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 !
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.
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!
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!
I grew up watching Gunsmoke as a kid and always wanted to be like Marshal Dillon yet comedic like Festus or Chester. There was always a variety of drama and laughter throughout the series, that's what made the show so GREAT!
Encore Westerns recently rewound back several years from 1966 to 1961, now the Chester era. I finally get to see the episodes with Chester (Dennis Weaver) and he's as funny and silly as Festus is, you gotta love that! I've only known Gunsmoke to be on TV Land all these years until it got canceled from TV Land few months ago. I'd like to see a network channel that'll show all the Gunsmoke episodes from beginning to end, that would be nice.
I love Matt Dillon's serious side, you don't dare mess with Matthew! As a Marshal, he was very hard but fair as always, professional yet courteous to his fellow man and woman. I would've loved to see the final episode of him and Kitty riding off in the sunset together. That may have been the perfect ending to the entire series.
Kitty... she was definietly easy on the eyes. A fine good looking woman who was tough as nails when she had to be. That's the kind of women I like...grooooowl !!!
Thad and Newly... always there for Matt when it got a bit rough out there, great back-up no matter what! I'll have to admit, the episode where Newly got married to a woman who just died after was tear jerking! Everyone knew she was going to die soon and all felt heartbroken over it.
Chester... still getting to know his character right now but realizing he's a lot like Festus yet more slightly on the serious side. Can someone tell me why Chester's leg limps? Was there a storyline to that or never brought up? Would love to know.
Louie Pheters... the town drunk. He tends to be at the wrong place and at the wrong time seems like. So drunk yet so innocent, I always feel sorry for him. I like how he always tells Matt "You're my friend Matt!" with a shaky scared voice and Matt lets Louie sleep it off in his jail.
And last but never least - Doc and Festus, my 2 favorites!! I will always crack up at those two when they go at it! That is definitely me and my old man neighbor next door. We are a lot like them. Too many scenes to mention, but every episode where they do the "Abbott & Costello" routines is a breath of fresh air to me! And yet when something happens to one of them the other either cries or gets deeply upset. I would've loved to see a spin-off series of just those two going at it all the time. "You old scudder"!
I knew Ken Curtis could sing (and I know he was with the Sons of the Pioneers) but never like what I saw on You Tube doing "Tumbling Tumbleweeds". What a voice! I didn't know Festus could sing that good!!! Holy Crap!!! His voice as Festus is so high pitched you would think he's lip synching to it. And yet he still wears his Gunsmoke clothes in that video, CLASSIC!!! Rest in peace my friend! I'll drink a beer with you anyday!
So yes, Festus is my favorite character from Gunsmoke, Dont'cha See???!!!
SFC Mark Michael, U.S. Army (Desert Storm Veteran).
Festus and Kitty, these two people alone were enough to make you puke! This show really stunk! Ok, relax all you old geezers, you have to realize there was nothing else on T.V. back then. I know you want to relive your past but just admit it, this show was lousy! The only reason I didn't give it a zero was because James Arness was a true monster of a man and one feared dude! But man, that Festus wimp...man was he a lousy actor or what! He always looked like a slob! Every commercial and every episode he always managed to be out in the dirt street winding up some rope into a circle. Ugh! To this day I can't get that image out of my mind, it torments me! That goofy loser winding that rope just past the water trough....ahhhh!!!!!! Oh, and that miss Kitty. Oh yuck! That goofy dot on her face, that drove me nuts! Was that supposed to be sexy? NOPE! Let's face it guys, Ginger did it for awhile but most men choose Mary Ann because of that freakin' dot! haha With cable there's no reason to watch this show. Period. Ok, if your last name is Arness or you have Altsheimers, five minutes at the most!
