Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Will Not Allow You to Do This’

Laying down the law

Laying down the law

In “Dallas’s” fifth-season episode “Blackmail,” Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) sits at the Southfork kitchen table while Donna (Susan Howard) stands nearby and tells her the story of how Sam Culver and “a partner” staged a land grab by committing the property owner, who later killed himself.

DONNA: I had thought Jock might’ve told you.

ELLIE: Well, why would Jock know anything about it?

DONNA: Because Jock was Sam’s partner, Miss Ellie. It was the beginning of both of their fortunes.

ELLIE: How can you believe such lies about Jock? Of all the men in the world, he would never do that. His first wife ended up in an asylum. He hated them.

DONNA: I understand how you feel.

ELLIE: Oh, no you don’t. You don’t understand anything.

DONNA: Miss Ellie, I would never print anything without your permission. That’s why I came here.

ELLIE: You came to get my permission to destroy the reputation of the finest man that’s ever lived? To tell lies about him, when he’s not here to defend himself? All for the sake of some cheap book? How dare you!

DONNA: [Quivering] I don’t care about the book. I don’t want to hurt you.

ELLIE: Then how could you come and tell me this? It’s not true.

DONNA: It’s true.

ELLIE: It’s not! [Slams fist on the table]

DONNA: [Begins crying] Please, Miss Ellie.

ELLIE: All right. You go ahead and write your book. And the day it’s published, I’ll sue you through every court in the land if I have to. I will not allow you to do this to my husband. [Picks up her eyeglasses and leaves]


  1. Lloyd Ferrigon says:

    I understood Ellie’s anger at Donna. She is still dealing with the death of her husband and here comes Donna with some information that paints him in a bad light and he is not here to defend himself.

    • Yep, I see where Miss Ellie is coming from too. I also see Donna’s point. If she leaves out the story of the land grab, the integrity of her book would be compromised. I think this is why this storyline works so well — there are no easy answers. Both characters have valid points.

      Thanks for commenting, Lloyd!


  2. barbara fan says:

    Another great scene of the day and Dallas has hardly had a dud episode all season. I loved the scsne with Donna and Miss Ellie, who always had a warm, close friendship with similar intersts and involvement in the DOA – then the revelation about the not so sainted Jock and BANG! She lets rip!
    BBG for me was always the best actress on the show and she could show more emotion with a smile, a raised eyebrow, a sad look, a knowing glance than anyone else. She didn’t need words to act and her following scene breaking down at the SF table emphasised that. I always loved the music which accompanies it.

    BBG and Susan Howard were IMHO – the best actresses on the show, they had class, now when I watch TNTs version – there isnt anyone of the (bland) females who come close, who make me love them, care about them, or worry about them. All i want to do is FWD. The beauty of Dallas was the casting of JR and the 4 main females – Momma, Pam, Sue Ellen and Donna. It was perfect!
    Another great review of a great episode. Thanks, BF x

    • Thank you, BF! I’m so glad to hear you love Susan Howard too. She’s great. She really holds her own against BBG. It’s a joy to watch them perform together.

      Thanks again.


  3. This storyline really sets up what was a rare continuity error on CBS Dallas. It really seems to fly in the face of the story later told in Dallas The Early Years. I’m not sure that Digger’s name is ever mentioned in this storyline yet I think everything else puts him and Jock together in the first strike NOT Jock and Sam Culver. Or am I remembering something wrong here?


  1. […] Geddes helps supply “Blackmail” with its other highlight: the scene where Donna sits with Ellie in the Southfork kitchen and tells her the story of how […]

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