Gunsmoke

Season 20 Episode 9

The Tarnished Badge

1
Aired Unknown Nov 11, 1974 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

7.3
out of 10
Average
17 votes
  • 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.
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