Mail Order Bride (1964 film)

Mail Order Bride is a 1964 Western film starring Buddy Ebsen, Keir Dullea and Lois Nettleton, directed by Burt Kennedy. The screenplay concerns an old man who pressures the wild son of a dead friend into marrying a mail-order bride in an attempt to settle him down.

Mail Order Bride
Directed byBurt Kennedy
Produced byRichard E. Lyons
Written byVan Cort (story)
Burt Kennedy
StarringBuddy Ebsen
Keir Dullea
Lois Nettleton
Music byGeorge Bassman
CinematographyPaul C. Vogel
Edited byFrank Santillo
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
March 11, 1964 (1964-03-11)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,250,000 (US/ Canada)[2]


Retired lawman Will Lane promises to look after a dying friend's son. He is given the deed to the man's Montana ranch and instructed not to let the friend's son, Lee Carey, have it until Lee gives up his immature ways.

One provision is that Lee must marry. Will uses a catalog to look for a suitable wife. He ends up finding Annie Boley, a widow in Kansas City with a six-year-old son, working in a saloon for Hanna, who originally placed the ad in the catalog.

Lee agrees to marry her, with ranch hand Jace as his best man, but assures Annie that their marriage will be in name only, with no other marital obligations. Will learns that Jace has been stealing cattle. Lee refuses to believe it until Jace proposes they rustle together and leave the ranch in ruins.

When Jace starts a fire with the boy still inside the house, Lee rescues him and comes to his senses. An angry Will believes Lee conspired with Jace to steal the herd and disgustedly gives him the deed. But Lee realizes he cares for his new family and asks Will to help him get back the cattle. They corner Jace in town and in a shootout Jace is killed.

Lee vows to rebuild the ranch and Will rides back to Kansas City to court Hanna.


See also


  1. Wayne Will Play 'Harm's Way' Role: He'll Portray Adm. Torrey; Ebsen Film Setting Records Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 17 Feb 1964: C16.
  2. "Big Rental Pictures of 1964", Variety, 6 January 1965 p 39. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to distributors, not total gross.

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