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Genre: Western, TV series
Country: United States
Starring: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Dennis Weaver, Ken Curtis
Creators: John Meston, Norman MacDonnell
Run time: 8 hours 43 minutes
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
After the fourth season of Gunsmoke, I’m starting to lose faith. Like, I get it – Marshall Matt Dillon is a certified badass, the toughest man in the world and the fastest gun and the wisest lawman and he always gets his man. Or woman. Or horse or whatever. All good. All admirable and cool and if I had been a kid in the 50s I would totally have wanted to be James Arness.
But when I look at crime statistics these days, the percentage of crimes solved is not the main criteria for quality law enforcement. No, more emphasis of late has been placed on crime prevention. And it is in this regard that Marshall Dillon is clearly falling short. His reputation precedes him – he’s the fastest and the toughest and he’ll gun ya down soon as look at cha. And yet – no one seems overly concerned. There is still an AWFUL lot of crime in Dodge City. And a lot of killin’s and murders and people who want to kill the Marshall himself!
It has now been four years. And the crime rate in Dodge City, if anything, has gone UP. That is not effective policing, I think you will agree. And it IS tempting to place blame with the rest of the force, ie: Chester. But on further reflection, I can’t place the blame at the feet of Chester, because the buck must stop with the top man. And I’m afraid Marshall Dillon just didn’t make the cut. I assume that the coming seasons of Gunsmoke will see a sharp dip in criminal activity, or Marshall Dillon is sure to lose his job. There’s only a couple more seasons of Gunsmoke, right?