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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 Screenwriter

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    To be frank, he is not on his sarcastic Kolchak mode. He is straight as an arrow.
     
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  2. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #7
    “The Wrong Man”
    written by Clyde Ware
    story by Robert Lewin
    directed by Robert Totten
    music by Irwin Kostal
    guests: Carroll O’Connor, James Almanzar, Mel Gaines, Gilman Rankin, Victor Izay, Terry Frost, Kevin O’Neal, Charles Kuenstle, Clifton James, James Anderson


    Extremely poor farmer Hootie Kyle (actor Carroll O’Connor) is denied any credits from the general store and decides to play poker to raise some money and pay his $100 debt back. After loosing the game and outside of Dodge City, Hootie Kyle rob $30 from the winner named Tenner (actor Clifton James) and has a fight. Later on, the other poker players led by Harmon (actor James Anderson) kill Tenner to get his cash. Hootie Kyle is falsely-accused of murder and ends up in a cell for his trial but his two young sons break him from the marshal’s office. The three Kyle’s head to Montana but Matt Dillon and his posse go after them while the real murderers bump into …

    It’s an average sinister social mysery episode not far away from John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath. It’s another falsely-accused character after “The Good People”.

    Actor James Anderson returns from the season 11 “The Bounty Hunter”. The same year, actor Carroll O’Connor appears in one season 2 episode of The Wild Wild West entitled “The Night of the Ready-Made Corpse”.


    End credits for CBS composer Irwin Kostal.
    kostal.
     
  3. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #8
    “Whispering Tree”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Vincent McEveety
    music by Jerry Goldsmith
    guests: John Saxon, Jacqueline Scott, Edward Asner, Morgan Woodward, Donald Losby, Christopher Pate, Rex Holman, Allen Jaffe, Roy Barcroft, Ted Jordan, Fred Coby, Kathleen O’Malley, Stephen McEveety, Lane Chandler


    Released from an eigth years sentence and delivered by two police men on horse to the stage station, farmer Virgil Stanley (actor John Saxon) meets his former partner Earl Miller (actor Morgan Woodward) to split his share of a $40,000 loot from a robbery. Arriving at Dodge City, Virgil Stanley joins his loving wife Ada (actress Jacqueline Scott) and his two young sons but one man still tracks him down: sheriff Jack Edmond (actor Edward Asner) who has an old grudge. Unfortunately his land has changed over the years and Virgil Stanley doesn’t recognize the hideout of the loot and his partner gets impatient and gives him an ultimatum.

    It’s a decent and sad family drama about greed paired with a mystery. The three partners of Virgil Stanley are: Earl Miller (actor Morgan Woodward), Garr (actor Rex Holman) and Ryan (actor Allen Jaffe). As in “The Jailer” (also directed by Vincent McEveety), the episode starts with the release of a convict. Notice the score by Jerry Goldsmith and one sad and pastoral cue heard when Virgil Stanley runs to join back his wife leaving on a wagon will be recycled on a season 2 episode of The Wild Wild West entitled “The Night of the Lord of Limbo”. Composer Jerry Goldsmith previously contributed to another CBS western series: Rawhide in “Incident in the Middle of Nowhere” (season 3).

    Actors Edward Asner (“Hung High”), Lane Chandler (“Chicken”), Donald Losby (“The Pariah”) all return from season 10.
    Western series-wise, actor Ed Asner will appear the next year on The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Amnesiac”.
    Actors Rex Holman (“Malachi”), Allen Jaffe (“Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood”), John Saxon (“The Avengers”) all return from season 11.
    Actors Jacqueline Scott from the season 9 “Kitty Cornered” and Morgan Woodward from this season “The Good People”.
    For the anecdote, actor Stephen McEveety is the nephew of director Vincent McEveety and plays the boy named Richard from the stagecoach.



    End credits for CBS composer Jerry Goldsmith.
    goldsmith.
     
