As Matt takes a convicted man to Hays City for hanging, Matt and the prisoner are waylaid, the prisoner lynched, and Matt is framed for the killing, then arrested by a sergeant with a grudge against ...
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
Gunsmoke will be remembered as the finest television western series of all time.
I remember watching Gunsmoke in the late 1950's. In black and white or in color it was consistently good, in large part, due to its talented cast. Originally John Wayne was offered the part but felt TV was not his cup of tea. He recommended a tall, good looking James Arness to play Matt Dillon and the rest is history.For the first 9 years, Dennis Weaver played Matt's devoted friend and deputy. Amanda Blake was perfect in the role of Miss Kitty, who ran the local Dodge City saloon. Milburn Stone, a long time screen actor, was given the part of Doc Adams, an outspoken man with a heart of gold. Then there was Ken Curtis who played Festus Hagen, a lovable deputy who was an equal replacement for Dennis Weaver. For 20 years, Gunsmoke graced the television line up at CBS. It was a different western in that its scripts were often filled with emotional stories that developed its characters. It employed many of our finest actors in guest roles. Realistic filming in Thousand Oaks, Ca. and in southwest Utah added to its appeal. It still runs today on Nick at Night and continues to captivate its audience. It is just plain good!!!
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