This second of four film versions of Owen Wister's The Virgininian stars Kenneth Harlan as the nameless principal character. Signed on as ranchhands on a huge spread, the Virginian and his best friend Steve (Pat O'Malley) have themselves a high old time until New England schoolmarm Molly Woods (Florence Vidor) enters the scene. Despite constant provoking from the duplicitous Trampas (Russell Simpson), the Virginian does his best to act like an Eastern gentleman for Molly's sake. When Steve casts his lot with Trampas and indulges in cattle rustling, The Virginian, heading a posse, is forced to hang his old friend. Molly can't understand that duty takes priority over friendship, and breaks off her relationship with The Viriginian. Molly comes to see the error of her ways just before The Virginian had his final showdown with Trampas. Previously filmed in 1914 by Cecil B. DeMille, The Virginian was remade in 1929 with Gary Cooper in the lead, and again in 1946 with Joel McCrea. In 1962, a TV version starring James Drury began its nine-season run.
by Hal Erickson synopsis