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Gunsmoke - The Directors Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An impressive roster of Hollywood talent brings a keen eye to the camera lens in this Gunsmoke DVD Collection that spotlights the series' acclaimed directors. The courage, character and spirit of the American West blazes across the screen in a television series that set a standard for entertainment excellence during its 20-year run. Join James Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Dennis Weaver and Ken Curtis in this fascinating collection of episodes filmed by such talents as Robert Stevenson (Old Yeller, Mary Poppins), Arthur Hiller (The Out-Of-Towners, Silver Streak), Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond, The Rose) and Andrew V. McLaglen (McLintock!, Chisum, Hellfighters). This three-disc set also features episodes shot by such familiar on-camera talents as Dennis Weaver, Peter Graves, William Conrad and Victor French as they step behind the camera, don a director's cap, and add a unique, personal perspective to Gunsmoke's celebrated heritage of rugged western adventures.

Amazon.com

As a splendid sampler of standout episodes from the 20-season history of Gunsmoke, this well-chosen Directors Collection is a bona fide treasure. Fans of the long-running Western series will appreciate the archival care that went into this set: Not only does it provide a comprehensive overview of the series' evolution (from original radio shows to one-hour color episodes from the 1960s and '70s), but it also delivers a priceless abundance of oral TV history in the form of audio commentaries, some recorded by series stars and directors (like Dennis Weaver, a.k.a. "Chester") shortly before their death. The fact that this set "is dedicated with love to Dennis Weaver from his Gunsmoke family at CBS" indicates the deep affection that Gunsmoke inspired among cast, crew, and fans alike. This set gathers 15 episodes on three DVDs, with disc 1 containing seven episodes in the black-and-white, half-hour format that Gunsmoke maintained for its first six seasons (1955-61). Discs 2 and 3 contain four one-hour episodes each, culled from subsequent seasons (with disc 3 containing full-color episodes from seasons 14, 16, 17, and 20). Picture and sound quality is remarkably good, although some of the earliest episodes have a slightly grainy look that's common to DVD transfers of TV episodes of this vintage (like Have Gun, Will Travel).

The Directors Collection is a showcase for rookies and veterans alike whose filmmaking careers were boosted by Gunsmoke. Andrew V. McLaglen (who directed 95 episodes, far more than anyone else) is represented by season 8's "US Haggens," and his commentary is a highlight of the set. The episode commentaries (by John Rich, Arthur Hiller, Dennis Weaver, McLaglen, Mariette Hartley, and Harry Harris Jr., Mark Rydell, and Peter Graves--brother of series star James Arness) offer a wealth of Gunsmoke history, and while Hartley (a rising star in the early '60s) did not direct the eighth-season episode "Cotter's Girl," her commentary with director Harris is a real treat, as they playfully argue over their memories of the episode's production. Gunsmoke's excellent writing is evident throughout, including the third-season episode "How to Kill a Woman," written by David S. (Sam) Peckinpah, who would soon begin his own illustrious directorial career. Additional special features include four original CBS broadcasts of the Gunsmoke radio show (which starred William Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon, the role played on TV by James Arness); an eight-minute interview with Amanda "Miss Kitty" Blake, from The Mike Douglas Show; a excerpt from a soundtrack scoring session, and a clip from Have Gun, Will Travel featuring Ken Curtis, who played "Festus" on Gunsmoke. Taken as a whole, the episodes and special features of The Directors Collection qualify as one-stop shopping for the best that Gunsmoke had to offer. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • Episodes directed by on-camera talents such as Dennis Weaver, Peter Graves, William Conrad and Victor French
  • Four original CBS Gunsmoke Radio broadcasts
  • Soundtrack scoring sessions
  • Amanda Blake on The Mike Douglas Show
  • Have Gun, Will Travel clip with Ken Curtis

Product Details

  • Actors: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis, Dennis Weaver
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 585 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H7JCHI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunsmoke - The Directors Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
According to the great site tvshowsondvd.com the following episodes are in this set.

