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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 #441 of 510 Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
    The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Chesterland:

    Okay, there's one logical flaw in this episode, at least I feel there is.

    How many times have we seen an entire family wiped out in the last 6 years? I lost count. In fact, I think the last time was a week before in The Squaw. They weren't legally married, so the hot Indian wife likely goes back to the rez, everyone else is dead, so a nice ranch opens up! Couldn't Chester have had his buddy Matt do some asset seizure or something, buy a nice place cheap at a police auction? Hell, since the entire family often winds up dead, why not just move in?

    Instead, he's out there farming dirt until the "don't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die" trope rears its ugly head and leaves us back at status quo.


    I know. "Repeat to yourself it's just a show, I should really just relax". Probably the best of the Chester episodes, IMO. The extra time helped here, too.

    Oh, and one more thing... had the anti-violence people gotten hold of the show by this point? I notice a lot less shootings and killings over the course of S6 and S7. And what we do get is often offscreen now. In The Squaw, we heard a shot and saw a reaction, but that was it. And I don't even think a single person died in Chesterland! I mean, unless you count Chester's soul and all. I think Miss Daisy pretty well murdered that. But not with a gun!
     
  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Which is what I've tried to do lately with many of the shows I like-- except with my own variant: "It's just a story-- it's not real life."
     
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  3. Message #443 of 510 Jan 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    Dan McW

    Dan McW Supporting Actor

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    The violence in Gunsmoke really tails off by the end of the 1960s. By then the onscreen killings had dropped considerably, and the iconic gunman-in-the-streets opening was ditched in favor of a shot of Dillon riding his horse while Arness' credit is announced. Another long-running series at the time, The FBI, also saw a drop in violence long about 5-6 years into its 9-year run.

    One early Gunsmoke episode, S2's "No Indians," could never have been done again in the series.
    Matt and Chester lie in wait in a barn and utterly bushwhack a group of white men who were slaughtering families and making it look like the Native Americans had done it. Matt expresses his utter outrage at what the men had done, but you never again see him just open fire on people without warning.
     
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  4. Dan McW

    Dan McW Supporting Actor

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    Last night, after I posted the above about non-violence, I watched the season 17 episode "Trafton," which opens with Victor French killing a priest on camera after looting his church of the gold items on the altar. Later, French terrorizes saloon proprietress Marie Windsor and bartender Mike Mazurki. Very mean episode which proceeds to an interesting conclusion. Arguably French's best performance of his many Gunsmoke appearances, and also a nice showcase for Sharon Acker and young Patti Cohoon.
     
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  5. Message #445 of 510 Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Season 8, in which Stroker Ace strangles Scotty to death (look it up. That's exactly what happened!).

    I read somewhere that in his last couple seasons, Dennis Weaver kept quitting. I think he's been in two episodes out of 8 early on. Chester is starting to phase himself out. Hell, Quint even made the main cast end credits starting with his second appearance, so it's obvious change has come to the cast.

    And speaking of, this is not the Burt Reynolds I'm used to. He sounds all wrong, for one. Looks and acts more like Brando than The Bandit, too. But, this was his early years, so it's forgiven.

    Oh, and season 7 began a new trope... well, maybe not a trope but a common occurrence I noticed: the overhead crane wide shot final scene. They loved that ending there for a while.
     
  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    Speaking of actor Burt Reynolds, he used to play in another old west series before Gunsmoke:
    Riverboat

     
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  7. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ Hey! Don’t go away! I’m still resting and dreaming about Miss Kitty!
    ¶ See you on Monday 3 for season 16 reviews.


    dillon16_27jan.
     
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  8. Message #448 of 510 Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    With the introduction of these complete season sets beginning with season 16, I found myself making a purchase of those two seasons. Each season contains multi part stories that are personal favorites. I had a bit of difficulty finding season 17.

    Upon receipt of these sets, I immediately watched the two-part Snow Train (really love the score) from 16 and the three part Gold Train: The Bullet from 17.

    I so enjoyed seeing these episodes remastered and uncut. Takes me back to my high school years and Monday nights in front of the tube. After also viewing P.S. Murry Christmas, I have retreated back to my regular schedule and have started season 9.
     
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  9. Message #449 of 510 Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    The Obsolete Man

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    After a few Quint appearances, I started wondering... did they get Burt in for more action?

    Chester couldn't provide much physical action because of his in character bad leg, and James Arness couldn't provide much in the way of action because of his real leg and foot issues, but Burt's out there drop kicking and wrasslin' and beating the crap out of people all over Dodge.

    There have been some Quint-heavy episodes. Way more than I would've expected for a new, young actor to the show.

    Also, they gave Quint more backstory in about three episodes than Chester got in three years. Must be the changing nature of TV from '55 to '62 and the hourlong format with more time to fill.

    So, Quint is a good addition to the show, especially since the "Matt's in Hays County again" era has started.

