CTVA - The Virginian 7.18 [193] "The Price of Love" 12-Feb-1969

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7.18 [193]
"The Price Of Love"

NBC Broadcast - 12 February 1969

Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman MacDonnell
Produced by David Levinson
Written by Dick Carr
Directed by Michael Caffey

(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

Guest Star

V193_PeteDeuel.jpg (52646 bytes)
Peter Deuel
[Denny Todd] (brilliant performance) 

Special Guest Star
James Gregory

Full ending credits:
Also Starring
Jeanette Nolan as Holly Grainger (regular)
Skip Homeier
as Callan
Ross Elliott  . . .  Sheriff Abbott
Jean Peloquin  . . .  Jean
Richard Van Vleet  . . .  George Edwards
Michael Fox  . . .  Coroner
Pitt Herbert  . . .  Telegraph Operator
Mark Tapscott  . . .  Blacksmith
Stuart Nisbet  . . .  Burt*
(* possibly a typographical error in the credits as
he was addressed as Bart, his usual bartender name)

Leslie York  . . .  Peggy
Lee De Broux  . . .  Jack
Michael Griswold  . . .  Clint
Kenneth Lawrence  . . .  Tom
Chuck Courtney  . . .  Lafe
James Griffith as Sam
Music Score Leonard Rosenman
Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography Enzo A. Martinelli
Art Director  . . .  George Patrick
Film Editor  . . .  Edward Haire, A.C.E.
Unit Manager  . . .  Willard H. Sheldon
Assistant Director  . . .  Wilbur Mosier
Set Decorations  . . .  John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound  . . .  David H. Moriarty
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:  Clay, Holly, and
Elizabeth Grainger, the Virginian, Trampas, Sheriff Abbott, Bart the
Bartender, and Jean

Brief Synopsis : (bj)
Soon after arriving in Medicine Bow, Denny Todd (Peter Deuel) learns from
Trampas that the Graingers, who took him in as a young boy, are living at
Shiloh Ranch. Todd finds himself resorting to violent and tragic action to
defend Clay Grainger (John McIntire) in a row over water rights. (pag)

  We learn a little bit about Holly and Clay's past --they had been
the parents of twins who died in an epidemic in Texas.  While living in East
Texas they took Denny into their home after finding him as a hungry eleven
year old stealing chickens from their ranch and had been like a
mother and father to the boy until he left unexpectedly at age thirteen.
His departure had broken Holly's heart, and both she and Clay were happy to
be reunited with Denny these fifteen years later.
About regular characters:  When Denny, who had wanted to protect Clay, was
brought before a judge for shooting three fast-gunmen hired by the
neighboring rancher's foreman Clay came to his defense but reminded us of
his personal integrity by stating (when accused of hiring Denny as his own
fast-gun), "You people know me.  You know when I have a dispute I settle it
in court, not hire a gunfighter."  Also, Clay (in an outstanding performance by John
McIntire) loved Denny like a son, believed in him, and wanted the best for
him.  But when it came to choosing to make Denny take responsibility for
also killing the neighboring rancher's foreman instead of covering up or
excusing the crime as an act of love ("It isn't right to take a human life
no matter what the reason"), doing what was right took precedence even
though it resulted in tragedy.  We also see in this episode that the
Virginian was very observant of Denny's irrational behavior and suspected he
might have killed the foreman but did not mention it at the inquest for
Clay's benefit.  However, he did later tell Clay that Denny had probably
decided to leave Shiloh now not to go visit a friend but
to kill the neighboring rancher.  He wanted very much to accompany Clay
because he felt it could be dangerous for him to go after Denny alone.
The relationship between Trampas and the Virginian is brought out when Denny
becomes angry at the Virginian for yelling at Trampas about having gotten in
a fight against Mr. Grainger's orders.  While trying to calm Denny Trampas
explains, "He's my best friend, best friend I've got. Sometimes we just yell
at each other.  It
doesn't mean anything.  I yell at him, he yells at me."
About the episode in general:  I found this story rather sad and disturbing
in its hopelessness of a man who could remember only fear and pain as a child and
had learned he could take control of that pain by using a gun.  Since
the Graingers were the only people he had known who had loved him he was
misguided in thinking he could love them back by destroying anyone that
might hurt them.  But when Clay wanted to try to help him take
responsibility for his actions Denny, because of his past experiences, was
unable to trust him and again felt he had to defend himself against
imprisonment, fear, and pain.  In his fear Denny shot Clay in the side, and Clay was
forced to shoot back in self defense.  Denny mentioned that nothing could
hurt Clay anymore, and Clay replied that nothing would hurt either of them.
If this had been a feature movie we could thus assume that Clay
and Denny both died.  But since we find Clay very much alive in later
episodes I feel, even though he realized Denny had severe emotional problems
that were now ended, he and Holly must have  experienced the pain of bitter
grief for a very long period over the loss of this young
man.  Peter Deuel (who would later star as Hannibal Hayes in the Western
series "Alias Smith & Jones") was excellent and convincing in this role.   His
facial expressions left me with the impression that underneath his tough
exterior Denny was a sad, longing, lost little boy who cracked under the
pressure of life. (bj)

