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Wanted: GUNSMOKE (CBS/1955-1975)

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

  1. Message #421 of 515 Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Yeah, Lou, I'm with Robert, and plan to keep both the 50th Anniversary set and the Director's set. The episodes themselves (the color ones, anyway) will look much better on the actual season sets, but as Randall pointed out, those two "best of" sets are worth keeping for their special features.
     
  2. Dan McW

    Dan McW Supporting Actor

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    I noticed a few interesting things about the two-part season-16 finale, "Dirty Sally." First, the original episode title was "Pike," as listed on the DVD set, and "Dirty Sally" was listed on the set as the "a.k.a." title, something that appears on many color episodes on the DVD sets. "Dirty Sally" was used in the DVD version of the episode, the first time an "a.k.a." title has been used through season 16. Another thing: the opening credits began with no prologue and used an open from season 18 or 19, where an announcer reads the supporting cast members' names and James Arness is read last, showing him in the pose against the gunman in the street that was used in earlier seasons. Also, the run time was 49:40 or so, about 30-40 seconds less than episodes through season 16. I wonder if this episode was recut and retitled in a later season and rerun to coincide with the TV series "Dirty Sally" that was spun off this episode. The shorter run time may have been the uncut time for a season 18 or 19 episode (we'll have to see when they are released). The two-part episode did include a complete recap of part one at the start of part two.
     
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  3. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 15

    Episode #24
    “The Thieves”
    written by Thomas Thompson
    directed by Philip Leacock
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Michael Burns, Royal Dano, John Schuck, Timothy Burns, Bill Callaway, Daphne Field


    Enroute to Dodge City, county jail Sheriff Burt Tilden (actor John Schuck) drives a wagon filled with three chained and unsteady teenager thieves on probation: leader Eric Tabray (actor Michael Burns) and his followers William Clarke (actor Timothy Burns) and Claude Jones aka Shuffles (actor Bill Callaway). Sheriff Burt Tilden is very rough with his three prisoners that he considers as bad seeds. Arriving in town, Dillon takes care of the boys and informs them about their next work: sweating at the Hales’ farm or going back to jail. Religious Mr. Gideon Hale (actor Royal Dano) and Mrs. Hale (actress Daphne Field) stop their wagon in town and remind Dillon that Judge Brooker only mentioned two laborers: William Clarke and Claude Jones. So Eric must go back to jail when Sam asks Dillon if they can hire him at the Long Branch. Sam introduces Eric to Louie, currently working at the livery stable to sober up, that shows him his room. Eric assists Sam at the bar and also notices the money and the handgun behind the counter. Later on, Sam gives Eric $5 and the right to visit his friends. Louie also begs Eric to get him a bottle but it fails. Eric joins back his friend at the farm. That night, bitter Sheriff Burt Tilden steps into the Long Branch and provokes Eric with the matter of his dead father and a fight occurs. Dillon stops it. The next morning, frustrated Eric pays a visit to his friends and tell William Clarke to go rob the Long Branch with him and excludes Shuffles. Things don’t go as planned …

    It’s a decent case of juvenile delinquency about the theme of the redemption of sinners and two parties try to help: the Hale’s for religious reasons and Sam because of his past. Oddly enough, young Eric and old Louie live under the same roof and have one thing in common: trying to start a new life. The character of Sheriff Burt Tilden acts like a cynical and prejudiced watcher. It’s directed by former Gunsmoke producer Philip Leacock. Actor Michael Burns is again typecasted as a troublesome teenager.

    Actor Michael Burns returns from the season 14 “The Hide Cutters”.
    Actors Royal Dano (“Stryker”) and John Schuck (“Coreyville”) return from this season 15.
     
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  4. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Season 6.

    A new title card in the end credits says "filmed at Paramount Studios". I take it that they moved production locations for this season. I hate new Dodge. It looks wrong. More cramped. There's no daylight anymore. Is this all an interior set now? No sir, I don't like it.

    Some other musings...

    If you're an "old friend" of Matt's, your life expectancy from the time we meet you is roughly 20 minutes. 25 with commercials.

    Somewhere in season 5, they really started getting weird with episode titles. Makes me wish they had been mentioned on air. I mean, who wouldn't want to hear "GUNSMOKE! With James Arness as Matt Dillon. Tonight's episode: MOO MOO RAID." Also, "Jailbait Janet". You know, I think I've seen something else with that title before. It wasn't Gunsmoke, but it did include someone getting blasted at the end

    Wifebeaters just don't last in Dodge. I don't think anyone minds that, though.

