A long running [[TheWestern Western]] series about the adventures of the Marshal and citizenry of Dodge City, Kansas. It aired on Creator/{{CBS}} radio from 1952 to 1961.

A [[{{Series/Gunsmoke}} television version of the series]] (with a completely different cast) aired on CBS television from 1955 to 1975.
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!!This radio series provides examples of:
* AbsenceOfEvidence: A few villains either end up going free this way or are introduced as a free man this way during an episode.
* AcquittedTooLate: A few episodes involve an alleged horse thief whose innocence was proven ''after'' he was lynched, much to Matt's chagrin.
* ActionGirl: The episode "Hinka-Do" featured a homely woman taking over a local bar, who proved to be effective with a six shooter.
* AdultFear
* AfterActionPatchup: Happens often, primarily to Matt.
* AlwaysOnDuty: Being law enforcement in an area known for it's lawlessness, Matt Dillon (and on occasion Chester and/or Doc) often find himself being woken up from sleeping to tend to a problem. The problems can range in severity and the reasons for sleeping can too.
* AmputationStopsSpread: Subverted in the episode "Home Surgery" where [[spoiler: Matt amputates an old man's leg to keep him from dying of Gangrene, but it was too late and he ends up dying anyway.]]
* AwayInAManger: "Beeker's Barn"
* BangBangBANG: An elephant gun sounds the same as a shotgun, which sounds the same as a six shooter, which sounds the same as a rifle.
* BangingForHelp: On more than one occasion, Chester finds himself forcefully trading places with the prisoner of the week and abandoned with only the hope that Matt will hear him yelling for help.
* BankRobbery: Very common plot element.
* BigDamnHeroes: Matt is often fashionably late.
* BluffingTheMurderer: Played straight whenever it comes up.
* ButtMonkey: Chester.
* CarnivalOfKillers: Was the general idea of the episode "Reward for Matt".
* CaughtInASnare: Happens to [[spoiler: Matt]] in the episode aptly titled, "Bear Trap".
* ClearMyName: The plot of "Matt For Murder".
* CluelessDeputy: Chester more or less served as this, although in most episodes he was only described as an "assistant" rather than an official deputy.
* TheCoconutEffect: What's a Western without one?
* CurbStompBattle: Every time Matt gets into a fist fight.
* DamselInDistress: Happens a lot.
* DareToBeBadass: The ending of the "Bloody Hands" episode.
* DomesticAbuse: A wife beating husband is very common.
* DoorOfDoom: Several episodes involves Matt and other characters on one end of an open exit, with gunmen deliberately waiting outside to kill anyone who walks through on sight. Some characters don't recognize the threat and take on the challenge and it ends about as well as you'd expect.
* DownerEnding: Frequently.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Several plots are usually contained within a single day.
* FrontierDoctor: Doc Adams
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar
** See HookerWithAHeartOfGold below.
** In the episode "Solomon River" [[spoiler: a recently widowed woman is raped by a man who was to deliver her goods to help her get by, but instead used it to take advantage of her in a moment of vulnerability.]] It's not obvious at first and of course the word [[spoiler: "rape"]] is never uttered.
* GoodIsNotNice The closest thing to a squeaky clean nice character is Chester, and even he has his moments.
* GraveRobbing: A major plot point in "Body Snatch".
* HeroicBSOD
** Happens to [[spoiler: Matt]] in "Bloody Hands" where [[spoiler: he quits after having to shoot outlaws a part with a shotgun.]] [[DareToBeBadass He gets better.]]
** Happens again in the episode "Matt's Decision", but it's less severe.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter
** The very first episode was based on the (fictitious) start of UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid's life of crime.
** The episode "The Brothers" ended on a [[WhamLine Wham Line]] regarding [[UsefulNotes/JesseJames Frank and Jesse James]].
** Both Doc Holiday and Annie Oakley have entire episodes about (and named after) them.
** A non-outlaw example has Matt recommending "Wild Bill" Hickok to be a law officer.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Miss Kitty. (The producer-director is quoted in a 1953 ''Time'' magazine [[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,806658,00.html interview]]: "We never say it, but Kitty is a prostitute, plain and simple.")
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: The episode "The Impostor".
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: Unless a character in question is a coward or just a plain murderer, two fighting characters will never get into a gunfight unless both parties are armed with a revolver, often [[SubvertedTrope subverted.]] [[AvertedTrope averted]] or [[PlayedForDrama played for drama.]]
* {{Jingle}}: Being a radio show from the [[TheFifties 50s]], it featured commercials complete with Jingles.
* {{Mangst}}
* ManOnFire: At the end of "Firey Arrest", you realize that the title of the episode was pretty literal.
* TheMeddlingKidsAreUseless: Usually results in some of the aforementioned [[DownerEnding downer endings.]] If an episode involves a [[HistoricalDomainCharacter real life outlaw]] from the [[TheWildWest Old West]], expect this to happen.
* MenacingStroll: Matt has his fair share of these.
* MissKitty
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Matt (with very few exceptions) will enforce the law, regardless of it's purpose, because he believes that not enforcing the law during times when he doesn't want to would devalue it and make it harder to enforce otherwise. He believes in no uncertain terms that a flawed law is better than no law.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Chester talks too much.
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Subverted, then played straight in the episode "Maw Hawkins".
* AnOfferYouCantRefuse: Sometimes a character (usually [[DamselInDistress Kitty]]) is held hostage and Matt is forced to cooperate with the villain.
* OpeningNarration:
-->'''Announcer:''' Around Dodge City and in the territory out west, there's just one way to handle the killers and the spoilers, and that's with a U.S. Marshal and the smell of... ''Gunsmoke!'' (theme music starts) ''Gunsmoke'', starring William Conrad. The story of the violence that moved west with young America, and the story of a man who moved with it.\\
'''William Conrad:''' I'm that man. Matt Dillon, United States Marshal. The first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It's a chancy job, and it makes a man watchful... and a little lonely.
* {{Protectorate}}: [[USMarshal U.S. Marshal]] [[JustifiedTrope of Dodge City, Kansas]]
* RadioDrama
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Matt will usually dish these out at a mob, or whenever Doc Adams is criticized.
* SaveTheVillain: Matt would do this, only to make sure proper due process is carried out. Results usually vary.
* ShipTease: Matt and Miss Kitty. The two of them definitely seem to have feelings for each other, but they never officially become a couple.
* SympatheticMurderBackstory: In the radio version, Doc Adams had unwillingly killed a man in a duel back East, and had to flee and change his name to avoid extralegal retaliation.
* TakeMeOutAtTheBallGame: Subverted in the episode "Ball Nine, Take Your Base!".
* UnderestimatingBadassery
* USMarshal: Matt Dillon
* ViolenceIsDisturbing: Most of the violence portrayed is only (rarely) glorified in-universe.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: Matt would rather talk things out or otherwise resolve things without a gunfight or fatality. It doesn't always end that way.
* WantedPoster
* TheWestern
* WesternCharacters
* TheWildWest
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