Gunsmoke vs Marshall Dillon


January 18, 2003, 02:10 PM
Just saw a show on the Hallmark channel called "Marshall Dillon". Looks to have been made in '56, and everybody looked very young. All the same characters. Did this show pre-date Gunsmoke?


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J Miller
January 18, 2003, 03:46 PM

I'm not sure but I believe it did predate Gunsmoke.

However here is James Arness' web site. It might have the info, or a place to ask.

( Edited to insert missed word, I hate it when I do that.)

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2003, 03:52 PM
On Gunsmoke is listed as being 1955, and is "aka" Marshall Dillon.

I'm wondering if you saw the pilot.

One of my earliest memories of spending time with my Mother's parents was watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news and then Gunsmoke with my Grandfather...

January 18, 2003, 04:13 PM
I don't think it was the pilot, I've seen it listed a few times with different episodes. I expect most of us 30 somethings and up grew up trying to outdraw "Matthew".

I know I managed it a few times my own self. :D

January 18, 2003, 04:23 PM
You kids make me feel old! The show you are referring to IS GUNSMOKE. Sometimes they call shows by different names for trademark or other legal reasons, but trust me, they are the same.

January 18, 2003, 06:37 PM
You young fellers don't remember the good old days. When I and my now wife of 50 years were dating, we used to listen to Gunsmoke on WRVA out of Richmond, Va. This was late on Sat. evening, perhaps as late as 11 PM. They had a strong signal up here in Mi. If I remember correctly, William Conrad was Marshal Dillon.

January 18, 2003, 06:40 PM
Conrad was Dillon on the radio. My great grand dad told me so!:D

Still Learning
January 18, 2003, 07:51 PM
Never missed an episode of Gunsmoke! Nor any of the other westerns of that era for that matter.

When I was in junior high school we had regular "National Assemblies" where some person or group came in and made some sort of presentation to the school. One of the men that came was some sort of fast draw expert and supposedly a national champion. He billed himself (as I remember) as the "Fastest Gun Alive."

He said he also taught movie stars how to fast draw. He said James Garner was the fastest movie star he had taught. It broke my heart when he told us who was the slowest. James Arness. I kept watching anyway.

January 18, 2003, 08:31 PM
There`s a nice writeup of Arness in the Jan. issue of American Legion magazine. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart at Anzio. They have a pic of him and his brother Peter Graves (Mission Impossible) next to their father when they were home on leave. Big boys!

I wonder what Hollywood stars the Legion will be honoring 20 years from now?:evil:

January 18, 2003, 08:34 PM
I grew up trying to emulate the quick draw artists I saw on TV. It was great fun!

Now, a bit of trivia for you all:

Bob Munden, of whom you might have heard, holds the Guinness title for Fastest Draw. His record is an unbelieveable .02 second! That's two hundredths :what: of a second, folks!!

Now, guess who held the record of second fastest draw, at .07 seconds?:scrutiny:

January 18, 2003, 08:47 PM
If you notice at the beginning of the Gunsmoke shows, Dillon does not get off the first shot. He does get off the last! ;)

January 18, 2003, 08:49 PM
Powderman, Munden?:D

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2003, 09:29 PM
Hey CW, they put real live pictures on the raddiddio!

It's the newest thing!

You & the Mrs might have even sparked to the mooving pitchures!


Congrats on the 50 years with the Mrs. My Grandparents were married 62 years when Grandpa passed 6 years ago. My parents have the table top radio they were given as a wedding gift. Still works, still gets good reception. My Father remembers listening to the news reports about WW II on it.

Shooter 2.5
January 18, 2003, 09:44 PM
Marshal Dillon is the Black and White half hour show which predates Gunsmoke. It's a name change not confuse the viewers from the later ones.

I met Bob Munden and I think his wife holds the women's speed record so she could be the second fastest.

The fastest in Hollywood was supposed to be Sammy Davis Jr.

There's a picture in one of the Shooter's Digest that has James Arness shooting in an IPSC competition with a western Holster and a .38 double action revolver. I wouldn't worry too much about how fast he was. He was a real competitor.

Arness was wounded in Anzio and he was machine gunned. His leg took a real beating and I always thought that's why Chester limped more in order to "mask" Arness's real limp.

January 18, 2003, 10:32 PM
The fastest in Hollywood was supposed to be Sammy Davis Jr.
Yes, I remember hearing that Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jerry Lewis were both very fast.

January 18, 2003, 10:43 PM
You are correct.

