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on July 26, 2013
I love the Gunsmoke series - at least all the shows that concentrate on the original core cast.

Matt, Chester, Doc and Kitty were at the heart of the shows and formed a fine ensemble cast. Of course, there were some very fine shows that featured stories that isolated each of the four in plots that were interestingly revelatory of that character's personal strengths and back history. But for me it was always the gentle interplay between the main four characters that made me want to schedule time to watch that week's episode.

The other western shows of the time (and there were MANY) all had shootouts, bank robberies, disputes between open range ranchers and farmers, et., etc., etc. None of them had the mature story-lines and time-tested characterizations that Gunsmoke possessed. They did not have Gunsmoke's three years of proven radio show scripts to draw from. Quite a few of the recycled radio scripts had to be softened a bit for TV. Some of the harsher realities of life on the frontier were left better to the imagination of a radio audience. Showing them on 1950's TV would have been considered a little over the line. If you have never heard any of the radio shows, I urge you to seek them out - you will NOT be disappointed.

Sadly, this season saw the exit of a key character. Dennis Weaver had played Chester for nine years and wanted to strike out on his own and do other things. Unlike many other series stars, his move proved successful for him. But it did not bode well for Gunsmoke.

Much of the charm of the ensemble came from Chester's relationship with Marshall Dillon and the gentle banter between both of them with Doc Adams. The underlying affection between them all was always apparent in their most cutting jibes.

The loss of Dennis Weaver left a hole that was never satisfactorily filled. It is not my intention to belittle the contributions of any of the actors that came after. It was the loss of CHESTER that left the gaping hole. The show was never the same to me after that. I had faithfully watched Gunsmoke from its premier episode. After Chester left, I slowly drifted away from the show.

I am so glad to have these initial nine seasons to watch again. Most of the hour-long color episodes that are being shown in syndication have James Arness only in the opening credits. When Matt is featured, he is usually alone, transporting a prisoner out on the prairie and has no interaction at all with the other main characters. Viewers watching today have no idea how much better the show once was. I hope they get the chance to experience Gunsmoke's beginnings through these DVD's.

This is the last season I will buy of this fine series. It preserves the show during its strongest years with a young, vibrant cast. This is the way I first saw them so MANY years ago.

This the way I want always to remember them.

Here are the episodes for Season Nine:

VOL. I

1. Kate Heller
2. Lover Bou
3. Legends Don't Sleep
4. Tobe
5. Easy Come
6. My Sister;s Keeper
7. Quint's Trail
8. Carter Caper
9. Ex-Con
10. Extradition - Part 1
11. Extradition - Part 2
12. The Magician
13. Pa Hack's Brood
14. The Glory and the Mud
15. Dry Well
16. Prairie Wolfer
17. Friend
18. Once a Haggen

VOL. II

19. No Hands
20. May Blossom
21. The Bassops
22. The Kite
23. Comanches Is Soft
24. Father's Love
25. No That April's Here
26. Caleb
27. Owney Tupper Had a Daughter
28. Bently *
29. Kitty Cornered
30. The Promoter
31. Trip West
32. Scot Free
33. The Warden
34. Homecoming
35. The Other Half
36. Journey For Three

