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ERROL23

The Virginian(1946)

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Showing up in a small Western town,Medicine Bow is new schoolteacher Molly Wood(Barbra Britton)She meets local cowboy The Virginian(Joel McCrea)who she takes an instant dislike to.Molly feels shes falling for Steve Andrews(Sonny Tufts)The Virginians pal.

The local head of the outlaw gang is Trampas(Brian Donlevy)who hates The Virginian and swears to kill him.

Things go bad when Steve joins up with Trampas hoping to get rich rustling.The Virginian is made lawman, even though it puts him on the other side of the law with Steve and perhaps Molly who hes falling for.

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Beautifully filmed but I thought only an average film. I like McCrea in nearly everything he does. It would be nice to see this and Cooper's 1929 version together.

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There was a 1929 version with Gary Cooper,Richard Arlen,Walter Huston,Mary Brian,Eugene Pallette,etc Dir Victor Fleming

I think the 1946 version was the best.

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I like it. But, I'm a little biased towards McCrea. Who is one of my favorite leading men of that era. Also like Donleavy a good bit.

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There was a 1929 version with Gary Cooper,Richard Arlen,Walter Huston,Mary Brian,Eugene Pallette,etc Dir Victor Fleming

I think the 1946 version was the best.

 

There were also two silents, one directed by DeMille in 1914 w/ Dustin Farnum (which I've seen) and another in 1923 starring one Kenneth Harlan (haven't seen). The 2 most significant  versions were the '14, which helped establish both the western as a feature length attraction and Hollywood as a production center, and the '29, which solidified Copper's status as a slow-speaking American everyman hero and provided the talkies with their first celebrated dialogue exchange: the famous "When you call me that -- smile" scene between Cooper and Huston.

 

Trivia: the '14 version is set in 1894, while the '46 is set in 1885.

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I love the long-running TV series, "The Virginian", with James Drury.

 

I have only seen it on classic TV stations.

 

But I have never seen a bad episode.

 

The production values were quite high.

 

And the leading actors and guest stars were excellent.

 

cast.jpg

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I love the long-running TV series, "The Virginian", with James Drury.

 

I have only seen it on classic TV stations.

 

But I have never seen a bad episode.

 

The production values were quite high.

 

And the leading actors and guest stars were excellent.

 

cast.jpg

What kept this show on the air was that they had guys like Lee J. Cobb, Charles Bickford, John McIntire and Stewart Granger (old time movie actors) to oversee the proceedings at the Shiloh Ranch. 

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Richard Kimble wrote:  Trivia: the '14 version is set in 1894, while the '46 is set in 1885.

 

If you watched the TV series from the first, it was set around 1897.  The men even get to fight with teddy Roosevelt at san Juan Hill.  In another episode an aging cowboy bemoans bygone days of the cattle drives 20 years before.  The costumes worn by the actresses bear this out.  This is in keeping with the book.

 

At about season three they seem to go back in time about ten years; the clothes and story references are about the mid-1880s.  Maybe they thought they could get more story lines out of this period.  The show was good either way.      

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I saw a first-rate episode of "The Virginian" yesterday that was brimming over with "homoerotic subtext".

 

It starred one of the series' regulars, Clu Gulager, who once had a long history with the guest star, Tom Tryon.

 

They had been penniless cowboys together, lived and worked together and had developed a very close relationship.

 

Then, life intervened, and they split up - Tom Tryon had gotten into trouble and then killed the bounty hunter, who wanted to kill him - he ran off and started a new life - got married to a widow and accepted her child and worked hard on his farm.

 

When a young sleazebag recognized Tom Tryon and blackmailed him, Tom Tryon was thrown into quite a dilemma.

 

Eventually, the blackmailer got himself murdered and Tom Tryon ran off so he looked like the murderer.

 

But Clu Gulager got to the bottom of it all, discovering that the wife had actually killed the blackmailer, who was intent on **** her.

 

What was interesting about the storyline was all of the "homoerotic subtext".

 

And Clu Gulager embraced every moment of it; he did not try to conceal it in the least.

 

That Clu Gulager and Tom Tryon were once extremely close was impossible not to realize.

