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Mail Order Bride (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Western | 11 March 1964 (USA)
Elderly Will Lane arranges marriage of wild son of dead friend to tame him.


Burt Kennedy


Burt Kennedy (screen play by), Van Cort (based on a short story by)


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Cast overview:
Buddy Ebsen ... Will Lane
Keir Dullea ... Lee Carey
Lois Nettleton ... Annie Boley
Warren Oates ... Jace
BarBara Luna ... Marietta (as Barbara Luna)
Paul Fix ... Sheriff Jess Linley
Marie Windsor ... Hanna
Denver Pyle ... Preacher Pope
William Smith ... Lank
Kathleen Freeman ... Sister Sue
Abigail Shelton Abigail Shelton ... Young Old Maid
James Mathers ... Matt Boley
Doodles Weaver ... Charlie Mary
Diane Sayer ... Lily Fontaine
Ted Ryan Ted Ryan ... Bartender


In 1890, former lawman Will Lane arrives in Montana to keep a promise made to a friend who died. His promise is to take care of his dead friend's son, Lee Carey. Will Lane has the title to the partially built Carey ranch and its livestock. He is to hand over this inheritance to young and immature Lee but only when the lad becomes a responsible and mature man. According to Lee's father's wishes, Will Lane should also see to it that Lee gets married to a responsible woman having her head on her shoulders. This could help keep Lee out of trouble and prevent him from gallivanting around with his no-good, care-free, prankster friends. As Will Lane arrives in the outskirts of Congress, Montana, he unexpectedly runs into young Lee Carey at a rough river crossing. The first encounter with Lee isn't too promising. Later, when Will Lane reveals to Lee Carey his identity and his mission, Lee adopts a rebellious attitude and does everything possible to aggravate the old ex-lawman and sabotage the... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

son | marriage | wild boy | ranch | montana | See All (8) »


Funniest hillbilly weddin' ever! See more »


Comedy | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wranglers See more »


Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Boom Mic shadow visible on Jace's hat when he & his gang ride up to Will Lane & Lee Carey at Carey's place the morning after the fight in the saloon. See more »


Featured in MGM Is on the Move! (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

A useful case study in terrible casting.
19 September 2009 | by Irie212See all my reviews

Many movies deserve their obscurity, and none more than this formula Western. Direction, editing, writing-- all are uninspired, especially the occasional attempts at humor.

But the casting is atrocious. Desperately bad. They've all done good work in other roles, but in this…

So clean-cut he almost squeaks, Keir Dullea is at no point convincing as a gambling, carousing womanizer.

Buddy Ebsen adds nothing new—not one glance, not one inflection-- to the tiresomely familiar role of the wise, slow-spoken, solitary old-timer.

In the eponymous role, Lois Nettleton stares soulfully toward Ebsen, Dullea, or the near distance. That's about it. Refreshing though it is to see a rather plain actress as a star, she finds no way to redeem—with humor, with spirit-- a woman who did not advertise for a husband (her boss did, played by a wry Marie Windsor), and who has almost no curiosity about her sight-unseen future mate and his home. In fact, objectively, her non-reaction is almost criminally irresponsible for a widow with a child.

If ever a film deserved to be in the background of some other activity (including sleep), it's this one.

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