GUNSMOKE: COOTER (TV)

Summary

One in this series of western dramas about Marshal Matt Dillon, lawman of Dodge City, Kansas, and the people who live in and pass through that town in the closing decades of the 19th century. In this episode, three men sit down for a card game, and one of them, Pate, laughs at the mentally-handicapped waiter, Cooter. Kid accuses Pate and Sissle of cheating, and when he seemingly reaches for his gun, Pate instantly shoots him dead. The onlookers seem to agree with Pate's declaration of self-defense, though Kitty has her doubts. Dillon hears of the incident from Chester, and Cooter happily reveals that he now works for Mr. Sissle. Kitty tells Dillon that while Kid did appear ready to draw, she found Pate's actions questionable, as Kid's quarrel was clearly with Sissle and Pate's life was not in danger. Dillon questions Sissle, guessing that he is indeed a cheat and hired Pate to "protect" him against accusers. Sissle orders Pate to kill Dillon on the spot, but Pate hesitates and then flees, stating that he has not been paid enough to excuse murdering a marshal.

Dillon assures Sissle that he will arrest on legitimate charges and hang him in the near future, but he then learns that Cooter is now carrying a gun. Doc Adams tells Dillon that he is not entirely sure of the cause of Cooter's limitations, and Cooter admits that he is unclear about the precise nature of his duties for Sissle. Sissle informs Dillon that the sweet-tempered Cooter has become "mean" since arming himself, and Cooter aggressively announces that he wishes to kill Dillon – but Dillon, seeing through the trick, kindly tells Cooter that Sissle has manipulated him, intending for the marshal to kill him in response to the threat. Cooter, upset by the cruel "joke," turns his gun on Sissle, and he shoots him dead before Dillon can intervene. Dillon regretfully admits that he will have to arrest the young man, but decides to put it off, feeling that he has suffered enough for a day. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: CBS
  • DATE: May 19, 1956 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:29:12
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: B:52409
  • GENRE: Drama, western
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, western
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1955-1975
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

  • Charles Marquis Warren … Producer
  • Norman MacDonnell … Associate Producer
  • Robert Stevenson … Director
  • John Meston … Writer
  • Sam Peckinpah … Writer
  • James Arness … Cast, Marshal Matt Dillon
  • Dennis Weaver … Cast, Chester Goode
  • Milburn Stone … Cast, Dr. Galen "Doc" Adams
  • Amanda Blake … Cast, Kitty Russell
  • Strother Martin … Cast, Cooter
  • Vinton Hayworth … Cast, Ben Sissle
  • Brett King … Cast, Pate
  • Robert Vaughn … Cast, Kid
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