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Wanted: GUNSMOKE (CBS/1955-1975)

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

  1. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    On the whole, Disc 1 highlights good episodes including the first masterpiece "Seven Hours to Dawn".
    Next week, I will explore Disc 2 of Gunsmoke season 11. So stay tuned for more!


    PS: Season 11 is a genuinely good season.
     
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  2. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Festus performs a song at The Long Branch, accompanied by bartender Rudy at the guitar.
    storm01. storm02. storm03. storm04.
     
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  3. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #5
    “Taps for Old Jeb”
    written by Les Crutchfield
    directed by James Sheldon
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Ed Begley, Wayne Rogers, Morgan Woodward, Arthur Batanides, Don Keefer

    At night and at his camp, an old excentric gold prospector named Jeb Crater (actor Ed Begley) supported by his partner Sholo (actor Morgan Woodward) hire a stranger named Stretch Morgan (actor Wayne Rogers) to be their bodyguard. Arriving at Dodge City, Jeb organizes a big party at the Long Branch to celebrate his richness. The next day, Sholo complains at the marshal’s office that Jeb might be dead but actually he was clubbed from behind. Morgan is suspected. But things are not what it appears to be …

    It’s an absurb con game episode with a twist and features Thad who meets his cousin: Stretch Morgan. The episode should be re-titled “Fool’s Gold”. The character of Doc performs a song during Jeb’s party accompanied by bartender Rudy playing guitar and Sam at the fiddle.

    Actor Morgan Woodward returns from “Seven Hours to Dawn” and Wayne Rogers from the season 7 “Cody’s Code”.
     
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  4. Message #24 of 31 Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #6
    “Kioga”
    written by Robert Lewin
    directed by Harry Harris
    music by Lyn Murray
    guests: Neville Brand, Roy Roberts, John Hubbard, Hank Patterson, Ken Renard, Howard Culver, John War Eagle, Teno Pollick, Catherine Wyles

    Furs trader McCaw (actor Neville Brand) shoots down two Indians after having a lunch with them and heads to Dodge City but one of the victims named Kioga (actor Teno Pollick) is still alive and tracks him down to Dodge to avenge the death of his relative.

    It’s a decent little revenge drama. The story is served by a beautiful low key photography. Composer Lyn Murray’s score includes nice hapsichord passages for the character of Kioga—Murray used to work on Rawhide. Thad is absent.


    End credits for CBS composer Lyn Murray.
    murray.
     
  5. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Among other things, the treat of season 11 is to witness the lighting of DP Harry Stradling, Jr.
    See below his file:
    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005888/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Message #26 of 31 Feb 13, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 at 3:07 AM
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #7
    “The Bounty Hunter”
    written by Paul Savage
    directed by Harry Harris
    guests: Robert Lansing, Burt Freed, Wright King, Lisabeth Hush, James Anderson

    Bounty hunter Luke Frazer (actor Robert Lansing) posing as Turner accepts a $600 contract that includes 10,000 acres of land from rancher Thornton (actor Burt Freed) wishing to avenge his young son and picking up Otto Fry (actor Wright King) that changes his name to Lon Jensen. Frazer stops at Dodge City and tracks Fry down. Matt Dillon covers and warns Jensen. But later on, we learn that Thornton didn’t tell the whole truth about the events of his son’s death. Things take another turn…

    It’s a dual family affair (Thornton and Jensen’s), a marital dilemma, a good existential drama disguised as a bounty hunter intrigue. Actor Robert Lansing’s performance is impeccable and makes this entry exciting. Don’t miss the intense fight scene between diehard Frazer and his shady client Thornton at the ranch and its wild aftermaths. Festus knows Luke Frazer from way back. During the bath scene, we learn about the true motivations of Frazer. As in most series, the bounty hunter is considered as a harbinger of death and people refuse to cooperate with him. Thad is absent. Actor Wright King looks like Henry Fonda in this episode because he talks and behaves as him in his western feature films: see John Ford’s My Darling Clementine. The majority of the stock music comes from Leon Klatzkin’s “The Storm” and sustains the edgy and tense atmosphere of the drama.

    Actor Wright King returns from the season 9 “No Hands” and Bert Freed from the season 4 “The F.U.”.

    Recommended!
     