As somone in my late fourty's I never watched the early gunsmoke episodes when they aired. I was brought on on the colored 1 hour versions with Festus as Matt side kick. These were for the most part great episodes mixed with heavy drama and playful interaction with Matt Doc and Festus and they were the only episodes we were shown on TV. When the first half hour seasons were issued on DVD It took a while for me to get used to them with a different side kick, Chester and a different more violent Matt (in one episode Matt and Chester voilently ambush six outlaws somethihg you would never see in the one hour cored episodes) However that being said I enjoyed these just as much as the later colored episodes becasue the action was quick and the story lines straightforward and although in the end I preferred Festus to Chester the later had a charm of his own.
Gunsmoke is one of the first television shows I can remember watching. One of the best things about it is its complexity, diversity, rich tapestry for storytelling, and its appeal even now to diverse generations and age groups.
Among the first of its kind, one of the first westerns to make the jump from radio to television, it set the standard not only for other western series but for the way shows were developed for television. It managed to keep the overall feeling of the serialized radio show while utilizing the new media of television to tell its stories. Some of the special effects and stunts are cutting edge for the era and beautifully executed.
The concept of the same actors playing out the lives of their characters was new. Gunsmoke holds the distinction of being the only live action television show to have its main characters played by the same actors for its entire twenty year run. This allowed the writers to explore the characters' personalities in more depth. The result was a stunning character study for each character reflecting how personal experience changes them over time.
Another concept introduced by the show was continuity. Earlier episodes lack this and you'll find wild variations in the characters' back stories. Some episodes which aired in later years apparently take place before earlier episodes. In later years, the writers tried for a more solid linear story line and this eventually became standard for most television shows.
Gunsmoke also didn't shy away from exploring a variety of topics which were considered controversial at the time of airing. Domestic violence, women's rights, and child abuse are all themes which the show tackles head-on with a modern slant in a classical setting. It was one of the first shows to break the romanticized stereotype of the Native American and to attempt to show the settling of the west from their point of view.
I continue to be amazed by the long list of supporting actors Gunsmoke whose careers either started or were boosted on that set. Guest appearances have included William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ron Howard, Burt Reynolds, and Dennis Weaver to name a few.
These are the things which make this an influential, classic staple for me and the reasons why, years later, I am still watching the show in syndication. In spite of the violent setting and the often shocking subject matter, the show still portrays wholesome societal morals and family values. It's a family show with something to offer all ages whose topics are often still relevant. The acting and storytelling alone, along with all the cinematic precedents it set, make it worth watching.
gunsmoke was a really good show even though i was not around when it came on in the 50s nor 70s i grew up watching the reapeats on tv land and really enjoyed the show its about western town that features a sherf and his othe partner and they help protect doge city by handling the bad guys and the people that are tring to cause trouble like murders and theives and other situtions. its a really good show and had alot of really good stores after all it made over 600 eps. and that is why i gave the show a 8.5
I have seen all the episodes of gunsmoke. i watched it when i was a kid with my parents. i now watch it with my husband and 6 yr. old grandson. I love the show. My favorite character is Festus. My husband jokes about me being in love with Festus. I love the way he squints his eye shut. The way him and doc are always bickering about everything. I love it when he calls doc an old sckutter. Not sure i spelled that right. also not sure what an old sckutter is. If they put it back on as a t.v. show with different actors i don't think that it would go over to good.
There were 3 distinct eras in the 20 year history of Gunsmoke. The 1st as a 30 min b&w series focusing on the lives of Matt, Doc, Chester and Kitty. The 2nd as a 60 min b&w series with Festus replacing Chester. The 3rd as an hour long western anthology.
When "Gunsmoke" premiered, its introduction by John Wayne notified the viewers that they were about to see a different kind of TV western drama, and he was right. At the time, shows of that genre were aimed at kids, ie: "The Lone Ranger" and "The Cisco Kid", "Gunsmoke" was billed as the first "adult western".
Matt Dillon (played by James Arness, the longest, continuous running, recurring character on television) was the tough but fair Marshal of Dodge City in post-Civil War Kansas. For 20 years he was either your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on which side of the law you were on.
