The Virginian (1962–1971)
2 user 1 critic

Shadows of the Past 

Ryker's chess playing friend's bride he met in San Francisco arrives but unknown to him she has a hidden past she hides with a bottle. At the same time two brothers released from prison visit Ryker wanting revenge for their dead brother.


Don McDougall


Frank Chase, Owen Wister (novel)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lee J. Cobb ... Judge Henry Garth (credit only)
Doug McClure ... Trampas (credit only)
Clu Gulager ... Emmett Ryker
Roberta Shore ... Betsy Garth (credit only)
Randy Boone ... Randy Benton (credit only)
James Drury ... The Virginian (credit only)
Jack Warden ... John Conway
Marilyn Erskine ... Rita Bolen
John Milford ... Will Gar
L.Q. Jones ... Belden
James Beck James Beck ... Dink Gar
Harlan Warde ... Sheriff John Brannan
Jackie Russell ... Bar Girl
Frank Sully ... Bartender
Diane Quinn Diane Quinn ... Laurie Ann (as Diane Lee Quinn)


Ryker's friend John Conway is expecting Rita who he met in a hospital in San Franisco to arrive and marry him. Being shy with women, John asks Ryker to join them for dinner to break the ice. At work Ryker receives a mail message from the Gar brothers recently released from prison for a robbery during which Ryker killed the third brother. Rita seems distant to John but he is unsure why. When Ryker returns Rita's lost suitcase from the railroad, he finds her drunk. He later sees her riding wildly in a buggy and after stopping her, confronts her about her relationship with John. She tells John the truth about losing her husband and two children during a boating accident. She says she will never love John or have children with him and gives him the option to back out of the marriage. Ryker tells the Gar brothers they had better leave town by the next day. They decide to ambush Ryker that night but stumble onto John as he is going to see Rita to tell her to stay. Ryker encounters Rita at ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis










Release Date:

24 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ryker as best man? If the glove fits...
28 March 2019 | by edie2019FSee all my reviews

The early scenes in the saloon with Belden (L Q Jones) on his monthly drunken rampage are priceless. Ryker is sent for, telling his storekeeper friend John Conway (Jack Warden) that he knows how to 'talk' to Belden. The conversation consists of fisticuffs. It's the second time Jones and Gulager have come to blows. In the excellent Season 2 episode 'Run Quiet', deaf-mute Jud (Gulager) wildly attacks Belden whom he thinks is stealing the few dollars he worked so hard for.

In this episode, the friendship between the quiet storekeeper and Medicine Bow's Deputy Sheriff seems unlikely, but it works. Each admires in the other skills they lack in themselves but would like to master. Conway is teaching Ryker how to play chess and in return he wants Ryker to teach him how to handle and shoot a gun. Ryker is extremely reluctant to oblige, commenting that the price of Conway losing a gunfight in no way compares to the dime he pays for every lost game of chess.

Learning how to shoot isn't Conway's only new venture. He is about to get married to Rita Bolen (Marilyne Erskine), but that proves equally problematic because of her erratic behaviour. The cause? A fondness for the bottle. Ryker has problems of his own in the form of death threats from two brothers recently released from the prison he sent them to. Conway is in danger of losing a wife, Ryker his life.

All these plot threads come together in a very satisfying finale, and I was left wishing we could have seen more of Conway and Ryker's friendship in future episodes.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed