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Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987)
Matt and Kitty's Final good-bye
I agree with others who have said the Earl Holliman character just didn't fit with the rest of the movie. As for Matt's mountain man look, I think there are many episodes in the series that suggest that if he hadn't become a U.S. marshal, he would have become a mountain man / trapper. But for any Gunsmoke fan, I think it was very special seeing Matt and Kitty back together one last time. Since Kitty wasn't in the last season of the regular TV series, this episode provided some closure to one of the longest screen romances of all time. I think the final scene with Matt and Kitty stayed true to the tone set by the TV series.
Zavala - Gunsmoke episode
This episode takes place in Mexico. Matt pursues a gang of outlaws into Mexico, not wearing his badge. He enters a small town which has been taken over by the outlaws. Matt is seriously wounded in a gunfight with the gang leader's brother. A number of story lines are developed:
Matt's friendship with a small boy, Paco, and his widowed mother.
The abuse by a local Mexican outlaw of Paco's mother.
The townspeople taking back their town from the American outlaw gang led by Ben Rollins, are inspired by Paco's courage. Paco's father had once stood up to the outlaws only to be murdered by them.
The gang leader, Ben Rollins, played by Jim Davis of Dallas fame, pursuit of Matt in revenge for Matt killing his younger brother.
Manual Padilla gives a strong performance as Paco. Miriam Colon as Paco's mother is a strong willed woman with quiet strength. Jim Davis is excellent as the outlaw Ben Rollins.
This episode presents a different side of Matt well played by James Arness.