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No less a Western hero than John Wayne introducedGunsmoke: The Premiere Episodeto television audiences in 1955, giving the series its auspicious start. James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon is as tough as Wayne but is also as quick with his wits as with his gun. In "Matt Gets It," the first episode, Dillon is shot down early on and must find other means to defeat a crazed gunslinger. Other characters are also introduced: Miss Kitty, Doc, and Dennis Weaver as Chester Goode. The realism and intelligent writing shine through even in this early work, and carry over into "Hack Prine," the pilot shot to launch the series. Some of the concepts integral to the classic Western, such as even villains refusing to shoot an unarmed man, seem a bit dated now, but that lends a charm to the series that is mighty hard to find these days.--Rob Lightner
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Genre:  Cult Movies, Westerns
Studio:  20th Century Fox
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review by . July 11, 2004
These two episodes deal with the same theme, although their airdates differ by seven months. The first, "Matt Gets It" , is the premiere episode of the series, and James Arness as Matt Dillon is introduced by John Wayne. Early in the episode, Matt is gunned down by a gunslinger that is easy to anger and blames everyone else for the inevitable battle. He is then nursed back to health by Doc and fussed over by Kitty. It introduces the main characters and their relationships are established very quickly. …
Gunsmoke: Matt Gets It & Hack Prime
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