Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, CA. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product mined in Death Valley.
When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »
Marshal Matt Dillon is in charge of Dodge City, a town in the wild west where people often have no respect for the law. He deals on a daily basis with the problems associated with frontier life: cattle rustling, gunfights, brawls, standover tactics, and land fraud. Such situations call for sound judgement and brave actions: of which Marshal Dillon has plenty. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
According to a TV Guide article published in the August 23, 1975 issue (just before the show left the air), 26 actors screen-tested for the role of Matt Dillon. William Conrad (voice of radio's Matt Dillon) was one, but didn't look the part. Raymond Burr sounded great, but according to producer-director Charles Marquis Warren: "he was too big; when he stood up his chair stood up with him" (Burr later lost considerable weight to play Perry Mason)). John Pickard almost made it, but did poorly in a love scene with Kitty (he later guest-starred a few times in various roles). Warren and producer Norman MacDonnell stoutly denied that they even considered major film star John Wayne - but they went with James Arness, who looked and sounded a LOT like Wayne. When Arness was reluctant to take the role, Wayne persuaded him and even agreed to introduce the first episode. See more »
[sitting at the bar in episode "Slocum"]
Excepting some women, of course, just ain't nothing prettier than a full bottle.
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Not only a good Western,but action drama at its best
For the 20 years that it ran on CBS,"Gunsmoke" was the essential Western to watch. Not only it was about a Marshal who retain law and order in Dodge City in the 1800's,but set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Kansas frontier. The stories kept its viewers on edge no matter what its characters were going through as Matt Dillon(played by James Arness) kept the peace alongside his deputies Chester Goode(played by Dennis Weaver from 1955-1963),Quint Aspen(played by Burt Reynolds from 1961-1964),Festus Hagen(played by Ken Curtis from 1963-1975),and Newly(played by Buck Taylor from 1967-1975). It also had Dillon saving Miss Kitty(Amanda Blake)for great danger in some of the episodes which in some sparked a love interest. It may have been cancelled,but CBS executives saved the series in the late 1960's as it switched from Saturday nights(where it ran for 10 years including the extension to an hour format in 1961,and in 1965 which the show made the transition to color) to Monday nights(where it stayed until the show's final episode in 1975,marking the end of the TV western) outdoing its precessdor Bonanza,which was on a rival network for an astounding 14 seasons.
The series afterward spawn three Gunsmoke TV movies that followed and there will be a fourth installment of the series which CBS is producing. Kudos to James Arness,the true Marshal Dillon. Catch the episodes(some of the color and black and white installments)on TV Land!!!
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