Gunsmoke: Season 8, Episode 19

Cotter's Girl (19 Jan. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 56 users  
Reviews: 3 user

A father's dying request is that Matt go to retrieve his daughter. Expecting to find a little girl, Matt finds a near-grown woman, but one who's wild and desperately in need of civilizing.



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Title: Cotter's Girl (19 Jan 1963)

Cotter's Girl (19 Jan 1963) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Episode cast overview:
Roy Barcroft ...
John Clarke ...
Jesslyn Fax ...
Sarah Selby ...


Fatally injured in a saloon fight that he started, town drunk Cotter asks Matt to find his daughter Clarey and to deliver her to his sister. Matt soon locates Clarey, a teenage tomboy living alone on a remote farm. Cheerful and clever, but also wild and unlettered, Clarey will need some grooming before she's ready for her aunt. Written by Mister-UHF

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Release Date:

19 January 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

pointless -- but charmingly so
22 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the distaff version of "Old Companion", with the male heir replaced by a female. * It's comparably pointless -- the central conflict, of turning a tomboy into a young "lady", is of no particular consequence to anyone.

What saves this show (which could have been as awful as "Old Companion" -- see my review) is Mariette Hartley's performance. "Charming" doesn't begin to describe it. She's as fresh as a daisy and natural as spring water, unmannered and devoid of self-awareness. It's unlikely any other ingénue of the early '60s could have done remotely as well. One gets the feeling that the script was written with her in mind.

Recommended -- not for the story, but for the pleasure of watching Ms Hartley.

* In watching multiple seasons of various TV series, I'm surprised at how often episodes within a few weeks of each other are thematically similar or even identical. (This even happens /across/ series!) It's probably not an accident -- one writer's idea provokes an "I can do better reaction" in other writers.

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