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Gunsmoke V: One Man's Justice
Dodge City's epic lawman, Marshal Dillon, saddles up to save a teenaged boy out to avenge his mother's murder at the hands of a ruthless gang of outlaws.

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Gunsmoke IV: The Long Ride
After being accused of murdering a wealthy mine operator, Marshal Dillon has to clear his name by tracking down three suspects who look like him, and manages to prove his innocence in a hail of gunfire with the the real suspect: the miner's son.

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Gunsmoke III: To The Last Man
When the savage Tommy Graham gang steal his cattle, Matt sets off alone to recover his herd and lands himself in the middle of one of the Old West's bloodiest family feuds.

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Gunsmoke II: The Last Apache - Part 1
Retired Marshal Matt Dillon discovers that a long-lost love of his has been kidnapped by a fierce warrior chief of the infamous Geronimo and has to snatch two imprisoned Apaches from jail in order to arrange a swap for his former lover.

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Gunsmoke I: Return To Dodge
While pursuing an old foe, Matt Dillon is ambushed by mountaineers, then saved by a muleskinner and Miss Kitty, and after another of Dillon's arch-enemies is released from prison, settles an old score with his desperate foe on the streets of Dodge City.

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Gunsmoke is a quintessential piece of American television history, a pioneering production in the western genre, that ran from 1955 to 1975 on CBS. Lauded for its realistically gritty portrayal of the perils and nuances of life in the settlement era of the Old West, the show has a revered standing not just for its longevity in the face of the ever-changing television landscape, but also for its contributions to the evolution of the television Western.

Set in the rough-and-tumble frontier town of Dodge City, Kansas, during the 1870s, Gunsmoke revolves around the life and adventures of Matt Dillon, the town's noble and tenacious Marshal. Dillon, played for two decades by the charismatic James Arness, is a towering figure, a symbol of the law in a lawless land, steadfast in face of the countless moral and physical challenges thrown towards him.

The portrayal of Dillon's character is widely regarded as a departure from the traditional depiction of western heroes. Rather than embodying infallibility and invincible courage, Dillon demonstrates resilience, compassion, and a more humanized struggle with the decision-making burdens of maintaining justice in an environment where survival often depends on brutality and fast bullets.

Gunsmoke's sprawling ensemble cast features a variety of memorable characters. Kitty Russell, played by the charming Amanda Blake, is a saloon proprietor and a close friend of Matt Dillon. She serves as an important emotional anchor in the storyline. There's also Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), Dodge City's seasoned, yet empathetic physician, who shares a deep bond of friendship with Dillon. The lively character of Chester Goode, portrayed by Dennis Weaver, adds many layers of depth to the narrative as Dillon's loyal deputy, often providing comic relief against the show's hard-boiled backdrop.

The narrative of Gunsmoke seamlessly combines action and psychological drama, resulting in a product that is head and shoulders above the average western. Each episode unfolds a new threat that Dillon must tackle, often resulting in a mixture of harsh gunfights and complicated moral dilemmas that keep the audience captivated. Furthermore, the show captures the diverse stories of Dodge City's inhabitants, both regular and transient, adding depth to its overarching narrative.

Although action and tension fill Gunsmoke's spellbinding plots, the series does not limit itself to law enforcement storylines. It consistently explores thematic elements like love, prejudice, and redemption, imparting a profound, enduring quality to its narrative. This sustained emphasis on human emotion and values serves not only to colorfully portray the complexities of life in Dodge City, but also to challenge viewers' perceptions of the so-called ‘wild’ West.

Through its expansive 20-year run, Gunsmoke witnessed many changes, both in terms of its production and the society it mirrored. The show started as a half-hour black-and-white program and evolved into a full-hour color spectacle, a reflection of the advancing technology it embraced over the years. The progression of the series genuinely mirrors the societal changes during its run, rendering Gunsmoke as an endearing spectacle of evolving American society.

Gunsmoke’s gritty authenticity, thought-provoking themes, unique plotlines, and unforgettable characters—alongside exceptional performances by a talented cast—have solidified its legacy as one of the greatest television westerns of all time. Its ability to bring the struggle, thrill, and drama of the American frontier to the living room over its twenty-year run has undeniably earmarked Gunsmoke as a timeless classic in American television history.

Gunsmoke is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 21 seasons with a total of 777 episodes, the show debuted on 1955. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.1.

How to Watch Gunsmoke

How can I watch Gunsmoke online? Gunsmoke is available on CBS with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Gunsmoke on demand at Apple TV Channels, Pluto TV online.

Dennis Weaver, Ken Curtis, James Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Buck Taylor, Glenn Strange, Roger Ewing, Burt Reynolds
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