DVD review: 'Gunsmoke' The Sixth Season Volume 1
The sixth season of ‚ÄúGunsmoke‚ÄĚ (1960-‚Äô61) was its last as a 30-minutes-per-episode series and its last truly great string of teleplays. John Meston ‚ÄĒ co-creator along with director
The original cast beloved by millions was still intact, with six-foot-seven-inch James Arness as the incorruptible, no-nonsense, leather-tough U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon, Amanda Blake as Kitty Russell, the saloonkeeper with a heart of gold and an unspoken love for the big lawman, Milburn Stone as the cantankerous but caring Dr. Galen ‚ÄúDoc‚ÄĚ Adams, and the inimitable Dennis Weaver ‚ÄĒ former University of Oklahoma drama major and track star ‚ÄĒ as ‚ÄúMr. Dillon‚Äôs‚ÄĚ Okie-drawling, limping, loyal assistant, Chester Goode.
The first volume of the sixth season contains 19 episodes (TV series averaged well over 30 episodes a year back then). Actors who made numerous appearances in different roles over the years crop up in several segments, including John Dehner, this time as a bullying outlaw named Rack, who captures Matt and tries to use him as a passport out of the country; John Hoyt as a mean rancher who pushes his mild-mannered son too far in ‚ÄúNo Chip,‚ÄĚ and Kenneth Tobey as a trouble-making buffalo hunter who may or may not have killed one of Matt‚Äôs best friends in ‚ÄúThe Worm.‚ÄĚ
Unlike other ‚ÄúGunsmoke‚ÄĚ DVD sets that include such extras as vintage commercials with cast members hawking L&M cigarettes, Sixth Season Volume 1 contains no bonus features, but the many great stories and performances more than make up for that shortcoming.
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