Dr. Galen "Doc" Adams (played by Milburn Stone) was a crotchity old frontier doctor who knew his medicine and his limitations. He was sometimes the id to Matt's ego and other times the spur in Chester or Festus' saddle.
Katherine "Kitty" Russell (played by Amanda Blake) was the worldly wise owner of the Long Branch Saloon. Dispenser of drinks, advice and charm.
Chester Goode (played by Dennis Weaver) was Matt's assistant for the early years. Having lost a leg (in the war?) he walked with a limp, was famous for making bad coffee and was loyal as the day was long.
Festus Haggen (played by Ken Curtis) was eventually Matt's deputy. Dennis Weaver wanted to leave the show for some time so Festus' character was worked in gradually. In many an opinion (mine in fact) he surpassed his predecessor. A hillbilly who couldn't read, Festus was one tough hombre when challenged.
Along with other townsfolk who grew familiar to us over the years, Sam the bartender, Loud-mouthed Burke, Louis Pheeters the town drunk, Quint Asper the blacksmith and Newly O'Brien the gunsmith, loyal viewers almost became part of Dodge City.
The lessons are not always obvious. As the series went on, Matt learned that justice was not always righteous and right was sometimes wrong. But the message was always clear. And although they once had an elephant come to town, "Gunsmoke" never jumped the shark. It remained a high quality TV program spanning 3 decades.
Prior to TV Land airing this series last year I had only seen a handful of episodes. All I knew about it was that it was my father's favorite series as a boy. When TV Land began running episodes at 7:00 AM EST I'd put this on, and soon realized I was finding myself running late for work more often than not due to getting hooked on what would happen next in a particular episode.
I am a fan of Bonanza (mostly because of Adam!) but I must say that Gunsmoke without fail had much better plots, superior acting, and less predictability than Bonanza. Especially for a Western, I find the writing and the themes to be ahead of what other TV Westerns were dishing up.
That Gunsmoke is the greatest TV western of all time is hard to dispute. it may be the great TV show of all time. Think of what your favorite show might have been like after 20 years on the air and then compare it to Gunsmoke, which was probably as good as anything on TV for it's entire twenty year run. Not too many shows were on so long that their runs can be divided into eras, but Gunsmoke has three of them. The first is the half hour black and white era, (1955-61). This is the most praised era of the show and the era of it's greatest popularity, (it was the #1 show on TV the last four of those years). Critics praise the "tight scripting" of those days and James Arness has said he prefers John Meston's "little morality plays" to the later hour episodes, which some critics have called "bloated". I like the half hours because they show the program in it's formative years, when the cast was young, (and the right age for their characters). I also like you can get four of them to a cassette, rather than two. But these shows are basically about incidents, rather than stories. They lack character and story development. The second era is the hour long black and white era. This is my favorite, firstly because it's the earliest one I remember from the times I watched it with my father and secondly because it's the best. With the extra hour to work with and a new group of writers to do the work,. the series matured. The supporting cast became stars, (nearly every famous episode featuring Chester, Festus, Doc or Kitty comes from this period). It also is the era when the second lead was introduced. the first and best was Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper, who's entire run is in this era. The writers also increased the scope of the show by focusing on "guest characters" with the regulars as supporting players. Unfortunately, the general public didn't share my enthusiasm for this era, (or they found something better to do on Saturday nights). Gunsmoke fell from #1 to #36, (in an era where there were only three networks), and actually got briefly canceled until William Paley saved it. But the old Saturday night spot was taken by Mannix so the show was moved to Tuesday, where it was expected to die a natural death among shows intended for younger viewers. In the greatest upset in TV ratings history, the show was discovered by a new generation and rebounded to #2, earning it another 8 years on the air, by which time the western craze it had started was long over and all it's rivals, even Bonanza, were long off the air.
