ARNESS PRODUCTIONS/ CBS TELEVISION
Information From IMDb
Matt Dillon, is the Marshall of the wild west town Dodge City, where lawlessness is rife!
He uses, his sound judgement. to deal with the daily problems of frontier life,
gunfights, brawls, castle rustling, land fraud and other stand offs!
Written by ethanedwards
James Arness ... Marshal Matt Dillon / ... (615 episodes, 1955-1975)
Milburn Stone ... Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams (387 episodes, 1955-1975)
Amanda Blake ... Kitty Russell (351 episodes, 1955-1974)
Ken Curtis ... Festus Haggen / ... (241 episodes, 1959-1975)
Glenn Strange ... Sam Noonan / ... (194 episodes, 1961-1973)
Dennis Weaver ... Chester Goode (177 episodes, 1955-1964)
Buck Taylor ... Newly O'Brien / ... (113 episodes, 1967-1975)
Ted Jordan ... Nathan Burke / ... (105 episodes, 1961-1975)
James Nusser ... Louie Pheeters / ... (75 episodes, 1956-1970)
Burt Reynolds ... Quint Asper (50 episodes, 1962-1965)
and many, many more including
Jenny Lee Arness, Edward Asner Dan Blocker, Bruce Boxleitner,
Beau Bridges, Charles Bronson, Gary Busey,
Sebastian Cabot, Frank Cady, Harry Carey, Jr.,
John Carradine, Lee J. Cobb, Chuck Connors
Elisha Cook, Jr., Robert Culp,Kim Darby, Bette Davis
Bruce Dern, William Devane, Angie Dickinson, James Doohan,
Richard Dreyfuss, Buddy Ebsen, Barbara Eden, Jack Elam, Sam Elliott, Paul Fix
Jay C. Flippen, Constance Ford, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Victor French
Leif Garrett,, Alan Hale, Jr. Earl Holliman, Ron Howard,
Marsha Hunt, Dennis Hopper, John Ireland, Richard Jaeckel, Ben Johnson,
DeForest Kelley, George Kennedy, Martin Landau
Anna Lee, Jack Lord, Strother Martin, Vera Miles, John Mitchum,
Ricardo Montalban, Leslie Nielsen, Leonard Nimoy,
Warren Oates, John Payne, Slim Pickens,Denver Pyle,
Pernell Roberts, Katharine Ross, Kurt Russell,
William Shatner, Aaron Spelling, Loretta Swit, S Gloria Talbott,
Russ Tamblyn, Vic Tayback
Forrest Tucker, Robert Urich, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Vaughn
Jon Voight, Adam West, Chill Wills,
Series Directed by
Andrew V. McLaglen (96 episodes, 1956-1965)
Harry Harris (64 episodes, 1961-1966)
Ted Post (55 episodes, 1955-1963)
Bernard McEveety (53 episodes, 1967-1975)
And many, many others....
* At 20 years and 633 episodes, the longest-running American prime-time drama TV series to date. (2008)
* It was originally produced for the CBS Television Network by Filmcrafters at the Producers Studio (now the Raleigh Studio). Around 1960, CBS took over production and moved it to KTLA Studios, then owned by Paramount Pictures. Around 1963 production was moved to CBS Studio Center, formerly Republic Studios, where it remained for the rest of the show's run. Starting around 1970, CBS produced it in association with The Arness Company (James Arness). Originally syndicated by CBS Films and then by its successor, Viacom, now Paramount Television.
* James Arness and Milburn Stone are the only two regulars to stay with the show for its entire 20-year, 633-episode duration on CBS.
* The series was the final film project of Glenn Strange.
* Slated to be canceled in 1967 due to low ratings, but then-CBS president William Paley reversed the decision. He moved the show from Saturdays to Mondays (cancelling "Gilligan's Island" (1964) in the process), placing it back in the Nielsen's Top Ten (Paley and his wife were both big fans of the show).
* Rumor has it that Rex Koury had so little time to pen the theme song that he hastily scribbled it while in the bathroom. It was originally written for "Gunsmoke" when it was a radio show and later adapted for TV.
* "Gunsmoke" was created by writer John Meston and producer Norman MacDonnell as a radio series that premiered on CBS in 1952. Many of the early television episodes are adaptations of Meston's radio scripts. The radio series ran for more than 400 episodes and lasted until 1961.
* When a replacement for Dennis Weaver was needed when he was leaving the show it was director Andrew V. McLaglen's suggestion that Ken Curtis be brought in for a tryout as Festus Haggen in a few episodes. McLaglen had directed Curtis in a similar role in an episode of "Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957). Festus was given the job of deputy to make him different from Weaver's character of Chester Good (who was never a deputy).
