The Virginian (1962–1971)
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The Evil That Men Do 

Garth takes on a parolee that The Virginian has an interest in who has been in an orphanage or prison since he was a baby. He has trouble adjusting to life outside prison and Garth is worried about Betsy's growing interest in him.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Judge Henry Garth
... Trampas (credit only)
... Steve Hill
... The Virginian
... Matthew Cordell
... Betsy Garth
... Rita Marlow
Simon Scott ... Warden Fred Harris
... Deke (as Don O'Kelly)
... Belden
... Sheriff Mark Abbott
... Johnson
John Bryant ... Frank Mason
Frank Chase ... Wrangler
... Prison Guard (as Jack Catron)


The Virginian stops Matthew Cordell a prisoner on a work detail from escaping. He learns he has been in prison since the age of 15 but is in his mid twenties. He asks Judge Garth to check Cordell's background on a trip to the prison to discuss prison reform with the new warden. Cordell was in an orphanage until he went to prison for attempting to kill another boy. He has no history of freedom or a normal life. The Judge agrees to take him as a parolee as a test to Shiloh where he continues his prison lifestyle of isolation. When he heals a split hoof on Betsy's new horse, she develops a crush for him. But at Steve's birthday party Cordell is more interested in the older dressmaker Rita Marlow who also finds him interesting. When Cordell nearly kills Belden over dancing with Rita, Garth is close to sending him back to prison. Given a second chance, Cordell tries to make amends with the other men but his socialization is tested again when another convict shows up saying he is on parole ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

16 October 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Roberta Shores' favorite episode of the series. See more »


Some Folks Do
Written by Stephen Foster (with some additional lyrics)
Performed by Roberta Shore
See more »

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User Reviews

Institutional Man
30 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

A young Robert Redford is featured in this episode of The Virginian. In it Redford plays a young man who has spent many years in prison since he was 15. Redford is given a job at Shiloh ranch as a prototype of Judge Garth's belief in a separate system of juvenile justice. Lee J. Cobb feels Redford was too harshly punished.

Unfortunately since that is the only life he knows Redford has become what Morgan Freeman described in Shawshank Redemption as an institutional man. I've known a couple like that in my life. He can't adjust and at a social event he gets into a nasty fight with another hand there.

Young Roberta Shore kind of crushes out on Redford, but he's got his eyes on Patricia Blair who's a bit more adult. Shore gets to sing the Stephen Foster song Some Folks Do which is a favorite of mine.

All you Robert Redford fans shouldn't miss this.

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