By this time, color had taken over. And it didn't do the show much good. Magazine reporters used to say: black and white for drama, color for excitement. Gunsmoke was about drama. Gunsmoke used to use an outdoor set for daytime Dodge City scenes. That disappeared in favor of an indoor set about 1960. In black an white the indoor set sufficed. In color it looked garish and stagy. Color had the same effect on the actors who were now too old for their roles. Real western marshals served for a few months at a time, (and, by the way, US Marshals were never town marshals). it became increasingly ridiculous to see Matt Dillon still gunning down the young whippersnappers after a decade or more. Miss Kitty went from a purdy young thing to a middle aged painted lady. Doc became increasingly enfeebled as Milburn Stone's health declined. Somehow the color film brought out all the wrinkles more than black and white. There where compensations. Each season began with a movie-caliber two parter shot on location in some national park. the overall script quality remained high as the cadre of writers continued to expand. They even got an outdoor set to use again in the later years, although it didn't look much like the Dodge City we had come to know.
The TV movies? The first one was terrible. The second one was quite good. the third one stunk and I didn't bother with them after that.
I think this is one of the best shows ever.It stars Milburn Stone as doc, Amanda Blake as kitty,Glenn Strange as the bartender of the long branch,James Arness as matt dillon the marshal,Buck Taylor as newly the gunsmith,Ken Curtis as Festus the deputy marshal(my favorite person on the show),they are the main actors.It has everything you want.If you like westerns this is the show for you.I love westerns and this is my favorite western tv show.but my favorite episodes are the ones thats in black and white that they dont show anymore.It used to be on the western channle but not anymore.
well, not only is gunsmoke the best western of all time, byt it is also the longest running drama series in the world as most of you know,it ran from 1955 - 1975, 20 seasons! i like how Marshall Matt Dilon is like a tank, and can fight anyone anywhere, sometimes three or four guys can take him after they beat him with a chair.i think that the characters development is very good for a series in the 50's and my dad watches it every day so i have seen quite alot of shows but of course not all of them.it is a very good western. it's a classic.later.
Gunsmoke was and is one of the best westerns to ever appear on television. Even beyond that, it is one of the better shows on television period. The writing was so good that it still holds up to today's standards. The regular cast was outstanding. The guest starts were absolutely fantastic. In this time period of television many famous actors would make appearances on great television shows such as this. Then there were the up and coming actors that would go on to become huge stars and used this as a springboard of sorts. All in all a great show that can still be watched today without missing a beat.
Gunsmoke is by far the best tv series and theres over 500 episodes to prove it.Gunsmoke is ovbiously not your taste what do you like? comedy?,Tv shows full of sex and constant violence?.Please if you have nothing to say good about it shut your mouth ,grab your remote and switch to your desired show and btw you should check out the movie "Browback Mountain" you might like the gay cowboys.I think one of the gay cowbows have a dot on there face and o yes it's called a beuty mark.We are so caught up these days, tv shows were everything is perfect.The point is for Festus to be a slump,but what is your taste? good looking guys and sexy girls in tv shows,Maybe if you stopped staring at kitties dot and festus's shirt you would be able to enjoy the show geez.Reviews are for mature people..why did you have to lie when you registed.
Watch a whole episode and you will fall in love with it. The best episodes are
Matt's Love Story
Matt Gets It
20 Miles to Dodge
The Long Night
Quiet Day in Dodge
7 Hours 'til Dawn
You cannot really know this show until you watch the early black and white eps (1955-57), the late 1/2 hour b & w eps (1957 to 1964), the b&w hour eps of the mid-60's and the color eps of the late 60's and early 70's. If you watch several shows from each era, you would think you are watching four different shows. Try watching them all in order and it is like you are watching a soap opera where you get to know the characters.
I love this show. I love it in the early 30 minute format or later at an hour long. I love all of the characters, but Matt, Kitty, Festus, Newly, and Doc Adams are the best. I really loved the interaction between Doc and Festus. Similar to Bones and Spock on Star Trek. I don't know what else to say... I love Gunsmoke.
