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VINE VOICEon August 10, 2015
Excellent history of one of radio and televisions greatest series. One quote from legendary film director Billy Wilder summarizes how highly Gunsmoke was regarded: "Everything on television is crap -- except 'Gunsmoke'."

There is much behind-the-scenes information regarding the environment on the set, what a pleasant experience it was for guest stars to work on "Gunsmoke" and be treated graciously by everyone involved in the show. There is also more information, much of it unpleasant, regarding Amanda Blake's departure from the show than I have seen reported elsewhere. Contrary to what has been commonly reported, Blake was fired after becoming much too difficult for the producers to work with. It is one of the few sour notes in an otherwise positive story.

There is also a full account of the 5 made-for-TV "Gunsmoke" movies that were produced years after the show was cancelled. I generally agree with the author's assessment of these films, including accounts of Jim Arness's obvious physical deterioration, but I still think they are well done, albeit far removed from the original "Gunsmoke" setting, except perhaps for the first one. I do enjoy "Gunsmoke: The Long Ride" more than the author does and he gives it very little space here. Among other things, the film features James Brolin in one of the most convincing and compelling performances of his career. There is also a wonderful appearance by Ali McGraw. The closing might well have been the very best end to "Gunsmoke" too, especially Matt Dillon's final lines at the gravesides. However, it was not the final "Gunsmoke" movie.

The book does not really replace the Gabor's monumental volume on the show, but should share the bookshelf with it as an equally valuable source of information.
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on August 2, 2015
Great book, Fair price, got here fast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2015
Gunmoke An American Institution is absoulutely great, I only wish that an affordable copy of the hardcover was still avaiible. As a huge Gunsmoke fan, and a collector of items related to the series this is a must have book for any fan of the show.

It clearly acknowledges the great acievments of the series, with honesty and humor and clearly the author is a big fan himself. The photos in the book are worth the price of the book alone.

I thought I pretty much knew everything about the cast and the show already from all I have read and heard over the years, but this book reveals things that no other account had before.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Gunsmoke.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2015
for OCD fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I could not put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2014
Outstanding reference guide for the genre. Highly recommended Terrific dealer, fast/secure delivery, great value/quality. A+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2014
Purchased this book as a birthday gift for my father. Gunsmoke is his all time favorite show. He loved the gift and tells me often how much he enjoys reading about the show's history and the information on the actors. Highly recommend for any Gunsmoke fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed the new insights I have from this publication. I had a autographed copy from the author and can't place my hands on, it because I am sure someone apparently felt they needed more than me. But Mr Costello did wonderful research and told me he had personally interviewed most of the cast. Fortunately he got to interview James Arness.before his demise. I think this is the newest most complete book on the subject. Many photos on set and behind the scenes let you feel like you were there. Book is large in size and easy reading.
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on May 29, 2014
Any fan of Gunsmoke needs to have this book in their library. A very comprehensive look at the best television show ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2014
This is one heck of a book and a wonderful tribute to what many of us consider the greatest western series ever shown on television: Gunsmoke. Lots of great biographical information about the stars and the production crew, interviews with Dennis Weaver, Buck Taylor and Burt Reynolds and a complete guide to all 635 episodes. Really enjoyed perusing the memorabilia section showing all the Gunsmoke spin-off merchandise. But what makes this book priceless is the hundreds of photos of the series regulars and guest stars and writers and directors associated with the production, countless episode stills and behind the scenes shots including 16 pages in full color. Pretty much the definitive book on Gunsmoke.
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