Gunsmoke - 50th Anniversary Collection, Volume 1
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Arness plays plain-speaking U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon, who keeps the peace over a wide territory from his perch in Dodge City, Kansas, a rough-and-tumble town where prospectors, farmers, bounty hunters, outlaws, and the occasional lunatic pass through. Dennis Weaver lends support as Dillon's deputy, Chester, a courageous clown; Amanda Blake is saloon keeper Kitty; and Milburn Stone plays irascible Doc, apparently Dodge City's only physician. Volume 1 highlights feature a couple of episodes with Charles Bronson, including "The Killer," in which the future Death Wish star portrays a psychopath preying on the weak. Mogul Aaron Spelling, at one time a character actor, appears as a spacey wanderer who nearly gets lynched in "The Guitar." Cloris Leachman is very good as a woman with a diabolical edge in "Legal Revenge," Angie Dickinson is memorable as an Arapaho Indian whose marriage to a white settler incites racial anger, and Jack Lord portrays a pair of brothers who threaten Doc's life. Burt Reynolds, who joined the cast of Gunsmoke as the half-white, half-Comanche character Quint, is introduced in the very effective drama "Quint Asper Comes Home," while Ken Curtis, whose goofy Festus effectively replaced the departing Chester in season 9, enters the series in "Prairie Wolfer." --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
Since I purchased almost all of the original 30 minute episodes of "Gunsmoke" from Columbia House (four per tape at $25), I am still disappointed that this amazing series was not released in sequence of broadcast, just as it was released by Columbia House.
"Gunsmoke" was so much more than entertainment 50 years ago. Families would gather around the "Cool Blue Fire" to share the stories (and morality tales) told by the actors and writers. Fifty years ago I was six years old, and obviously not cognizant of the great leap forward - into 'adult' territory - which "Gunsmoke" represented.
When I began watching the Columbia House 30 minute episodes, always in order of first broadcast ten years ago, I was amazed at the quality of the productions and the way that the totality had survived across (then) 40 years. Awed.
By selecting the 'best' of "Gunsmoke" the marketers imply that the rest of the series was like every other series on TV: there were only a few episodes worth watching, much less, worth BUYING. My view: that is not true.
This is one series that still deserves to be watched, and remains "must see" TV after 50 years.
I would encourage the release of "Gunsmoke" by seasons, just as "Have Gun Will Travel" is being released.
"Gunsmoke" was the primal American legend brought to black and white TV. It deserves to be seen as it was broadcast, not simply because the nostalgia quotient is higher but because it remains a seminal series.
The definitive episodic TV Western.
While it would have been preferred to have full season sets of "Gunsmoke" (and, who knows, maybe this will eventually happen), Paramount has delivered a mostly great release.
I suppose die hard fans will want to know why complete seasons of this great old show haven't been released,but this collection of selected episodes gives a great flavour of what was one of TV's longest running sucesses. There are some good extras too ,..with John Wayne doing an introduction to the very first episode, James Arness does some audio only intros as well.
Here in the UK ,I think I'm correct in saying, not all of the series got shown by ITV who had the rights, so this is a really welcome set. I had also completely forgotten that the show started life as half-hour episodes in the early years before expanding to the hour format. This won't appeal to everyone of course,but if you are of "a certain age",you'll revel in memories of the late Dennis Weaver's Chester,Milburn Stone's charismatic Doc and the wonderful Amanda Blake's Miss Kitty.
What a pity the recent Warner Bros sets on Maverick and Cheyenne weren't this good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In black and white bought it for my dad. He lives with me and was very disappointed.Published 21 days ago by Patricia a Bauman
We bought them for our granddaughter, we should have viewed them first, they had vulgar language in them.Published 6 months ago by Robert Drob
Well I thought it was going to have seasons instead it just had a certain amount of episodes. Pretty disappointed!Published 17 months ago by Big d
I love this show Gunsmoke.If you like the old westerns then check this dvd set out.Published 19 months ago by M. George