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Gunsmoke Old Time
Radio MP3 Collection on DVD

Price: $14.97     SKU: A395     Qty:

Gunsmoke, which first aired April 26, 1952, and ran until June 18, 1961, on CBS, starred William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon; Howard McNear as the ghoulish, brittle and then, as the series progressed, kind-hearted Doc Charles Adams; Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell; and Parley Baer as Dillon's assistant (but not his deputy), Chester Proudfoot. (On the television series, Doc's first name was changed to Galen, and Chester's last name was changed to Goode.) Chester's character had no surname until "Proudfoot" was ad libbed by Baer during an early rehearsal, while Doc Adams was named after cartoonist Charles Addams. In a 1953 interview with Time, MacDonnell declared: "Kitty is just someone Matt has to visit every once in a while. We never say it, but Kitty is a prostitute, plain and simple." (Dunning, 304)

William Conrad was actually one of the last actors who auditioned for the role of Marshal Dillon. He was already one of radio's busiest actors and had a powerful and distinctive baritone voice. Though Meston championed him, MacDonnell thought that Conrad might be overexposed. During his audition, however, Conrad won over MacDonnell after reading just a few lines.

The show was distinct from other radio westerns, as the dialogue was often slow and halting, and due to the outstanding sound effects, listeners had a nearly palpable sense of the prairie terrain where the show was set. The effects were subtle but multilayered, giving the show a spacious feel. John Dunning writes: "The listener heard extraneous dialogue in the background, just above the muted shouts of kids playing in an alley. He heard noises from the next block, too, where the inevitable dog was barking." (Dunning, 305) Dillon as portrayed by Conrad was a lonely, isolated man, toughened by a hard life. Meston relished in the upending of cherished Western fiction clichés and thought that few Westerns gave any inkling of how brutal the Old West was. Dunning writes that Meston was especially disgusted by the archetypal Western hero and set out "to destroy" that type of "character he loathed." In Meston's view, "Dillon was almost as scarred as the homicidal psychopaths who drifted into Dodge from all directions." (Dunning, 304)

Dunning writes that Dillon "played his hand and often lost. He arrived too late to prevent a lynching. He amputated a dying man's leg and lost the patient anyway. He saved a girl from brutal rapists then found himself unable to offer her what she needed to stop her from moving into... life as a prostitute." (Dunning, 304) Some listeners, such as vintage radio authority Dunning, have argued that the radio version of Gunsmoke was far more realistic than the TV series. Episodes were aimed at adults and featured some of the most explicit content of their time, including violent crimes, scalpings, massacres, and opium addicts. Many episodes ended on a somber note, and villains often got away with their crimes. Nonetheless, thanks to the subtle scripts and the outstanding ensemble cast, over the years the program evolved into a warm, often humorous celebration of human nature.

This collection of Gunsmoke Greats includes 496 different shows and appearances for a total of 213+ hours of listening enjoyment.

This product is a DVD collection of Old Time Radio mp3s. It is designed to be played on your computer DVD drive with standard mp3 software - like Windows media player or its equivalent on Macintosh computers. The mp3 files on the DVDs can be copied onto CDs for play in your car stereo, home entertainment center, etc so you can take your favorite shows with you anywhere you go.


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Price: $14.97     SKU: A395     Qty:


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