Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.
343 ( 36)


Airs Wed. Oct. 26, 1:00 PM on TVLAND





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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Matt Dillon (635 episodes, 1955-1975)
 Doc / ... (604 episodes, 1955-1975)
 Kitty / ... (568 episodes, 1955-1974)
 Festus / ... (304 episodes, 1959-1975)
 Chester (290 episodes, 1955-1964)


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 <>

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marshal Dillon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(1955-1966)| (1966-1975)

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Festus and Doc had a love hate relationship. Festus would refer to Doc as "you ol' schutter you", and would often ask Doc to have a drink or share a last drink for the night, hoping the end result would be Doc paying for the drinks because Festus would always have a reason to not have enough money to buy them both one. Festus tried doing the same relationship with the "sub" doc for the six episodes filling in, while in real life Doc was recovering from a heart attack, but the bond between Festus and Doc was too strong to replace, even for the short amount of time Doc (Stone) was out. See more »


Matt is called a US Marshal. Kansas became a state in 1861, more than a decade before the series is set. There was only one US district court in Kansas and one marshal assigned to it, plus a number of deputy marshal. All deputies would be based in Hays, the capital, not towns like Dodge. And deputies would enforce federal laws and court orders, and capture federal fugitives. They would not have state or local jurisdiction (like breaking up fights in the Long Branch). At the time of the series Dodge had a town marshal, and a county sheriff with jurisdiction outside the town limits. See more »


Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams: I'll tell you why the Hagens live so long.
Festus Haggen: Why?
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams: 'Cause they're too dumb to know they're dead!
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The Old Trail
by Rex Koury and Glenn Spencer
Aspen Fair Music, Incorporated (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

Matt Dillon was a hero in the truest since of the word.
26 October 2002 | by (Atlanta, Georgia) – See all my reviews

Having Tivo (a system that records programs automatically) has re-introduced Gunsmoke to me. I was a young boy when it began in the 1950's. I loved the early shows. The 1962 shows are being aired on TV Land right now and I have about a dozen recorded for future viewing. I wanted to make an observation about James Arness's character, Matt Dillon. He was my hero growing up and watching the show. After seeing the shows again, 40 years later, I know why. Matt was justice. He meted out retribution to those who were evil. Here he was, standing 6 feet seven inches with a voice like God.

Watching Matt save the day in episode after episode made me realize how great it would to have a Matt around today: someone who would stand up to the bully, step in a wield his gun at the villains taking advantage of anyone in sight. I guess we all had heroes, but who could ever match James Arness. He was fair, gentle, understanding, but had the strength and skill to ward off any foe.

I miss Matt Dillon. We won't see his like again. Even Clint Eastwood, with his Dirty Harry justice, did not have the depth of Matt with his combination of gunplay and compassion.

68 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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