Man Without A Star = Duel at Shiloh = A Man Called Gannon

For those interested in The Virginian episode “Duel at Shiloh” (1:15) you may be interested to know it’s an adaptation of the 1955 Universal-International Western film Man Without A Star starring Kirk Douglas as Dempsey Rae.  William Campbell plays the tenderfoot Jeff Jimson.  Borden Chase and D.D. Beauchamp provided the screenplay based on the novel by Dee Linford.

Brian Keith subtitutes for Kirk Douglas and Gary Clarke for William Campbell in “Duel at Shiloh.”  The parallels are interesting to watch, with similar scenes and locations. including the shooting scene above.  Man Without A Star is recommended viewing.  Campbell tries a little too hard to be convincing as a “green” youth but Douglas is on top form

The story was adapted yet again in 1968 as A Man Called Gannon featuring Tony Franciosa in the Douglas/Keith role and Michael Sarrazin in the Campbell/Clarke role.  James Goldstone directed this inferior remake.


Author: PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

10 thoughts on “Man Without A Star = Duel at Shiloh = A Man Called Gannon”

  1. I guess I should be worried that I always liked “A Man Called Gannon” I’m not sure a have watched “Man Without A Star” I will have to catch it next time it is on TV.

    I really enjoyed the scene with Brian Keith and Gary Clarke in the episode “Duel At Shiloh” where Brian Keith’s character teaches Steve how to handle a gun. It was very lengthy and detailed for a TV series. I felt like I was there learning along with Steve. Brian Keith could play a good guy, a bad guy or someone you were not to sure which way he way going to go very well. I liked this episode very much.

  2. This is basically a solid story that can stand up to being remade Mila.
    Brian Keith had a spontaneous manner to his acting that was appealing. The best scenes work because they give you the feeling of being spontaneous. Given the tight schedules of shooting “The Virginian” there was little room for much rehearsal so the actors had to be at their best in a few takes. With the best actors this concentrates their attention. The mediocre actors suffer of course as they require more direction.
    “Duel At Shiloh” is an interesting episode, mainly for Brian Keith’s great acting. And the scene where he teaches Steve Hill to handle a gun is superior to the original version that I’ve highlighted in the clip. I agree Mila, it displays an attention to detail that’s unusual for a television series. One of the strengths of the 75 minute format was it allowed for greater characterization.

  3. Ok, I definitely liked “The Virginian” version of this scene better. Not so flashy!! I liked the way Keith used his voice and patiently explained the way to shoot and draw. It reminded me of my father teaching me to drive. LOL It just seemed very natural. There are so many scenes all through the series that had that feeling which is what drew me to the show. I liked the Steve character and really missed him after Gary Clarke left the series.


  4. “The Bull of the West”= Duel at Shiloh-
    Advertised as a Charles Bronson western” Bull of the West” actualy comprised of 2 episodes from the Virginian, edited together for theatrical release outside the U.S.
    “Nobility of Kings” Which guest starred Bronson and “Duel at Shiloh”with Keith (Although I have not seen “The BULL of the West”It certainly sounds appropriatly titled!!!)

    1. That sounds like a strange combination. Especially since it did not have Charles Bronson starring in both episodes. Did this happen often overseas?


  5. Hi Mila
    Hi Mila
    Paul is better informed than Iam as to if this happend oftern overseas. But my guess it was to cash in on Bronsons fame.
    Whilst the Bronson episode had nothing to do with “Duel at Shiloh”the settings were similar and both Bronson and Keith played stubbonly rugged individuals.

    1. Yes I explain in my book about the background to these compilations produced for theatrical release overseas. Patchwork efforts. Not recommended. Producer Joel Rogosin disowns them as they were put together with no input from himself or any other “The Virginian” producers.
      I don’t count “The Bull of the West” as a remake of “Man Without A Star” Michael. Therefore there is no connection. And “bull” is appropriate terminology for this effort. 🙂

      1. I wonder if Michael Sarrazin is still acting. I have not thought of him in years. Wasn’t he in an episode of “The Virginian”?


  6. Yes Michael Sarrazin is still active in acting Mila. Although he’s no longer the fresh faced youngster he once was. I saw him in an episode of ‘Poltergeist: The Legacy” a few months ago. He looked okay for his age, although that was filmed in 1997. He appeared in “The Virginian” episode “Blaze of Glory” (4:15).

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