Sammy Davis Jr. had the second fastest recorded time on record.

IIRC, Bob Munden's wife holds the ladies title, at .08 second.

Chuck Dye
January 19, 2003, 12:51 AM
KNX Radio, 1070kHz AM out of Los Angeles with 50kw clear channel power, broadcasts the Gunsmoke radio drama Friday nights at 9:00pm and repeats it Saturday mornings at 2:00am. I have listened to it as far away as Iowa when conditions were good.

The show is also available over the web Saturdays at

January 19, 2003, 02:58 AM
I recall the radio version, just couldn't recall the proper name. Many old shows from the radio with real heros/veterns that went on to TV. I guess I'm not the only one to "help" Dillon with my cap pistol huh?
I picked up a few of these old radio shows at Cracker Barrel - brought back memories, nephew thought it "cool" -has gotten into trouble for falling asleep and awaking the parents in the middle of the night---volume /earphone bumped up and pulled out...ah, glad the tradition lives on...

January 19, 2003, 04:50 AM
Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jerry Lewis were both very fast.

I am having trouble pictureing Jerry Lewis with a firearm, much more so as a fast draw artist.

January 19, 2003, 06:20 PM
The fastest "tv" draw i ever was in the movie ok corral.Not the recent one.It was the scene where Kirk Gouglas who plays Doc Holliday is coming down the stairs to fight on the street and is approched by a Earp brother."doc" gets pushed back on the steps and comes up with a revolver in his hand.I never saw him pull it.

January 20, 2003, 01:07 AM
I wonder how many bad guys Marshall Dillon shot?
The show was one of the longest running and Mat shot at least one bad guy a week.
:what: What would the papers say about a cop that did that today?

January 20, 2003, 04:16 PM
It was "Gunsmoke" from the very beginning. I have the original episode complete with the John Wayne introduction. The title says "Gunsmoke" and Wayne refers to the story as such. Do not know where the "Marshall Dillon" came from.

January 20, 2003, 04:29 PM
stock show one year. He had a booth selling all of his artwork. A real classy guy for the part he played. Wish I had bought a piece of art from him at the time.....chris3

January 20, 2003, 05:37 PM
"Marshall Dillon" was the title used for re-runs in syndication.

The show was so popular (due to good stories and good actors) it was shown in re-runs while the original production was still being made and shown in prime-time.

The man that played the villian in the title sequence was the bartender at the Long Branch. (From what I read in some behind the scenes magazine... authenticity not guaranteed.)

I noticed early on that the Marshall did not fire the first shot. But he was the last one shooting. Very important concept.

Mal H
January 20, 2003, 07:15 PM
I think you're right Archie. My dim memory seems to recall the Marshall Dillon shows were reruns in syndication. I definitely remember the show as Gunsmoke from the radio days and then on TV. I met both James Arness and Dennis Weaver at the Irvine Ranch in Orange County, CA back in the '50's. Both of them were very nice to us youngsters and I remember thinking it was odd that Dennis Weaver wasn't limping as he walked around. :)

mrstang01 - Funny you should bring this up because I discovered the Marshall Dillon series on Hallmark just last week, in fact I just discovered the Hallmark channel, didn't even know we got it (I think I had excluded it from the on-screen menu when we first got sat TV). I tuned into one of the episodes already in progress and was surprised to see it titled "Marshall Dillon" at the end instead of "Gunsmoke".

Malone LaVeigh
January 20, 2003, 08:05 PM
I wonder how many bad guys Marshall Dillon shot?
The show was one of the longest running and Mat shot at least one bad guy a week. My favorite was "Rifleman." He was always reading the Bible at the begining of the show and wasting 2-3 bad guys at the end.

January 20, 2003, 09:18 PM
Malone, that "Old Testament" will get to you everytime.:)

Robby from Long Island
January 20, 2003, 11:25 PM
Used to think it was ironic that Dennis Weaver had that limp while in real life I understand he ran track in the olympics one year (don't know when).

I also used to think the reason he limped was that first shot fired in the opening of Gunsmoke hit him instead of Marshall Dillon giving the marshall time to get off the last shot.:D

BTW, anyone know how much later my favorite show came into being? That would be "Paladin".

Safe shooting.

Mal H
January 20, 2003, 11:36 PM
Robby, that was "Have Gun Will Travel". I think it started around 1957 or 58.

For a long time I thought Paladin's first name was "Wire" because during the opening credits they showed his business card which read "Wire Paladin - San Francisco". :)

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