Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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Snow Train: Part 1 

Matt, Doc, and Festus are aboard a train in snow covered mountains when it is stopped by Indians who want 2 unknown passengers turned over to them for selling poisonous whiskey to them earlier.


(as Gunnar Hellstrom)




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon
Kitty (credit only)
Newly (credit only)
Scott Coleman
Ada Coleman
Floyd Coleman
Sam Wickes
Bud (as Richard D. Kelton)


Matt, Doc and Festus are on a train in the snow-capped Rockies. Indians stop the train by blocking the tracks in front and behind the train. Someone aboard sold the Indians a bad batch of whiskey that has killed or blinded those who consumed it. The Indians want the guilty turned over to them and will attack in the morning. Matt has his hands full keeping order as the train occupants want to take justice into their own hands. Matt makes a desperate decision. Festus will create a diversion while Matt gets off the train and heads to the nearest telegraph station, which is miles away. The ploy works but three Indian braves, not fooled by it, are in pursuit of Matt. Written by Bill Koenig

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Release Date:

19 October 1970 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The train used is the 1880 train which runs between Hill City and Keystone, SD. See more »

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User Reviews

After viewing part one- I feel it might be a long part two
27 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

As a person not fond of two part episodes, this show resulted in exactly what I thought it would become. A very interesting first part- then we will dwell into the lives of the passengers that at times is downright dull. It played out just as expected.

The first part half of the episode played out very well. A group of Indians stop a train occupied by Matt, Festus and Doc as well as others going through upper elevations of the Rockies. With freezing temperatures and fallen snow, Matt makes his way out to find out what the Indians are wanting. Seemed two people on the train has sold the Indians tainted whiskey which has caused death and blindness and now they want Matt to hand the men over to them.

No one on the train will admit to giving the Indians whiskey and Matt is not about to turn anyone over to them. So the train is stopped in the mountains waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Matt comes up with a plan to have Festus cause a diversion so that he can jump of the back of the train and go for help. At first it appears to work until three Indians see the footprints of Matt in the snow and give chase.

Meanwhile the show now goes to a rough area as we are introduced to the other riders. We have two older women, a young couple expecting their first baby, a smoking gambler with a woman in tow, two young bucks wanting to kill all Indians, a man dressed up as a priest who actually works as a 'feel-better' rider for the railroad and the railroad crew with minds of their own. A mix of passengers and others as we get each ones thoughts and beliefs as the scene switches from one pair to another during the waiting game.

Perhaps I am bias when it comes to a two part episode, but this would have made a great hour show if they had cut down on the actors. It is a crowded train with some interesting people and some really dull riders. But the writer will introduce all to us with the two hour episode. We leave this one hour show with Matt running in the snow filled mountain with the three Indians not far behind. Be ready for part two.

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