  4. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #9
    “The Well”
    written by Francis Cockrell
    directed by Marc Daniels
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Joan Payne, Lawrence Casey, Elizabeth Rogers, Woody Chambliss, Charles Wagenheim, Ted Jordan, Ted Gehring, Karl Lukas, Pete Kellett, Robert Ballew, Madgel Dean, Guy Raymond


    All the water holes are contaminated in the vicinity of Dodge City and people start to die. One well remains in town and it is rationed by the authorities. The situation is hopeless. Out of the blue, travelling peddler Dr. Tobias (actor Guy Raymond) stop in town and fails to be lynched because he pretends to be a rain maker. Meanwhile Festus scouts the country to get some water supply. Matt Dillon uses Dr. Tobias to divert the people by performing an Indian ritual.

    It’s a little and engrossing survival episode that relies on the creation of ‘an end of the world’ atmosphere and another multi directional story: the basic plot is the lack of water paired with a peddler and the fate of deserter soldier Jim Libby (actor Lawrence Casey) returning home. Compromised water source used to be the trade mark story from Rawhide. The ominous score of Leon Klatzkin helps to sustain the dry atmosphere as in the season 11 “Death Watch”.

    Actor Ted Gehring returns from the season 11 “Treasure of John Walking Fox”.
    Actor Lawrence Casey is known for his part of Private Hitchcock in the WWII series The Rat Patrol.
     
  5. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #10
    “Stage Stop”
    written by Hal Sitowitz
    directed by Irving J. Moore
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: John Ireland, Jack Ging, Andy Albin, Anne Whitfield, Joseph Ruskin, Michael Vandever, Sid Haig, Steve Raines


    Travelling on a stagecoach, Doc and his blind patient/ex-lawman Simon Dobbs (actor Jack Ging) stop at a stage station where they meet the brutal and dubious owner named Jed Coombs (actor John Ireland) who treats his wife Lori (actress Anne Whitfield) badly and work with a band of outlaws led by Curt Hansen (actor Joseph Ruskin). Later on and on the road, the stagecoach is attacked by the same outlaws and they take refuge back to the stage station where they treat the wounded ones and the pregnant wife of Jed Coombs. The outlaws now head to the stage station to get the cashbox!

    It’s a good ruthless and gloomy solo Doc episode, a stage station melodrama and, ultimately, an unusual love affair and the first job of Wild Wild West director Irving J. Moore. The bandits consist of the Hansen’s brothers Curt (actor Joseph Ruskin) and Wade (actor Sid Haig) and maverick Lingo (actor Michael Vandever). For the anecdote, both actors John Ireland aka Jed Colby and Steve Raines aka Jim Quince used to be leading characters in Rawhide but, here, the first one is a crook and the second is a stage driver. For the record, actor Steve Raines previously appeared on Gunsmoke in some season 4 small parts with no credits: see “The F.U.” and “The Constable”.

    Actor Joseph Ruskin returns from the season 7 “The Gallows”, Michael Vandever from the season 11 “Seven Hours to Dawn” and “Gold Mine” and Anne Whitfield from the season 6 “Don Matteo”.
     
  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #11
    “The Newcomers”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Robert Totten
    music supervision by Morton Stevens
    guests: Karl Swenson, Jon Voight, Ben Wright, Robert Sorrells, Charles Dierkop, Daniel Ades, Larry Aten, John Pickard, James Murdock


    The Swedish Karlgren’s family—a father named Lars (actor Karl Swenson) and his naive son Petter (actor Jon Voight)—leave a small town while they witness the hanging of a shady hide trader led by a vigilante (actor John Pickard). Arriving at Dodge City, the Karlgren’s join one relative: barber Birger Engdahl (actor Ben Wright). Petter has an argument with a wild drover named Silvee (actor Charles Dierkop) and, later on, kills him by accident in the livery stable but one hidden eye witness named Bob Handley (actor Robert Sorrells) sees the deed and tries to blackmail the family.

    It’s a cynical Film Noir entry about guilt and lynching and a devious blackmailer. The performance of devilish Robert Sorrells is noteworthy. Writer Calvin Clements tackles again the theme of running away from responsibility as the season 11 “Killer at Large”. For the anecdote, actor James Murdock plays the regular character of Mushy on Rawhide and we see him as a wild and drunk drover during the first meeting with Silvee outside of the Long Branch.

