Gunsmoke

Season 20 Episode 9

The Tarnished Badge

1
Aired Unknown Nov 11, 1974 on CBS
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
17 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Tarnished Badge
AIRED:
Matt's friend, Sheriff Harker runs his town ruthlessly, punishing anyone disobeying him.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A good lawman gone off the deep end.

    9.1
    This is one of the best of the color episodes. Matt is dropping off a young prisoner in a jail in a town run by Matt's old friend, Beau Harker. The town had been overrun by outlaws, and was desperate for someone to rid it of lawlessness and return it to relative peace and tranquility. Harker answered the call and was made sheriff by the grateful citizens. While in town Matt notices the people acting as though they're fearful and is shocked to learn the reason: the peace and tranquility the town craved came with a price. The citizens were scared to death of Harker, who ran their town like a feudal despot. The timid and frightened town council, with Matt's backing, fires Harker, who vows revenge. He soon returns to town and shoots up the bar. When his worshipful deputy (Nick Nolte), who was made acting sheriff by Matt, attempts to arrest him, the mad ex-sheriff kills his former deputy. Matt returns to face Harker in a showdown, but the deputy's mournful intended bride has plans of her own.



    Victor French, one of the most frequent of the series' guest stars, is superb as the despotic sheriff. Besides Nolte, William Katt also appears, playing the young prisoner.moreless
Ruth McDevitt

Ruth McDevitt

Grandma Boggs

Guest Star

Nick Nolte

Nick Nolte

Barney Austin

Guest Star

Pamela McMyler

Pamela McMyler

Jenny Blair

Guest Star

Victor French

Victor French

Sheriff Bo Harker

Recurring Role

Garry Walberg

Garry Walberg

Toby, Bartender

Recurring Role

Eddie Firestone

Eddie Firestone

Hotel Clerk

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Matt: Well, I'd say a man that's just lost his wife's got a right to get drunk. 'Specially if he's not botherin' anybody.

    • Grandma Boggs: (to Matt) You know there's an old saying about a man is known by the company he keeps. And the company you're keepin' is the devil's own.

    • Bo Harker: Let me tell you something, Matt. There's one thing different about this town. Ya know most places, folks, they don't appreciate what the law does for 'em. They do here. They surely do.

  • NOTES (2)

    • James Arness is the only 'regular' to appear in this episode.

    • Victor French (1934-89) was a incredible character actor, he could be very funny, and like in this episode very dark and evil. He was a regular on the television series, Little House on the Prairie, Carter Country, and Highway to Heaven. He also directed many episodes of Gunsmoke, and as an actor appeared in 16 episodes, including the last, "The Sharecroppers" (Mar. 31,1975).

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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