The Virginian (1962–1971)
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The Showdown 

The Virginian arrives in Monolith, Arizona to buy cattle from the Landers family but finds himself in the middle of a feud between them and the city Marshall Frome and his brother. The Fromes seem overbearing but maybe with a



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Henry Garth (credit only)
Trampas (credit only)
Emmett Ryker (credit only)
Betsy Garth (credit only)
Randy Benton (credit only)
Marshall Merle Frome
Jake Landers
Billy Landers
Benjamin Frome
Sheriff Jim Brady
Leslie Perkins ...
Tom Landers (as Ed Faulkner)
Bobby Landers (as Calvin Bartlett)


The Virginian arrives in Monolith, Arizona to buy cattle from the Landers family. Upon arrival the city Marshall warns him not to buy cattle from them. The next day the Virginian inspects the cattle and buys $5000 worth. When he and two of Landers boys return to town, one of the boys ends up in a fight but all three are arrested. The Virginian learns that no one likes Marshall Frome or his brother the deputy because of their heavy tactics. The brothers are released from jail but The Virginian is not. The Landers bring in the herd of cattle for The Virginian but the Marshall seizes the cattle and Shiloh money. The Marshall is shot by someone and assumes it was Billy Landers. when The Virginian goes to see Jake Landers, he finds Tom Landers using a running iron to brand cattle. On his return to town he spots Deputy Ben Frome who has been dragged by the Landers boys. At the Marshall's office he learns they skinned a couple of the cattle to prove that the Landers have been systematically ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

14 April 1965 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actors Michael Ansara (Merle Frome), Leonard Nimoy (Ben Frome) and episode writer Gene L. Coon all went on to prominence in the original "Star Trek" TV series: Ansara appeared as Kang, a Klingon commander who he later reprised on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"; Nimoy starred as iconic Vulcan Spock in the series and throughout the franchise of movies and spin-offs; and Coon was an executive producer and featured writer for the run of the series. See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Spock in Spurs and a Stetson!
20 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Star Trek" writer Gene L. Coon wrote this interesting episode of "The Virginian" called "Showdown." Were it not for the presence of future "Star Trek" star Leonard Nimoy as a deputy marshal and the generally high dramatic quality of the episode, "Showdown" probably wouldn't be memorable. As it is, Coon has appropriately the premise for his episode from the story of Wyatt Earp and the Clanton popularized in "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and "Doc." During the first half of "Showdown," the characters of Marshall Merle Frome (Michael Ansara of "Guns of the Magnificent Seven") and his brother Benjamin Frome (Leonard Nimoy) keep the town of Monolith on a tight rein. Standing up to the grim-faced Merle Frome is a great way to get a gun barrel bent over your head. Indeed, Wyatt Earp was known to clobber—or 'buffalo'-- a rowdy adversary by reversing his six-gun and cracking a miscreant over the head with the barrel. When the Virginian (James Drury) arrives in town, Billy Landers (Tom Skerritt of "M.A.S.H.") meets him at the railway depot. No sooner has our eponymous protagonist set foot in Monolith than the Fromes descend on them. The Virginian doesn't take kindly to his reception and stands up to Merle.

Later, at the Landers' ranch, our hero hears about the ill will that the Fromes have instilled with this sullen attitude toward the townspeople. Meanwhile, the Virginian meets County Sheriff Jim Brady (Barry Kelly of "The Asphalt Jungle") and takes an immediate liking to the bluff fellow. Since the sheriff's jurisdiction lays outside of town, Brady is a prototype of Johnny Behan in the Earp versus Clanton feud. The Landers constitute the equivalent of the Clantons because they are rustling cattle. The Virginian has come to town to buy $5000 worth of steers. The Fromes impound his money and corral the Landers' cattle. They slaughter four beeves, skin them, and find evidence that the cows were rustled. Despite the fear and intimidation that they have created, The Virginian comes to realize that he has made a mistake.

Somebody has already tried to shoot Merle in the back and Benjamin rides out into the county to find Billy Landers. Merle roughed up Billy when the latter was harassing a saloon hostess, demanding the return of a necklace that he had bought her. By the end, the Virginian winds up taking a stand alongside the Fromes in a gunfight against the Landers. This is an intelligent and interesting episode. Moreover, it is fun to watch Leonard Nimoy in spurs and a Stetson.

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