Gunsmoke: Season 1, Episode 27

Cooter (19 May 1956)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 30 users  
Reviews: 3 user

After Matt exposes gambler Ben Sissle as a cheat, Sissle attempts to extract revenge by giving brain-damaged Cooter Smith a gun and telling the marshal that Cooter plans to challenge him to a gunfight.

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Title: Cooter (19 May 1956)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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...
...
Doc
...
...
Cooter
Vinton Hayworth ...
Sissle
Brett King ...
Pate
...
Kid
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Storyline

After Matt exposes gambler Ben Sissle as a cheat, Sissle attempts to extract revenge by giving brain-damaged Cooter Smith a gun and telling the marshal that Cooter plans to challenge him to a gunfight.

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Western

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19 May 1956 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This is the first episode in which Miss Kitty sports a beauty mark. See more »

Quotes

Marshal Matt Dillon: [Walks alone on Boot Hill, thinking aloud] There are a lot of ways a man can die, and maybe violence is the easiest. Fever in the brain is worse, or disease that fades him to skin and bone. And sometimes you see another thing. A man who's never lived at all, except to eat and sleep. A man whose mind is like a child's. Needs protection, even from himself. That's another job for me - Matt Dillon, U. S. Marshal.
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User Reviews

 
Strother Martin is excellent as the brain injured Cooter.
14 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here is a sad tale from the old western that is just a vivid today in our society. A mentally retarded man is used to the point of committing an act of violence when the man has the capacity of a four year old. Nobody wins in this story.

Cooter, played wonderfully by Strother Martin, is the mentally challenged man that is wanting to be look at like any other person in Dodge. He meets this card shark named Ben Sissell that uses Cotter to fetch him drinks and food and pays him a small amount so that Cooter thinks he has a job. The trouble with Sissell is that he cheats at cards so he has a gunslinger ride from town to town with him. And when someone challenges Sissell his gunslinger, named Nate, usually shoots the person. And it just so happened that this scenario happened at the Long Branch.

Matt is suspicious about the two and tells Nate to get out of town. When Sissell tells him to kill the Marshal, Nate decides that he is not paid enough and splits town. So now Sissell has another plan to get the Marshal killed. He gives a gun to Cooter and tells him to kill Matt Dillon. With Cooter's mental situation it will be hard for Matt to make Cooter believe that he is being used.

Strother Martin does an excellent job playing the brain injured Cooter. He plays the part to perfection making the viewer believe he is actual mentally challenged. There was a little flaw with the story when Marshal Dillon did not also run Sissell out of town when he tells Nate to kill Matt but the story still held its own. The ending is not a pleasant one but one that many families still go through even today. Good watch.


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