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Wanted: GUNSMOKE (CBS/1955-1975)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JohnHopper, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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  2. GMBurns

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    It is surprising, but definitely welcome. Maybe sales of the recent releases have been good, and they are taking pity on us Gunsmoke fans who have shelled out so much coin for the first 15 seasons. Either way, I am thrilled to purchase seasons 16 and 17 so soon after season 15, and it gives great hope that CBS will actually complete the series.
     
  3. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    If that continues in that path, I will be busy reviewing these episodes of Gunsmoke throughout 2020 …
    And as Matt Dillon used to say to his opponents: “Hold it right there”.
     
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  4. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    When this Gunsmoke takes the checkers with its 20th and final go (1974-75), how do you think it will be labeled? I'd like for it to be called "Gunsmoke: The Twentieth and Final Season"; I hope it doesn't get the copout of "The Final Season" and no more.
     
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  5. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #13
    “Aunt Thede”
    written by Kathleen Hite
    directed by Sutton Roley
    produced by Norman MacDonnell
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    guests: Jeanette Nolan, Dyan Cannon, Frank Cady, James Stacy, Howard McNear, Hap Glaudi, Jenny Lee Arness


    Festus repairs the windmill of poor farmer Webb Norton (actor Frank Cady) who refuses to pay him therefore a wild fight starts when her daughter Ivy (actress Dyan Cannon) stops it. Meanwhile at Dodge City, Thede Haggen (actress Jeanette Nolan) stops her wagon and asks the address of her nephew Festus to Doc and Dillon and decides to settle nearby a creek. Dillon informs Festus about the coming of her aunt. Festus easily locates her. Thede Haggen explains that she looks for a husband and dislikes authorities. Back at the Norton’s farm, Webb has a violent argument with his daughter about his lover George (actor James Stacy). Thede Haggen buys some supplies, fashions an illegal alembic when she catches Webb Norton and gets rid of him and asks Festus to get some informations about a book that she owns: Little Women [by Louisa May Alcott]. Unable to read it, Thede Haggen believes she owns the Bible. Dillon decides to put an end to the moonshinning while the young couple gets married by Thede Haggen posing as a preacher and using the novel …

    It’s a light Festus clan entry combined with an impossible farmer love affair and one of the rare episodes directed by former magician Sutton Roley, perhaps the greatest journeyman on television (see his output on Combat!, Mission: Impossible, Mannix), and here, his signature shines from the start of the episode. Too bad, his talent is wasted with that minor script. Contains Jerry Goldsmith’s sentimental cue “Remember”.

    Actress Jeanette Nolan returns from the season 6 “Love Thy Neighbor” and Howard McNear from the season 8 “Anybody Can Kill a Marshal”. Featuring the daughter of James Arness who appears in one small scene at the grocery store and she returns from the season 9 “The Glory and the Mud”.
     
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  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #14
    “Hammerhead”
    written by Antony Ellis
    directed by Christian Nyby
    produced by Norman MacDonnell
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    music supervised by Herschel Burke Gilbert
    guests: John Fiedler, Arch Johnson, Linda Foster, Chubby Johnson, Don Briggs, William Henry, Pete Dunn, Tom Richards, Ray Hemphill, Gene Redfern, Bill Catching, Dan White , Chuck Hayward


    Wealthy financier Big Jim Ponder (actor Arch Johnson) goes to the livery stable of trader Fitch Tallman (actor John Fiedler) to pick a horse for his young daughter Carrie (actress Linda Foster) when Festus criticizes the herd so hard that Carrie decides to go to the rival trader named Wohaw Simmons (actor Chubby Johnson). Feeling humiliated, Tallman stirs up the Ponder’s and Festus about the quarter horse they selected named Hammerhead in order to start a race’s bet for $1,000 to proove his point. Festus chooses the distance: Dodge City to Cheyenne, Wyoming. A cowboy informs businessman Deggers (actor Don Briggs) about the competition and is willing to take his revenge over Ponder and therefore negociates with Tallman and raises the ante up to $10,000. Additional betters enter the game at the Long Branch. The big day occurs and Doc fires his gun to launch the race and three riders run. The Festus team encounters many ambushes from all directions, including sabotage and corruption.

    It’s another light Festus entry but about a horse race’s bet and it should be re-titled “The Big Race”. The episode starts talky and obvious and develops into an exciting journey into the country.

    Actor Arch Johnson returns from the season 7 “Wagon Girls” and Chubby Johnson from this season 10 “Chicken”.
     