Disc 1

Magnus - 12/24/55

Chester's Mail Order Bride - 7/14/56

How To Kill A Woman - 11/30/57

Buffalo Man - 1/11/58

The Constable - 5/30/59

Old Flame - 5/28/60

Love Thy Neighbor - 1/28/61

Disc 2

Cotter's Girl - 1/19/63

US Haggens - 12/8/62

Ten Little Indians - 10/9/65

Which Dr. - 3/19/66

Disc 3

Mannon - 1/20/69

Captain Sligo - 1/4/71

The Legend - 10/18/71

Brides And Grooms - 2/10/75

Special features will include:

CBS Radio broadcasts of "Magnus," "How To Kill A Woman," "Buffalo Man," and "The Constable"

Have Gun Will Travel clip from "The Naked Gun" with Ken Curtis

Mike Douglas Show with Amanda Blake

Soundtrack scoring session at CBS Studio Center
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It was very difficult to not start viewing this set as soon as it arrived but alas as a Christmas present I held off until 25 DEC. As a hardcore Gunsmoke fanatic ,having seen the first Gunsmoke episode as a 8 year old boy in 1955, it is always great to see my favorite western uncut and restored. As with the original 50th Anniversary set there is an excellent balance of episodes.

There are not as many extras on this set. The theme of the Directors collection allowed me to hear for the first time Peter Graves (Jim Arness's brother) talk about their experiences. Other than Jim's book there is almost no info regarding them together. I was disappointed in the radio episodes, the quality was terrible. I am a collector and I know that many of the radio episodes exist in pristine condition. I'm afraid that some viewers will possibly think that all of the radio episodes only exist in the condition of those on the DVD.

I would really like to see the black and white hour long episodes featured more on the next set because they are the ones that get very little to no cable airtime.

This set is a must have for the serious Gunsmoke collector, the opening gives a goodbye to Dennis Weaver and it is sad that nearly everyone associated with the series is gone.

CJ WEST

Morrow, GA
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This is a great collection of 15 of some of the best Gunsmoke episodes spanning from season one to twenty. It was the perfect gift for my husband, an avid Gunsmoke fan. The quality of the recording is excellent, and you can't beat the well-written stories and excellent acting of each episode. The extras - interviews and back stories - are the icing on the cake. So far, I have the first two seasons of the Gunsmoke collection, and while it's interesting to watch how the characters developed over the years, some of the episodes are a bit rough. If you're wanting a true taste of the "Gunsmoke" experience, I think this collection is the best example of what the show was all about - heartfelt, touching stories that are both dramatic and a bit comical, and will leave you wanting more.
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Format: DVD
This is a must see DVD if you are a big fan of Gunsmoke! I enjoy the black and white editions the most, however all of them are great!With this DVD set you get to see Matt, Kitty, Doc, Chester, and Festus evolve!! I highly recommend this to everyone, young or not so young who enjoy truly great westerns
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Having seen only two episodes so far makes me so happy that I purchased the {Directors Collection}
with episodes such as " Cotters Girl " from 1963.
Hearing the diector and the actress who played Cotters daughter speaking about their obvious
enjoyment with that episode is wonderful for the viewer , the lunch scene that took so long to
film because of the laughter - the scene was not completed until the following day.
And the quality is so well done , this will be a real stand out in my collection.
I have now ordered the 50th anniversery collection.
" Cotters Girl" had a female writer, the director of this episode spoke with admiration for this
writer and as he had directed 90 episodes of Gunsmoke over the years , he was aware when the
gold shone through. Other directors prefer a " shoot em up script" and would stay away from
one such as this, however it is good to see the actors having fun on the job.
My one wish is that some bloopers were saved from "Cotters Girl".
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Great memories. A true classic. Nice variety of shows. A MUST have for any GUNSMOKE fan.
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ANY Gunsmoke episodes are welcomed. The 50th anniversary DVDs had more features, but the Amanda Blake interview and the radio shows are great. Would like to see more of the episodes that we don't get to see on TVLAND (aka seasons 1-10). I'm amazed at how gritty and engaging the first few seasons were.
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My father and I used to watch Gunsmoke, which was on for many, many years, a testimony to its popularity. It was mostly serious western but many humorous episodes. Jim Arness (brother of Peter Graves) was Marshall Dillon, an easy-going, likable big guy but also tough. Other characters included "Doc", deputy Chester Good (Dennis Weaver, later McCloud, etc.), and the owner of the saloon and discreetly-questionable lady Miss Kitty, played by the very attractive Amanda Blake. The characters all became familiar "family", and the episodes ranged from gritty to funny, violent to character lessons. It is, of course, an old series and one will pick up on that, it can be corny or by today's standards a bit amateurish at times, but most of the time it holds up very well and it's fun to watch. I have not gotten through all the episodes yet, but the ones I have are excellent, and of good audio and video quality. You will see actors who later went on to become starts in their own right, very interesting trips down Memory Lane.

All in all, a consistent, pretty authentic, and definitely fun show, any of the various seasons or collections should be great, but I chose this one to get a good cross-section without buying all of them and triggering a divorce!

Highly recommended series, and this collection is excellent.
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