The Virginian (1962–1971)
1 user 1 critic

A Gallows for Sam Horn 

A feud between ranchers and a railroad tycoon result in murder charges against a rancher when the tycoon's son is killed. Ryker and the Judge try to prove his innocence but must rely on a woman who disappears deserted by the murdered man.


Don McDougall


Dean Riesner, Owen Wister (novel)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lee J. Cobb ... Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure ... Trampas (credit only)
Clu Gulager ... Emmett Ryker
Roberta Shore ... Betsy Garth (credit only)
Randy Boone ... Randy Benton (credit only)
James Drury ... The Virginian
John Lupton ... Sam Horn
Edward Binns ... Colonel John Briscoe
Laurel Goodwin Laurel Goodwin ... Peg Dineen
Buck Taylor ... Scott Briscoe
George Kennedy ... Jack Marshman
Virginia Christine ... Judith Briscoe
Paul Comi ... Brad Carter
Ross Elliott ... Sheriff Mark Abbott
Walter Woolf King ... Judge MacDonald


Colonel John Briscoe is trying to put a railroad through several ranches but has used friends in the legislature to obtain the land at unfair prices. When his son Scott along with Ryker try to gain access to the land under a court order, Sam Horn tries to stop them with force resulting in a scuffle between him and Scott. Judge Garth delays it with a legal maneuver but the ranchers know they will lose their land. Sam is good friends with Peg Dineen who works as a waitress at the restaurant. While Sam and Ryker are having a meal there, Scott enters and sees Peg resulting in another scuffle between Scott and Sam. Peg and Scott had planned to get married until Scott's father sent him to Europe when told their plans. When Scott learns Peg had his baby, he asks his father for help but he refuses. Scott upon learning Sam is taking $2,500 to Laramie for a new appraisal tries to steal the money and is shot by Sam but there are no witnesses making it appear Sam shot Scott in retaliation. John ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

2 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Buck Taylor appears in this episode as a right handed gunman. However, in Gunsmoke he was always shown as a left handed gunman. See more »

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User Reviews

Ninety-minute format succeeds
12 April 2013 | by pfors-647-501497See all my reviews

The ninety-minute format of "The Virginian," initially questioned by skeptics who predicted it would be unworkable, became the series' greatest strength. Writers seized the opportunity it provided to add density to stories and characterizations. In the meticulously plotted "A Gallows for Sam Horn," motivations are so crystal-clear that even the unsympathetic characters played by Edward Binns and Buck Taylor are recognizably human. Stellar cast, headed by Lee J. Cobb's reliably commanding performance as Judge Garth, also includes Virginia (Mrs. Olson) Christine, a fine dramatic actress when she wasn't selling coffee, and George Kennedy. Playing a burly railroad enforcer, Kennedy displays the deft touch that would enable him to leave his thuggish stereotype behind and become a top-flight actor and enduring star.

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