    Actors Charles Dierkop (“My Father’s Guitar”), John Pickard (“Killer at Large”), Karl Swenson (“Harvest”) all return from season 11, Robert Sorrells from this season 12 “The Jailer” and Ben Wright from the season 9 “Father’s Love”.


    End credits for the music supervisor.
    ms12_stevens.
     
  7. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #12
    “Quaker Girl”
    written by Preston Wood
    directed by Bernard L. Kowalski
    music by Leigh Harline
    guests: William Shatner, William Bryant, Ariane Quinn, Liam Sullivan, Warren Vanders, Ben Johnson, Timothy Carey, Tom Reese, Joseph Breen, Anna Karen, Nancy Marshall


    In the middle of the desert mountains, dying sheriff Wes Kester (actor William Bryant) asks Thad to look for and kill his prisoner robber Fred Bateman (actor William Shatner). Thad faces the vicious Bateman who first beats him up and tries to bribe him with money from a loot. After losing their horses, Bateman keeps on antagonizing naive Thad while crossing the desert. Bateman succeeds in reversing his social position but Thad reacts violently when a convoy of Quakers stop them. At Dodge City, Doc, Miss Kitty and Matt Dillon worry about Thad who carries $600. At the camp of the Quakers, the outlaw asserts that Thad is Fred Bateman to confuse the believers and he also poses as a righteous man and dresses as one of them. Thad gets along very well with a quaker girl named Cora Ellis (actress Ariane Quinn). Three saddle bums stop at the Quaker town and threatens them to get Fred Bateman and the loot!

    It’s a solo Thad episode, a good survival and imposter entry about the modern-day myth of the Devil through the figure of outlaw Fred Bateman who corrupts and twists the truth and keeps on laughing like a maniac and, as they say, the Devil even recites the Holy script! As in “The Goldtakers”, one outlaw poses as a disciplined man. As in “The Newcomers” with Petter Karlgren, the subtheme of innocence is tackled and the irony of the story is that naive Thad is considered as a devilish man by the Quakers. The cast of characters is really good and the cunning performance of William Shatner is noteworthy. This is the first job of Rawhide producer Bernard L. Kowalski and the film-making is inspired, especially the desert scenes. Rudy and Sam plays music for Miss Kitty at the Long Branch. The Quakers are played by Liam Sullivan, Ariane Quinn, Warren Vanders and the saddle bums are played by Ben Johnson, Timothy Carey as a Mexican bandito, Tom Reese. For the record, actor Ben Johnson is a recurring member of John Ford and Sam Peckinpah’s team.

    Actors Ariane Quinn (“Death Watch”), Tom Reese (“The Brothers”), Warren Vanders (“The Brothers”) all return from season 11. Actor William Bryant returns from the season 9 “Once a Haggen”, Timothy Carey from the season 3 “The Gentleman”, Ben Johnson from the season 8 “Quint-Cident”, Liam Sullivan from the season 2 “The Executioner”.


    End credits for CBS composer Leigh Harline.
    harline.
     
  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #13
    “Moonstone”
    written by Paul Savage
    directed by Richard A. Colla
    cinematography by Neal M. Beckner
    music by Morton Stevens
    guests: Mike Kellin, Ted Jordan, Fred Coby, Jeff Palmer, Tom Skerritt, Gail Kobe, Warren Kemmerling


    Pan shot up on a crow sitting at the top of a farm’s fence where Chad Timpson (actor Mike Kellin) ride to Dodge City with his simple-minded brother Orv (actor Tom Skerritt) meanwhile an outlaw calls for Chad and pins a wanted poster on the door of the barn. At the Long Branch, Chad talks to saloon girlfriend Madge Taber (actress Gail Kobe) when his brother gets mixed up in a feud with three drovers that is stopped by his intervention. Later on, Chad meets his old partner in crime Del Phillips (actor Warren J. Kemmerling) at the saloon and agrees for a showdown for the next day. Chad prepares his own funeral and manages a future for his brother but the final blow will come from his own kin …

    It’s a minor disappointed love affair episode about a man with a heavy conscience. It looks like a psychiatric family play done by Elia Kazan. It’s the second season 12 episode shot by DP Neal M. Beckner who used to work on the last season of Rawhide.
     
