Gunsmoke: Season 8, Episode 29

With a Smile (30 Mar. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 3 user

A rancher's spoiled son believes even after he is convicted of murder that his father's wealth and influence will save him from the hangman.

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Title: With a Smile (30 Mar 1963)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Chester
...
Doc
...
...
...
Dal Creed
...
Major
...
Lottie
Linden Chiles ...
Pat (as Lindon Chiles)
Dick Foran ...
Sheriff
Dan Stafford ...
Kelly
Robert Stevenson ...
Foy (as Robert J. Stevenson)
Gilman Rankin ...
Waiter
James Nusser ...
Jay Della ...
Cowboy
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Storyline

Dal, the son of a rich rancher, is abrasive and abusive but cowardly when confronted, having always relied on his father's wealth and influence to get him out of difficulty. When up to his usual tricks, he gets one of the ranch hands fired. The fired man takes up with a saloon girl whom Miss Kitty hired after her father was murdered. Dal takes a fancy to the girl, tries to shoot his rival, and instead shoots and kills the girl. Chester witnesses it all, and goes with Matt to Dal's ranch to arrest him. Dal's father is in disbelief, but Dal is hardly worried, confident his father will get him out of this scrape as he has all others. After he is convicted, he slowly begins to fear he will hang. While his father works to save him from the hangman, he is disgusted with his son's display of fear, sure that if he were the one facing the rope, he'd go to the gallows "with a smile." Written by Morganalee

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Genres:

Western

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Release Date:

30 March 1963 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
One of the most solid episodes in the entire series.
9 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This has one of the most powerful endings of any 'Gunsmoke' episode in the entire series. Making this episode one of the best I have seen in a very long time.

The show centers around Major Creed (RG Armstrong) who is a large land and farm owner outside of Dodge City. He has a son named Dal Creed (James Best) that happens to be a weak coward which is totally opposite from his father.

Dal happens up on the Long Branch one evening and tries to strong-arm a saloon girl named Lottie. However Lottie is in a relationship with Pat Kane who just happens to be a ex-worker of the Creed ranch that Dal got fired. Anyway Pat don't take kindly to have his girl roughed up by Dal so they get into a fist fight until broken up by Marshal Dillon.

The next night while Lottie and Pat are leaving the Long Branch, shots ring out and Lottie is killed. Chester happens up to the scene and witnesses Dal getting on his horse and riding off. So Matt and Chester go out to the Creed farm to arrest Dal.

After a guilty verdict with the penalty of hanging, Major Creed uses all his political power to try to get a retrial or pardon. When he tells Dal that all attempts so far have failed - Dal goes into a crying and whining fit that embarrasses all that witness the spectacle. His father apologizes for his son's action and begins to think of a way that his son can die with a smile on his face.

The sheriff where the hanging is to take place tells Dal that his father has paid him and others to fake the hanging. Dal will look like he was hung but will be safe under the boarded up scaffold. Upon hearing this news Dal changes from a crying coward into a arrogant bully. It will be with the flare of arrogance that Dal ascends the steps to the hangman's noose. But all is not the truth.

Whatever the reason, at the end of this episode I knew I had witnessed a great entertaining story. From the script to the acting the entire episode was solid. James Best was perfect as the coward. R.G. Armstrong was a perfect cast as the father figure. Even minor characters such as the sheriff of Hays City was brilliant to the script. One of the most solid shows in the entire 'Gunsmoke' collection.


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