Gunsmoke

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CBS (ended 1975)

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laurameyer

User Score: 3273

8.9
out of 10
User Rating
654 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Gunsmoke

Show Summary


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 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).moreless
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Gunsmoke - Janss Conejo Movie Ranch, Thousand Oaks, Ca.

    7.5
    Regarding Gunsmoke Seasons 5 through 9, It is important to note that the majority of outdoor location shots were filmed at the Janss Conejo Movie Ranch in Thousand Oaks, California. Why this location ?



    Originally, Gunsmoke Season 1 through 4 "outdoor" locations were filmed in two different locations: Corriganville ( Simi Valley, Ca ) and the "Melody Ranch" in Newhall, Ca. During season 1 through 4, the majority of outdoor location shots were at the Melody Ranch. You can tell when thay filmed at Melody ,the ever present wind blowing through the trees and the actors costumes ! The Melody Ranch was located in Placerita Canyon ( Newhall ) between California Highway 14 and Newhall Ave and was a natural "funnel" for gusty winds blowing from the high desert to the San Fernando Valley. Not a bad place to shoot a Western however, very challenging on cast and crew!



    Starting in 1959, new corporate money became available ( due to the shows success ), and this led to new filming equipment. This was done to take advantage of the actors "range" and to broden the scope of what the old West and Dodge City was like in 1877. With this, a new outdoor filming location had to be found.



    Enter the Janss Conejo Movie Ranch location. Easy to access by the 101 Freeway ( and only 35 miles from Hollywood ), the Janss Movie Ranch had everything. Originally a throughbred horse ranch for the family that developed Westwood Village ( UCLA ), the Janss Ranch could supply horses, movie sets, cattle, saddles and extras ! The primary Gunsmoke filming area was done in what is known today as the Wildwood Aera. If you locate the corner of Lynn Road and Ave. De. Los Arboles ( Thousand Oaks ) and look west, you are at the entrance of Janss Conejo Movie Ranch, Wildwood section.



    Let me present the most identifiable locations and see if you can match them while viewing Gunsmoke ( 1959 - 1963 ). Note: The offical studio "names" of the sets within Wildwood are will Identify the sets by what the majority of the episodes used them for.



    Rocky Ridge Line

    The most prominate feature of the Janss Conejo Movie Ranch "Wildwood Area" location was the rugged, horizontal "rock ridge line" . This ridge line slopes up from a smooth dirt floor and was the primary back drop on many Season 5 through 9 outdoor locations. Most Gunsmoke episodes will "frame" the western most ridgeline ( two distinct outcroppings with a small trough in the midddle ). The western ridgeline can be seen as backdrop when filming took place within "Front Street" or when there was a wide shot ( looking West ) on various sets on the "Plateau" . The middle- left part of the ridgeline has a smooth "cap" and a "swayback" dip. This section was seen during long shots of subjects / wagons on a wide, dusty trail with the ridgeline on the left. The middle- right ridgeline dips low with "Flat Top Hill" in the far background. This part of the ridgeline base also contained the "Cactus Bowl" , a natural, low elevation bowl filled with cactus along with a wide dirt road that ran from the top of the Cactus Bowl down to Brushy Creek. Note to film buffs: This is the exact location used in the 1967 Henry Fonda film " Welcome to Hard Times". The Eastern ridgeline area has three distinct sections. The "Hard Ball", the "Wash" and the "Staircase" . The Harball is a rock formation that broke away from the ridgeline and rolled ( yes, rolled ! ) down the slope. The Wash, is a natural stormwater runoff flume that feeds into Brushy Creek ( before home development ) and the Staircase is the far eastern ridgeline "stepping down" right into the Cal Lutheren University property. All of the above ridgeline can be seen clearly today standing on the Wildflower Play Field area in Wildwood Park.



    Another frequently used set in the Wildwood Area was called "Brushy Creek". This area did not have any actual sets, just overgrown brush and low growth willow trees ! This area / set played a major roll in the weekly Gunsmoke story when bandits, transients, military ( or Matt and Chester ) bedded down for the night or "took cover" . Originally a small, running creek bed originating from ( now ) Cal Lutheran University, "Brushy Creek" served Gunsmoke well by creating a minimum of 10 different camera angles within 100 yards of center point.



    I will continue with this review in the near hope you enjoyed my report so far !



    - . Mike

    moreless
  • Gunsmoke DVDs

    10
    I would describe this show as my best friend because it has been a part of my life and such unforgettable. Most especially during the second era, it brought much excitement to the show! Why I can't find this type of show nowadays?! I bought a DVD of this show from gunsmokedvdset. com , it was in good quality and I'm glad that the seller produced a decent copy of this. Because Gunsmoke is the one and ONLY show that really worth watching for.moreless
  • a true legend

    10
    There are lots of critics before for these western TV shows, because some of them says these kind of shows makes its viewers liberally inclined. Well, of all the Western TV shows aired in the past, only Gunsmoke, I must say, really proved these critics very wrong. Marshall Dillon taught every one of us on what "integrity" really means as this is his best character in his role that's why millions of viewers waited every episode during its 20 years of airing in the television. There will never be another show like this nowadays, right? I really really missed this show sooo much!! I was glad I received a complete DVD set which is a gift from my grandson last Christmas. He said he just order it at . It really made me happy to watch this all over again. It's really worth the time, truly enjoyable. Gunsmoke rules!moreless
  • great puchase for an excellent show!

    10
    I really do miss watching this show and looked for a great copy! The Gunsmoke I received from appears to be excellent thus far! Never encountered problems with the seller and not to mention, the DVDs were shipped in short amount of period. The packaging is great - no damage and came in great condition! The whole set has all the complete episodes, no scratches, and most importantly, it's playable in our DVD player. For a very affordable value, it's really worth it!moreless
  • A clever title goes here!

    10
    I like Pat hingle as the Doctor.
  • NEWS BRIEFS

    Gunsmoke's James Arness Dies at 88

    Plus: Childrens Hospital is planning a Party Down reunion, Smallville's Lois finds a new role, and Love Bites bites.

  • GET LOST! NO, REALLY, GET LOST SEASON FOUR ON DVD! HURRY AND BUY IT BEFORE SEASON FIVE STARTS IN JANUARY. WE ALSO HAVE OTHER AWARD-WINNING SERIES INCLUDING THE WIRE AND DEADWOOD, SO TAKE YOUR PICK OF QUALITY TELEVISION!

    December 9, 2008 DVD Releases

    • PLEASE Tvland
      It took me awhile to get the internet, just so I could be heard.Iam so upset that TVLAND has changed my GUNSMOKE regular schedule....
      02/20/13
      4
    • Season DVD Releases
      What's the deal with the dvd releases for this show? If they continue going at their current rate, it will be 2026 before the ent...
      02/19/13
      2
    • Festus vs. Chester
      As a Festus fan, I very much enjoyed seeing this Us Haggens. The episode following Us Haggens was Uncle Sunday. I thought it...
      01/12/13
      48
    • Ken Curtis' singing voice
      For all of you who think that Ken Curtis was not a very good singer on Gunsmoke might be interested to know that he started his sh...
      08/18/12
      2
    • Miss Kitty
      Hi everyone, I'm a huge Kitty fan, I'm also a huge Matt and Kitty romance fan.The seriers left alot unsaid and undone. Thats also ...
      07/28/11
      5
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    More Info About This Show

    Themes

    gritty crime scenarios, fight for survival, bloody and violent, 60s, prostitution