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Gunsmoke (1953)

Approved | | Western | 4 May 1953 (USA)
A young gunslinger tries to help a rancher and his daughter save their land and cattle from an evil, wealthy land owner.


Nathan Juran


D.D. Beauchamp (screenplay), Norman A. Fox (novel) (as Norman A.Fox)




Complete credited cast:
Audie Murphy ... Reb Kittredge
Susan Cabot ... Rita Saxon
Paul Kelly ... Dan Saxon
Charles Drake ... Johnny Lake
Mary Castle ... Cora Dufrayne
Jack Kelly ... Curly Mather
Jesse White ... Professor
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Matt Telford
William Reynolds ... Brazos
Chubby Johnson ... Doc Farrell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philo McCullough ... Abner Sneed (scenes deleted)


Kittridge is hired by the villains but turns to defend the rancher Saxon after learning the true situation. Kittridge wins Saxon's ranch with a cut of the cards but Saxon has other reasons for deliberately losing the gamble. Telford and Lake try everything from bushwhacking to setting a wildfire to stop the Saxon/Kittridge herd of cattle from reaching the railhead. Written by Carol Johnson <crj1@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

arizona territory | land grab | See All (2) »


Hired Gunslinger In A Lawless Land! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is the second of three movies where Audie Murphy appears with Susan Cabot. The first movie was The Duel at Silver Creek (1952) and the third movie was Ride Clear of Diablo (1954). See more »


At one point, Cora Dufrayne (Telford's girlfriend) is trying to seduce gunslinging anti-hero Reb Kittridge. And, when he mentions having been driven out of Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming, she replies: "You're running out of states." Wyoming, however, did not gain statehood until 1890. While Arizona and New Mexico remained territories until 1912. See more »


[Curly and Reb have a final confrontation]
Reb Kittredge: Then get out of camp!
Curly Mather: I'll leave when I'm ready.
Reb Kittredge: You'll leave right now!
Curly Mather: I reckon that's a choice I'll make for myself.
Reb Kittredge: The only choice you've got is how you'll go -- either riding on a horse or feet first.
Curly Mather: You've been twirling a pretty big rope ever since you came here. Maybe it's time someone took the slack out of your rope.
Reb Kittredge: Anytime you're ready.
See more »


I'm Tying Up My Bridle
Music by Milton Rosen
Lyrics by Everett Carter
See more »

User Reviews

A fun, early Murphy Westerm
27 June 2016 | by King_manSee all my reviews

While certainly in the mold of a "B" western, Gunsmoke manages to raise itself above its peer group. Good production values, an above average supporting cast that appeared to enjoy themselves, an OK plot bolstered by some spirited dialog, and a young Murphy showing he was incorrect in his self-assessment of "no talent."

The plot is pretty much by the numbers: Gambler Telford (Donald Randolph) wants Dan Saxon's (Paul Kelly) ranch and sends for gunslinger Reb Kittridge (Murphy) to arrange an early departure for Saxon from this earth. Due to the luck of the draw, or more probably Saxon's card skills, Kittridge ends up owning said ranch but has to get the cattle to market to maintain possession. Taking to the trail with Saxon, now a cowhand, Saxon's daughter Rita (Susan Cabot), her possessive boyfriend / ranch foreman Curly (Jack Kelly), and the rest of Saxon's old crew, Kittridge must beat both the elements and Telford who doesn't give up just because he's had a setback.

This could have been a B caliber movie but it's better than that. The plot is predictable but pretty much everything else is a step up. Veteran screenwriter D.D. Beauchamp's script has more life than usually found in this type of movie. Saxon – "He ain't no killer, Doc." Doc –"Well, if he isn't , he's been taking money under false pretenses all the way from Texas to the Canadian line." Later, when Saxon says he's willing to work for Kittridge in the cattle drive, his daughter pounces on him in an epic fail. Rita – "You mean you're going to work for him?" Saxon – "Well, we gotta eat don't we?" Rita – "I'd rather go hungry." Saxon – "I've tried that too. I wouldn't recommend it."

Paul Kelly adds immeasurably in his role as a rancher who sees parallels in Kittridge with his own early life and wants to provide a bit of course correction into the gunfighter's life. His timing is great and his easy going drawl a great counterpoint for Murphy. His scenes with Chubby Johnson are also great fun. While certainly a lot is filmed on sets, there are some good outdoor scenes and some nifty wagon riding down a hillside. The only quibble I have is with Susan Cabot. Somehow she doesn't have quite the presence of some other not-quite-A- list actresses of that era such as, say, a young Piper Laurie, but I guess that's a personal taste.

All in all, this is a better oater than most B pictures and shows an inexperienced Murphy could perform quite well when given good direction and surrounded with a good cast to play off of. Give it a try, you won't regret it.

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Release Date:

4 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roughshod See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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