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Matt is critically wounded while attempting to arrest super-fast gunman Dan Grat. Grat runs rampant in Dodge while Matt recovers, but is unpleasantly surprised when the recovered marshal challenges him again.

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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...
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Doc
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Dan Grat
Robert Anderson ...
Jim Hill
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Bird
Howard Culver ...
Hotel Clerk
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Himself - Host
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Storyline

Matt is critically wounded while attempting to arrest super-fast gunman Dan Grat. Grat runs rampant in Dodge while Matt recovers, but is unpleasantly surprised when the recovered marshal challenges him again.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Details

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Release Date:

10 September 1955 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to James Arness on the DVD commentary, this was the first episode shown, but it was actually the second episode that they filmed. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, as Matt walks through the graveyard, at least one of the cardboard headstones can be seen flapping in the breeze. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Host: [Introduction] Good evening, my name is Wayne. Some of you may have seen me before I have been kicking around Hollywood for a long time made a lot of pictures all kinds; some of them have been Westerns. That is what I'm here to tell you about tonight a Western Gunsmoke.A new television show called Gunsmoke.
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User Reviews

 
a semi-auspicious start
4 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This first episode (there is no pilot, as the radio show was presumably the "pilot" *) only hints at would a fine series "Gunsmoke" would become.

It suffers from uncomfortable performances and clunky direction. Though part of this is doubtless due to simple unfamiliarity, a good part has to be due to the script, which sounds like a more or less direct transcription of a radio script. (John Meston is given story credit.)

There are some unintentionally risible lines. When Grat challenges the sheriff sent to get him, he says "If you want me… You come take me.", then "Closer'n that, sheriff, a lot closer… If ya want me." Perhaps what Grat really wants is a date for the next bull dance.

James Arness is remarkably youthful. He looks enough like the comic-book character that he'd have made an excellent Superman. (Note the forelock.) Of course, the point of this episode is to reveal that Matt is not invincible -- which is frankly remarkable, and the thing that makes this episode such a standout.

The music is generally superior to what would come later, with one lapse in taste -- as Chester rides up, we hear a bit of "Turkey in the Straw", to remind us that Chester is a hick. No music credit is given, so the score was probably assembled from existing cues.

For all its minor failings, you'd be hard-pressed to find another 1955 TV oater of this quality.

PS: In the opening scene, as Matt walks through the graveyard, you can see one of the cardboard headstones flapping in the breeze.

* Actually, there is a pilot. It was shown about halfway through the first season. It is, oddly, better-acted and directed, and has distinctly different cinematography.


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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