16 user 7 critic

Gunsmoke (1953)

Approved | | Romance, 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)


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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


Hired Gunslinger In A Lawless Land!


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






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 »

Did You Know?


The song which Mary Castle (dubbed by an unidentified singer) performs in the saloon is, of course, one of Marlene Dietrich's signature songs, The Boys in the Back Room, first offered in Destry Rides Again (1939) , also produced by Universal, who, apparently, still retained the film rights to use it again. Comparing the two presentations, it's pretty obvious Dietrich didn't lose any sleep over this one's halfhearted attempt at an imitation. 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 Mather: You're pretty tough with that gun strapped around your waist. I wonder how tough you'd be without it.
Reb Kittredge: You ain't never going to find out, Curly. I'm never going to take it off.
See more »


See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
See more »

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User Reviews

Audie's Particular About Who He Works For
21 May 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A couple of saddle pals, Audie Murphy and Charles Drake, go their separate ways after a job in the Johnson County War in Wyoming. Murphy heads for a job offer from cattle baron Donald Randolph. But like John Wayne who refuses a job from Ed Asner in El Dorado, Murphy decides to throw in with small rancher Paul Kelly. Of course that Paul has an attractive daughter in Susan Cabot has a great deal to do with it.

El Dorado is only one of the other westerns that you can see plot elements from. I can count The Man from Laramie, Coroner Creek, and Destry Rides Again in which parts of those films are plainly visible in Gunsmoke.

Audie Murphy was always one of the success stories of Hollywood and then unfortunately a tragedy. Our most decorated combat veteran could have had a choice of any number of careers after World War II. He had what only could be described as an instinct in that he chose a movie career. He turned out to be a natural for westerns.

His product was always good. Too bad his career never took the path of a successful long running television series or going into A budget projects like John Wayne. Either of those paths might have led him to a longer career and life.

In fact both leads in this film met tragic ends, Audie in a plane crash and Susan Cabot, a notorious Hollywood homicide at the hands of her son. Cabot, but for a decision to leave Universal to free lance, might also have gone a television route. Though she became a cult favorite with The Wasp Woman, cult parts are hard to come by and usually really type cast people.

By the way, though it is not the only element of Desty Rides Again in this film, saloon girl Mary Castle gets to sing the Marlene Dietrich classic See What the Boys in the Backroom will Have in Gunsmoke. And why not? Since Universal produced Destry Rides Again and they own the song why not use it here as it costs them not a cent.

I think western fans will not be disappointed in Gunsmoke.

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