Gunsmoke: The Fifth Season, Vol. 1 [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

Special Features

  • Sponsor Spots
  • James Arness: In Memoriam


Gunsmoke's fifth season on CBS marked the third consecutive year that the series ranked as America's top-rated television program. In fact, it was good year all around for TV westerns: Four of the "top ten" shows were shoot-em-ups, with seven additional westerns ranking in the overall Top Twenty. Adding to Gunsmoke's appeal was the seeming public accessibility of three of its four stars: Throught 1959 and 1960, Dennis Weaver (Chester), Amanda Blake (Kitty) and Milburn Stone (Doc) toured the state and county fair circuit with their own musical-comedy act, delightfully playing upon their established Gunsmoke personalities as well as astonishing their fans with their overall versatility. The antics of these three seasoned troupers more than compensated for the Garboesque behavior of series star James Arness, who seldom appeared in public on any occasion, and who virtually never gave out interviews. And when he did deign to speak to the press, it was generally to tell the reporters that he hated publicity and that they should mind their own business! Within the confines of Gunsmoke, however, Arness apparently had a lot to say: It was well known throughout the industry that he controlled virtually every aspect of the program, from choice of scripts to casting of supporting actors; and indeed, within a year the series would be officially designated as an "Arness Production." By the time Season Five rolled around, Gunsmoke was relying almost exclusive on original script material, as opposed to the standard practice of earlier seasons, wherein many of the episodes had been adapted from the long-running Gunsmoke radio series. Even so, the show's chief scriptwriter remained John Meston, who'd also been responsible for the bulk of the radio episodes. And while Gunsmoke still disdained the use of "celebrity" guest stars, the supporting casts this season remained topheavy with familiar character actors, among them John Carradine, Karl Swenson, John Anderson, Jack Elam, Elisha Cook Jr. and Allyn Joslyn. ~ Hal Erickson

Cast & Crew

  • James Arness - Marshal Matt Dillon
  • Milburn Stone - Dr. Galen `Doc' Adams
  • Amanda Blake - Kitty Russell
  • Dennis Weaver - Chester Goode
  • Ken Curtis - Festus Haggen

Overall Customer Rating

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