Gunsmoke season 4

(Redirected from Gunsmoke (season 4))

Gunsmoke is an American Western television series developed by Charles Marquis Warren and based on the radio program of the same name.[1] The series ran for 20 seasons, making it the longest-running Western in television history.[2][3]

Season 4
No. of episodes39
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 13, 1958 (1958-09-13) –
June 13, 1959 (1959-06-13)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of episodes

The first episode of season 4 aired in the United States on September 13, 1958, and the final episode aired on June 13, 1959. All episodes were broadcast in the U.S. by CBS.[4]

Season 4 of Gunsmoke was a half-hour program filmed in black-and-white, as one hour episodes were not introduced until season 7, and color episodes were not filmed until season 12.

Synopsis edit

Gunsmoke is set in and around Dodge City, Kansas, in the post-Civil War era and centers on United States Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) as he enforces law and order in the city. In its original format, the series also focuses on Dillon's friendship with three other citizens of Dodge City: Doctor Galen "Doc" Adams (Milburn Stone), the town's physician; Kitty Russell (Amanda Blake), saloon girl and later owner of the Long Branch Saloon; and Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver), Dillon's assistant.[5]

Cast and characters edit

Main edit

Production edit

Season 4 consisted of 39 half-hour black-and-white episodes produced by Norman Macdonnell.

Casting edit

Ken Curtis appears in this season prior to his casting as Festus Haggen. He was cast in episode 21, "Jayhawkers" and episode 32, "Change of Heart".

Eddie Little Sky, who played the warrior in episode 39, "Cheyennes", was a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe. He was one of the first Native American actors to play Native American roles. Kim Winona who played the daughter in the same episode, was an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux people.

Writing edit

As in previous seasons, scripts would occasionally use real-life characters in the storyline. In episode 38, "Blue Horse", the character Blue Horse was an Oglala Lakota chief who had signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, along with his brothers Chief American Horse the Elder and Chief Red Cloud.

Production design edit

Sets were often reused across multiple episodes. The ranch used in episode 36, "Print Asper", was also used in several prior episodes. The cabin with the wooden bridge across the ditch in the beginning scenes of episode 39, "Cheyennes", was also used in multiple episodes.

Producers were not always careful about consistency with the time period. In the background of episode 24, "Doc Quits", there's a Pabst Blue Ribbon advertising sign on the wall behind Doc in the Long Branch when the new doctor approaches him. The sign may be out of place since the label wasn't created until 1893. In episode 36, "Print Asper", when Will Asper is eavesdropping at the lawyer's window you can see an electrical outlet on the wall, next to the tree.

