Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Couple of Gunsmoke Items

This is actually my favorite GUNSMOKE opening, rather than the more famous showdown(s).  By this time in the series, the characters are not only old friends with each other, they're old friends of ours as well.  This opening just seems very heartwarming to me.


Also, Jim Meals has contributed an excellent piece about the GUNSMOKE radio series over on the Western Fictioneers blog.  I highly recommend that you check it out.

9 comments:

David Cranmer said...

This was the opening I first remembered. Great series and arguably the finest. Thanks for the link.

Nick McNerderson said...

Being 32, I never saw gunsmoke growing up, but I discovered it last fall and I will say confidently that I think it is the finest show ever to air on TV.

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember both openings. I kind of liked the showdown scene, but I did like seeing all the characters. Great characters.

George said...

Wow, that GUNSMOKE beginning brings back a lot of memories! It's amazing that GUNSMOKE was on CBS for 20 years yet it seems to have receded from our cultural memory. My students would have no idea what GUNSMOKE was all about.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks, James. I remember the old black and white showdown version, though I think marshals rarely if ever worked that way. The color version is more "family friendly," which is what takes the grit out of later TV westerns, and I rarely watched them for that reason.

Cap'n Bob said...

I recall a few other openings. In the first shows Matt would wander through Boot Hill and muse about life in a voiceover. In another we just see him riding hell bent for leather along the road on Buck. (Arness wasn't that fond of horses, BTW.) Then the gunfight, which, I believe, was a scene from an actual show. I'll wager there were others.

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, James. Thanks a million for the blog, books, apa contributions, and being a great guy.

RJR said...

Arness is one of the true legends of television. End of an era!

RJR

Todd Mason said...

As with David, I'm of an age where that was the opening of the series I remember from the last new seasons/my childhood...the family-western years of GUNSMOKE, rather than the pathbreaking adult-western early seasons. And I like the radio series even better, so I'd better check out that link!

Todd Mason said...

And belated happy birthday!