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 20: Reunion ’78
Belle Archer recognizes Jerry Shand and hides her face. Jerry has a grudge against Andy Cully, a paunchy hardware drummer. At the Long Branch Jerry is beating Andy up. Matt’s ready to lock Jerry up. Andy bails him out. On the street Andy apologizes and offers Jerry $600. Jerry knows Andy is a murderer. Andy pulls a gun. Jerry shoots him. Belle sees it all from her window. Andy was really Bloody Bille Ashley one of Quantrill’s raiders. He killed Jerry’s father and carried his Ma from Lawrence, Kansas. Matt looks for Andy’s gun. Matt tells Kitty they need a witness. They see Belle in her room. Belle says she didn’t see anything. Belle watches from her window as they prepare for a hanging. Jerry says Quantrill took his girl Ellie and I haven’t seen her since. Just then Matt brings in Belle (Ellie). She says Andy drew first. As Jerry rides past her window, he calls to Ellie. Belle says Ellie’s gone, goodbye.
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