The Virginian – The Men From Shiloh

Was the choice of ditching Percy Faith’s distinctive theme and the familiar ride-in sequence in favor of Ennio Morriconne’s Spaghetti Western influenced theme and tinted images a mistake?  It’s a matter of opinion.  I like the new theme and graphics but feel they belong to a spin-off show and not the 9th season.  The departure is too radical and feels alien to the original concept of The Virginian TV series.

The definite mistake was Trampas’ new outfit and his mustache.  And a dry stoical ‘batman’ replacing any female regular at Shiloh Ranch.

The new format never had time to grow on audiences before the cancellation of The Men From Shiloh in 1971.  An era was at an end.

Sara Lane in “I Saw What You Did” (1965)

Before being cast as Elizabeth Grainger in The Virginian Sara Lane appeared in a William Castle film that has since become a cult classic.  I Saw What You Did (1965) was the influence for the 1997 film I Saw What You Did Last Summer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

I-Saw-What-You-Did-3

Sara (Sarah) Lane was cast a teenager, who along with her friend and younger sister, is involved in a series of prank phone calls.  Their message  “I saw what you did, and I know who you are”  soon has deadly consequences.

The Women of Shiloh Ranch

Roberta-1It’s interesting to note that none of the regular female actresses featured in the “ride-in” title sequence furthered their acting careers to any extent after The Virginian. Roberta Shore’s premature retirement cut short a promising career.  There is no doubt Roberta could have extended her career had she not retreated to Salt Lake City.

Sara-Lane

Diane Roter quit acting in 1969.  Sara Lane also quit acting soon after leaving The Virginian.

The young female cast played a large part in the Shiloh Ranch family.  When a female was notably absent at Shiloh Ranch in the revamped final season The Men From Shiloh the feeling of family evaporated.  Shiloh Ranch required the feminine touch.