Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
3 user

Island in the Desert: Part 2 

Festus and the hermit come upon killer Gard Dixon dying in the desert, and when Festus helps him recover, the hermit forces both of them to tote water and gold dust.


Gunnar Hellström


Jim Byrnes


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview:
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Buck Taylor ... Newly
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Strother Martin ... Ben Snow
William Watson ... Gard Dixon (as William C. Watson)
Regis Cordic ... Sheriff Grimes (as Regis J. Cordic)
Hank Brandt Hank Brandt ... John Lipon


Festus is forced to pack gold dust across the desert, hoping to get to a town on the other end before his and Ben Snow's water supply runs out. Matt and Newly, having been alerted by telegram, try to catch up to them. When Festus spots the tracks of the killer who also wounded him, he simply turns around and goes after the killer. Snow has a Hobson's choice of shooting Festus and trying to make it out alone (which he knows he can't do) or go along and pick up the convict. They find him, strap half the gold to his back, and force him to come along to face a noose at the end of the journey. A series of double-crosses follow, leaving Festus and Snow in the direst of straits. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

9 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the better episodes in the entire Gunsmoke collection!
4 September 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This perhaps has some of the best acting in the entire collection of 'Gunsmoke'. Strother Martin, Williams Watson and Ken Curtis bring part two of this episode to the height of entertainment. And as a person that is not impressed when we there is a two part episode, I found this show to be one of the best I have ever seen. The acting and script was the reason for this show being enjoyable.

Ben Snow (Strother Martin) a hermit in the desert, has been living in the wilderness for many years. During his time he was able to find a nice amount of gold but has been unable to get the gold back to town. Festus will be his pack-mule for the trip as Snow makes him carry the water and the gold. Their trip is to a gold-rush town called Ten Strike.

Along the way they run into Gard Dixon, the one that tried to kill Festus in part one, in the desert nearly dead. Festus refuses to leave him for dead and wants him brought back for a trial. This will prove to be a bad move when Gard steals Ben's gun and breaks all the water jars. But because of Ben's planning- Gard will not make it but just a few steps until he falls dead. Ben and Festus now set off to Ten Strike with no water.

At last when they make Ten Strike- the town is abandon. The town is a ghost town that was abandon years ago after the gold ran out. However, Ben sees a different town. Either by exhaustion or being delirious he sees a town full of people. When he finally comes to his senses he realizes that that all the time he spend in the desert is useless. His gold is worth nothing in a ghost town. All his time in the desert will not impress his foe that he left many years ago.

This is a very strong episode. Strother Martin along with Ken Curtis are excellent in this episode. Watched many 'Gunsmoke' shows but have never rated one as high as this. For the last season, this one is good as any in the entire twenty seasons.

NOTE- since James Arness only worked a couple of days a week on the last season, you will notice that when the water pots are shot and broken and later Matt and Newly come riding up- it has a different background. Perhaps filmed days later when James Arness did all his shots in one day.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed