The Rifleman: Season 1, Episode 19

Shivaree (3 Feb. 1959)

TV Episode  -   -  Family | Western
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 30 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A wagon train master forces a young couple to marry after they hide the fact that one is a girl, and Lucas takes them in to help them; but trouble soon arises when a drunken crowd calls for a Shivaree.


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Title: Shivaree (03 Feb 1959)

Shivaree (03 Feb 1959) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Olive Carey ...
William Bryant ...
Morris Ankrum ...
Edgar Dearing ...
Justice of the Peace


Lucas McCain becomes involved in the matter of a young couple who are forced to get married by wagon master Aaron Pelser. The young couple were on their way to Yuma to marry there but now married and homeless in North Fork, Lucas offers them a home until they can get on their feet. Several of the hands on the wagon train want to have a shivaree, a party where they keep the newlyweds up all night. Lucas and Marshall Micah Torrance sense trouble and when Chet Packard kidnaps the girl, their fears prove to be well-founded. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wedding | rifle


Family | Western





Release Date:

3 February 1959 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Peculiar Subject, Peculiar Depiction
23 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

When two 'brothers' (Paul Carr and Luana Anders) who joined a wagon train are discovered to actually be a young couple running off to marry, she having her hair cut short to help conceal her identity, the characters on the wagon train take it upon themselves to 'force' the couple to marry.

To do the right thing? A strange episode all the way around, from the rowdy laughing of the other wagoneers (standout being Olive Carey as Ma Wilson, the one who 'discovered' one of the brothers was actually a female, wasn't explained how she learned this) to the decision to have a shivaree, which apparently is a joke played on the married couple by keeping them awake, which must lead to some image of preventing them from consumating the wedding or 'partying all night til the early morning'.

A strange custom and obviously rather pointless, especially as shown here.

The couple is abducted and separated. She is taken to the saloon and told to drink, basically get drunk (for what?) He ends up in the horses' watering trough.

Whether this practice predated bachelor parties as we know them today, not really sure, but it certainly was a peculiar concept.

Again, the oddest depiction was from Carey as Ma Wilson. "We just want to have some fun. Shivaree, everybody, shivaree!" and she rings a cowbell.

I've seen Hollywood depictions like this before and it is always odd to see; someone having to exclaim over and over they are having fun instead of actually engaging in some amount of fun itself.

"We're havin' a party! Whooo!" Only when Carr finally turns on the mob and runs them all out of the bar does it get entertaining, best of all when he turns on the wagonmaster.

You do have to wonder about the logic of having fun at someone else's expense and then what the conclusion is when a guy is shot and needing a doctor.

Perhaps an effective episode to today's sudden concern over bullying?

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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