Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 18th, 2008
The setting for Gunsmoke was the by now famous
Gunsmoke is the longest running scripted live action television show in history. The series ran from 1955 to 1975. At first it was a half hour black and white show that evolved into a color hour by 1967. It actually started before the days of television, premiering on radio in 1952. Then it was William Conrad as the tough as nails Marshall Matt Dillon. When television came into its own, Gunsmoke made the jump to the bright living room box and made history. Westerns would ride across our small square screens for the next 3 decades, making it the most successful genre of that time, and it was Gunsmoke that started it all. The television version of Gunsmoke was originally conceived as a vehicle for John Wayne, who opted to remain in movies. Yet it was Wayne himself who suggested James Arness, and it turned out to be a career for the once “carrot” monster from The Thing. Gunsmoke started before all of the big westerns and was around when most of them had departed.
Among the episodes found in this collection, you can look forward to some fine western television drama, with just enough comedy to break of the tension. Matt Dillon matches wits with a hired gun in the first episode of the season, Crack-Up. Can you believe someone wants to kill poor old
Each episode of Gunsmoke is presented in its original broadcast full frame format. The series was shot in black and white. The transfer is not a great one, but you just can’t expect a heck of a lot from a master that is over 50 years old. The detail is actually pretty nice, and the prints are pretty solid, again allowing for age. The real problem is the amount of grain present throughout. The problem is likely the original film stock and can in no way be considered a flaw with the transfer. Black levels fluctuate quite a bit but are usually fair.
The Dolby Digital Mono track delivers exactly what you are looking for and nothing more. The dialog is clear, and that’s all you’re going to get out of this minimalist presentation.
Original Sponsor Spots: This is a short collection of clips of James Arness pushing a product. In the case of this collection, most are for L&M cigarettes.