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Radio / Gunsmoke

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A long running Western series about the adventures of U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon and the citizenry of Dodge City, Kansas. It aired on CBS radio from 1952 to 1961.

A television version of the series (with a completely different cast) aired on CBS television from 1955 to 1975.

This radio series provides examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: A few villains either end up going free this way or are introduced as a free man this way during an episode.
  • Acquitted Too Late: A few episodes involve an alleged horse thief whose innocence was proven after he was lynched, much to Matt's chagrin.
  • Action Girl: The episode "Hinka-Do" featured a homely woman taking over a local bar, who proved to be effective with a six shooter.
  • Adult Fear
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Happens often, primarily to Matt.
  • Always on Duty: 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.
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  • Amputation Stops Spread: Subverted in the episode "Home Surgery" where 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.
  • Away in a Manger: "Beeker's Barn"
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: An elephant gun sounds the same as a shotgun, which sounds the same as a six shooter, which sounds the same as a rifle.
  • Banging for Help: 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.
  • Bank Robbery: Very common plot element.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Matt is often fashionably late.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: Played straight whenever it comes up.
  • Butt-Monkey: Chester.
  • Carnival of Killers: Was the general idea of the episode "Reward for Matt". Mrs. Hornby gets pretty mad when Marshal Dillon kills her husband. She offers $1000 to anyone who kills Dillon.
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  • Caught in a Snare: Happens to Matt in the episode aptly titled, "Bear Trap".
  • Clear My Name: The plot of "Matt For Murder".
  • Clueless Deputy: Chester more or less served as this, although in most episodes he was only described as an "assistant" rather than an official deputy.
  • The Coconut Effect: What's a Western without one?
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Every time Matt gets into a fist fight.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens a lot.
  • Dare to Be Badass: The ending of the "Bloody Hands" episode.
  • Domestic Abuse: A wife beating husband is very common.
  • Door of Doom: 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.
  • Downer Ending: Frequently.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Several plots are usually contained within a single day.
  • Frontier Doctor: Doc Adams


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