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Gunsmoke Stuff


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Nice memory items, Geezer.

A local TV channel has been running the complete  Gunsmoke Box Set episodes starting in 1955 to the 70's. The early ones were 1/2 hour, and black and white. They show 2 of the consecative 1/2 hour shows from noon to 1pm. Even back then the shows were well writen and produced. Sam Peckingpaw wrote some shows in the 50's. Interesting to see the characters change over the early years. Doc was wearing ratty clothes at the beginnig, and Kitty was sporting lot of cleavage. They had a shot of her in a 1800's 'tub', a back shot, nude down to the waist. Oh, and Chester and his coffee making ideas as a running gag. Sets changed too, Marshalls office and the bar Matts 6 gun and horse, evolved over the years. Even in 1955, no blood or bullet holes in bodies. I think the networks had all adopted the guide lines of 3? shootings per western episode, that Congress set after holding 'excessive violence on TV' hearings in the early 50's. 


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What did your dad do at the studio, Geez?

I’ve been watching Gunsmoke again lately. Such morality plays. The Peckinpah episodes are interesting. He was ahead of his time. Those he did for The Rifleman in particular. Do you guys remember the one season series he did with Brian Keith?  TV in the early 60s, which is the TV I grew up on, was all very homogenous, all very focused on teaching (the same) lessons. I think it had much more impact shaping the worldview of boomers than anything taught in school. Probably the same today, but with a very different worldview at work. 

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My Dad was Jim Arness's  "business manager", ie accountant from the early 60's until post Gunsmoke for a few years.  Was most of my Dad's career.  The Gunsmoke set was in Studio City in the San Fernando Valley.  I met Mr. Arness several times, we got to stay at his beach house in Malibu and a cabin in Mammoth.  He was very nice to us.  Every year the Christmas party was on a decorated Dodge City main street.

That being said nothing glamorous about being a business manager.  Movie Stars hire people to do the hard stuff.  Jim Arness had a daughter that committed suicide and his wife overdosed on sleeping pills.  In both cases it was my Dad's job to call immediate family (like sons to tell them their mom was gone...crazy).  Tough gig.


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Kitty in the tub. Also a young Jack Lord.

Doc's Reward

James Arness had a serious leg and foot injury from being in the Army in WWII. Caused him great pain through out his life. He was also a natural blonde!

In a previous episode, some fancy pants from Washingtion got Marshall Dillon to outlaw the wearing of guns in Dodge. Very interesting episode.  

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