Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
2 user

The Whispering Tree 

After a robbery, Virgil Stanley buries the money before being captured. It has been eight years and Virgil is being released. He has plans to use the money but has to deal with others with the same idea.


Vincent McEveety


Calvin Clements Sr. (as Calvin Clements)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Roger Ewing ... Thad
John Saxon ... Virgil Stanley
Donald Losby Donald Losby ... Bryant Stanley
Christopher Pate Christopher Pate ... Curtis Stanley
Rex Holman ... Frank Garr
Allen Jaffe ... Ryan
Roy Barcroft ... Roy
Ted Jordan Ted Jordan ... Nathan Burke
Fred Coby Fred Coby ... Station Attendant
Kathleen O'Malley ... Mother
Stephen McEveety Stephen McEveety ... Richard


After a robbery, Virgil Stanley buries the money before being captured. It has been eight years and Virgil is being released. He has plans to use the money but has to deal with others with the same idea.

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Release Date:

12 November 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Great Cast, Memorable, Low-Action
18 July 2019 | by wdavidreynoldsSee all my reviews

Virgil Stanley is released from prison after serving eight years for robbery. The money he stole was never recovered, because Stanley buried it on his farm before he was arrested. There are several others interested in finding that money, including Earl Miller, who was involved in the robbery, and Jack Redmond, a law enforcement officer from the area where the robbery occurred.

During the eight years Stanley has been in prison, his wife and two sons have managed to make significant improvements to the farm, which is now thriving. Stanley is surprised at the accomplishments of his family, especially since some of the changes they have made to the farm make it difficult for Stanley to find where he buried the money.

Stanley finds himself pressured from all sides. Miller wants a share of the money. Redmond is sure Stanley has the money and wants to recover it. Stanley's family have welcomed his return and want to move on with their lives.

Meanwhile, Marshal Dillon is involved, because he has Redmond relentlessly hounding Stanley, and Dillon is suspicious that Stanley may very well have the money.

This is another of those episodes where Gunsmoke is merely the place where the story is set. Except for Matt's attempts to try to maintain order and keep Redmond from crossing the legal line while harassing Stanley, there is nothing about this episode that depends on participation from any of the regular Gunsmoke characters. However, it is a very good morality tale of a man given the opportunity to change his direction in life by making better choices. Whether Virgil Stanley has the character to make that change or not is at the crux of this episode.

The acting in this episode is up to the level we have come to expect from Gunsmoke. John Saxon, the veteran character actor, does a great job in the role of Virgil Stanley. Ed Asner is his usually nasty self as Redmond. Morgan Woodward has a smaller part than we often see for him as Earl Miller, but his frustration and loss of patience with Stanley is evident in his character.

The episode is well-written, intriguing, and not at all predictable. There is even a twist at the end.

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