The Virginian (1962–1971)
3 user 1 critic

First to Thine Own Self 

Randy, a lonely, distrusting drifter comes to the aid of a child, only to be accused of killing her father. Only Betsy's faith in him prevents harm from coming to him and the young girl he tries to protect from the killers.


Earl Bellamy


Les Crutchfield, Owen Wister (novel)


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Episode cast overview:
Lee J. Cobb ... Judge Henry Garth (credit only)
Doug McClure ... Trampas (credit only)
Gary Clarke ... Steve Hill
James Drury ... The Virginian
Roberta Shore ... Betsy Garth
Randy Boone ... Randy Benton
Mary LaRoche ... Alma Reese
Jan Merlin ... Reese
Bruce Dern ... Pell
Claire Wilcox ... Melanie
L.Q. Jones ... Belden
John Truax John Truax ... Stagecoach Passenger
Frank Maxwell ... Silas


Randy Benton joins a man and his daughter Melanie on the way to Medicine Bow. While preparing dinner and Randy is away collecting water, two men ride into camp, kill Melanie's father, and steal the gold he was carrying. A passing stage sees Randy over the body and assumes he is the killer. He returns later to find Melanie still hiding and is forced to take her under his care. Betsy meets Randy on Shiloh and feels he is innocent after learning about the murder. While tracking Randy and Melanie, Melanie is found and taken to Shiloh. Randy finds her aunt in Medicine Bow but then learns Melanie is not safe at Shiloh when he overhears a conversation between the aunt and her husband. Randy takes Melanie from Betsy at Shiloh but Betsy eventually find them. Her guilt forces her to ask The Virginian for advice. The actions of the two guilty men lead to a showdown with The Virginian which clears Randy who decides to stay at Shiloh as a new hand. Written by Anonymous

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Did You Know?


This episode marked Randy Boone's first appearance as a regular. See more »


The song "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" was written by 19-year-old Paul Gilley (no relation to Mickey Gilley) in 1949. It was recorded and released by Hank Williams in November 1949. Elvis Presley called it, "probably the saddest song [he'd] ever heard." See more »


Steve Hill: You know, if thinking about money was money, Pell would be rich.
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Shady Grove
Performed by Randy Boone
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User Reviews

Unfortunate Episode
4 June 2019 | by sonrisante-1See all my reviews

I love the Virginian series, but this show left a lot to be desired. Randy's singing is good (and genuine), and the story has lots of potential, but the acting, production, and continuity has to be some of the worst in the series.

It's extra disappointing because this story line was focused on Betsy more than usual, and she had a major part in the story. Unfortunately the actress seemed to think it meant she needed to overact.

For Virginian fans, this will be a decent show. But if your watching Virginian for the first time to see if you might want to watch more, choose another to start with.

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Official Sites:

INSP | Official Fan Site





Release Date:

12 February 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Pathécolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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