The Virginian (1962–1971)
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That Saunders Woman 

The Virginian attempt to recover money Shiloh spent on diseased cattle becomes embroiled in a blackmail attempt and finally murder. A pretty woman is involved who was just released from prison for murder and is the talk of Medicine Bow.



(teleplay), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Judge Henry Garth (credit only)
Trampas (credit only)
Randy Benton (credit only)
Diane Roter ...
Della Saunders
John Ballinger
Stuart Anderson ...
Billy Conklin
Douglas Henderson ...
Sam Jenkins
Stephen Roberts ...
Alfred Krebs
Willard Arlington Rutledge
Judge Franklin
Vicky Albright ...
Diane Ballinger (as Victoria Albright)
Mrs. Henderson


Della Saunders arrives in Medicine Bow on the stage to start a new career as a seamstress after twelve years in prison. She meets The Virginian when he rescues her from the drunk Sam Jenkins who rode on the stage with her. The Virginian has his own dispute with Jenkins who sold Shiloh $8000 of diseased cattle. Her friend from the past in Medicine Bow is John Ballinger, an attorney from whom she rents a shop. The Virginian asks Ballinger to represent Shiloh to recoup its money from Jenkins. Unknown to everyone Jenkins works with Alfred Krebs who is a respected businessman in Medicine Bow. Krebs recognizes Della from her trial in St. Louis where she was represented by Ballinger. He decides to use the knowledge to cover up the suspect business dealings. Her meetings with Krebs and beauty bring out the worst in the people of Medicine Bow with The Virginian being one who refuses to judge her. Her and John Ballinger's past connections are revealed and come back to haunt them when she is ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

30 March 1966 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Sheree North
28 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If your a fan of The Virginian you know the basic format and that the shows are often reliant on which of the regulars appear in each episode. More than that though the stories were frequently elevated or diminished by the guest stars that appeared.

The story of That Saunders Woman is a common dramatic trope of one wrongly accused whose past makes them an easy target. This production adds nothing new to that idea but the execution is key. Where this manages to stand out is that the accused is played by that fine but under appreciated character actress Sheree North.

Originally pushed by 20th Century Fox as a Marilyn Monroe replacement with too blonde hair she never seemed comfortable as such and wisely stepped away from that image, toned down her hair and pursued her very real talent for characterization. A veteran of a countless number of episodic early TV she was often cast as a fallen woman because of her beauty, fortunately she was able to shade them with an innate vulnerability. Her subtlety is most welcomed since the show's heavy handed message, don't judge on surface facts, the scarlet woman is almost exclusively seen in red, etc., and florid courtroom scenes don't offer much on its own.

A word or two about those courtroom scenes. Of course they take all sorts of liberties with actually procedure, most shows do for dramatic effect, but they are made entertaining by the performance of Tol Avery as the sort of grandstanding windbag that give lawyers a bad name. In real life he would be irritating here though his posturing and purple prose is great fun.

A standard western drama but good performances make it worth watching.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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