Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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Cotter's Girl 

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.


Harry Harris


Kathleen Hite




Episode cast overview:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Dennis Weaver ... Chester
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Mariette Hartley ... Clarey
Roy Barcroft ... Cotter
John Clarke ... Mackle
Jesslyn Fax ... Proprietress
Sarah Selby ... Ma Smalley


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) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Old Gray Mare
Traditional Folk song
Saloon music
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User Reviews

Mariette Hartley delivers a gem!
15 February 2019 | by kenstallings-65346See all my reviews

Marriette Hartley delivers a fantastic performance, upstaging every regular cast member in what must rank as the most delightful Gunsmoke episode ever. This is both heart warming and funny. The constant interplay between Hartley and James Arness is mesmerizing, as each cast member is allowed to just have fun on camera, and that jolliness shines through the entire episode.

The plot, such as it is, becomes unimportant as this is a human play of an innocent platonic relationship, and is as close as one will ever get to seeing James Arness play out as a father of a teenage daughter, one who by the way isn't interested in playing the role of daughter, as she is puppy lover!

Hartley was actually 23 years old when this episode was made, and yet she plays the role of innocent teen so well that one forgets how old she really was. It took an outstanding actress to pull this role off, and Hartley delivered!

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