This is definately a classic! One of the best shows of all time! I watch this show every time its on. All the actors in this show were the bets in my opinion. There'll never be another show like this. Thanks to all who created and worked on Gunsmoke. The best western of all time!
I looked forward to watching Gunsmoke everyday, it was one of the shows I really enjoyed and looked forward to. I think it is a shame to take it off and put something else in its place. What can we do to bring it Back?
The best western series ever made. You have a lot of shows you run over and over that are not as good as the Gunsmoke, so why not just put Gunsmoke back on so you dont have to rerun some of the less enjoyable shows. Without Gunsmoke, the Western channel is not the same. Please bring it back.
To make this short, my husband was deployed to the war in Iraq for a year and I found myself lonely and tired of those crazy new shows, I stumbled in on Chester, my husband got home 5 months later and we have been watching ever since.
Gunsmoke is awesome, awesome show and source of entertainment. My husband loves it, I mean now that we are older the humor in it is just as outstanding as the drama. My husbands favorite is \"take her she\'s cheap\" the way Matt goes off on the father after returing the daughter just floors him,we watch it on Encore so we know that it will come around again and again and again. Matt is a great man figure, not father. He sets the record straight and keeps it that way. Quint what can I say. Keep it up!
Gunsmoke was the longest running tv drama EVER. Theres a reason for that. It is truly one of the greatest shows ever, and without the brutal violence (sure people get shot and fall from bar house balcony's on a regular basis, but the violence always ended up biting the bad guys in the butt in the end.
Of course Gunsmoke wasn't all drama and gunslinging, some of the comedy episodes are classics themselves, of these the Dirty Sally episodes, and the Midget Were-Elephant episode are hilarius.
It really is a show the whole family can watch, and you don't have to worry about the young ones trying to karate kick your coffee sack afterwards.
I got a late start on this show. I never watched it when it first aired. I guess I was just too young to appreciate a great show. Now at 44 yrs old, each episode is like brand new to me, even though I am really watching reruns. I started with the black and white episodes on the Western Channels, after I had seen every single one that they would show, I started on the color episodes on tvland. I now have quite the collection. I really like the black and whites but, the color ones have more of my favorite characters in them. Number 1 to me of course is Matt but second to me is Newly, he is such a cutie. I also like Doc and Festus because of their humor.
I've watched Gunsmoke since I was a kid and I must say that I believe that it is the best of the TV westerns. It's success stems from the likeablility of characters such as Doc, Chester, Festus, etc. I also believe that the invulnernablity of Matt Dillion and the surety of his quick "justice" added to the show's success. They wussed up his character during the 70's leading to a definite lowering of the quality of the program. Before the 70's, I remember one show where a villian killed Matt's former mentor. For the entire show, Kitty, Doc, and Festus tried to convince Matt that he shouldn't seek revenge for the killing since he was a Federal Marshal, but at the end Dillon pumps six shots into him. Now that's entertainment!
Anyhoo, the producers kowtowed to the antiviolence tree-hugging milksop lobby and turned Dillon into what amounted to an absentee Marshal. Watch the black and white hour long programs with Burt Reynolds and Chester.
They're the best of the lot.
Of all the westerns of its day Gunsmoke was without a doubt the very best of them all. Family entertainment at its best. Nothing has come along since then with maybe the exception being Open Range. Both showed the West as it was trials and hardship they h
I started watching Gunsmoke at the tender age of 8 years old, and I have enjoyed watching the reruns now that I\'m 58 years old. This was a truly \"Classic\" western that the whole family could enjoy, in fact mine did. Every Saturday when I was growing up the whole family (there was 5 of us) would set in front of the first TV (1957) that we owned and enjoy every episode. What made Gunsmoke so popular in its day to me was \"wholesome\". Anybody could sit down and watch any episode and would like the ending. My grandson (Clayton) and I watch now so its come full cirle now for me. I hope everyone out there has a chance to watch this \"Classic\" for it is a very good Western for any time frame.
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