    A couple edits...

    The "Quint gets crap from the townsfolk because he's half-Comanche" storyline is getting a workout already. I'm about ready for it to go away and he's only been around less than a season.

    Don't know what you got til' it's gone department: Chester. Dennis Weaver is virtually non-existent this season. I don't know if I miss Chester or it's the lack of a regular second banana that's throwing me off. Maybe a little bit of both. I'm hoping Festus cures this itch eventually.

    And, a picture of my own before we get back to the recaps...

    [​IMG]

    And two more coming next month. I'm kind of worried about that final season with the CBS HE news, though. If there hasn't been an announcement by the week after 18 and 19 are released, well... I won't have very high hopes for a while.
     
  10. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Good stuff, Robert...that's quite a handsome collection!

    I know a lot of people are worried about the changes underway at CBS / Paramount...but I just can't see them not releasing season 20 at this stage...especially after the way they've been slamming these last few seasons out the door recently. Season 20's likely in the pipeline already. It'll come out, I'd be willing to lay money on it...but you could very well be right that it might be delayed.
     
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  11. GMBurns

    GMBurns Second Unit

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    Thanks for the reassurance, Jeff. I'm counting on your prediction being right. :rolleyes:

    But I do tend to agree with you. It seems like there is too much momentum built up to leave the final season dangling. It's kind of a touchstone for me at this point. I suspect there will be very little classic tv released from here on out, by CBS/Paramount or anyone. But if I can at least have the complete Gunsmoke in my collection I feel like I can live without everything else.

    My bookcase isn't as handsome looking as Robert's, but the Gunsmoke shelf definitely has pride of place.
     
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  12. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    I agree with you concerning the last end of DVD releases.
     
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  13. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    I hope this will not be the end of classic TV shows on DVD as a whole...

    ~Ben
     
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  14. Message #454 of 510 Jan 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Heh. Well, I should know better than to try and play Karnak when big studios are involved, Glenn...not trying to jinx this or anything. But I will be very surprised if, after all this effort - and nineteen friggin' seasons, with seasons 15 - 19 coming within the last 6 months! - that CBS / Paramount doesn't finish this series up.

    I'm sure we'll see a few more things come out in drips and drabs...but even if this is the end of the road for classic TV releases, then I think we collectors have come out pretty well, all things considered. In the final analysis, we've gotten an amazing amount of material released in the past 20-plus years, so many things I'd never thought I'd be able to see, let alone own. Even though I probably already own enough series sets to power my own classic TV station lineup, I'm still way behind the curve in my collecting...so even if Gunsmoke S20 is the last, dying gasp of vintage TV-on-DVD, I'll be playing catch-up on all the other stuff already released that I don't yet have for quite some time. For some odd reason, my Amazon wishlist never seems to grow any shorter. ;)
     
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  15. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    That's a heckuva lot of Gunsmoke! Hope that 20th and final one comes out very soon!
     
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  16. GMBurns

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    Good thoughts, Jeff. We often lament on this forum what we don't have or might never get to own, or what we wish some studio would upgrade. But I suspect if I counted up all the stuff I do have from 15 years of collecting, it's probably way more than I could ever watch in my lifetime.

    I guess the bottom line is that if I had to get by with only 611 episodes of Gunsmoke, I might actually manage somehow.
     
  17. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ I'm currently reading a Gunsmoke companion book written by Ben Costello.


    gunsmoke_book.
     
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  18. Message #458 of 510 Jan 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    I wonder if this round of cost cutting ViacomCBS did will ultimately mean all the 30 or so releases so far of Gunsmoke will be out of print on DVD soon, so that they can encourage us to watch this via streaming, courtesy of their All Access service?

    I hope that this is not the case yet, and that I hope season 20 will be out on DVD as well as a Complete Series box that includes episodes from all 20 seasons plus the TV movies.

    ~Ben
     
  19. Message #459 of 510 Jan 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    The Obsolete Man

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    Well, considering they haven't put more than two seasons up at a time on All Access in the, what, 5 or 6 years it's been around, I think Disc is still the surest way to see it. I checked... all I saw they currently had was episodes from S1 and 2, but I didn't check to see if they were complete. Though they proudly proclaim "72 episodes available with subscription"... 72 out of 635, and with 1 and 2 being 39 episode seasons, those two seasons they currently have up are missing 6 episodes between them.

    CBS All Access sucks for classic shows. They barely scratch the surface of their library, and the classic shows they do put up on there, most of them are woefully incomplete. They seem to be relying on Star Trek fans right now, and that's about it.
     
  20. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    ¶ Yesterday, I received my season 17 set of Gunsmoke.
    ¶ I double-checked some details. Matt still rides his horse fast before the prologue.
    ¶ I shot the onscreen credits for key production people and the disc menus on the spot.
    ¶ I will start watching the first disc on Saturday!
    ¶​
     
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