Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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The new newspaper in town seems to be in the business of fomenting trouble, starting with its employment as a reporter of the illiterate Festus.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon
Angus McTabbott
Gertrude Flynn ...
Essie Benlan
Adrienne Marden ...
John Francis ...
Store Clerk (as Johnny Francis)
Fletcher Fist ...
Clab Chummer
Jonas Finch
Merl Benlan
Mrs. Preeker


A wagon is shot at and run off the road to Dodge. Festus comes along and helps the occupants, the new owners of the newspaper. He is rewarded with a job as a reporter even though he never learned to read or write. The stories he chooses to write about stirs up more bad feelings than he expected. Written by DrDOS

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Release Date:

9 April 1966 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the 7:55 mark, when Festus and Jonas are talking, the shadow of the boom Mike is visible, bobbing up and down, to the right of the back of Jonas' head. See more »

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User Reviews

Festus finds out that truth is not always pleasant
20 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

At the beginning of this episode Festus is riding along a path toward Dodge when he is nearly hit by a wagon that is escaping gunfire. On down the road the wagon has lost a wheel and Festus meets Angus McTabbot who happens to be a newspaper man that has just left Hays City at a fast rate. He is now determined to open a newspaper in Dodge City with the tag line, 'the Voice of Truth'.

We all know that there is something strange about this paper when they hire Festus, a person that can not read nor write, as a reporter for the Dodge City Clarion. Festus reveals that he has writing problems but Mr McTabbott says that he needs a man that knows Dodge people and tells Festus to give the report to his ten year old nephew and he will put the words into type.

Well things go sour when Festus reveals a story about a local's younger days which the person did not want brought up. Also Festus starts a near war between Jonas General Store and Clab Clummer's General Store when they start trying to outdo each other for business. Festus will soon find out why McTabbot's wagon was being fired upon while leaving Hay City.

Not really that much to this episode. It is more of a show for a sitcom than a western. Had it not been for the fine acting by the cast this show could have sank into near boredom. But the way it turned out was you just kept watching to see how this situation was going to end. Not one of the better shows but that you will remember long after viewing.

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