Story: (rgm)
Fifteen years ago, shortly after the death of their twin sons, Clay and Holly found a young boy wandering through their East Texas ranch. The eleven year-old, Denny Todd, was hungry, homeless and apparently parentless and just what the suddenly childless Graingers needed. After three happy years together, Denny disappeared after being accused of helping several other boys rob the general store. He joined a cattle drive on its way to Missouri where he grew up to be a hired gun with a vicious temper.
Now his travels have brought him to Wyoming and a chance meeting with Trampas reunites him with the Graingers. It isn't the most opportune time for a reunion as Clay is in a dispute over water rights with his new neighbour, Ed Kimbro. Kimbro's foreman, John Callan, has a reputation as a violent man who prefers to settle disputes with fists and guns. Bad blood develops immediately between Denny and Callan when Callan and one of his ranch hands try to run Denny over on the road into Medicine Bow. Denny repays the foreman by instigating a saloon brawl in town and laying a sound beating on him. Trampas is caught in the middle of an incident he has been explicitly ordered to avoid by both Grainger and The Virginian.
Seeing only the spirited eleven-year old that he and Holly grew to love, Clay insists on hiring him as a ranch hand over The Virginian's misgivings. The Shiloh foreman sees the cold-blooded, vicious man that young Denny has grown into and wants no part of him. Todd appoints himself the guardian of Clay and Holly and will avenge any slight, physical or emotional with death. A young man's prank on Trampas at a local dance backfires on Clay and only The Virginian's intervention stops Denny from beating the man to death. Then Denny blames an accidental landslide on Callan. He follows the foreman into town where he overhears him wiring to Cheyenne for some hired guns and then shoots him in cold blood just outside of town. Two days later he goads the hired guns into a gunfight and kills all three.
A coroner's inquest exonerates Denny in the killing of the gunfighters but not before a furious Kimbro unilaterally sets his ranch's borders and threatens Clay and the Shiloh men if they interfere. Denny decides the only way to stop Kimbro is to kill him and Clay is the only one who can stop the killing. (rgm)

Notes: (rgm)
Peter Deuel also appeared in "The Good-hearted Badman" (6.20). Deuel is regarded as one of the great tragedies in recent Hollywood history. A very talented actor, he had supporting roles in two situation comedies ("Gidget" (1965-66) and "Love on a Rooftop"(1966-67)) that only lasted a season each. He signed a seven-year contract with Universal in 1967 and kept his career active with high profile guest appearances (such as this one) and supporting roles in theatrical and made-for-TV movies. Then in 1970 he appeared to have the break that would make his career. ABC commissioned a mid-season replacement called "Alias Smith and Jones". The series was to capitalize on the success of the 1969 movie "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid". Deuel was cast opposite Ben Murphy as two young outlaws who were paroled by a western governor with the promise of a complete pardon if they stayed out of trouble for one year. The show debuted in January 1971 and was an immediate hit. Deuel became moody and depressed, however. He felt trapped in a series and wanted the variety which guest appearances afforded him. He began drinking heavily. He was charged with drunk driving in May 1971, when he caused an auto accident that nearly killed two other people. On New Year's Eve 1971, Deuel was found dead in his Hollywood apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (rgm)

James Gregory also appeared in "50 Days to Moose Jaw" (1.12), "Without Mercy" (5.21) and "Last of the Comancheros" (9.21). Gregory is probably best remembered as Inspector Luger on the sitcom "Barney Miller". (rgm)

Skip Homeier also appeared in "Strangers at Sundown" (1.27), "A Portrait of Marie Vallone" (2.8) and "The Brazos Kid" (3.6). Skip is a nickname given to Homeier when he was a child actor in radio during the 1940s. (rgm)

Richard Van Vleet also appeared in "Eileen" (7.21) and "Last of the Comancheros" (9.21). (rgm)

Mark Tapscott also appeared in "The Judgement" (1.17), "Run Quiet" (2.9), "High Stakes" (5.10), "A Bad Place to Die (6.9), "Seth" (6.26), "Nora" (7.12) and "Fox, Hound and Widow McCloud" (7.25). (rgm)

Michael Fox also appeared in "The Brazen Bell" (1.5) and "No Drums, No Trumpets" (4.28). The role of coroner was a familiar one for Fox. He had recurring roles as a coroner on both "Perry Mason" (1957 - 66) and "Burke's Law" (1963-65). (rgm)

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