The Virginian (1962–1971)
1 user 1 critic

The Drifter 

The Virginian recalls his arrival at Shiloh when he went to work for a neighboring ranch that was close to a range war with Shiloh. He is caught in a feud with the foreman causing the fight and falls in love with the girl engaged to him.


Don McDougall


Frank Fenton (story), Carey Wilber (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Lee J. Cobb ... Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure ... Trampas (credit only)
Gary Clarke ... Steve Hill
James Drury ... The Virginian
Leif Erickson ... Peterson
Mariette Hartley ... Maria Peterson
Michael Forest ... Hugh Stager
Gregg Palmer ... Sunday
Frank Albertson ... Sheriff Webb
Cal Bartlett ... Dolan
Tyler McVey Tyler McVey ... Matthew Barclay
Jackie Russell ... Billie
Rex Holman ... Donovan
Mike Ragan ... Shorty
Chuck Courtney ... Jerry


Steve asks The Virginian about the abandoned Peterson place that is now part of Shiloh. The questions causes The Virginian to flash back to its history and his introduction to Shiloh seven years earlier. He was riding across Shiloh when two Shiloh hands shoot his horse out from under him suspecting him to be a gunman for Peterson. He befriends a Peterson hand in Medicine Bow so Peterson hires him against the wishes of the foreman Hugh Stager. A feud has heated up between Peterson and Garth although neither man wants it or knows why. Steger is engaged to Peterson's daughter Maria and wants a range war to gain control over Peterson's ranch and Shiloh. He resorts to shooting Peterson and The Virginian. However, The Virginian who Maria is fond of survives and returns to confront Hugh and his men. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

29 January 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


During the barroom brawl, the two saloon ladies can be seen fighting at the bottom of the staircase. The camera move off of them momentarily and when it returns they have disappeared (though there are other men fighting in the same place). See more »

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User Reviews

A moving drama
8 April 2013 | by pfors-647-501497See all my reviews

Flashback episode that provides about all of The Virginian's back story that viewers would ever get is a moving drama that gains much of its poignancy from Mariette Hartley's achingly heartfelt performance. She plays a rancher's daughter, lonely and isolated, who enters adulthood desperately yearning for a loving marriage and family of her own. The Virginian's sensitivity to her plight creates an emotional current between Drury and Hartley that is deeply affecting. Story's outcome leaves a melancholy aftertaste that haunts the memory. Stereotyped snaky villain Rex Holman, who must hold the TV record for lost gunfights, meets his usual fate in the usual fashion.

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