    Chester is surprisingly capable when alone or with Doc, but once Matt shows up, he's a useless moron.

    Matt usually wins at fist fighting, but man, he sucks at it. The episode where he faced the boxer... not a damn bit of defense. Didn't even try to rope a dope him, just stood there with his hands out to the side, letting himself get pummeled. C'mon, Matt, learn a simple cover.
     
  5. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    The same thing occurred on season 4 of Have Gun - Will Travel. These two, and all other 1960-61 season CBS in-house TV shows (cf. Perry Mason, Rawhide and The Twilight Zone), had a brand new jingle under the "Film Presentation" end cap.

    ~Ben
     
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  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 15

    Episode #25
    “Hackett”
    written by William Kelley
    directed by Vincent McEveety
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Earl Holliman , Morgan Woodward, Jennifer West, Robert Totten, Ken Swofford


    A freshly released from prison and revengeful former robber named Will Hackett (actor Earl Holliman) pays a visit to a farmer working his soil named Quentin Sargent (actor Morgan Woodward) that he calls Quent Schuyler: his real name as a bandit. Hackett reminds him his outlaw past and blackmails him when Geneva (actress Jennifer West), the wife of Sargent, appears and offers them a meal. Hackett tells her he is hired as a laborer in order to build a new roof. That night, Hackett goes to Dodge City to inform his men Tully (actor Robert Totten) and Bronk (actor Ken Swofford) that they will rob the 9:12 train and then travel to Mexico. At the Long Branch, Hackett threatens with a handgun Miss Kitty to get a glass of whiskey and scare Sam. The morning after, Hackett returns to the farm and orders Sargent to provide him with three getaway horses and six sticks of dynamite. At the store of Woody, Festus notices the dynamite bought by Sargent. Hackett forces Geneva to kiss him when Sargent resumes home. The big night occurs, Sargent drops a warning letter at the marshal’s office to tip them off. The bandits set up the ambush but things don’t go as planned and the aftermaths follow …

    It’s a good bandit and Film Noir entry that is well-served by actor Earl Holliman as the untamed and unbridled human beast who is tough on people he meets: Quentin, Miss Kitty, Sam, Geneva. Notice the intense scene with Sam at the Long Branch and his doubtful shotgun. The writer also highlights the sub theme of a former outlaw turns decent citizen. This one makes a good companion piece to this season “A Man Called ‘Smith’”.

    Actors Earl Holliman (“A Man Called ‘Smith’”), Ken Swofford (“The Devil’s Outpost”) and Morgan Woodward (“Stryker”) all return from this season 15.

    Actors Robert Totten return from the season 14 “The Long Night”.
     
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  7. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Monday night is my Gunsmoke night and last night I watched "The War Priest" episode. I must say that I really enjoyed Forest Tucker's performance. Yes, it's a bit silly when you think about it, but so far it's one of my favorite episodes of the season. Always love watching John Crawford work as well.
     
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  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ Sergeant Holly will return one more time during season 16.​
     
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  9. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ After that episode, actor James Nusser (wino “Louie” Pheeters) left the series. Farewell Louie!​
     
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  10. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 15

    Episode #26
    “The Cage”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Bernard McEveety
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Steve Carlson, Paul Stewart, Gregg Palmer, Ken Mayer, Robert Swan, Hank Brandt, Allen Jaffe, Jorge Moreno, Laura Figueroa, Joaquin Martinez, Renata Vanni, Pedro Regas, Araceli Rey


    Dillon and Festus ride in the wilderness when they notice buzzards in the sky. Nearby, we see the scene of a past shout-out and a locked prison wagon with two men: Roy Stewart (actor Steve Carlson) and his older brother Luke (actor Hank Brandt) who escape from the killing executed by their fellow gang members led by Benson (actor Gregg Palmer). Dillon and Festus find the prison wagon and release both men but Luke dies. Back at Dodge City, Doc treats Roy at the marshal’s office when Dillon asks Roy to confess the names of the gang members. Roy changes his mind and cooperates with Dillon and leads him along with Festus and Newly to the New Mexico village of Carcaros where he thinks Benson stashes his stolen gold loot. Roy is sent as a scout at the village where he meets his mute girlfriend Maria (actress Laura Figueroa) while mentioning a treatment for her voice and businessman Sanders (actor Paul Stewart) and pretends to negociate a money deal for the gold. Later on, Roy meets his boss Benson and his men when Dillon and his men neutralize the bunch. Roy leaves in a hurry with a gold-laden saddlebag and meets Sanders and his men at the meeting place of Rock Canyon to get the money. Roy double-crosses them in order to pay the fees of Maria but it has consequences …

    It’s an adequate young people love story and a modest bandit entry and it’s written by executive story consultant Calvin Clements.

