The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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"The Storm Gate"
Original NBC Broadcast - 13 November 1968
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by James Duff McAdams
Teleplay by Jerry McNeely & Alvin Sapinsley / Story by Jerry McNeely
Directed by Richard A. Colla
(shown on the ride-in)
John McIntire as Clay Grainger (not in this episode)
Doug McClure as Trampas
David Hartman as David Sutton (not in this episode)
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger (not in this episode)
James Drury as The Virginian (not in this episode)
Susan Oliver [Anne Crowder] (pictured above)
Burr DeBenning [Jason Crowder] (pictured above)
Scott Brady [Hudson]
Full ending credits:
Robert F. Simon as Sam Burmeister
Roy Jenson . . . Lueders
Ted Gehring . . . Edgar Wood
Charles H. Radilac . . . Doctor
Mitch Vogel . . . Boy
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Ray Flin
Art Director . . . Jerome ?Pycha, Jr.
Film Editor . . . John Elias
Unit Manager . . . Henry Kline
Assistant Director . . . Wilson Shyer
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: Trampas
In River Oaks, Nebraska, Trampas stops to visit his
childhood friend Jason Crowder (DeBenning). Jason, whose father was a
preacher and "one of the finest" yet poorest men Trampas had known, has
certainly come a long way. But one thing hasn't changed--once he gets an
idea he won't quit till he finishes it and won't let anyone interfere with
his getting it done. He's "headed for the moon" and invites Trampas to join
him on the "trip." Determined to convince Trampas to stay (for reasons yet
unknown to the cowboy), Jason employs his beautiful yet somber
wife Anne (Oliver) to show him around the ranch.
When it begins to rain Anne suggests they take shelter in an abandoned mine.
Because he's attracted to her Trampas would rather not spend the night alone
with her, but Anne insists it's too dangerous to ride back to the house in
the storm. Jason had told Trampas of his plans to help the "good people of
River Oaks" by building a dam to keep the
river from flooding and eroding the topsoil in the area, but the next day
Trampas discovers Jason's real intention is to have the farmers deed
over their land to him so he can sell it to the railroad at a large profit.
Trampas wants Anne to talk to her husband, but she insists she
can't confront him because she needs him too much. She asks Trampas to stop
him but not hurt him. Trampas informs Jason he can't go along with the
scheme and is going to tell Burmeister (Simon) and the other farmers the
truth. Yet at the meeting, before Trampas can convince the men of Jason's
real pursuit, Jason arrives declaring that Trampas had taken advantage of
Anne when the two of them spent the night together in the mine.
Anne is brought in to confirm this and states, "My husband never lies."
Jason vows to avenge his wife's honor by shooting Trampas,
but the cowboy jumps through a
window and escapes. As Jason leaves to hunt down the man who was once his
friend, Anne tells him she hadn't agreed to murder.
Intent on killing him so he can't interfere with his scheme,
Jason follows Trampas back to the mine. But Anne
and the farmers arrive, and Anne asserts if Jason kills Trampas it will be
for nothing because she had told the men he had taken
land from farmers in Kansas and intended to do the same to them. Jason is
enraged that anyone would dare spoil his plan and leaves with the
statement, "Just as Pappy always predicted--the meek have gone and inherited
the earth again." Trampas is concerned when he learns Jason left
without taking Anne with him, but she had committed the
"unforgivable" by betraying him and so was no longer any use to him.
Yet Anne notes Jason also had a good side, and she has the "best of him"
because she's pregnant with his
child. Trampas replies, "He was so busy
trying to figure out schemes to be the richest man in the world he didn't
realize he already was." Feeling "people need
to help each other through life" Trampas offers her his assistance,
but Anne has decided it's time for her to
learn how to take care of herself and her child on her own before she asks
favors of anyone again.
Notes: The title "The Storm Gate" probably deals as much with Jason as
the actual dam. At the party held to try to persuade the farmers to
deed over their land, Trampas observed Jason's
enthusiasm about the proposed building project with
"if you'd been poor all your life and suddenly strike it rich
it's sort of like a dam busting." Anne replied this was an appropriate
expression and told Trampas the way to keep a dam from busting was to
keep a little trickle going through it all the time: She didn't get
involved in her husband's business--she just stayed home and kept the
"dam from busting." Unfortunately for Jason and Anne the "trickle" wasn't enough as
it seemed Jason's emotions snapped when his get-rich-quick scheme was thwarted.
This episode is also rather reminiscent of 4.04 "The Claim." In both
stories Trampas would rather be honest than rich.
When Jason calls him a "dumb cowboy"
Trampas comes back with, "Maybe I'm dumb enough to believe that people
should be honest and dumb enough to try to stop them when they're not."
Besides her other appearances in THE VIRGINIAN, Susan Oliver
fans can also see her alongside Doug McClure in CHECKMATE episode
2.27 "So Beats My Plastic Heart." (bj)
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