The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »
Marshal Matt Dillon is in charge of Dodge City, a town in the wild west where people often have no respect for the law. He deals on a daily basis with the problems associated with frontier life: cattle rustling, gunfights, brawls, standover tactics, and land fraud. Such situations call for sound judgement and brave actions: of which Marshal Dillon has plenty.Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The gunfight between Matt Dillon and an unknown gunman that opened every episode was shot on the same main street as that used in High Noon (1952). During one filming of this gunfight, as a joke on everyone else, James Arness let the gunman win. With the anti-violence movement of the early 1970s, the opening gunfight was dropped, replaced by Matt riding his horse. See more »
The real Dodge City is on green rolling plains in SW Kansas. The setting of the series is clearly in a semi-arid, hilly/mountainous area which is clearly Southern California. See more »
The best of the series is the first five years when John Meston did most of the writing. He had a real feel of, what I perceive to be, the Old West to be really like. He did not go in for all of the frivolousness of later episodes. He did not rely on loud talking and grandiose brashness by the actors.
People in the earlier episodes gave the impression that they were ordinary, hard working people who barely eked a living out of a hard land. They did what they had to do to get by, out on the lonely Kansas plains. When they met disaster, it was "implied" on screen and the viewer could use his imagination as to what happened. Those shows did not have all of the "Hollywood" glitz that pervaded later episodes.
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