Plot: What’s it about?
Dodge City is home to a number of colorful residents and countless travelers of all kinds, so it is no surprise that the town tends to be a little unpredictable. The streets can be host to a drunken fist fight, robberies, kidnappings, even shoot outs, but there is a presence that keeps Dodge City safe. That presence is U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness), who patrols the streets with a fair, but firm sense of justice. While he has foiled numerous criminals over the years, there always seems to be someone who wants to test his patience. Dillon has some help in the form of Deputy Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver) and some helpful locals like Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) and Doc Adams (Milburn Stone). Between the local drama of family feuds and other rivalries to the trouble brought to town by visitors, can Dillon continue to maintain law and order in Dodge City?
One of television’s most beloved shows, Gunsmoke had an extensive run and garnered a devoted fan base. A blend of drama and action in the Old West, the show remains a revered classic even several decades down the road. This sixth season marked the end of the half hour episode for Gunsmoke, with a shift to a full hour in the seventh season. I think these shorter episodes provide tighter, more effective stories, so watching these was a treat. This is the second volume of episodes from the sixth season, with the final 19 episodes spread across three discs. I’m unsure why the seasons are divided for these Gunsmoke releases, but at least the complete seasons can be assembled with two collections. The episodes found here are typical Gunsmoke, good stories and some great Old West elements, with James Arness in fine form as usual. So if you’re a fan of Gunsmoke or westerns in general, you will want to check out this release.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The visuals look terrific and fans should be quite pleased. The episodes look clean and the prints show minimal signs of wear or debris. This allows detail to be stronger than expected, yielding a great overall presentation. The black & white visuals benefit from razor sharp contrast, which ensures no detail is lost in the shadows or washed out.
Audio: How does it sound?
The mono soundtrack isn’t going to impress, but it sounds fine. The tracks don’t seem to suffer from age related defects, so hiss and distortions are never concerns. The dialogue is easy to hear, the music sounds passable, and the bustle of Dodge City is about as good as mono allows. So not a blockbuster, but the show sounds good. This release also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes some sponsor spots.