Gunsmoke - The Director's Collection

Brent Avery

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
747
I never gave this series much consideration but since I enjoy Westerns went ahead and bought the 50th Anniversary Collection awhile back. This latest offering probably tells us that the chances of a season by season release may not happen. For some reason it has not really bothered me but it would be nice if Paramount got around to it. Like the Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp from Rhino I guess if you like it one takes what they can get. One thing I noticed is that three randomly chosen earlier episodes in B&W looked very good, nice and sharp, pretty well equal to Rawhide. I can't speak for the other episodes yet, especially the color ones but when I watch them I'll mention how they look. As a final note, there are a total of 15 episodes on three discs, each with their own keepcase. The Director's theme relates to various actors who get behind the camera, adding their unique talents - the set is in memory of Dennis Weaver and his character Chester.
 

Jim Douglas

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 2, 1999
Messages
255
I was looking at both of these myself. I started watching Gunsmoke on TV Land and got hooked on it from that. I always hoped for season releases but I'm like you it doesn't look like that is going to happen. Sad really. Some of the season sets you see released you really wonder "Why is that being released" but no love shown for a classic like Gunsmoke.

Not sure yet if I will pick them up but it sure is tempting.

Jim
 

Randy Korstick

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 24, 2000
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5,014
I'm waiting for a more detailed review of this set before buying. The Color episodes on the 1st set were the worst TV On DVD release I have seen by a Major Studio. Really abysmal with obviously no love for this series by Paramount. If they did they would have at least done a minimal restoration job on these and we would be getting season sets for the longest running TV show and most respected Western TV show. There is no justified reason for not releasing season sets. If they can release 3-4 seasons a year of I love Lucy, Andy Griffith Show and several other shows then they could release 4 seasons of Gunsmoke a year and have the whole series out in 5 years.
 

Randy Korstick

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Feb 24, 2000
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5,014

Bob
I did see that review already which is what I meant by a more detailed review.
But thanks for the link.
 

Roger_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
199
One correction...it's not a collection of episodes directed by actors. There's some of that (Dennis Weaver, Peter Graves, William Conrad, Victor French) but most are from traditional directors (Andrew V. McLaglen, Mark Rydell, , Robert Stevenson, Ted Post, etc.).

My copy came today and I've not had time to check it out too much but it looks like they're no longer featuring spoken introductions by James Arness.
 

Doug^Ch

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
451

If that review does not make you run out and buy this set, then nothing will. This was the best review that I have read in awhile and a brilliant summation of the Gunsmoke phenomena.
 

michael_ks

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
1,295

Indeed it is. Paul Mavis is probably my favorite reviewer of classic TV on DVD. He sums it up all too well when he writes:

"To today's largely younger, urban-based wirtiers who cover the entertainment field, TV 'history' is what happened when Friends went off the air. Gunsmoke, particularly the earlier black and white episodes, is prehistoric to their limited sensibilities".

When discussing how "Gunsmoke" ushered in the era of the serious western on tv, Mavis did, however fail to acknowledge the earlier and equally long running "Death Valley Days".
 

Brent Avery

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
747
My mistake Roger on the reason for a " Director's Collection" I just did not read the information too closely and "assumed". On a positive note, the four episodes - all on the last disc - that are in color, look much better than the previous release! Images are sharp and the color saturation and general detail are at a very good level. Hopefully Paramount will keep at it! I noticed some distortion on a couple of episodes, mostly in the music. But I suppose the passage of time has not been too kind in that dept. Still, if your a hankerin' for more of Matt and the gang it's a sure bet. Too bad we only get 15 episodes.
 

Dan McW

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
550
Real Name
Dan
Brent, can you post a few episode run times from this latest set, especially for "Love Thy Neighbor" (b/w) and some color episodes? "Quaker Girl," one of my favorite color eps, ran several minutes short in the first Gunsmoke set. The end-credit music for it was noticeably time-compressed. That one episode alone had me echoing Randy's thoughts (above, in post 3) about the first set and left me hesitant about buying the Director's Collection.
 

Brent Avery

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
747
Dan - I checked Love Thy Neighbor and the running time came out at 25min. 53 sec. And as for the color episodes, I looked at the first one "Mannon" and it ran for 50 min. 42 sec. Hope this helps.
 

Dan McW

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
550
Real Name
Dan
Thanks!

The DVD Talk review linked above had a ton of info on Gunsmoke itself but no running times listed.
 

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