Gunsmoke - The Complete First Season

Overview

The original radio version of Gunsmoke was in its third year on the air when the TV version made its CBS network bow on September 10, 1955. Replacing radio's William Conrad as Matt Dillon was tall-in-the-saddle James Arness, whose chief claim to fame at that time was his portrayal of the title role in the 1951 sci-fi thriller The Thing. Arness was a protégé of film superstar John Wayne, who in a good-luck gesture appeared on camera at the beginning of the opening episode, "Matt Gets It"--which like virtually all ...
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Overview

The original radio version of Gunsmoke was in its third year on the air when the TV version made its CBS network bow on September 10, 1955. Replacing radio's William Conrad as Matt Dillon was tall-in-the-saddle James Arness, whose chief claim to fame at that time was his portrayal of the title role in the 1951 sci-fi thriller The Thing. Arness was a protégé of film superstar John Wayne, who in a good-luck gesture appeared on camera at the beginning of the opening episode, "Matt Gets It"--which like virtually all of the episodes seen during Season One was adapted from one of the original radio scripts. No sooner had this first episode gotten under way that Gunsmoke staked out its claim as TV's first "adult" western with a startling sequence in which hero Matt Dillon was shot down and nearly killed by the heavy of the piece! During its earliest episodes, the series boasts a different opening sequence than the familiar one in which Matt Dillon and an unknown assailant square off for a showdown in Dodge City's deserted Main Street. These initial episodes find Matt philosophically wandering around the town's cemetery "Boot Hill," as he introduces the story at hand via offscreen narration. Also, Milburn Stone's Doc Adams is younger and less cantankerous than he'd been in later years, while Amanda Blake's Miss Kitty is flashier and more flirtatious with Matt Dillon (Their relationship would always remain ambiguous, though it was clear from the "body language" of the two characters in the first season that they might have had something going on in the off-hours). Only deputy Chester, played by Dennis Weaver, is fully formed from the outset, though Chester's famous limp is a bit inconsistent--and, in at least one episode, he doesn't limp at all! Evidently in hopes of luring viewers away from NBC's high-rated The George Gobel Show, the producers of Gunsmoke stuffed the series' first season with no fewer than 39 first-run episodes,which were spread out over a nine-month period with but a handful of reruns. Appearing in several of these episodes are a number of actors who'd worked on the radio Gunsmoke, including John Dehner, Harry Bartell, Vic Perrin, Jeanne Bates and Lawrence Dobkin; and in the episode "The Pest Hole," Howard McNear, "Doc Adams" in the radio version, is seen as hotel keeper Mr. Bradley. Also seen on Gunsmoke's maiden season are such stars in the making as Charles Bronson, Claude Akins, William Hopper, Sebastian Cabot and DeForest Kelley.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Originally a dramatic radio show, Gunsmoke presented the adventures of U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon James Arness, who kept the peace in Dodge City, that legendarily wild-and-woolly frontier town of the late 19th century. Aided over the years by a slew of deputies that included Chester Dennis Weaver, Festus Ken Curtis, Quint Burt Reynolds, and Newly Buck Taylor, Marshal Dillon locked horns with some of the West's toughest hombres. In quiet moments he frequented the saloon run by Miss Kitty Amanda Blake and traded good-natured barbs with crusty old Doc Adams Milburn Stone. Westerns were all the rage on network TV when Gunsmoke first hit the airwaves in 1955, but the show distinguished itself from the outset with reasonably intelligent scripts, relying less on traditional horse-opera action and more on character-driven story lines and fairly complex moral situations. A frequent Emmy Award winner, the long-running series played host to innumerable guest stars, some of them well-established actors and others who were then just beginning to climb the ladder of stardom.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/17/2007
  • UPC: 097368521322
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 17:31:00
  • Format: DVD

Menu

Disc #1 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 1
   Matt Gets It
   Hot Spell
   Word of Honor
   Home Surgery
   Obie Tater
   Night Visitor
   Play All
   Sponsor Spot
Disc #2 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 2
   Smoking Out the Nolans
   Kite's Reward
   The Hunter
   The Queue
   General Parcley Smith
   Magnus
   Play All
Disc #3 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 3
   Reed Survives
   Professor Lute Bone
   No Handcuffs
   Reward for Matt
   Robin Hood
   Yorky
   Play All
Disc #4 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 4
   20-20
   Reunion 78
   Helping Hands
   Tap Day for Kitty
   Indian Scout
   The Pest Hole
   Big Broad
   Play All
Disc #5 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 5
   Hack Prine
   Cooter
   The Killer
   Doc's Revenge
   The Preacher
   How to Die for Nothing
   Dutch George
   Play All
Disc #6 -- Gunsmoke: The First Season, Disc 6
   Prairie Happy
   Chester's Mail Order Bride
   The Guitar
   Cara
   Mr. and Mrs. Amber
   Unknown Grave
   Alarm at Pleasant Valley
   Play All
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Big Jim at his Finest

    Well written scripts, excellent direction, and fine character performances are all here in the premier season of Gunsmoke. Least a potentional viewer think this anything like modern television drama beware. It is much more; so much more and so much better. Right and wrong are never confused but some decisions Marshall Dillion must make are difficult. These predate the era of political correctness and moral ambiguity and are much the better for it. If you love western TV you must have this set.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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