Gunsmoke: Season 3, Episode 5

Potato Road (12 Oct. 1957)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 36 users  
Reviews: 3 user

An addled and desperate prairie family lures Matt and Chester out of town as a preliminary part of their plan for attempting a violent robbery of the Dodge City bank.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 146 titles
created 20 Sep 2011
 
list image
a list of 13 titles
created 28 Sep 2012
 
list image
a list of 426 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "Potato Road" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Potato Road (12 Oct 1957)

Potato Road (12 Oct 1957) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Gunsmoke.
« Previous Episode | 83 of 635 Episodes | Next Episode »
Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Doc
Robert F. Simon ...
Pa Grilk
Tom Pittman ...
Budge Grilk
...
Ma Grilk
...
Calhoun
Edit

Storyline

Young Budge Grilk tells Matt that his father has committed a murder and offers to lead the Marshal to their homestead. Matt and Chester are wary of Budge because of his addled and unkempt demeanor, but they decide to accompany him. When they arrive at the decrepit homestead, Matt and Chester are surprised and taken as hostages at gunpoint and locked in a squalid potato cellar. Matt suspects that the entire family is half-starved and capable of desperate measures to ensure their survival. Pa Grilk confirms Matt's suspicion when he tells them that they are to be killed so that he and Budge can rob the Dodge City Bank without interference. Matt eventually gets the upper hand on Budge and is able to hold him at knife-point. He attempts to barter for his and Chester's freedom, but he is shocked and dismayed when the ruthless Pa Grilk proves fully willing to sacrifice the young man's life. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of Potato Road, Matt rides into town in a dark outfit, but in the next scene when he dismounts his horse, he is seen in a lighter outfit. See more »

Quotes

Marshal Matt Dillon: [Walks alone on Boot Hill, thinking aloud] When the wind comes out of the west a hundred miles high and a thousand miles wide, it dries the settlers out like buffalo bums and leaves them cracked and empty, wishing they'd never left Indiana. But some of them really can't take it. They start spinning around like poisoned wolves, baffled but dangerous in their hurt and anger. Those are the hardest I have to go up against. Matt Dillon, U. S. Marshal.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting for What It Implies
4 August 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Matt and Chester are tricked into riding out to a squalid homestead where they encounter a half-crazed family intent on robbing Dodge's bank.

An interesting episode for both its highs and lows, and for what the story implies. The idea and title clearly come from the backwoods movie of 1941, Tobacco Road. However, instead of a humorous tale of an eccentric family of Southern rubes, the Grilk family are desperate and murderous, nothing amusing at all. The trouble is, it's spread on so thickly the portrayals come close to unfunny parody that undercuts the entry's serious intent. On the other hand, is the entry's powerful ending. Now, what distinguishes Gunsmoke from other series of the time is its occasional refusal to come up with a happy ending. And that's certainly the case here, with a desolation that speaks volumes about homesteading on the frontier.

All of which brings up two of writer Meston's favorite themes— namely, the psychological and physical toll of homesteading, especially on women. In the script, Pa Grilk (Simon) takes out his frustrations on Ma (Nolan) by beating her regularly, and being isolated on the prairie, she has no defense. Now, being isolated like that is a powerful theme and I wish Meston had developed it more than he does since it would more fully explain the family's half-crazed behavior. Besides, that ramshackle dugout of a house or whatever it might be is like nothing I've seen from the time, and speaks volumes in itself.

Anyway, it's an interesting episode as much for what it doesn't say as for what it does.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what would i or you have been in the Old West? marylizautos
Marshal Dillon too rough on Chester? newdickmorris
Matt's daughter joannabaroncelli
One of THE Greatest Series!!! jojomack2006
Finally Finished the Series - My top 25 newdickmorris
Any episodes without James Arness? hgn2001
Discuss Potato Road (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?