Gunsmoke: Season 1, Episode 34

Chester's Mail Order Bride (14 Jul. 1956)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Chester has been writing to a mail-order bride who is now coming to Dodge to marry him. What Chester has neglected to tell Matt and Doc is that the picture he sent her wasn't his but the marshal's.



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Title: Chester's Mail Order Bride (14 Jul 1956)

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Episode cast overview:
Mary Carver ...
Joel Ashley ...
Russell Thorson ...
Brady (as Russ Thorson)
William Hamel ...


Chester has been writing to a mail-order bride who is now coming to Dodge to marry him. What Chester has neglected to tell Matt and Doc is that the picture he sent her wasn't his but the marshal's.

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Release Date:

14 July 1956 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Even though Joel Ashley's character is credit with the name Linus, throughout the entire show he is referred to as Nate. Nate is the same character he played in the earlier show 'The Big Broad'. See more »


Ann: At least I had the decency to send a picture of my own sister.
Chester: Well, I don't have a sister.
Ann: Well that's no excuse.
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User Reviews

Aw Shucks!
24 August 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

An episode like this is largely a matter of taste. Chester corresponds with a girl back east that eventually leads to romance by mail. Feeling himself unattractive, Chester sends a photo of Matt to the girl, who promptly leaves Philadelphia to meet the man of her dreams. Now Chester's in a pickle and what will he do. Also, what will Matt do now that he's the intended Lothario.

Dennis Weaver shows what a consistently fine actor he was, particularly in the difficult confession scene before the large crowd. He and the girl, played by Mary Carver, also have a drawing-room scene together that could have easily become unbearable, but thanks to their mutual charm, is brought off in reasonable fashion. The script itself has no real suspense or drama, showing why writer John Meston was so badly needed, and how his artistic sense of dramatic tension helped to lift Gunsmoke to classic heights. There is, however, one passage of genuine inspiration-- that is the point at which Matt emphasizes the killing hardships of homesteading. This is a powerful topic that can bring together life on the American frontier and those popular beliefs so often distorted by TV, radio, books, etc. Too bad that unromanticized homesteading has been so infrequently dramatized. Perhaps that's because there is so little glamor or comfort in the grim desperation of trying to survive the real settling of the American West.

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