Dal, the son of a rich rancher, is abrasive and abusive but cowardly when confronted, having always relied on his father's wealth and influence to get him out of difficulty. When up to his usual tricks, he gets one of the ranch hands fired. The fired man takes up with a saloon girl whom Miss Kitty hired after her father was murdered. Dal takes a fancy to the girl, tries to shoot his rival, and instead shoots and kills the girl. Chester witnesses it all, and goes with Matt to Dal's ranch to arrest him. Dal's father is in disbelief, but Dal is hardly worried, confident his father will get him out of this scrape as he has all others. After he is convicted, he slowly begins to fear he will hang. While his father works to save him from the hangman, he is disgusted with his son's display of fear, sure that if he were the one facing the rope, he'd go to the gallows "with a smile."Written by
R.G. Armstrong was only 9 years older than James Best when he played the latter's father in this episode. See more »
I just finished watching this show and when the final scene completed I said to myself, "that was probably the finest Gunsmoke episode i have ever seen in my life!" and then I read the other reviews ... you guys were spot on! If more westerns scripts were written like this, the genre would have survived the march of time... well done.
I also always liked the actor James Best (the "hanged" guy), but I never liked the characters he played... too bad they had to type cast him so his entire career, he really was a decent actor. Kind of a B movie kind of actor, until he finally found Dukes of Hazzard, which totally type cast him for the rest of eternity... now this Gunsmoke episode will be the way I remember him.
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