The Virginian (1962–1971)
2 user

The Masquerade 

Bank teller George Foster has told his ex-lawman dad he is a sheriff to make him proud. When his father is to stop by for a two hour visit, Ryker and The Virginian decide to make him Sheriff but they didn't expect the visit to be extended.


Don McDougall


Norman Katkov, Owen Wister (novel)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bickford ... John Grainger (credit only)
Doug McClure ... Trampas
Clu Gulager ... Sheriff Emmett Ryker
Don Quine ... Stacey Grainger (credit only)
Sara Lane ... Elizabeth Grainger (credit only)
James Drury ... The Virginian
Lloyd Nolan ... Tom Foster
David Hartman ... George Foster
Diana Muldaur ... Laura Messinger
Bobby Buntrock Bobby Buntrock ... Tim Messinger
Harry Hickox ... Bill Manders
Ed Prentiss ... Carl Jensen
Norman Leavitt ... Charles Colton
Forrest Lewis Forrest Lewis ... Len Torrance
Pitt Herbert ... Telegrapher


George Foster is a bank clerk who lives a very gentrified lifestyle and not very manly by western standards. He has courted widow Laura Messinger with son Tim for one year, eight months, and two weeks but she still takes him for granted. George receives a letter addressed to Sheriff George Foster which Sheriff Ryker and The Virginian deliver thinking there was a mistake. George tells them there is no mistake as he told his ex-lawman father he was the Sheriff of Medicine Bow to make him proud of George. The letter says his father will be stopping by for a two hour visit while on a train trip to San Francisco. George's father Tom was a renown sheriff in Iowa. Sheriff Ryker decides the town can put on a masquerade for two hours that George is sheriff. However, when the train is delayed in Medicine Bow for 2-3 days due to a derailment, Ryker's plan requires significant enhancement. George is forced to be sheriff by day and bank clerk by night as his father meets the town and especially ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

18 October 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Down with Hartman
23 April 2013 | by pfors-647-501497See all my reviews

Lumpish David Hartman is dead weight on this otherwise decent episode. Hartman's incongruity almost defies description. He's a massive oak of a man who makes James Drury and Clu Gulager look like children when he's standing next to them, yet his character is so meek, and performance so listless, that his screen presence amounts to the sum total of zero. Peppy Lloyd Nolan (as Hartman's father!), who hot-wired a surge of energy into every scene he played, does all he can to keep the plot on its feet, as does Dave Grusin's music. His score, which includes some atmospheric banjo licks, seems at times to be giving Hartman's performance for him.

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