Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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The Hanging of Newly O'Brien 

"The Hanging of Newly O'Brien" is an episode of Gunsmoke starring Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, and Ken Curtis. When Newly performs emergency surgery on a patient in the back country and he dies, the ignorant families think it's murder and want to hang him.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Doc
... Kitty
... Festus
... Newly
... Matt Dillon
... Kermit
... Tim (as Jimmy Van Patten)
Jessamine Milner ... Grandma
... Grandpa
Jan Burrell ... Anna
... Sam
Ted Jordan ... Burke
Debbie Dozier ... Ronda
... John
... Adrian


Patrolling the back country of Kansas on assignment for Marshal Dillon, Newly O'Brien comes to a small community /of rednecks and finds that a person there needs an emergency operation. Newly, who has been trained by Doc Adams to eventually pursue a career in medicine, undertakes the surgery - but the patient dies and the townsfolk hold Newly responsible. When word of Newly's disappearance reaches Dodge City, Doc and Festus rush off to find him. They get to the scene of hanging in time, but Doc is accidentally shot by one of Newly's guards and Newly must test his surgical skills once again. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Release Date:

26 November 1973 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final episode for Glenn Strange (Sam), who died shortly after filming of lung cancer. See more »

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User Reviews

Glenn Strange last performance overshadows this nice story
15 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

Newly comes up on this community of people that have strange religious values. Everything is fine until he comes upon someone needing immediate surgery to avoid death. However the surgery did not go as plan and the person dies.

The leaders of the community believe that the body should not be cut for any reason and believe that the surgery was intended to kill. So they place Newly in the jail and sentence he to hanged for the violation of their religious order.

When Newly fails to return to Dodge, Doc and Festus get so concern that they go out looking for Newly's location. When they enter the community they find Newly on the verge of being hanged. A shoving match occurs and in the melee Doc is shot.

Doc knows that the only way for him to live is if someone can remove the bullet and tie off the bleeding veins. The only person that can do the job is Newly.

With all the community leaders watching, Newly reluctantly performs surgery on Doc Adams with ice being the only material to numb the pain. When the surgery is over, Doc is unconscious and believed dead. Newly is again in violation of the community's values.

Even with the beyond-the-pale acting by Buck Taylor, the show plays out well. The acting by the guest and most of the cast makes the show worthy of a watch.

NOTE- the last episode filmed with Glenn Strange. He had died between filming and broadcast with lung cancer. In this episode that gave him one small line. It was hard to watch since it was clear that Mr Strange had difficulty speaking the couple of words.

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