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Gunsmoke

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mrsl
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Gunsmoke

Postby mrsl » June 1st, 2014, 11:41 pm

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Since most comments about Gunsmoke are on the Gunsmoke vs. Bonanza thread, I wanted to talk only about Gunsmoke. As of now, being on my second sometimes third, re-run visit with Gunsmoke, I am now in the section where for a short time Burt Reynolds was in the assistant/ deputy spot. The thing that gets me is after all those years on the radio, and the half hour, then full hour shows with Chester as his sidekick, the writers and casting people came up with a handsome, normal guy like Quint. Why, oh why, did they go back to another pain in the neck type like Festus? Matt could easily have Quint take a prisoner back to town and lock him up without worrying about Quint getting tricked and losing the guy, as well as someone who could track even in the rain, and was as careful with a gun as Matt himself was, not to mention the fact that Matt could carry on a decent adult conversation with him for more than 30 seconds.

I realize that Festus was a guest character quite a few times before he became a regular, but HOW??? Did that many people write in clamoring about how entertaining he was? THAT is something I cannot imagine. Plus the terrible murder of the American language from Festus. If I had had small kids at the time, they would NOT have been allowed to watch, especially boys if heaven forbid they saw his reaction to the suggestion of his taking a bath, lordy, lordy, lordy.

Any comments?
Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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movieman1957
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby movieman1957 » June 2nd, 2014, 7:59 am

I think you hit it in that Festus was a character. He was markedly different than Matt in very much the same way the Chester was different than Matt. I like Reynolds as Quint but it strikes me that he is rather like Matt. Besides I don't think Doc and Quint would have the arguing that Doc does with the rest. (That wouldn't be Quint's style.)

It is funny you mention bathing because I saw part of one the other day where Festus was taking a bath. (His girlfriend April was in it so that may have been the overriding reason.)

I think if it hadn't been Festus it would have been somebody not all that different from him.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

RedRiver
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby RedRiver » June 2nd, 2014, 4:19 pm

I'm not a big Festus fan. I'm just fine with Chester. But Festus is annoying! I don't know the show's history as Mrs. L does. But there came a time when the cast featured both goofy sidekick AND capable deputy. Young Thad and the very likeable Newly. Maybe that placated both camps. Maybe not. Better to have Festus marry a rich widow and disappear entirely!

"I ain't got no never mind to marryin' no widder. I'm fixin' to eat me a mess a' hotcakes and johnny squares!"

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movieman1957
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby movieman1957 » June 25th, 2015, 8:08 pm

This week MeTV has been showing the last half dozen or so episodes of Gunsmoke. If I had been paying attention I might have caught the whole last season.

If the last 5 are any indication of the last season - it was time to go. By this time, in its 20th season, it has become mostly an anthology season with what amounts to cameo appearances by the cast we have come to know and love. There was an episode where Matt got caught up in a shooting that killed a young man and the town judge sentences him to hard labor in his silver mine. Arness was in that one the whole way through. (It was almost an exact copy of a "Cheyenne" episode from 20 years earlier.) In another Festus was in it for about 1 minute. Newly, almost was a walk on in another. Doc had more time, such as it was, than anyone.

Two actors played different parts in two of the last six. The scripts are labored and almost without any of the Gunsmoke traits and energy we expected. Frankly, too much padding makes these episodes mostly tedious.

Arness was older and was suffering from his war wound and Milburn Stone probably was close to 100 by now and Festus, well, he seems an unlikely character to build an hour episode around though the last one did just that in its way.

It is a sad end to a glorious run. I know that cancellation was a surprise to the cast but I can't imagine how another year would have seen any improvement over what this season brought.

If anyone is watching MeTV starts back up at season 12. And, I assume Kitty's big 60's hair. (A distraction.)
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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mrsl
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby mrsl » July 1st, 2015, 1:20 pm

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I only watch westerns on Encore Western Channel mainly because of the no commercials thing. However, from your description, I'm glad only the black and white episodes are shown, since I hate to think of such a fine show becoming its own charicature. I don't watch any filmed shows made during the last couple of years of Elvis' life, and hate it when they pull Kirk Douglas up on stage. I'd rather see old photos or film clips with a voice over. I guess I just want to remember them in their prime not all messed up like I am at this point. Those old actors and actresses are my heroes, but just because I have white hair and walk with a cane doesn't mean I want to see them in the same light, I prefer my illusions.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

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movieman1957
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby movieman1957 » August 27th, 2015, 3:13 pm

Did you ever wonder what was on the second floor above Marshall Dillon's office? Me too.

It is also interesting, to me anyway, how the set changed over the years.

Am I bored to notice all of this?
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Sue Sue Applegate
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » August 28th, 2015, 9:50 am

Here is a link to one of my most popular blogs on Christy's Inkwells. I wrote it for the MeTV Summer Blogathon two years ago.

"Miss Kitty's Long Branch of the Law" : https://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2 ... f-the-law/
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
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movieman1957
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Re: Gunsmoke

Postby movieman1957 » October 9th, 2015, 11:57 am

Having now seen most of seasons 12-15 they hold up much better than the later years do. One thing that has been kind of novel is that a couple of characters you would have thought would have been a one time deal show up later in the same season or early next season. Jacqueline Scott does a repeat of a widowed mother. The most noticeable is Lane Bradbury playing Merrie Florine, who is falling for Mr. Newley, as she calls him and there are her idiot brothers along trying to scam people in town.

Speaking, as I did of sets, it has become one house next to a pond that they use for anyone's house that doesn't live in town to a stage depot. It gets a little tiring seeing the same "house" but that is what they used.

Stories are still pretty good. Villains are still pretty mean. Festus still can't read but can be quite endearing and Kitty still has big hair. Still quite enjoyable for me.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."


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