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  7. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #15
    “Double Entry”
    written by Les Crutchfield
    directed by Joseph Sargent
    produced by Philip Leacock
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    music composed by Rudy Schrager
    guests: Forrest Tucker, Mel Gallagher, Roy Roberts, Nora Marlowe, Lew Brown, Fred Coby, Rudy Sooter, Cyril Delevanti


    At night and at Dodge City, a stagecoach stops and delivers businessman Brad McClain (actor Forrest Tucker) who crosses the streets of the town when a cheap punk named Yuma Joe (actor Mel Gallagher) fails to rob him and looses his handgun. The morning after, Matt Dillon meets his old friend Brad McClain and they ride together to talk about the good old days and business. Recommended by Dillon, Brad McClain negociate with old stage line owner Jake Bookly (actor Cyril Delevanti) to buy his business. At night, Miss Kitty organizes a dancing party at the Long Branch to unite Brad McClain with key people. The next day, banker Botkin (actor Roy Roberts) informs Dillon about the doubtful meeting of McClain and “ex-jail bird” Yuma Joe. After an old case of bank robbery, McClain helps the stage driver as a security man when the stagecoach gets attacked by the same Yuma Joe which raises suspicions. An important load is about to be transported by McClain but Dillon doesn’t trust him …

    It’s a decent and tragic character study about friendship’s deceit and duplicity. The tense outcome in the mine summarizes the relationship between Dillon and McClain. As in “Innocence”, we can see another stage line owner. At the Long Branch party, Sam plays the fiddle, Rudy the guitar and Doc sings. Later on, Festus performs a song at the Long Branch supported by Rudy at the guitar. The next season, director Joseph Sargent will select again actor Forrest Tucker and explore again Festus’ singing ability supported by Rudy in “The Storm”.

    Actor Cyril Delevanti returns from the season 7 “The Summons”.
    Actors Lew Brown (“Tell Chester”) and Nora Marlowe (“Uncle Sunday”) both return from season 8.
     
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  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #16
    “Run, Sheep, Run”
    written by John Meston
    directed by Harry Harris
    produced by Philip Leacock
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    music composed by Fred Steiner
    guests: Burt Brinckerhoff, Davey Davison, James Nusser, Tom Fadden, Ted Knight, Anne Barton, Arthur Malet, George Keymas, Peter Whitney


    At night, Matt Dillon meets the Stocker’s, a young couple, on their way to settle in California because they used to sell their ranch to freight company man Dan Braden (actor Peter Whitney) suffering from a heart condition. The next day, Tom Stocker (actor Burt Brinckerhoff) meets Braden who refuses to give him the money and an arguments starts and ends at the marshal’s office. Tom have too many drinks at the Long Branch and heads to the freight office where a fight occurs and Braden is shot dead while his office burn. The couple runs. Meanwhile at Dodge City, Matt Dillon has a hunch about the author of the crime. The couple faces many people (an old man, a farmer couple, a poor farmer) because of their need to eat. Dillon and Festus go after the couple and encounter all the people the couple bump into. Then Tom steals the horses of a stagecoach to replace them. Later on, the couple resumes to their wagon nearby Dodge City where the truth surfaces …

    It’s a sad Film Noir entry about fugitives on the run and a journey experience. The couple triggers a hostile reaction from the people they meet who sense their guilt. In the end, it’s the act of running away that leads to serious trouble.

    Actress Anne Barton returns from this season 10 “Doctor’s Wife”, George Keymas from the season 9 “Friend”, Ted Knight from the season 4 “Print Asper”.

    Actors Tom Fadden (“A Man a Day”), Arthur Malet (“The Boys”), Peter Whitney (“Harpe's Blood”) all return from season 7.
     
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  9. GMBurns

    GMBurns Second Unit

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    Season 15 of Gunsmoke arrived today and the episodes look very fine. Also placed my pre-order today for seasons 16 and 17. Can't believe I just wrote that without having to use the word "volume" in the same sentence!
     
  10. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    And I hope it's the same way for 18, 19 and 20!
     
  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #17
    “Deputy Festus”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Harry Harris
    produced by Philip Leacock
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    music composed by Rudy Schrager
    guests: Don Beddoe, Carl Reindel, Shug Fisher, Royal Dano, Denver Pyle, Ken Mayer, Harold Ensley, Bill Zuckert, Michel Petit


    At the Long Branch, three trappers led by Claudius Haggen (actor Denver Pyle) get drunk and destroy the saloon while fighting blacksmith Dave Carson (actor Carl Reindel). Matt Dillon arrest them, lock them up and asks Festus to guard them as a deputy because he is on his way to Hays City. Festus realizes that the three prisoners are his cousins. At night, Festus releases his kin and orders them to leave town while Mr. Halligan (actor Don Beddoe) complains to Dave Carson at his shop about a harness and hurts him by accident. Halligan runs when the three trappers face wounded Carson and, feeling scared, run quick. Halligan complains to Festus at the marshal’s office about the trappers. Doc takes cares of Carson. Halligan lies to Festus so that he goes after his kin. Teenager Glen (actor Michel Petit) asks Festus to keep the office. The Haggen’s resumes to Dodge City and goes free when Dillon informs Festus about his duty. Festus realizes that Halligan fooled him and reacts …

