Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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The Foundling 

When the parents of a daughter who was raped refuse to accept the girl's baby, Marshal Dillon must find a home for the child.





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Episode cast overview:
... Doc
... Kitty
... Festus
... Newly
... Matt Dillon
... Lettie Graham
... Maylee Baines
... Joseph Graham
... Agnes Graham
... Eli Baines
... Bob Ranger
Ted Jordan ... Burke
Woody Chambliss ... Lathrop
... Bartender


Marshal Dillon is forced to kill a man he knew personally, a farmer named Eli Baines, who had too much to drink. Shaken by the experience, Dillon heads out of Dodge City for a few days. On the trail he discovers a rape victim, named Lettie, and her newborn baby girl. When Lettie is well enough to travel, Dillon heads to her parents' farm, where her parents finally relent to take in the daughter they had sent away. Dillon is left with the task of finding a home for the baby girl. Back in Dodge City, Marshal Dillon entrusts the baby girl to Kitty Russell while he tries to find a home for the baby. At last he finds that Eli Baines' widow, Maylee, is eager to raise the baby. But by that time Kitty has grown so fond of the girl that she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep and raise her. Written by Christopher D. <>

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Release Date:

11 February 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Maylee goes into Kitty's room to see the baby, she is wearing gloves. When she reaches into crib to touch the baby, her hand is bare. When she stands up, she is wearing gloves again. See more »


Festus: [Festus making goo-goo sounds to baby only to turn around and see Doc] Why don't you let a fella know you're around? You come slipping up like a blamed old coyote through a fog.
Doc: What are you doing to that baby?
Festus: Well, I'm making her laugh!
Doc: Making her laugh? With an ugly face full of whiskers like that? You'll scare her to death!
See more »

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User Reviews

James Arness and Amanda Blake 'never better' in this episode
22 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

After watching this episode, it turned out to be one of the best shows of the entire series run of 'Gunsmoke'. Even after 19 years, James Arness and Amanda Blake were at the top of their game with interesting interchange between characters. This is why most people feel like Marshal Dillon and Ms Kitty are old friends that are welcomed any day of the week.

In this episode Dillon is forced to shoot an old friend, Eli Baines, during an drunken phase at the Long Branch. Mr Baines had a long time drinking problem that finally came to a head. Even with the understanding of Ms Baines, Matt feels remorse and sets out for a few days to be alone.

While on the trail, Matt happens up on a cave to escape the rain. Inside he finds a very young girl that has just had a baby. Seems like her family send her away after finding out she was with child. When Matt takes the girl and the baby back to family farm. The father will not accept the child. (It appears that the girl had been raped by an outlaw). The family will take the young girl back but will not take the baby. With the girl so young, Matt agrees to take the child with him in order to find a home.

When Matt arrives back in Dodge, Ms Kitty agrees to keep the baby until a suitable home is found. And it is not long until Matt finds the widow Baines that had always wanted a baby but was unable after having a still-birth many years ago.

All seems well until Ms Kitty refuses to give up the child. She has fallen for the baby and intend to give up her saloon for life as a mother. Much to the dismay of the widow Baines who had been planning for days for the baby to arrive.

The baby is placed between two people that want to share their love. It will be difficult for a decision to be made- and no matter the outcome- someone will shed tears.

A very good written script that is acted to near perfection. Great watch for any viewer. My highest grade for this wonderful story.

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