  9. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #14
    “Champion of the World”
    written by Les Crutchfield
    directed by Marc Daniels
    cinematography by Neal M. Beckner
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Alan Hale, Don Keefer, Ted Jordan, Charles Wagenheim, Jane Dulo, Arthur Peterson, Ralph J. Rose, Pete Kellett, Troy Melton, Dan Tobin, John McLiam, Gale Robbins


    Retired boxer champion Bull Bonnick (actor Alan Hale) working in a cosy New York City bar decides to sell his business and heads to Dodge City to buy Miss Kitty’s Long Branch. Bonnick meets a cheap swindler nicknamed the professor (actor Dan Tobin) who bleeds his money to create doubtful and unfinished businesses. Matt Dillon orders Festus to watch the actions of the professor. One day, Bonnick meets the landlady (actress Jane Dulo) of his sordid hotel who tells him the truth about his partner so he eventually faces the man who fools him from the beginning and, worst, pretends to be his friend …

    It’s a modest comedic con man entry about the themes of the deceit and the fish out of the water that is filled up with fistfight scenes with Thad and Matt Dillon. To illustrate the cultural gap between Bonnick and the townspeople, barkeep Sam pours some Champagne to four regular Long Branch drunkards. Unlike “The Newcomers”, Dodge City has a new barber played by Don Keefer. It’s the third season 12 episode shot by DP Neal M. Beckner who used to work on the last season of Rawhide.

    Actor Alan Hale returns from the season 6 “Minnie” and Dan Tobin from the season 8 “Panacea Sykes”. For the record, Actor Alan Hale will guest in on the season 4 episode of The Wild Wild West entitled “The Night of the Sabatini Death”.
     
  10. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    I have finally finished all of the half hour episodes and have begun working on the hour long episodes. I normally detail thes in the classic tv thread, but since this is Gunsmoke, I wanted to at least place these two here. Hope that is OK. Initial impressions of Season 7.

    Gunsmoke - Season 7
    Perce (7.1) Ed Nelson, Norma Crane, Ken Lynch. I generally like Ed Nelson and this episode continues that feeling. He was very convincing of a man who accepted the consequences of his choices and decided to change his ways. He aided Matt when necessary and seems ready to remain on the straight and narrow until he meets Ida (Norma Crane). She was also very convincing in her outspoken way that money/riches is the only thing that will turn her head. Perce was crushed when Ida wouldn't look at him as he was working at the stock yard. Her dismissal is the motivation for Perce's next actions. A very strong character driven episode to showcase the hour long format. Louie has always been a favorite bit player and he was given some very good moments in this episode. I did not enjoy Chester's solo scene with the alarm clock, to much of a sitcom trick and out of place.

    Old Yellow Boots (7.2) Warren Stevens, Joanne Linville, Bing Russell, Steve Brodie, Harry Dean Stanton, Dabbs Greer. A senseless killing to open the show and then we meet the players. A lonely prairie woman under her brother's thumb, a travelling murderer who is available as an escape and two travelling gunmen willing to do anything if the price is right. Interesting to see how a woman who is battered has time to make grand plans to inherit a farm. She is one massive manipulator. Every one who enters her orbit finds that she is toxic. Once again the extended time allows for stronger character moments and Louie is again the recipient of the extra time.


    I have enjoyed these first two episodes from season 7. I didn't start viewing Gunsmoke until the WWW was off the air (1969???). I was always more intrigued by Star Trek, Batman, Lost In Space, Dark Shadows, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, and The Prisoner rather than just plain old dramas. Sci-fi tech shows were more to my liking.