* The series was set in the 1870s. Kansas entered the Union in 1861. The Marshals Service provided local law enforcement in territories, not in states. The duties Matt Dillon performed would have been handled by a town Marshal or county sheriff (in this case, Ford County). Each state (or federal court district) had one US Marshal, who was in charge of all the Deputy US Marshals in that particular jurisdiction; Matt Dillon would have been a Deputy US Marshal.
* The actress originally offered the part of Miss Kitty, Polly Bond (aka Polly Ellis), turned it down due to her recent (at the time) marriage to actor Tommy Bond in 1953.
* This show, along with "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955) helped launch a great era of the TV western. Westerns became so popular on TV that by the end of the 1950s, there would be as many as 40 Westerns in prime time.
* Originated in a 30-minute format, later expanding to 60 minutes.
* According to a TV Guide article published in the August 23, 1975 issue (just before the show left the air), 26 actors screen-tested for the role of Matt Dillon. William Conrad (voice of radio's Matt Dillon) was one, but didn't look the part. Raymond Burr sounded great, but according to producer-director Charles Marquis Warren: "he was too big; when he stood up his chair stood up with him" (Burr later lost considerable weight to play Perry Mason)). John Pickard almost made it, but did poorly in a love scene with Kitty (he later guest-starred a few times in various roles). Warren and producer Norman MacDonnell stoutly denied that they even considered major film star John Wayne - but they went with James Arness, who looked and sounded a LOT like Wayne. When Arness was reluctant to take the role, Wayne persuaded him and even agreed to introduce the first episode.
* According to "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows" (8th Edition, pg. 495), John Wayne was the first choice to play Marshal Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke" (1955), but declined because he did not want to commit to a weekly TV series. He did, however, recommend his friend James Arness for the role, and gave the on-camera introduction in the pilot.
* Gary Busey's character Harve Daley was the last man killed on the show.
* James Arness received his draft notice in 1943 and trained at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, before shipping out for North Africa. He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in time for the invasion of Anzio. Ten days after the invasion, Arness was severely wounded in the leg and foot by machine-gun fire. His wounds, he lost part of his foot, plagued him the rest of his life. The injury made it difficult for him to walk for extended stretches, when shooting movies or TV shows, any scenes that required extensive walking would be shot early in the morning, before his feet and knees started giving out. The wounds resulted in his medical discharge from the army. He received the Bronze Star; the Purple Heart; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars; the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge for his service
* The famous opening scene of every episode showed Matt Dillon facing down a gunman on Dodge City's main street, the gunman drawing and firing and Dillon firing back. That "gunman" was actor and quick-draw artist Rodd Redwing, famous for his ability to draw his gun from its holster and fire it in only two-tenths of a second.
* The gunfight between Matt Dillon and an unknown gunman that opened every episode was shot on the same main street as that used in High Noon (1952).
Bell Ranch, Santa Susana, California, USA
Big Sky Ranch - 4927 Bennett Road, Simi Valley, California, USA
Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA
CBS Studio Center - 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA
California Studios - 5530 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Coronado National Forest, Arizona, USA
Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California, USA
Hill City, South Dakota, USA
Hollywood Center Studios/KTLA Sunset Lot - 5800 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Johnson Canyon, Kanab, Utah, USA
Kanab Movie Ranch - 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah, USA
Kanab, Utah, USA
Melody Ranch - 24715 Oak Creek Avenue, Newhall, California, USA
Old Tucson - 201 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Paramount Ranch - 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA
Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park - Agua Dulce, California, USA
John Wayne Gunsmoke Intro
Good evening. My name's Wayne. Some of you may have seen me before; I hope so. I've been kicking around Hollywood a long time. I've made a lot of pictures out here, all kinds, and some of them have been Westerns. And that's what I'm here to tell you about tonight: a Western—a new TV show called Gunsmoke. No, I'm not in it. I wish I were, though, because I think it's the best thing of its kind that's come along, and I hope you'll agree with me; it's honest, it's adult, it's realistic. When I first heard about the show Gunsmoke, I knew there was only one man to play in it: James Arness. He's a young fellow, and maybe new to some of you, but I've worked with him and I predict he'll be a big star. So you might as well get used to him, like you've had to get used to me! And now I'm proud to present my friend Jim Arness in Gunsmoke.
— John Wayne- Gunsmoke TV episode one
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