Episodes edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1181"Matt for Murder"Richard WhorfJohn MestonSeptember 13, 1958 (1958-09-13)
Matt is being framed for killing a man.
1192"The Patsy"Richard WhorfStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
September 20, 1958 (1958-09-20)
Matt doubts the veracity of a Long Branch saloon girl who claims she saw a trail hand kill a man.
1203"Gunsmuggler"Richard WhorfStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
September 27, 1958 (1958-09-27)
Matt investigates an Indian raid that wiped out a family.
1214"Monopoly"Seymour BernsStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
October 4, 1958 (1958-10-04)
An unscrupulous Eastern businessman is purchasing all the local freight lines.
1225"Letter of the Law"Richard WhorfStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
October 11, 1958 (1958-10-11)
Matt is reluctant in evicting a man and his expectant wife from their ranch.
1236"Thoroughbreds"Richard WhorfJohn MestonOctober 18, 1958 (1958-10-18)
Matt and Chester out riding the range come upon a rather suspicious and unfriendly man who hustles two beautiful thoroughbreds away in a big hurry.
1247"Stage Hold-Up"Ted PostStory by : John Meston
Teleplay by : Les Crutchfield
October 25, 1958 (1958-10-25)
Masked gunmen hold up a stagecoach carrying Matt and Chester, and later back in Dodge, the Marshal recognizes one of the robber's voices.
1258"Lost Rifle"Richard WhorfJohn MestonNovember 1, 1958 (1958-11-01)
Without more evidence, Matt is reluctant to arrest his friend who had an ongoing feud with a man found shot in the back.
1269"Land Deal"Ted PostStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
November 8, 1958 (1958-11-08)
A wagon master leading immigrants to property outside of Dodge believes there will be trouble, and has an unorthodox request of Matt, assign him a deputy's badge.
12710"Lynching Man"Richard WhorfJohn MestonNovember 15, 1958 (1958-11-15)
A rancher traumatized by a lynching in his past takes the law into his own hands, which leads to disastrous results.
12811"How to Kill a Friend"Richard WhorfJohn MestonNovember 22, 1958 (1958-11-22)
Two gamblers attempt to bribe Matt, and when he tells them to get out of Dodge, they hire a gunman to intimidate him.
12912"Grass"Richard WhorfJohn MestonNovember 29, 1958 (1958-11-29)
A homesteader believes Indians are harassing him at night, and after Matt tells him to get a rifle, he mistakenly shoots and kills a cowhand.
13013"The Cast"Jesse HibbsJohn MestonDecember 6, 1958 (1958-12-06)
A farmer who doesn't trust doctors blames Doc for the death of his wife.
13114"Robber Bridegroom"Richard WhorfJohn MestonDecember 13, 1958 (1958-12-13)
A girl engaged to be married refuses to testify against the stagecoach robber who kidnapped her.
13215"Snakebite"Ted PostJohn MestonDecember 20, 1958 (1958-12-20)
An old frontier plainsman is wrongfully accused of murdering a man who shot his dog.
13316"Gypsum Hills Feud"Richard WhorfStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
December 27, 1958 (1958-12-27)
Matt and Chester are caught in the middle of a bitter and bloody feud between two mountain families.
13417"Young Love"Seymour BernsJohn MestonJanuary 3, 1959 (1959-01-03)
The widow of an aging cattleman is in love with one of the men who's suspected of killing her husband.
13518"Marshal Proudfoot"Jesse HibbsStory by : Tom Hanley
Screenplay by : John Meston
January 10, 1959 (1959-01-10)
Chester's uncle comes to Dodge and based on letters from Chester believes him to be the Marshal.
13619"Passive Resistance"Ted PostJohn MestonJanuary 17, 1959 (1959-01-17)
An elderly sheepherder who opposes violence refuses to tell Matt the identity of the two cattlemen who are tormenting him.
13720"Love of a Good Woman"Arthur HillerStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
January 24, 1959 (1959-01-24)
A recently released convict breaks his parole when he comes to Dodge to kill Matt.
13821"Jayhawkers"Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonJanuary 31, 1959 (1959-01-31)
Matt helps a trail boss fend off Jayhawkers by escorting his cattle herd to Dodge.
13922"Kitty's Rebellion"Jesse HibbsStory by : Marian Clark
Screenplay by : John Meston
February 7, 1959 (1959-02-07)
The brother of a family friend visits Kitty and is displeased to find her running a saloon, and when trouble ensues, she objects to his efforts to save her honor.
14023"Sky"Ted PostStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
February 14, 1959 (1959-02-14)
Matt investigates the murder of an older saloon girl, where the prime suspect is a young cowboy who fled the scene.
14124"Doc Quits"Edward LudlumJohn MestonFebruary 21, 1959 (1959-02-21)
Doc is resentful and feels sorry for himself when a new town doctor comes to town and makes off with his patients.
14225"The Bear"Jesse HibbsJohn MestonFebruary 28, 1959 (1959-02-28)
A former saloon girl's upcoming marriage is put in jeopardy by her old boyfriend when he frames the bridegroom for murder.
14326"The Coward"Jesse HibbsJohn MestonMarch 7, 1959 (1959-03-07)
Matt and Chester's friend is mistaken for the Marshal and shot in the back by a coward.
14427"The F.U."Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonMarch 14, 1959 (1959-03-14)
Matt investigates a series of crimes linked to one man, but Chester bungles the outcome.
14528"Wind"Arthur HillerJohn MestonMarch 21, 1959 (1959-03-21)
Matt suspects the new saloon girl of being associated with a crooked gambler.
14629"Fawn"Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonApril 4, 1959 (1959-04-04)
Matt and Chester rescue a white woman and her half-Indian daughter held captive for ten years.
14730"Renegade White"Andrew V. McLaglenStory by : John Meston
Screenplay by : Les Crutchfield
April 11, 1959 (1959-04-11)
Matt tracks down a "white renegade" who's selling guns to a small band of Indians that have jumped the reservation.
14831"Murder Warrant"Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonApril 18, 1959 (1959-04-18)
Matt defends a local boy, wanted for murder in a nearby town run by a corrupt sheriff.
14932"Change of Heart"Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonApril 25, 1959 (1959-04-25)
Matt is suspicious of a saloon girl who comes between two brothers that have inherited their father's ranch.
15033"Buffalo Hunter"Ted PostJohn MestonMay 2, 1959 (1959-05-02)
Matt pursues a demented buffalo hunter who savagely killed his own men.
15134"The Choice"Ted PostJohn MestonMay 9, 1959 (1959-05-09)
Matt helps a young gunman who is trying to go straight.
15235"There Never Was a Horse"Andrew V. McLaglenJohn MestonMay 16, 1959 (1959-05-16)
A well-known gunfighter comes to Dodge and wants to add to his reputation by killing Matt.
15336"Print Asper"Ted PostJohn MestonMay 23, 1959 (1959-05-23)
A rancher is suspected of murder after an unscrupulous lawyer tries to con him out of his land.
15437"The Constable"Arthur HillerJohn MestonMay 30, 1959 (1959-05-30)
Dodge City's merchants are unhappy when Matt clamps down on a Texas trail boss and his men.
15538"Blue Horse"Andrew V. McLaglen and Ted PostStory by : Marian Clark
Screenplay by : John Meston
June 6, 1959 (1959-06-06)
Matt is injured and makes an ethical decision when an Indian he saved in the past now comes to his rescue.
15639"Cheyennes"Ted PostJohn MestonJune 13, 1959 (1959-06-13)
While the Cavalry searches for a small band of Cheyenne, Matt and Chester focus on the gunrunners that supplied the renegades with rifles.

Release edit

Broadcast edit

Season four aired Saturdays at 10:00-10:30 pm (EST) on CBS.[4]

Home media edit

The fourth season was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment in two volumes. The first 19 episodes were released on October 5, 2010 and the remaining 20 episodes were released on October 5, 2010.

Reception edit

Gunsmoke held the number one primetime spot in the Nielsen ratings four years straight, for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons.[6]

Awards and nominations edit

Award Year[a] Category Nominee(s) / Work Result Ref(s)
Primetime Emmy Awards 1959 Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series James Arness Nominated
Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series Dennis Weaver Won
Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series Amanda Blake Nominated
Best Western Series Gunsmoke Nominated
  1. ^ Indicates the year of ceremony.

Footnotes edit

  1. ^ Barbaras 1990, p. 74–75.
  2. ^ Brooks & Marsh 2007, p. 570–571.
  3. ^ McNeil 1996, p. 351–352.
  4. ^ a b Brooks & Marsh 2007, p. 570.
  5. ^ Barbaras 1990, p. 87–102.
  6. ^
    • "1957-1958 TV Ratings".
    • "1958-1959 TV Ratings".
    • "1959-1960 TV Ratings".
    • "1960-1961 TV Ratings".

References edit

External links edit