Maverick: Season 3, Episode 11

A Fellow's Brother (22 Nov. 1959)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Western
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A fellow's got to kill the fellow who kills a fellow's brother. At least, that's the Code of the West. At first mistaken for the fellow who killed a fellow's brother, Bret sends the brother... See full summary »



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Title: A Fellow's Brother (22 Nov 1959)

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Episode cast overview:
Diane McBain ...
Holly Vaughn
Smoky Vaughn
Sam Buffington ...
Jed Haines
Wally Brown ...
George Henry Arnett
Jonathan Hole ...
Marvin Dilbey
Emory Parnell ...
Charles Maxwell ...
Russ Ankerman


A fellow's got to kill the fellow who kills a fellow's brother. At least, that's the Code of the West. At first mistaken for the fellow who killed a fellow's brother, Bret sends the brother off in search of brother Bart as the alleged killer. When word comes back that Bart has been killed, the locals expect Bret to seek his own revenge. But Bret seems nonchalant about the news and has other plans. If only the idolizing Smoky would stay out of the way. Written by graymatters

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western





Release Date:

22 November 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The credits state Bing Russell played the sheriff, he actually played Jed Haines. See more »


Holly Vaughn: A man is coming here to kill you!
Bret Maverick: So I hear.
Holly Vaughn: You men. You and your code. Like a lot of silly school boys trying to prove how brave you are. Well, it isn't bravery. It's stupidity, viciousness, and selfishness! No thought for the women who are left behind while you're out slaughtering each other. And for what? Pride? Stupid, silly pride. A man is coming here to kill you! Why must you stay here and face him?
Bret Maverick: Who's staying?
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User Reviews

Brings Out a Key Feature of the Series
6 October 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Entertaining episode with more plot complications than you can shake the proverbial stick at. It's not classic Maverick since the plot sprawls and lacks the streamlined "battle of wits" that characterizes the best entries. Nonetheless, there are two reasons that warrant a comment. First, young Gary Vinson delivers an absolutely superb comedic performance as the hero- worshipping Smoky. But more importantly, this episode reveals a key aspect of the Maverick character that also illustrates how the series undermined the traditional Western and helped establish the 50's "anti-hero".

In a nutshell-- unlike the traditional Western icon, Bret doesn't trust abstract morality. Situations are more important to Bret's sense of how to act than are traditional imperatives like avenging your brother regardless of the circumstances. Thus he gently mocks those (Smoky & others ) who mechanically repeat the imperative mainly because everyone else does. This distrust doesn't mean that Bret lacks traditional values. He doesn't. It does mean that he evaluates each moral situation from a number of standpoints, including prudence and self- regard, which often lead him to back out of difficult situations if that seems the prudent thing. He's not noble, but he can rise to a noble level if he has to, all things considered. This humanized his character to an extent largely unknown to the traditional Roy Rogers, Saturday afternoon types.

Thus, Bret's entertaining not only because of Jim Garner's comedic skills, but also because he's recognizably prudent in his behavior. He may not be the traditional role model, but he does exercise a considerable amount of practical wisdom as handed down from dear old Pappy. When Holly (Diane McBain) says that Bret could be a good influence on her brother Smoky, she's right. Bret would never risk his life over a mud-spatter insult like the callow Smoky who insists on following some abstract honor code of the Old West. Behind Bret's conduct (and this episode) lies a subtle questioning of the matinée Western that entertained kids for generations, at the same time that Smoky represents those kids in their innocent devotion to heroic ideals. Thus, Pappy's many pithy sayings are not just entertaining, but really function as a pragmatic challenge to those ideal codes. Bret may not be noble or particularly admirable, but he is wise in the ways of the world. Thus kids like Smoky could do a lot worse. At bottom, and behind all the belly laughs, Maverick was a subtly subversive series.

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