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Gunsmoke: Season 2, Vol. 1

3.8 out of 5 stars 176 customer reviews

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(Jan 08, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marshall Matt Dillon is responsible for keeping the law and respectability in Dodge City in this western action-drama. Gunsmoke captured the courage, character and spirit of the Western Frontier.

In its second season, Gunsmoke blazed its way into the top ten, where it would stay for the next six years (four of them ranked No. 1), and James Arness earned an Emmy nomination for his towering portrayal of U. S. Marshal Matt Dillon. Dillon broke the mold of the TV lawman. As he notes in one episode, "They tell me that back East, there are a lot of book writers and newspaper people who picture a frontier lawman as someone pretty near perfection, who always guns his man down, never makes a mistake, he's at the top of the heap on every play." The "mule-headed" Dillon is not that man. "My job is to keep the peace, and I'll do it my own way," he proclaims. In the episode "No Indians," he ambushes a band of white men who slaughter a family and frame the Pawnee Indians for the crime. "What kind of man would ambush a bunch of men like that?" a wounded survivor protests. "My kind, mister," Dillon replies. In the episode "Cow Doctor," he knocks out a man who knifes Doc. "Let me know when he comes to and I'll knock him out again," Dillon states. And in "The Mistake," he arrests the wrong man for murder.

These half-hour black and white episodes (the show expanded to an hour format in its seventh season) deliver traditional Western action, but at the heart of Gunsmoke are its character-based human dramas. An excellent example is "Gone Straight," featuring Carl Betz (The Donna Reed Show) as a man who answers the description of a wanted outlaw, but who is now an upstanding citizen trying to help another man (Tige Andrews of The Mod Squad) reform. Some episodes play out in unexpected ways that defy convention. We can pretty much guess the fate of an old friend who insists on helping Matt in "The Round-Up," but we can't predict at whose hand.

Gunsmoke was directed by sure Western hands, including Andrew McLaglan, Ted Post, and Christian Nyby. Several episodes were written by Sam Peckinpah, including "The Round-Up" and "Legal Revenge," featuring a young Cloris Leachman as a woman who appears to have it in for her wounded husband. Several episodes address social issues such as racism ("Sins of the Fathers" featuring Angie Dickinson as the daughter of a marauding Indian chief) and gun culture (the powerful "don't take your guns to town" episode, "Young Man with a Gun"). Along with Matt Dillon, the rest of Gunsmoke's characters became archetypes: "Mr. Dillon's" drawling, bum-legged deputy, Chester (Dennis Weaver), ornery Doc (Milburn Stone), and saloon gal, Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), who, by the way, looks quite fetching in a riding outfit. An interesting bonus are the show's sponsor shots for LM cigarettes. "See you next week," Arness puffs. "In the meantime, light up." --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 20 episodes from the 1956-57 season on 3 discs
  • Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions
  • Sponsor spots

Product Details

  • Actors: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis, Dennis Weaver
  • Directors: Andrew V. McLaglen, Christian Nyby, Ted Post, William D. Russell
  • Writers: Charles Marquis Warren, David Victor, Endre Bohem, Gil Doud
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Full Screen, 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 526 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W8OM68
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunsmoke: Season 2, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
With the release of Gunsmoke: The Second Season Volume 1, Paramount has confirmed my worst fears. I was so happy when they finally released the first season in a complete package, but I was concerned that even with 20 singles season sets, we know the studios' propensity to squeeze turnips blood, and I was afraid that greed would eventually rear its ugly head in this situation.

And it did.

Why, oh why, would they release a 20-SEASON TELEVISION SHOW IN MULTIPLE SEASON VOLUMES? Didn't they realize that buyers would rebel, and not buy these sets? Or is that part of the plan? Maybe they want us to not buy Gunsmoke so they won't have to risk the money to manufacture and release 20-single sets, so they figure to alienate everyone by doing what they've done, and then when this won't sell, they'll cancel releasing the rest claiming an indifferent public.