    I rmember that on Monday's, we were a CBS family so Gunsmoke it was. I thought Festus was funny, Doc was professional as well as ornery, Kitty had an unusual job for a primetime family viewing show and the hero routinely shot the bad guy (like the Rifleman, viewed in syndication). I guess Gunsmoke became appointment television since it seemed to be a family tradition. I have very fond memories of my entire family setting down and enjoying each new episode. Great memories; and these discs help recreate that feeling. I sure would like to be able to sit around the tv now and do that. So glad that these episodes have been remastered and look so good on a larger screen. Can't believe that I was so pleased when we moved up to a 25 inch color set from a 19 inch b/w set. I thought we had a movie screen in our home :D. My how technology has changed, but the memories are still there and can be relived.

     
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  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    Thanks for your testimony.
    I never experienced the show back then. I discovered it through the DVD releases.
    I planned to dissect season 13 and I will return to season 10 and then continue from season 14.
    I mostly focus on the Leacock/Mantley years that start from season 10.
     
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  12. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #15
    “The Hanging”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    story by Calvin Clements, Jr.
    directed by Bernard L. Kowalski
    music supervision by Morton Stevens
    guests: Tom Stern, Larry Ward, Robert Knapp, Morgan Woodward, Richard Bakalyan, Edmund Hashim, Byron Foulger, Kit Smythe, Henry ‘Delgado’ Darrow , Anna Navarro, Hank Patterson, Charles Wagenheim, Ted Jordan


    Escaped convict and hardened criminal Billy Boles (actor Tom Stern) enters a country house, guns down an old couple and gets some food when Matt Dillon, Festus and Thad eventually arrest him. This is carnival time in Dodge City, calliope music is all over and many dubious strangers pop-up. Dillon and his team bring back Boles to the office when Hays City citizen Preston (actor Larry Ward) fails to shoot down the prisoner to avenge his late wife. The Hays City judge sends a telegraph and orders to hang Billy Boles in Dodge City and Dillon needs a hangman when poor Mexican family father Oro (actor Henry Darrow) accepts the infamous job. Five accomplices of Boles plan to break him from his cell because they want their share of the loot. A female insider posing as his wife infiltrates the marshal’s office and learns the time of the execution: 4 A.M.

    It’s a rather good gallow episode that is served by Bernard L. Kowalski’s film-making. The script was written by the Clements family: Senior and Junior. The accomplices of Billy Boles consist of Robert Knapp as Warren, Kit Smythe as Ivy, Morgan Woodward as Beamont, Richard Bakalyan as Teems, Edmund Hashim as Saline. Find the third barber this season after “The Newcomers” and “Champion of the World”. Notice the same gypsy calliope player with a monkey straight from the season seven episode of Rawhide entitled “The Book”, also directed by Bernard L. Kowalski. For the anecdote, at the very end of the epilogue, CBS musical director Morton Stevens uses a quick comical cue that he also tracks on The Wild Wild West: see “The Night of the Big Blast”.

    Actor Edmund Hashim returns from the season 11 “The Brothers”, Robert Knapp from the season 9 “Kate Keller”, Larry Ward from the season 11 “Sanctuary”, Morgan Woodward from this season “The Good People” and “Whispering Tree”.
     
  13. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #16
    “Saturday Night”
    written by Clyde Ware
    directed by Robert Totten
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Leif Erickson, William Watson, Victor French, Louis Massad, John Garwood, Al Dunlap, Link Harget, Clyde Howdy, Frederic Downs, Dub Taylor, James Almanzar, Lawrence Mann


    Thirsty Matt Dillon and his hardened prisoner Carl Craddock (actor William Watson) travel on foot and drink at a tiny poisoned water hole but without knowing it. Later on, they are rescued at the last minute by cattle men led by trail boss Virgil Powell (actor Leif Erickson) from Texas. One of the drovers with the new name of C.K. Ross (actor Victor French) knows the criminal from way back and makes a deal: getting half of a $6,000 loot against freedom. After a couple of days, Dillon and Craddock leave the drovers on horse. At night, the cattle drive stops at the Long Branch and has fun inside and outside. The drovers unwind completely and Dillon has to watch them. Ross uses a bunch of drunk drovers to break Craddock out of jail so that he kills Dillon but things go wrong …

