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Gunsmoke: Season 02 ()

Season Two of Gunsmoke introduces the series' now-legendary opening sequence, as Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) shoots it out on the deserted main street of Dodge City with an anonymous opponent (Matt, of course, outdraws the man. He always does). Over the years, this opener would be periodically refilmed, not only to reflect the expansion of Dodge City but also to accommodate the ever-encroaching age lines on Matt Dillon's face. As was the case in Season One, most of the episodes in Gunsmoke's second season are adapted from scripts originally written for the radio version, which ran from 1952 through 1961. Among the best of these is "Custer", in which a villain gets off scot free, only to meet his fate (off-screen) at the Little Big Horn; "The Mistake", wherein the far-from-infallible Matt Dillon arrests the wrong man, and suffers the consequences; "No Indians", a grim, uncompromising tale of a brutal massacre perpetrated by a gang of psychotic outlaws; and "Bloody Hands", in which Matt, worried that he's beginning to enjoy killing people, turns in his badge--much to the (temporary) relief of the ever-fretting Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake). In other words, Gunsmoke was a far cry from the bravura juvenile heroics of The Lone Ranger and The Gene Autry Show! In addition to such Gunsmoke supporting-cast stalwarts as John Dehner, Vic Perrin and Lawrence Dobkin, the second-season episodes include appearances by such noteworthy actors as Angie Dickinson, Cloris Leachman, Tommy Kirk, Andrew Duggan, Simon Oakland, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, Stuart Whitman, Russell Johnson, Sebastian Cabot and Jack Kelly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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