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  7. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #8
    “The Reward”
    written by Gilbert Ralston, Scott Hunt, Beth Keele
    directed by Marc Daniels
    guests: James Whitmore, David Ladd, Fred J. Scollay, Peter Whitney, Gilman Rankin

    Returning home at Dodge City after a prison sentence for gold swindling, Jim Forbes (actor James Whitmore) joins his son Brian (actor David Ladd) back and wants to prove to the townspeople that there’s gold in his mine. The gang of Clint Fisher (actor Fred J. Scollay) and Jason Holt (actor Peter Whitney) keep on provoking Forbes. The gang lets their impulses loose at The Long Branch while torturing Forbes at his mine to make him pay his debt.

    It’s a rough family drama about the themes of ostracism and redemption. Actor James Whitmore is good as usual.
    Director Marc Daniels has a good sense of composition: see the high angle shot arrival scene of Forbes intercut
    with close wide angle shots. Thad is absent.

    Actor James Whitmore returns from the season 10 “Dry Road to Nowhere”.
     
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  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    I hope you enjoy this trip to Dodge City.
    Next week, folks, it's disc 3 with these episodes: “Malachi”, “The Pretender”, “South Wind”, “The Hostage”.
    So stay tuned for more Matt Dillon's adventures!
     
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  9. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    For Kolchak aficionados, don't miss the Friday entry entitled “The Hostage”. And it's recommended!
    Note that in your calendar.
     
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  10. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #9
    “Malachi”
    written by William Putman
    directed by Gary Nelson
    music by Morton Stevens
    guests: Jack Elam, Harry Townes, Edward Andrews, Robert Sorrells, Rex Holman

    In Mexico, outlaw Del Ordman (actor Jack Elam) shoots down a member of his gang named Shobin (actor Rex Holman) who let kill his brother and, later on, at night, and in a clearing, an old horse merchant while bones trader and whiskey addict Malachi Harper (actor Harry Townes) receives a letter from his rich brother Ethan (actor Edward Andrews) announcing his coming. Malachi is obliged to pose as Dodge City’s marshal and asks the help of Festus, Doc and Miss Kitty to stage a simulacrum but Del Ordman pops-up and wants to kill the man who shot down his brother: the marshal. Later on, Matt Dillon returns home. Dodge City has two marshals now!

    It’s a fun light dual story episode that is served by a good guest cast: Jack Elam, Harry Townes, Edward Andrews. In a way, it plays like a spoof of John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Matt Dillon leaves Dodge at the start of Act 1. Thad is absent. This is the second score of CBS music head Morton Stevens after “Seven Hours to Dawn”.

    Actor Harry Townes returns from the season 10 “Two Tall Men” and both actor Jack Elam and Robert Sorrells from this season “Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood”.
     
  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 11

    Episode #10
    “The Pretender”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Vincent McEveety
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Tom Simcox, Tom Skerritt, Julie Sommars, Nehemia Persoff, Harry Davis, Gregg Palmer

    Ex-convict Edmund Dano (actor Tom Skerritt) and his elder brother Frank (actor Tom Simcox) return home to the farm of their parents and attend the official party at Dodge City when sheriff Jackson (actor Gregg Palmer) from Garden City questions Frank for the charge of robbing the stage’s cashbox. Both sons try to get a second chance but they keep on fighting each other and therefore their mother has a stroke. At night and with the help of a female insider (actress Julie Sommars) that he seduced, Edmund rob the money of the Freight Express head Mr. Daniels (actor Harry Davis) who gets shot.

    It’s a conflictual and existential Italian American family drama about the two sons of the Dano’s mixed up in a past dirty business and tackles the theme of fate and redemption: it’s also a pathos-filled story. The basic plot of the sons’ dilemma will be redone in the season 1 episode “Bitter Wine” with a Greek American family (also guest staring Nehemia Persoff playing again an angry father) from QM’s series The Street of San Francisco. The cast of the male characters is good: Tom Simcox, Tom Skerritt, Nehemia Persoff. Doc acts as a master of ceremony and performs a song at the Dodge City party accompanied by three musicians and among them, Sam and Rudy. Thad is present.

    Actor Nehemia Persoff returns from this season “Ten Little Indians”.
     
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