    It is an entertaining and colorful rough sketch drama that starts out as a solo Matt Dillon adventure and turns into a wild cattle drive entry that is very Rawhide style. It’s also the flip side of the season 11 “Seven Hours to Dawn” (also written by Clyde Ware) because a band of intruders runs amok. DP Harry Stradling Jr. does a good job during the Expressionist prologue and the night scenes at Dodge City. Writer Clyde Ware unites all the elements that make an exciting episode but, in the end, none of the guest characters (the trail boss, the antagonizing criminal, the crooked drover) are fleshed out enough and the revengist subplot of Craddock is shallow and lasts a few minutes. I really like the prologue that has a survival edge to it because Dillon has to gun his horse down and rushes to an almost dry river bed. As in the previous “The Hanging”, find another hard convict episode waiting for his release. Matt Dillon works as a drover for trail boss Virgil Powell. Two drovers play the tune Camptown Races at the harmonica and the jaw harp at the camp. Actor Dub Taylor plays the drive’s cook and the harmonica player. At the Long Branch, Rudy and Sam and the cook play music and sing.

    Actor Victor French (“Wishbone” and “Prime of Life”) and Dub Taylor (“My Father’s Guitar”) all return from season 11.
     
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  14. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #17
    “Mad Dog”
    written by Jay Simms
    directed by Charles R. Rondeau
    music by Harry Geller
    guests: George Murdock, Butch Patrick, Bert Madrid, George Lindsey, Sam Reese, Hoke Howell, Iggie Wolfington, Dub Taylor, Denver Pyle


    Heading to Bucklin to straighten a family matter out, Festus stops at an empty camp and discovers a dying man named Jim Travers (actor George Murdock), profession: gunfighter. Arriving at Bucklin, Festus is confused for the gunfighter and the mayor (actor Iggie Wolfington) replacing the sheriff hires Festus for $300 to protect him and kill the three Watson brothers. Later on and after refusing the deal, Festus is gunned down by one of the brothers and bitten by a “mad dog” with rabies. The local physician Dr. Henry Rand (actor Denver Pyle) tells Festus he has only ten days to live and Festus accepts the mayor’s contract. The mad dog pops-up at the American saloon so the fate of poor Festus takes another turn …

    It’s an amusing solo Festus adventure, a light entry about contagion and a case of mistaken identity owing to a fancy saddle. The Watson brothers are played by George Lindsey (Pinto), Sammy Reese (Buff), Hoke Howell (Roan). After Richard Shores and Morton Stevens and Fred Steiner, this is the fourth composer working on The Wild Wild West. During that season, both Stevens and Geller write together the score “The Night of the Returning Dead”.

    Actors Denver Pyle (“The Goldtakers”) and Dub Taylor (“Saturday Night”) both return from this season 12. For the anecdote, actor George Murdock appears the same year on a season 2 episode of The Wild Wild West entitled “The Night of the Feathered Fury” as Luther Coyle, one of Count Manzeppi’s accomplices.


    End credits for CBS composer Harry Geller.
    geller.
     
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  15. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #18
    “Muley”
    written by Les Crutchfield
    directed by Allen Reisner
    cinematography by Neal M. Beckner
    music by Morton Stevens
    guests: Lane Bradbury, Zalman King, Anthony D. Call, Marc Cavell, Ross Hagen


    On his way to go up and see Doc, Matt Dillon gets shot from the rear by a stranger dressed as a Mexican with a beard. A posse led by Festus and Thad go after the murderer who removes his disguise near a lake and later bumps into the posse. The stranger named Muley Proddert (actor Zalman King) stops at the Long Branch to get a beer when saloon girl Lucky (actor Lane Bradbury) talks to him because she is attracted. The posse returns to Dodge City with nothing. The three gang members of Muley arrive in town and he must update and delay his bank robbery plan. Dillon has a hunch concerning Muley and stages a simulacrum.