    Actor Hank Brandt returns from this season 15 “Morgan”.
    Actors Gregg Palmer (“Abelia”), Allen Jaffe (“MacGraw”) and Ken Mayer (“Lyle’s Kid”) all return from season 14.
    Actor Jorge Moreno returns from the season 13 “The Jackals”.
    Actor Robert Swan returns from the season 4 “Wind”.
     
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  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    End of the line!

    TOP GUNSMOKE SEASON 15 EPISODES
    “Morgan”
    “MacGraw”
    “The Devil’s Outpost”
    “Stryker”
    “A Man Called ‘Smith’”
    “Hackett”
    “The Judas Gun”
    “Coreyville”
    “The Badge”
    “Albert”
    “Doctor Herman Schultz, M.D.”
    “Kiowa”
    “Ring of Darkness”
     
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  12. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 15THE SCORES

    INDEX OF COMPOSERS ONSCREEN CREDITS

    Luchi De Jesus
    “Hawk”

    Harry Geller
    “A Matter of Honor”

    Leon Klatzkin (18)
    “The Devil’s Outpost”
    “A Man Called ‘Smith’”
    “The Still”
    “The Innocent”
    “Ring of Darkness”
    “MacGraw”
    “Roots of Fear”
    “The War Priest”
    “The Pack Rat”
    “The Judas Gun”
    “Doctor Herman Schultz, M.D.”
    “The Badge”
    “Kiowa”
    “Celia”
    “Morgan”
    “The Thieves”
    “Hackett”
    “The Cage”


    Johnny Parker (6)
    “Stryker”
    “Coreyville”
    “Danny”
    “Charlie Noon”
    “The Sisters”
    “Albert”


    Notes
    Despite his monumental onscreen credits, Leon Klatzkin just writes a handful of original scores. Composer Luchi De Jesus lets one single score for the entire series. Find the return of Harry Geller after one season of absence.
     
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  13. Message #433 of 515 Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ Next on Gunsmoke: season 16, starting from February 3!
    ¶ I'm off during two weeks because I need to refill.
    ¶ Load your gun and be ready!



    gun16.
     
  14. Dan McW

    Dan McW Supporting Actor

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    Into season 17 now, and one thing that jumps out is faster, harder-to-read closing credits. The overall episode times are still in the 50-minutes-plus range (and that's what counts), but I think the producers trimmed a few seconds from the end-credit sequence while speeding up the credits at the same time. I used to think, watching my old TV Land tapes of the later Gunsmokes, that it was time compression that resulted in faster credits. The DVD set confirms that is not true. I think it was just a sign of the times--credits for many shows by fall 1971 were getting faster, a trend that continued into the '90s when they were hardly readable at all and eventually leading to the computerized credits in the margin of the screen that were run at warp speed.
     
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  15. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    I, too, am on a Gunsmoke break between the half hours and B&W hours. Though no oddly pink shirts here, just good old black, white, and grey.
     
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  16. Message #436 of 515 Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Watched the last episode of the 1st half of season 15, Richard Anderson as an Indian strained believability, Forest Tucker was still channeling his F Troop character. Vol 2 is due in the mail tomorrow. But I’m a sucker for solo Miss Kitty episodes usually, this however was a very weak episode. The tone was all over the place, still haven’t figure the motivations for the Tucker character, he was fairly vile yet they tried to make him comedic , and did they really make his reasoning because Anderson’s terrible Indian character was “one of the good ones” ?

    here’s hoping the second half of season 15 starts off better than it ended
     
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  17. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ I agree with you concerning the role of Richard Anderson that I associate too much with The Six Million Dollar Man.​
     
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  18. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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  19. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Well, I sort of fell back into watching the show. Not as much, but a bit. The hourlong episodes... I don't know if they hadn't adjusted to the format or I hadn't, but the first one to really click with me was the latest I watched... S7E5, All That. The one with Buddy Ebsen as the partner of a man who lost everything and came back to Dodge to take advantage of the greed of his so-called Friends.

    That episode, everything clicked for me. The writing, the length, the characters, everything. So either they're getting the hang of the new format, or I am.

    Not much Matt Dillon and crew in this episode, though. He was more the guest character than the actual guest characters. I gather it's going to be this way quite a bit in the future?
     
  20. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ Hey, don't go. I'm still resting.
    ¶ The best is yet to come …



    dillon16.
     
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