No, if it happens, it will be because a tired and cash-conscious public cries "ENOUGH!" This show is wonderful, but it's hard to recommend buying it under these circumstances.
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Format: DVD
First these idiots release costly boxes with selected episodes from several seasons, most of them NOT among the best shows and largely chosen for their "big name" guest stars or directors.

Second, after soaking us for those minimalist sets, and waiting until several complete seasons of virtually all other 50s-60s TV Westerns have been released (like "Have Gun, Will Travel"), they FINALLY release the first season of "Gunsmoke," the very best TV Western and the only TV drama to run 20 consecutive years!

Third, they decide to release the second season in multiple installments! What are these characters thinking? No one's going to go for this greedy attempt to squeeze money from "Gunsmoke" fans.

Most of the first 4 seasons were released on DVD through the CBS Video Club years ago. Those of us who bought those DVDs are now being asked to buy the same thing again, in excruciatingly slow increments, and at jacked up prices.

Matt Dillon and his Dodge City friends deserve the most respectful and classy treatment possible. Instead, "Gunsmoke" is among the worst conceived DVD releases to date.

I'll stick with my bootleg DVDs - they may not be perfect, but I can afford them and all 20 years are there.
14 Comments 124 of 137 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Absurd! Outrageous! Now this stupid way of releasing TV series in two halves for each season has reached Gunsmoke! Fox and Paramount are becoming very greedy and insulting the people who buy this sort of DVDs. It is really disappointing to acquire half season of these classic TV series (Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Rawhide, The Streets of San francisco, The Untouchables and others) and wait months and months, or a whole year, to get the other half. I will never buy half seasons any longer...this is a clear message to Paramount and Fox.
3 Comments 154 of 173 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Nathan Laney on October 7, 2007
Format: DVD
Ya know, I love old television shows - GOOD old television shows. Love 'em! And, the whole time I was growing up, I used to wish so bad that we could own the shows that were our personal favorites, and watch them when it was more convenient, or just when the mood struck. 30 odd years later, and here we are, doing that very thing. Never did I think I would complain about the prospect of planting my butt in my favorite chair and watching an episode or two of some of my all-time favorite shows at my own convenience. That's one of the very things I had always hoped progress would allow us to do someday. But do you know what? As much as I love being able to do that, there's something that I really, really hate! And that's being hoodwinked.
Yes, these people at Paramount are, well, they're...they're HOODWINKERS! That's what they are! They're HOODWINKERS! HOODWINKERS! HOOOOODWINKERS! And I mean it! To quote a classic: "I'm mad! Good 'n' mad, and who wouldn't be!" They're just a bunch of foul balls!
I kidded around a bit there to ease the tension forming from these messages, but a move like this isn't a light matter. A decent individual wouldn't dangle a corrot under a horses nose and then take it away; or hold a piece of candy out to a child, invite him to take it, then clasp his hand shut just as the child reaches for it. Only a real creep would do something like that. And yet, here's Paramount offering the complete first season of Gunsmoke at a fair price, knowing they have every intention of releasing all future seasons in two volume sets, and at higher prices. Well, you know what? I'm not particularly fond of carrots, and I don't need the candy!
2 Comments 48 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I agree with Movieman. This is absurd. Personally, I buy these shows for nostalgic reasons. I grew up on Gunsmoke & and want the entire series and want it now. At this rate, I'll be dead before the entire series is released, if indeed it ever is ! A look at the past may be a look into the future. This has been released before in the same "volume" manner and was abandoned less than half way through the series. It will likely be abandoned again.
The entire bootlegged series can be bought for $250. I do not condone bootlegging nor have I purchased bootlegged copies of anything in the past but it appears, if I want the entire Gunsmoke series while I am still alive to enjoy it and at an affordable price, I am left with no other choice.
I will not buy season 2 volume 1. I will wait and see what happens, then I will make my decision whether to purchase or buy bootlegged.
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The same "disclaimer" was included on Gunsmoke Season 1, and it seems to be routinely included on many CBS/Paramount DVD releases of television series. I think it's put there just in case something has been inadvertently overlooked. I own "Gunsmoke" Season 1 and Season 2,... Read More
Jan 13, 2008 by Samuel E. Spear |  See all 3 posts
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