Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
4 user

Aunt Thede 

Festus's ornery aunt arrives, squats on a piece of land, sets up a still, and comes to the rescue of a pair of star-crossed lovers.


Sutton Roley


Kathleen Hite




Episode cast overview:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Jeanette Nolan ... Aunt Thede Haggen
Dyan Cannon ... Ivy Norton
Frank Cady ... Webb Norton
James Stacy ... George
Howard McNear ... Howard Rudd
Hap Glaudi Hap Glaudi ... Townsman
Jenny Lee Arness Jenny Lee Arness ... Laurie (as Jenny Lee Aurness)


Festus's ornery aunt arrives, squats on a piece of land, sets up a still, and comes to the rescue of a pair of star-crossed lovers.

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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

19 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Matt notes, the rifle carried by Aunt Thede is something of a rarity, a Colt Revolving Rifle Model 1855. This was similar in principle to Colt's more famous revolving pistols, but was built as a long arm. Although it was used in the early days of the Civil War, it quickly fell from favor due to its reputation for accidentally firing more than one chamber at a time, putting at risk the shooter's hand that was grasping the forestock or barrel. The introduction of the self-contained metallic cartridge could have solved that problem, but the Colt company in the 1860's did not believe that innovation, which made possible the superior lever action rifles such as the Henry and the Spencer that quickly eclipsed the Model 1855. Having been made in relatively small numbers, Model 1855 rifles are now prized by collectors. See more »


When Festus and Aunt Theda enter the general store Festus puts his hand in the area where glass should be to stop the door. See more »

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User Reviews

Rather Lame Episode
30 October 2013 | by rbirdsSee all my reviews

The above review quite adequately describes the episode. However, I find the humor of the rather broad Western fashion of humor (numerous fights without any lasting damage, faux authentic rustics uttering humorous regional observations) that wears thin quickly.

Festus plays such a character but he remains Matt's foil rather than the primary thematic thrust of an entire episode. It runs a bit thin for an entire episode, however.

For some reason the music was particularly irritating. Perhaps because it complimented the humorous rustic theme.

There remains underneath the humor is the often-used trope of abused women. Gunsmoke was one of the first series to highlight powerless women abused by men whose only source of power was their gender.

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