James Arness vaulted into the annals of television history with his iconic portrayal of U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon in the long-running television Western Gunsmoke. Armed with a quick draw and an even quicker wit, the principled and intelligent Marshal Dillon brought peace and righteousness to the lawless frontier of 1800s Dodge City with the help of his trusted deputy, Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver), his friend Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), and saloon keeper Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake).
Episode 03: Word of Honor
Hank Worth, son of wealthy rancher Jake Worth, is kidnapped and held for $20,000 ransome by three men. The kidnappers call on Doc to aid young Hank, who has been shot in the back while trying to escape. Unfortunately, Hank dies. The killers decide to let Doc go because he is the only doctor within 400 miles and they fear they might need his services some day. Before sparing his life and freeing him, however they force the reluctant Doc to give his word of honor that he will never reveal their identities.
Dodge City, known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the plains, is a typical frontier city of the late 1800s with typical problems ranging from rumored Indian raids to bank and stage robberies, cattle rustling, and family feuds. All of these must be dealt with within the law and that task falls to… More Matt Dillon, US Marshal (James Arness).
Dillon is a man who prefers the use of logic over the use of the gun but the nature of the people passing through Dodge doesn’t always leave him that choice. Aided by various assistants and deputies over the years (played by Dennis Weaver, Burt Reynolds, and Ken Curtis), he does his best to keep the lawless element out of his town and his territory. Matt often solves his crimes through keen observation and deduction, an innovative approach for the times.
Crucial information about cases is often provided by his beautiful companion, Long Branch owner Kitty Russell(Amanda Blake), while they drink beer or whiskey in her establishment. Matt also often exchanges banter or bounces his theories off of the crusty town doctor, Galen Adams (Milburn Stone).
Cast and Crew:
* James Arness – Marshal Matt Dillon
* Milburn Stone – Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams
* Amanda Blake – Kitty Russell, saloon owner
* Dennis Weaver – Chester Goode, deputy
# Writers: John Meston
# Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Production Company: Arness Production Company, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Filmaster Productions
Original Air Date: 1955
Audio & Video: Mono – Black and White (1955-1966) | Color (1966-1975)
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Filed Under: Gunsmoke