Gunsmoke: Season 18, Episode 11

The Sodbusters (20 Nov. 1972)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Farm owner Clarabelle Callahan has absolute rights to the water supply in her area. Rather than negotiate with Clarabelle, rancher Lamoor Underwood turns to hatred and violence by bringing ... See full summary »



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Title: The Sodbusters (20 Nov 1972)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Katherine Justice ...
Robert Viharo ...
Dick Shaw
Joe Di Reda ...
Navin (as Joe di Reda)
Colin Male ...
Gene Hill
Jim Boles ...


Farm owner Clarabelle Callahan has absolute rights to the water supply in her area. Rather than negotiate with Clarabelle, rancher Lamoor Underwood turns to hatred and violence by bringing in a gunslinger, Dick Shaw. Unknown to either side, farm hand Pete Brown is the noted gunfighter John Jobson and represents a deadly equalizer for Clarabelle. Written by richardann

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Release Date:

20 November 1972 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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A rehashed story that loses interest after another performance
4 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A widowed farm owner named Clarabelle Callahan has the legal water rights to a lake in the area. A cattle rancher named Lamoor Underwood (Morgan Woodward) will not negotiate with Clarabelle and even goes as far to hire a gunman to make sure he gets water. But little does anyone know that Clarabelle has a farmhand, Pete Brown, that is very handy with a gun. At an end of a gunfight, Pete will be the one standing.

As one might guess, the writer starts a relationship between Clarabelle, her two small children and the hired-hand Pete Brown. When Marshal gets wind of the trouble he rides out only to find that Pete Brown is actually a wanted gunslinger named John Jobson. As usual Matt has to be lawful and will be taking Jobson back to Dodge. Clarabelle puts a stop to the Marshal's plans. Before Jobson rides off he tells Clarabelle some information about why he chose to work for her. But his reason for riding off might just be to help Clarabelle and the kids.

This was a rehashed story that has been played out many times in a 'Gunsmoke' series. In fact the only thing changed are the character's name. There is also a useless scene in the show between James Arness and Morgan Woodward. Even with the poor use of light the scene was a complete mess. Two sentences would have been enough but we get an entire ten minutes while Woodward tells us about sod-busters and why he hates them. This was not a unique show and offered little interest to keep a viewer's attention. Not one of the better shows.

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