 

And, of course, penniless cowboys who spent their days and nights together probably did indulge in a gay life, with the understanding, of course, that if a woman came along, she just might disrupt the cowboys' life.

 

Anyway, this one was a surprisingly dense episode with two mesmerizing actors who could easily have been "gay" together when they were struggling simply to stay alive.

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The 1929 version of THE VIRGINIAN starring Gary Cooper aired last week on Retroplex. I had never seen it on cable TV before.

 

Coop's later HIGH NOON borrows heavily from THE VIRGINIAN, and that is probably one of the reasons why he was sought for the lead role.

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Randy Boone appeared on the TV series, "The Virginian", from 1963-1966.

 

He played a character with his own name, Randy and he was always an extremely appealing actor.

 

Today, on INSP, they aired one of his stronger entries, which was titled "The Stallion".

 

Randy became fixated on a "killer horse" that he tried to save from death.

 

He enlisted the aid of a alcoholic vet, who was reluctant to help.

 

The storyline had echoes of "The Yearling".

 

Although the animal in question was clearly trying everybody's patience.

 

In the end, the horse was "reclaimed".

 

And Randy gave it willingly to the vet, who had done so much for it.

 

Randy Boone gave a very compelling performance as a young man who obviously saw a great deal in an animal that was a threat and a terror to so many other people.

 

I do wish that Randy Boone had been able to remain on "The Virginian".

 

He brought so much charm and warmth to the series.

 

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I saw an excellent episode of "The Virginian" today on INSP.

 

James Drury was very prominent - and so was Tim Mathison, who had become a series regular by this time.

 

The story involved a woman, who was played excellently by Bethel Leslie.

 

She played a woman who had been kidnapped in an Indian raid.

 

Her husband (Charles Drake) has run off in fright.

 

Their daughter had been left behind.

 

Years later, when the Indian chief, who had claimed her, had died, she and her son were thrown out of the tribe.

 

James Drury finds her - near death - and brings her back to Shiloh.

 

She and her son are clearly  "outcasts".

 

And, then, one day, shopping at the local emporium, she meets the proprietor, the husband who abandoned her to the Indians so many years ago.

 

So, the scene is set for a highly-wrought drama of regrets and recriminations, which is further hightened by the coming wedding of the daughter, who thinks that her mother was killed by the Indians all those years ago.

 

 It was an emotionally-complex piece - and all of the actors rose to the challenge of the material.

 

"The Virginian" dealt with very adult material.

 

In the end, Bethel Leslie fabricated a story that was best for her daughter's future - as a whole human being.

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Today, on INSP, there was an unusual episode of "The Virginian".

 

It centered on a saloon girl, who was desperate for a new way of life.

 

She was played - quite well - by Joan Staley.

 

Without parents, she went to work in a saloon when she was only fifteen.

 

Much later, an outlaw - played compellingly by Michael Dante - claimed her for his own.

 

Since he was gone a lot of the time - outlawing - he'd stationed her temporarily at various places.

 

At one of these places, while she was waiting for him, she came upon Trampas (Doug McClure) and The Virginian (James Drury).

 

They were on a horse-buying mission in Mexico.

 

But The Virginian became ill and was left behind.

 

He was staying at a sort of hotel that was run by character actor, Thomas Gomez.

 

He ran into Joan Staley, who was attracted to him and saw a way out of her life.

 

I liked the way in which "the love story" was played.

 

For her, it was a way out - but with mixed feelings, because she was still attracted to Michael Dante.

 

For him, well, James Drury played it with mixed feelings, too - as if it might happen, but probably would not.

 

In the end, Joan Staley decided that she would stay behind, because she wanted to be needed and, at this point in his life, Michael Dante needed her.

 

The Virginian returned home with Trampas - and the horses that Trampas had bought.

 

I loved the scenes between The Virginian and Trampas - they are the kind of friends who can say anything to each other - and, of course, do.

 

They have such intimate knowledge of each other that they could almost qualify as "lovers" - but, of course, not quite.

 

I wonder how many of these close, close relationships veered off into the "sexual".

 

In terms of "lost gay history", I would guess that it was quite common for these relationships to become - well, what can I say? - more than just friends.

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