    It’s an interesting and ambiguous outlaw love affair. The start of the episode is very good and reminds an espionage caper straight from The Wild Wild West, especially the season 3 “The Night of the Assassin” which will feature the same basic assassin prologue. The love affair takes over the initial plot. The Actor’s Studio acting of Zalman King reminds Paul Newman in Arthur Penn’s 1958 The Left Handed Gun. The best scene remains the discovery of Muley’s brother tombstone. The gang of Muley consists of Kay Cee (actor Ross Hagen), Pell (actor Anthony D. Call), Arky (actor Marc Cavell): Muley keeps on antagonizing Kay Cee. As in the season 11 “Seven Hours to Dawn”, Matt Dillon is shot down and presumed dead and Festus mentions a bogus gold shipment. It’s the fourth and final season 12 episode shot by DP Neal M. Beckner who used to work on the last season of Rawhide. Contains stock music.

    Actress Lane Bradbury returns from the season 11 “Outlaw’s Woman” and actor Zalman King from this season “The Jailer”.
     
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  16. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #19
    “Mail Drop”
    written by Calvin Clements, Sr.
    directed by Robert Totten
    music supervision by Morton Stevens
    guests: Eddie Hodges, John Anderson, Woody Chambliss, Sarah Selby, James Nusser, Steve Raines, Ted French, Bing Russell


    A hidden stranger named Walsh (actor Bing Russell) stares at the stagecoach in which he sees a boy named Billy Johnson coming out who asks Festus and Dillon where to locate his trail boss father (actor John Anderson). A few minutes later, Dillon tells Festus that the father is a wanted criminal. At night, Dillon goes see trail boss Steve (actor Steve Raines) about Bill Roberts. At the marshal’s office, the boy discovers the wanted poster of his father and runs away and meets his father in his bedroom. Dillon picks up Johnson and goes look for the outfit along with Thad. Later on, the boy breaks out his father from the marshal’s office who receives a bullet in the back and joins his gang of rustlers. Festus uncracks the ring when the boy and his father ride out.

    It’s an average outlaw family drama that is the companion piece to the previous “Muley” in terms of intricate outlaw relationship.

    Actor John Anderson returns from the season 11 “Gold Mine” and “The Raid”, Ted French from the season 11 “Prime of Life”, Bing Russell from the season 10 “Chief Joseph” and Sarah Selby from the season 9 “The Kite”. After “Stage Stop”, this is the second season 12 appearance of Rawhide actor Steve Raines.
     
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  17. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    So to sum-up the Gunsmoke schedule:
    • Finishing season 12
    • Starting season 13
    • Going back to season 10
    • Fast forward to season 14
     
  18. Message #118 of 271 May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #20
    “Old Friend”
    written by Clyde Ware
    directed by Allen Reisner
    music by Leon Klatzkin
    guests: Fritz Weaver, Delphi Lawrence, Valentin de Vargas, Carlos Rivas, David Renard, Lew Brown, James Chandler, Robert B. Williams, William Benedict, Joe Haworth, Kelton Garwood, Pete Dunn


    Returning home to Colton, Arizona, marshal Burl Masters (actor Fritz Weaver) discovers the destruction of the town and learns the death of his girlfriend Willa (actress Delphi Lawrence) by the Apache brothers and sees the angry population. Months later after tracking down the outlaws and at night, bitter and edgy Masters stops at the Long Branch and guns down Deak, an accomplice of the Apache brothers, and meets again his old friend: Matt Dillon. Henchman Fret Smith (actor Lew Brown) tells Apache brothers leader Cheeno (actor Valentin de Vargas) about the death of Deak and sends Willa to trap Masters and Matt Dillon’s posse. Cheeno plans to raid the bank but Masters decides to do his own justice …

    It’s a real good diehard and eaten from the inside vigilante drama that is served by the uncompromising performance of Fritz Weaver playing a mad killing machine who shoots anybody that suprises and resists him. Features Leon Klatzkin’s atmospheric stock music that enhances the suspense. After “The Good People”, find the second appearance of undertaker Percy Crump. The Apache brothers consist of leader Cheeno (actor Valentin de Vargas), Boley (actor David Renard), Trail (actor Carlos Rivas) and henchman Fret Smith (actor Lew Brown). The interior set of the Apache brothers hideout is recycled from “Champion of the World”.

    Actor Lew Brown returns from the season 10 “The New Society”.
     
