Gunsmoke: Season 4, Episode 5

Letter of the Law (11 Oct. 1958)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 32 users  
Reviews: 3 user

A rich landowner seizes the chance to get a little more acreage when he discovers that a homesteader has failed to file the paperwork to make his quarter section his own.



(teleplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Letter of the Law (11 Oct 1958)

Letter of the Law (11 Oct 1958) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Episode cast overview:
Judge Rambeau
Bartlett Robinson ...
Lee Sprague
Mary Carver ...
Fred Kruger ...


A rich landowner seizes the chance to get a little more acreage when he discovers that a homesteader has failed to file the paperwork to make his quarter section his own.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

11 October 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Per the title, when one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, he is obeying the literal interpretation of the words of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. See more »

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User Reviews

If they would have only listened to Matt.
14 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Matt has the poor task of going out to Brandon Teek's, a reformed gunfighter, farm and hand delivery an eviction notice. This does not sit too well with Teek since his wife, Sarah, is about to have a baby. Matt tells the Teek's there is no hurry and he will try to get something done.

Matt takes the train to Wichita to see Judge Rambeau only to find out that land baron, Lee Sprague, is behind the entire eviction proceedings. Matt tells the Judge that he is not looking at the entire situation and this may make Teek return to his outlaw days. The Judge does not want to listen and instead sends a local deputy sheriff to serve the eviction. But things turn bad when sheriff pushes the pregnant Sarah Teek to the ground causing injury.

An episode that shows that Marshal Dillon was more interested in enforcing the spirit of the law instead of the enforcing the word of the law. A nice concept that will further enhance Matt Dillon's reputation as the series progress. The ending was rather abrupt but still did not effect the story's overall meaning. A nice story that proved to be a good watch.

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