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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
Here are capsule impressions of episodes aired during the bumpy path of season four.

A LITTLE LEARNING -- Guest stars, Albert Salmi, Susan Oliver
Illiterate, trouble-prone hayseed creates dangerous misunderstandings when he approaches an attractive schoolteacher. Initially unpromising episode turns suspenseful and ultimately gripping. Salmi makes his inarticulate character quite moving, and child actor Craig Hundley earns high marks for an emotional scene with Drury. Bruce Dern is meaner than ever as Oliver's possessive former husband.

THE CLAIM -- Guest star, William Shatner
Trampas quits Shiloh in a huff and goes gold prospecting with a shiftless buddy and a derelict. Obvious rehash of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," with McClure, Strother Martin and Shatner channeling Tim Holt, Walter Huston and Humphrey Bogart. Captain Kirk beams out of Bogey's shadow with a striking performance. The crew of the Enterprise was no stranger to Shiloh; Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan also appeared during season four.

THE AWAKENING -- Guest star, Glenn Corbett
Betsy Garth falls in love with an ex-minister who sides with miners during a labor dispute. Roberta Shore bids a graceful farewell to Shiloh in memorable episode. Blue-eyed heart throb Corbett performs with becoming restraint, making him a fit partner for the modest Shore. Betsy's swan song was an island of tranquility in the choppy seas of season four, which would only get more turbulent.

RING OF SILENCE -- Guest stars, Earl Holliman, Joyce Van Patten, Royal Dano
A stage with Sheriff Emmett Ryker aboard is waylaid by Mexican marauders bent on vengeance against a passenger. Character-driven tale, reminiscent of the John Ford classic "Stagecoach," becomes a philosophical struggle pitting Clu Gulager's passionate commitment to justice against Holliman's cynical disregard. Good acting, especially by the alert, tightly focused Van Patten, and a bracing climactic shootout compensate for preachiness.

JENNIFER -- Guest star, James MacArthur
Judge Garth's lonely niece moves to Shiloh and is miserable until becoming attached to a young fiddlefoot who is actually a wanted killer. The eternally boyish MacArthur is in top form in deft episode that introduces Diane Roter's character to the series. Her Jennifer is appealingly shy and vulnerable, but the series' writers could think of little more for the complicated character to do, and Roter was shunted into the background of most of her remaining episodes.

SHOW ME A HERO -- Guest star, Richard Beymer
Trampas becomes unwillingly involved in a small town's struggle to preserve its integrity against the forces of corruption. Tired plot is refreshed by observant direction by Leon Benson and thoughtful acting by McClure and Beymer. Character actor Douglas Fowley is a joy to watch as a dignified old sheriff on his last legs. This episode was one of two that season scored by the great composer Bernard Herrmann, of "Psycho" and "Vertigo" fame.

THE HORSE FIGHTER -- Guest star, Harry Guardino
An aging bronco buster generously mentors Randy but is tempted to turn outlaw. Guardino, who usually played big-city roughnecks, is amazingly real as the fading horsebacker. Randy Boone's mild-mannered character has his edgiest scene in the series, decking the astonished Drury during a bunkhouse meltdown. This episode was as good as it got in season four.

NOBODY SAID HELLO -- Guest star, James Whitmore
The parasitic former despot of Andersonville prison is determined to sink his hooks into Judge Garth. Ridiculous story, haltingly directed, makes a monkey out of Whitmore. Only the foolproof Cobb, Drury and McClure emerge from the muck unscathed. Cobb's imminent decision to bolt the series makes more sense after viewing this turkey.

MORGAN STARR -- Guest star, John Dehner
The gruff and demanding ways of Shiloh's new operator spark friction with The Virginian as a locust invasion looms. Robust episode builds to exciting climax, but Dehner's hardboiled character turned off viewers and was gone after a handful of episodes.

HARVEST OF STRANGERS -- Guest star, John Anderson
Morgan Starr and The Virginian try to quell racial animosity in Medicine Bow after a posse of heavily armed Canadian half-breeds hits town. Pointed attack on mindless bigotry is rare for a series that approached social issues with caution. But noirish, wind-tossed episode that strives for artistry as well as relevance founders. Flailing script is poorly plotted and tone-deaf, hamstringing the actors, including the normally surefooted Drury and Anderson.

RIDE A COCK-HORSE TO LARAMIE CROSS -- Guest star, Nita Talbot
Trampas encounters outlaws and hostile Indians while transporting two children to their mother. Disappointing episode, every bit as awkward as its title, saddles McClure with a twerpy child actor (Clint Howard) and an unresponsive leading lady (Talbot). The series was beginning to leak oil as it creaked toward the conclusion of season four. There would be big changes in season five.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
In my opinion, The Virginian was the best Western on TV at the time. For a 90 min format, the stories were interesting, and they never seemed to "drag" on. Timeless Media has done a great job with these DVDs and I'm looking forward to the rest of the seasons. The only negative I have, is that they don't have a listing anywhere of the episodes on the set. You have to look at the DVD and if it's in the player, it's kinda hard to do that unless you stop the dvd and go to the menu. Other than that, they're great! Excellent quality, super clear and a lot of fun to watch. I love the interviews that come with each set. It's always fun to hear the back story. Maybe at some point we can get a "blooper" dvd as well? ;-) Thanks Timeless Media.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
The Virginian is my favorite television Western. As many reviews have said, each 75-minute episode is more like a Western movie of the week with familiar characters as well as great guest stars. This show was a cut above other TV Westerns in terms of its acting, location photography, wonderful music scores, and intelligent screenplays. For television it was a big-budget production, and it shows. And Timeless does a solid job with these sets, providing good packaging and very good picture quality.