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  19. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    GUNSMOKE SEASON 12

    Episode #21
    “Fandango”
    written by Don Ingalls
    directed by James Landis
    music supervision by Morton Stevens
    guests: Mario Alcalde, Diana Muldaur, Torin Thatcher, Joe Higgins, Walter Baldwin, Fletcher Bryant, Paul Fix, Shug Fisher


    Crossing the wilderness, Matt Dillon sees Mexican wanted criminal and ex-farmer Lorca (actor Mario Alcalde) that he shoots down and forces him to travel to Dodge City for his trial. Lorca is not only wanted by the law but by Australian sheep proprietor John Tyson (actor Torin Thatcher) on his way to avenge. After facing a sheepmen posse and killing Ben Tyson (actor Fletcher Bryant), they stop at the local doctor named Lacey (actor Paul Fix) from a little town owned by the Tyson’s in order to heal the injured arm of the prisoner. Laurel (actress Diana Muldaur), the daughter of John Tyson, provides them horses so that she can follow them and runs away from her tyranical father. Ruthless John Tyson punishes or kills on sight everybody who helps the fugitives and meets them at a train station for the grand finalé!

    It’s a raw and nihilistic solo Matt Dillon adventure and a survival entry paired with the dilemma of a daughter from an Australian family of sheep farmer. The writing is too rushed and the story is filled with un-necessary minor characters (the doctor, the sheep keeper) that don’t move the intrigue and, above all, the main guests are not engrossing enough. The beginning of Act 1 reminds the prologue from “Saturday Night”, meaning the search for a water hole.

    Actor Shug Fisher returns from this season “The Good People” and Paul Fix from the season 11 “Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood”.
     
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  20. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Just finished disc 2 of Season 7. I am really enjoying these 1 hour episodes. I have not seen much evidence of extensive padding.

    All That (7.5) John Larch, Buddy Ebsen, Guy Raymond, Harry Lauter, Frances Helm, Gage Clarke. Something I have never seen before, John Larch as a sympathetic character. He was under makeup and had grayer hair than normal to make him appear as someone in his 6o's whose life was going nowhere. He couldn't sell cattle, his lease was due and his wife left him. He goes to Colorado and spends at least a year searching for gold. He meets Buddy Ebsen and plots his revenge against his bad luck by deceit. A serio-comic tale where you root for Larch's character. I really enjoyed this one.

    Long, Long Trail (7.6) Barbara Lord, Mabel Albertson, Alan Baxter, Robert Dix. Sarah comes to Dodge looking for passage to Fort Wilson. She is informed that there is no safe way to the fort. She is determined to go there to be with her fiance. She sets out following Matt. They end up travelling together and this becomes a restrained love story. Matt remains honorable and they are faced with many obstacles; prairie fires, Indian attacks, Matt being wounded and a helpful farmer who then is looking for a little something extra. Strong story with the inevitable outcome.

    The Squaw (7.7) John Dehner, Paul Carr, Vitina Marcus, Bob Hastings, Bill Erwin. A widower enjoys women while his straitlaced son wishes his father would act respectably. Dad marries to please his son, only he marries an Arapaho. The son is soon faced with ridicule in town, resorts to wearing a gun and still wishes his father would get rid of the "squaw". Tension builds to an explosive and cutting climax. Nobody wins in this well told tale.

    Chesterland (7.8) Sondra Blake, Earle Hodgins, Sarah Selby. Chester is in love and leaves the Marshall's office to purchase some farmlandand become a farmer. The land is more difficult than Chester imagined and he resorts to building a dugout for Miss Daisy. He proposes on their first date and she states she only came west to find a husband. Chester ignores the warning sign and goes ahead making plans without keeping Daisy updated. Chester's dugout is flooded and he turns the water well into a money making venture. He sends Daisy to Dodge with the money. The well has an issue and Chester goes to the bank to withdraw money for a repair and gets bad news. Dennis Weaver is on a roll with his portrayal of Chester, from his giddy "ups" after his first date to the almost tearful tag. Excellent work.

    Looking forward to my next visit with the fine folks of Dodge.
     
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