* Chester's last appearance
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on August 12, 2013
The many shows in Season 8 and 9 that Chester was missing without comment or explanation (while Dennis Weaver was off doing other projects) causes you to reflect on what an important part of the show he was for the first nine seasons. However, the appearance of Festus in Season 8 and his return as a regular in Season 9 was a very good addition to the show. The writing is still very strong, the acting excellent. The episodes that Chester did appear in were all good, particularly with he and Festus in the same episodes. I will continue to buy the seasons as long as the writing remains strong and the acting good. At some point in the original run, I lost interest in the show, as it started to repeat stories, but through Season 9 everything is still going strong. I think it will be interesting to see the development of Festus into Season 10 and thereafter. On this set we even get the last appearance of Ken Curtis as a character other than Festus in Lover Boy, where he plays a very bad man. I think this show stayed on the air too long, however, clearly through the first 9 years it has to be rated as one of the top westerns of all time.
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on November 14, 2014
This is a great series. The quality is superb! I was very sadden when I found out that Dennis Weaver left after this season. He didn't even finish the season. I wish he could at least ended it with the last episode. The one thing I noticed on Gunsmoke, there's no continuous connection to the episodes. Each one seem to stand-alone and the cast on the show don't talk about past tense on the goings on. After Chester left, it's like he never existed. Do anyone here know if Chester was even mention again after he left? I wish they had a better story continuity than just have them disappear without even a mention. They could have done an episode where Chester had to leave Dodge City to go somewhere else. Maybe Magnus (Chester's brother) was dying and he needed Chester to come and take care of him. Or something like that. That would have been a better closure for the fans than just POOF, he's off the show. My favorites will always be the season with Chester. Festus is ok, but he'll never be Chester. Chester was overall more likeable. I wish CBS brought back Chester for a guest appearance. That would have been a huge ratings getter. I was disappointed that Chester couldn't be brought back in one of the 5 TV movies they made.
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on October 6, 2013
Won't buy the second volume, I don't think. But, I wasn't going to buy this one either. I enjoy the episodes with Chester, so got Vol. One of Season Nine. The Festus character is a little over the top for me Burt Reynolds character is believeable, but just doesn't hit the mark. The quality of the Ninth Season, Vol 1 is just as great and the service was, of course, timely and without a problem. Great series with, I admit, alot of gun action, but the writers have given the characters depth over the years, a sense of loyalty and friendship and I like the Marshal's rare glimpses into his background around religion and all the characters have values I see as lost in commercial TV. The complicated, but kiss-less romance between the Marshal and Kitty doesn't change and I know some future episodes will demonstrate the character's feelings evolve - so, I guess I'm hooked after all. With the fruit basket that is Washington D.C. right now, these DVDs are a staple of my day!
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on October 27, 2013
This DVD arrived on time and in very good condition. I just love Gunsmoke, because Matt Dillon will shoot you if you catch him the wrong way. I would recommend the DVD to anyone that likes good old westerns. I recommend the purchase to anyone.
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on December 10, 2013
Gunsmoke is an excellent series. i have all that have been produced prior to this one. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys westerns. The publisher needs to speed up the production on the remaining dvd's.
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on September 24, 2014
In my opinion Gunsmoke is one of the all-time classic western shows. The shows are well written so the whole family can enjoy them. Sadly this is not the cast with some TV show on television today. DVD reviews are hard to write because is it all personal preference. If you like the show you will enjoy it
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on December 29, 2014
I remember the show's debut in 1955, and I stayed with it through school, college, the army, marriage, and the birth of my children. I followed the show's evolution from what John Wayne called "adult" entertainment to what became, essentially, family entertainment disguised as a Western. Still, even in the latter years, the show had its moments, especially where the action was filmed outdoors (e.g., the multi-episode story involving the train trapped in the snow, which was actually shot in the Black Hills, between Keystone and Hill City, South Dakota). But, I have to be honest: The character of "Festus," as played by Ken Curtis, diminished my enjoyment of the show. The role was just too exaggerated to be believable, and the dialogue was nothing, if not annoying (at least to me; I respect the right of others to disagree).

The departure of Dennis Weaver in the ninth year was a drastic change and, from my perspective, the show lost a key ingredient that was essential to the show's chemistry. "Chester" was a brilliantly drawn character, and Dennis Weaver's portrayal was pure artistry.

Chester's (Dennis Weaver's) departure during the ninth season was an incalculable loss and, although Gunsmoke would eventually regain some of its mojo in the latter years, the show was never the same. As with others, the ninth season marks the end of the series for me.
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on May 5, 2016
Great episodes. My favorite character is Festus and he is in some of these black and white hour long episodes. We loved the one with him and Slim Pickens. Gunsmoke is such a great show and we never get tired of it. Now I can't wait to get vol 2 of season 9.
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on November 4, 2013
I'm a big fan of Gunsmoke. I was born in 1966 and spent the better part of my child hood watching the color versions with my parents. Marshall Dillon was my hero. Chester, Doc, and Festus were all great characters.
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