The Virginian helps the widow of a local businessman prove her innocence when first her husband is killed in a fire followed by his right hand man who names her as he dies. She has a history of mental illness after her first husband died.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Clay Grainger (credit only)
Trampas (credit only)
Stephanie White
Billy White
John White
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Frank Benteen (as Warren Kemmerling)
Booth Colman ...
Jeff Turner
Clarke Gordon ...
William Mims ...
Peter Marko ...
Sam Kincaid
William Chilles ...
Jake (as Will Chilles)


Stephanie marries John White who owns a successful freight and stagecoach business in Medicine Bow he inherited. His brother Billy works as a driver but is considered too reckless and interested in gambling to own the business by John. With John marrying, the business will go to Stephanie if John dies. However, Stephanie is beset with a crippling injury to her new husband during a stagecoach accident. The paralyzed John is killed by a fire. Stephanie suffers from nightmares as John is her second husband to die in a fire and accident. Frank is John's key employee who keeps the company running but he also knew Stephanie in the past. Stephanie receives a note to meet Frank but Frank never sent a note. During the meeting someone shoots Frank who dies as he names Stephanie to The Virginian. Stephanie is arrested for killing Frank with only The Virginian and a few friends to help her prove her innocence but the evidence is strong against her. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

21 January 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


For this episode they redesigned the jail to make the plot work. The cells were open to the sheriff's office where in the past there was a wall and door between the cells and the office. See more »

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User Reviews

Check it out for guest star Joan Crawford
27 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

The main attraction of viewing the Nightmare episode is the presence of special guest star Joan Crawford. The screen legend was nearing the end of her career. Like fellow aging movie stars Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck, Crawford had limited job offers and accepted guest shots on quality TV series like The Virginian. That's another reason why 60s TV is superior to contemporary fare lacking that kind of star power.

Story is basically routine. Crawford marries a wealthy man with a jealous ne'er-do-well brother. The husband is paralyzed in an accident then dies in a fire. Crawford suffers a breakdown and stands trial for murder. The Virginian helps to uncover the truth. Trampas is absent in this episode.

Crawford's performance is surprisingly low key. By this point, her style had become over-the-top grande dame movie star and don't you forget it. She is heavily made-up though the camera isn't gauzed as some of her other roles of this period. You can snicker a bit at the 66-year-old being with Michael Conrad whose 21 years younger and there's no mention of younger man-older woman.

It's always worthwhile checking old TV shows when featuring a star of such magnitude.

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