    It’s a light Festus entry about his hill clan that makes a veiled reference to Mark Twain, especially the teenager Glen character teaming up with Festus that loosely reminds the spirit of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Above all, it is the second Haggen clan entry this season: see “Aunt Thede”. Blacksmith-wise, Quint Asper is replaced by Dave Carson. The cast of Haggen clan consists of: Denver Pyle as Claudius, Royal Dano as Laumbert, Shug Fisher as Emery.

    Actors Shug Fisher (“The Promoter”) and Carl Reindel (“Easy Come”) both return from season 9.
    Actors Royal Dano (“Crooked Mile”) and Denver Pyle (“The Villators”) both return from this season 10.
     
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  12. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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  13. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 10

    Episode #18
    “One Killer on Ice”
    written by Richard Carr
    directed by Joseph H. Lewis
    produced by Philip Leacock
    cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.
    music by Harry Geller
    guests: John Drew Barrymore, Richard Carlyle, Eddie Hice, Dennis Hopper, Anne Helm, Philip Coolidge


    Former Mesa sheriff and newbie bounty hunter Anderson (actor John Drew Barrymore) arrives in Dodge City and talks to key members: Festus for his horse, Doc for his wounded arm and Dillon for a criminal. Anderson steps into the Long Branch and gets rid of two annoying cowboys that insult Festus. Dillon resumes to town and joins Anderson at the Long Branch who asks him to escort him to a shack at Timberline as a protection against his gang and to smuggle wanted criminal Gabe Starney back to Dodge. The morning after, both men ride and stop at the Rock Creek stage station and have a drink with owner Owney Dales (actor Philip Coolidge) and deal with the case of Gabe Starney while Helena (actress Anne Helm), the daughter of Dales, rides to join her lover Billy Kimbo (actor Dennis Hopper), the leader of the gang. Later on and at night, Billy and his two men attack the station and Dillon shoots Billy dead. One remaining gang member leaves while Helena is deeply hurt by the death of her lover. Both men ride to an ice house. Anderson shows two bodies to Dillon who understand he has been used while Helena leaves her father. Back at Dodge, bitter Dillon resumes alone to his office and gives a bank draft of $5,000 to Anderson. One night, Helena fires at Dillon who eventually makes her confess the real story of Gabe Starney’s death …

    It’s a very good bounty hunter entry that is highlit by the self-conscious performance of guest actor John Drew Barrymore. For the anecdote, we see Matt Dillon cleaning up his pistol at his office and Festus calls Anderson by the name of Andrews. The episode was directed by Film Noir (Gun Crazy, The Big Combo) expert Joseph H. Lewis. The same year, actor John Drew Barrymore appears in one episode (“Corporal Dasovik”) of Rawhide and still foreshadows the look of Robert Redford in his 1970’s savage mode a la Jeremiah Johnson.

    Actress Anne Helm returns from the season 6 “Bad Seed”, Eddie Hice from this season 10 “Blue Heaven” and Philip Coolidge from the season 7 “Old Dan”.
     
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  14. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    Bounty hunter Anderson (actor John Drew Barrymore).
    killer_barrymore01. killer_barrymore02. killer_barrymore03. killer_barrymore04. killer_barrymore05. killer_barrymore06. killer_barrymore07. killer_barrymore08. killer_barrymore09. killer_barrymore10. killer_barrymore11.
     
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  15. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    Gang leader Billy Kimbo (actor Dennis Hopper).
    killer_hopper01. killer_hopper02. killer_hopper03.
     
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  16. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    They will be and the word I'm hearing is that the show will be finished by spring of next year!
     
  17. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Wonderful! Where'd you hear it from?
     
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  18. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I'm guessing a CBS source.

    In the past, the delays tended to be based on waiting for the next season to be transferred/remastered. However, as someone already noted the CBS Syndication Bible has already listed all seasons of Gunsmoke as transferred. Thus, no need to delay.
     
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  19. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Great news! Hopefully Bonanza will also follow suit. Things are looking up, ever so slightly, in the TV-on-DVD market, what with these two series nearing completion, the vaults clearing for at least the first seasons of a few other long requested shows like Ben Casey and Our Miss Brooks, continuations of One Step Beyond and Public Defender, etc. - not too shabby!
     
  20. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Do you think that 20th and final go of Gunsmoke (1974-75) will be labeled just as the 12th and final one of O-R Jack Lord Five-O (1979-80) was? I hope it is.

    fiveo12-1. fiveo12-2.
     
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