This season has a lot of highlights, but there were also a lot of bumps along the road in the 4th season. Early in the season Roberta Shore wanted to leave the show, and so her character Betsy Garth suddenly got married and was gone. And then in the middle of the season Judge Garth, played by Lee Cobb, also left the show. Garth's first successor was a cold and hard character named Morgan Starr, who was well played by veteran actor John Dehner, but the Starr character just didn't seem right for the show and was gone by the end of the season. Finally, there were a large number of grim stories this season. Some of these are well done, but the mood shifts down a bit from the more upbeat first three seasons. A lot of these changes came about because one of the founding producers of the show, Frank Price, was promoted to the executive suites and turned over producing duties on The Virginian to Norman Macdonnell, who had previously produced Gunsmoke and other shows. Again, it's still the best Western on TV, but it's sometimes a rocky road compared to the first three seasons.

About half of the episodes I thought were good to very good, including A Little Learning, The Claim, The Awakening, Ring of Silence, Jennifer, Show Me a Hero, The Dream of Savros Karas, The Laramie Road, The Horse Fighter, Letter of theLaw, Blaze of Glory, Long Ride to Wind River, The Inchworm's Got No Wings At All, Morgan Starr, Ride A Cock Horse to Laramie Cross, and The Mark of a Man. And even the episodes I didn't care for as much often had compelling performances and interesting ideas.

The season again has some great guest stars, including a very young Kurt Russell, Susan Oliver (who also starred in the Star Trek classic The Menagerie), William Shatner, Royal Dano, James MacArther (Danno on Hawaii 50), Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Leonard Nimoy, Leslie Nielsen, Simon Oakland, Telly Savalas, and many, many others.

And finally, the most important stars of the show stayed with it, including James Drury, who does an outstanding job in the title role, Doug McClure, who brings great humor and charm to the show as Trampas, Clu Gulager, who has some standout episodes as Sherriff Ryker this season, and Randy Boone as sensitive singing cowboy with a charming accent. Diane Roter, who plays Jennifer Sommers, also has some good episodes in her brief role on the show.

All in all, this is is still a must-see season of this classic show, and comes highly recommended. And although the changes are not all for the better, it certainly keeps the show fresh and makes you expect the unexpected. Finally, they sure don't make 'em like this anymore. The Virginian is a quality show in every way, and even the lesser episodes of The V are better than most of the stuff you'll see on TV today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I gave this a five star rating because the film has been fully restored to its original quality and the writing and acting is outstanding. This was the first 90-minute Western series and was like watching a film each week. The family feel of the show always drew me to it and is again evident now that I have the opportunity to watch the show over again. If you are a fan of the Western genre, then this is a must have for you. If you aren't a fan, try it anyway. I am sure the excellent writing and the out stand acting will draw you in. In my humble opinion, the is absolute positively the best Western series ever made.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2011
I have had a love for westerns since I watched them with my grandmother in the late 50's and early 60's. Whenever I can find and add to my western collection, the different westerns over the years, I am more than elated and grateful that Amazon sell some of the best quality products I have ever ordered, i.e. color, some where close to perfection in the picture and the audio is great. It's almost like being there!!! I never hesitate ordering from Amazon for I am assured, through purchsing over the years, that I will receive a product I am be satisfied with. Thank you Amazon. Enjoyed it as much as Season Three.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
This is one off the best Western TV serious off all time...the picture Quality is fantastic...BUT there is an audio issue HERE.on all 4 Seasons..On some episodes the sound volume goes down and the quality of the sound is very deep,and not very clear at all...after 10,15 minutes the volume comes up again and sound is very clear..Take Disc four episode Beyond The Border..about 15 minutes in the episode when Trampas is riding away to pick up the horses,when the Blonde girl walks into the Saloon,Bar the sound goes down and is very unclear and deep...on The Laramie Road episode about 50 minutes in..when the sheriff,Emmett rides into Shiloh with the wagon off prisoners the volume goes up and the sound is very clear again...This happens on many episodes though the seasons,some more noticeable then others....and you have to turn your volume up then back down...i am really surprised know one else has brought this up on here..i know its not me because i have 2 Dvd players and this happens on both of them...when i have told this to Timeless they only answer my email once..saying they will change the disc...but its there Mastering process....if anyone else has had this problem,i like to hear on the comment page.....So that's the only reason why i have give this 2 stars..but hey you should still buy this dvd...Timeless should address this problem as the Dvds are so pose to be Restored and Digitally Remastered...
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
This is the BEST western on TV. Not because of The Viginian, but because it had so many gifted writers with so much to tell. It is a pleasure to watch the entire series, keep it coming.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Thank goodness for Timeless Media.They have now brought us Laramie,The Virginian,Wagon Train,Oregon Trail,Laredo and many other fine shows from the 1950's and 60's.The Virginian rates No. 1 in terms of picture quality,color,sound and special features.I loved this program as boy and i enjoy even more now.I will purchase all nine season when they are available.Great job by Timeless Media.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
The Virginian has got to be one of the best westerns to ever hit the television screen. The cast is superb and the story lines are filled with good morals. I have purchased the first season through the fifth. Will buy more when they become available. I buy all my music and dvds from Amazon. They are always dependable.
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This is a great DVD. All the shows are on the DVD and the picture quality of this DVD is great. The picture is as clear as can be. This is one of my favorite old western shows of the day. I would recommend anyone buying this DVD if they like a western show. This show was the first hour and a half long show on TV back in 1962. Good show to watch. Sandra K
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