comment she had just heard. Clay notes, "Haven't we
got big ears." Liz replies, "Better to hear secrets with."
The Virginian tries to get out of the conversation by saying
it's time for him to be going, and Liz observes, "I can always tell when you're talking about
something you don't want me to know about. Everyone shuts up when I come in and then
pretends they were just going anyway." The Virginian tells her he'll have to remember not to do
that the next time, and Liz responds, "It won't do you any good. I'd still know." The subject
goes back to woman's intuition, and Liz reminds the men that it worked the last time. Clay
cautions, "Boasting is not a particularly attractive female trait." Liz remarks, "I wasn't boasting, I
was just pointing out I was right." Elizabeth spoke too soon, however, and was saddened after
she found McCullough's body and had to face the probability that Rafe was indeed participating in illegal activity.
This episode reflects the usual protectiveness given to Liz by the Shiloh men. Liz and Rafe are
coming out of the barn when Mark Abbott and the Virginian, who initially
believe Rafe and McCullough to be one and the same person, approach them with the intention of
arresting the ranch hand. The Virginian, desiring to keep the girl from a potentially dangerous
situation, tells her that her uncle wants to see her right away at the house (however, Clay was
actually in town). There is one scene, however, that shows a side of the relationship between
Elizabeth and the foreman that is usually not brought out in the series and seems more like the
playfulness that generally took place between Liz and Trampas. Liz had asked the Virginian to
mail a pattern to a dressmaker, but he had put off doing it. The Virginian recruits Rafe to take the
package to town for him, confessing that Liz had made it clear that if her dress didn't arrive in
time for her social event, "heads would roll - mine." Rafe leaves with the
package as Liz rides up and asks the foreman if he had sent the pattern.
The Virginian states that he wouldn't forget something important like that.
Liz responds politely, "I was just asking, don't take offence," and the
Virginian assures her it had been taken care of. [bj]
Don Stroud also guest stars in 6.10 "Paid in Full"
Return to The Classic TV Archive "The Virginian" Home Page
Return to The Classic TV Archive Western Page
Return to The Classic TV Archive Home Page
Feedback - "The Virginian" Guestbook