Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.
Reviews
Popularity
405 ( 32)

On TV

Airs Wed. Jun. 28, 12:00 PM on TVLAND

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



20   19   18   17   16   15   14   13   12   … See all »
1975   1974   1973   1972   1971   1970   … See all »
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bonanza (1959–1973)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.

Stars: Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker
Rawhide (1959–1965)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive; he is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way.

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines
Maverick (1957–1962)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (5 card draw) is ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore
The Big Valley (1965–1969)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Wild West adventures of the Barkley family in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Stars: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors
Have Gun - Will Travel (1957–1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Stars: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham
Wagon Train (1957–1965)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton
Cheyenne (1955–1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After the Civil War, nomadic adventurer Cheyenne Bodie roamed the west looking for fights, women and bad guys to beat up. His job changed from episode to episode.

Stars: Clint Walker, Clyde Howdy, Chuck Hicks
Daniel Boone (1964–1970)
Adventure | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Frontier hero Daniel Boone conducts surveys and expeditions around Boonesborough, running into both friendly and hostile Indians, just before and during the Revolutionary War.

Stars: Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton
Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958–1961)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.

Stars: Steve McQueen, Wright King, Olan Soule
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys... See full summary »

Stars: Hugh O'Brian, Jimmy Noel, Ethan Laidlaw
The Virginian (1962–1971)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Col. MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »

Stars: Doug McClure, James Drury, Lee J. Cobb
The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The adventures of the masked hero and his Native American partner.

Stars: Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore, John Hart
Edit

Cast

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)
Edit

Storyline

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marshal Dillon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(1955-1966)| (1966-1975)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The series was the final film project of Glenn Strange. See more »

Goofs

The real Dodge City is on green rolling plains in SW Kansas. The setting of the series is clearly in a semi-arid, hilly/mountainous area which is clearly Southern California. See more »

Quotes

Festus Haggen: Don't you think somebody oughta reckon with him, Matthew?
U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon: What did you say his name was again, Festus?
Festus Haggen: I think its Sinclair... Jack Sinclair.
U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon: He's got no left hand?
Festus Haggen: That's right. Anyways, don't you think somebody ought to go reckon with him?
U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon: No!
Festus Haggen: Why not, Matthew?
U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon: Because it was my bullet that took his hand!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shameless: Nana Gallagher Had an Affair (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Trail
by Rex Koury and Glenn Spencer
Aspen Fair Music, Incorporated (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The three eras of TV's classic western
10 March 2002 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews



Gunsmoke

That Gunsmoke is the greatest TV western of all time is hard to dispute. it may be the great TV show of all time. Think of what your favorite show might have been like after 20 years on the air and then compare it to Gunsmoke, which was probably as good as anything on TV for it's entire twenty year run. Not too many shows were on so long that their runs can be divided into eras, but Gunsmoke has three of them. The first is the half hour black and white era, (1955-61). This is the most praised era of the show and the era of it's greatest popularity, (it was the #1 show on TV the last four of those years). Critics praise the "tight scripting" of those days and James Arness has said he prefers John Meston's "little morality plays" to the later hour episodes, which some critics have called "bloated". I like the half hours because they show the program in it's formative years, when the cast was young, (and the right age for their characters). I also like you can get four of them to a cassette, rather than two. But these shows are basically about incidents, rather than stories. They lack character and story development. The second era is the hour long black and white era. This is my favorite, firstly because it's the earliest one I remember from the times I watched it with my father and secondly because it's the best. With the extra hour to work with and a new group of writers to do the work,. the series matured. The supporting cast became stars, (nearly every famous episode featuring Chester, Festus, Doc or Kitty comes from this period). It also is the era when the second lead was introduced. the first and best was Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper, who's entire run is in this era. The writers also increased the scope of the show by focusing on "guest characters" with the regulars as supporting players. Unfortunately, the general public didn't share my enthusiasm for this era, (or they found something better to do on Saturday nights). Gunsmoke fell from #1 to #36, (in an era where there were only three networks), and actually got briefly canceled until William Paley saved it. But the old Saturday night spot was taken by Mannix so the show was moved to Tuesday, where it was expected to die a natural death among shows intended for younger viewers. In the greatest upset in TV ratings history, the show was discovered by a new generation and rebounded to #2, earning it another 8 years on the air, by which time the western craze it had started was long over and all it's rivals, even Bonanza, were long off the air.

By this time, color had taken over. And it didn't do the show much good. Magazine reporters used to say: black and white for drama, color for excitement. Gunsmoke was about drama. Gunsmoke used to use an outdoor set for daytime Dodge City scenes. That disappeared in favor of an indoor set about 1960. In black an white the indoor set sufficed. In color it looked garish and stagy. Color had the same effect on the actors who were now too old for their roles. Real western marshals served for a few months at a time, (and, by the way, US Marshals were never town marshals). it became increasingly ridiculous to see Matt Dillon still gunning down the young whippersnappers after a decade or more. Miss Kitty went from a purdy young thing to a middle aged painted lady. Doc became increasingly enfeebled as Milburn Stone's health declined. Somehow the color film brought out all the wrinkles more than black and white. There where compensations. Each season began with a movie-caliber two parter shot on location in some national park. the overall script quality remained high as the cadre of writers continued to expand. They even got an outdoor set to use again in the later years, although it didn't look much like the Dodge City we had come to know.

The TV movies? The first one was terrible. The second one was quite good. the third one stunk and I didn't bother with them after that.


28 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page