Watch Gunsmoke

  • TV-PG
  • 1955
  • 21 Seasons
  • 8.1  (8,638)

Gunsmoke is a classic American Western television show produced by CBS that aired from 1955 to 1975. The show starred James Arness as the legendary Marshal Matt Dillon of Dodge City, Kansas, and featured a cast of supporting actors that included Dennis Weaver, Ken Curtis, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Buck Taylor, Glenn Strange, Roger Ewing, and Burt Reynolds.

At its core, Gunsmoke is a character-driven drama that explores the complex relationships and moral dilemmas faced by the men and women of the Old West. The show's stories revolve around the tough and stoic Marshal Dillon, a man who has dedicated his life to upholding the law and protecting his community from outlaws and other criminals. Along with his trusty deputies, Chester (played by Weaver), and later Festus (played by Curtis), Dillon confronts a wide range of challenges, from bank robberies and cattle rustling to feuds between rival families and conflicts over water rights.

But Gunsmoke is much more than just a simple Western shoot-em-up. The show's writers and producers worked diligently to create a gritty and realistic portrayal of life on the frontier, where violence and justice often went hand in hand. As a result, Gunsmoke tackled complex social issues that were often taboo on television at the time, such as racism, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Many episodes also dealt with the aftermath of the Civil War and the tensions between the North and the South.

One of the show's most beloved characters is Miss Kitty (played by Amanda Blake), the owner of the Long Branch Saloon, a favorite hangout spot for the town's residents. Miss Kitty is portrayed as a strong and independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in, even if it puts her at odds with the men around her. She also has a deep and complicated relationship with Marshal Dillon, who is torn between his duty to protect the town and his feelings for her.

Another key figure in the show is Doc Adams (played by Milburn Stone), the town's kindly physician and a close friend of Marshal Dillon. Doc is a calming presence in a place that is often violent and chaotic, and he serves as a moral compass for the other characters. Later in the series, Buck Taylor joins the cast as Newly O'Brien, a young and idealistic deputy who looks up to Marshal Dillon and is eager to prove himself.

Over the years, Gunsmoke became an iconic part of American pop culture, inspiring spin-off novels, a comic book series, and even a popular radio show that ran concurrently with the television series. The show's theme song, composed by Rex Koury, is instantly recognizable to many viewers and has become synonymous with the American West itself.

Despite its longevity and popularity, Gunsmoke was not without its controversies. Some critics accused the show of glorifying violence and perpetuating harmful stereotypes about Native Americans and other marginalized groups. However, the show's creators argued that they were simply trying to explore the complexities of life on the frontier and represent the different perspectives of the people who lived there.

In conclusion, Gunsmoke is a classic Western television show that has had a lasting impact on American popular culture. By exploring the moral dilemmas and social issues of life on the frontier, the show went beyond the typical shoot-em-up formula of the genre and created a nuanced and compelling portrait of the Old West. With its iconic characters, memorable theme song, and timeless storytelling, Gunsmoke remains a beloved part of American television history.

Gunsmoke is a series that is currently running and has 21 seasons (777 episodes). The series first aired on September 10, 1955.

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Gunsmoke V: One Man's Justice
6. Gunsmoke V: One Man's Justice
February 10, 1994
Dodge City's epic lawman, Marshal Dillon, saddles up to save a teenaged boy out to avenge his mother's murder at the hands of a ruthless gang of outlaws.
Gunsmoke IV: The Long Ride
5. Gunsmoke IV: The Long Ride
May 8, 1993
After being accused of murdering a wealthy mine operator, Marshal Dillon has to clear his name by tracking down three suspects who look like him, and manages to prove his innocence in a hail of gunfire with the the real suspect: the miner's son.
Gunsmoke III: To The Last Man
4. Gunsmoke III: To The Last Man
May 21, 1992
When the savage Tommy Graham gang steal his cattle, Matt sets off alone to recover his herd and lands himself in the middle of one of the Old West's bloodiest family feuds.
Gunsmoke II: The Last Apache - Part 1
2. Gunsmoke II: The Last Apache - Part 1
March 18, 1990
Retired Marshal Matt Dillon discovers that a long-lost love of his has been kidnapped by a fierce warrior chief of the infamous Geronimo and has to snatch two imprisoned Apaches from jail in order to arrange a swap for his former lover.
Gunsmoke I: Return To Dodge
1. Gunsmoke I: Return To Dodge
September 26, 1987
While pursuing an old foe, Matt Dillon is ambushed by mountaineers, then saved by a muleskinner and Miss Kitty, and after another of Dillon's arch-enemies is released from prison, settles an old score with his desperate foe on the streets of Dodge City.
Where to Watch Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Gunsmoke on demand at Apple TV Channels, Paramount+, Amazon Prime and Pluto TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 10, 1955
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (8,638)