"Gunsmoke" Noose of Gold (TV Episode 1967) Poster

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An outlaw is running out of place to go and people to trust
kfo949414 March 2013
Johnny Farron, a wanted murderer, has been seen around Dodge and word has got back to Marshal Dillon. Johnny Farron use to be a childhood friend of Matt's and he still remembers the good in Johnny. When Farron's wife, Edna, ask Matt to help Johnny- Matt goes visit the Kansas Attorney General to see of something can be worked out.

Johnny refuses the deal of twenty years in prison the Attorney General's office is not happy. With a election coming they want this criminal either dead or behind bars. So the AG sends his assistant named Charles Shepherd to get Johnny Farron anyway that he can.

With aspects of one day becoming Attorney General, Shepherd does some underhanded deals with Johnny and Edna. Shepherd advises that he is talking with Matt when he offered Johnny another deal but we as viewers know this is not the case. We see that he really meant 'anyway he can'.

Vincent Gardenia is excellent as the assistant AG that does some unethical things in order to make himself look good in the eyes of the voters. His performance is worth watching the show. Perhaps not the most entertaining show of the season but one that held the viewer's interest. Nice watch.
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great Vincent Gardenia performance
grizzledgeezer24 July 2015
It seems clear (to me, anyway) that "Gunsmoke"'s producers knew the difference between great and so-so scripts, and paid close attention to casting the former.

"Noose of Gold" is a case in point. Vincent Gardenia was a truly great actor. Charles Shepherd is close to being a one-dimensional role, but Gardenia makes him a believably vicious little SOB, not a stock villain. It's not immediately obvious he can't be trusted, and Gardenia takes his time showing us what sort of person Shepherd really is.

And let's not forget the wonderful Steve Ihnat as the nominal "bad guy".

This is a typical "tragic" "Gunsmoke" episode, down to the clichéd final scene with people gathered around a corpse. If it weren't for Ihnat and Gardenia, I'd probably rate this episode a 7.
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A Tale of Trust and Political Ambition
wdavidreynolds5 August 2019
John Farron and Matt Dillon are long time friends. It seems that Farron's family took care of Dillon many years earlier when Dillon was going through tough times.

Somewhere along the way, Farron ran afoul of the law. The episode doesn't provide details, but Farron tells Matt that robbery became easier after "the first one." Now Farron is wanted for murder, although he insists he has never killed anyone.

Farron makes the mistake of riding into Dillon's jurisdiction, which should have been the entire state of Kansas. Farron is tired of running, and is looking for a plea deal. Farron only trusts Matt and, through his wife, arranges to meet with Matt to discuss a deal.

Matt is able to get the Attorney General to agree to a deal, but it means a long prison sentence for Farron if he is found guilty. Farron is not too crazy about spending a huge chunk of his remaining life in prison, especially because he did not commit murder.

The politically ambitious Attorney General turns to one of his assistants, Charles Shepherd and instructs him to do what he can to see that Farron is brought to justice. Shepherd, who has ambitions of his own, sees this opportunity to advance himself politically.

These circumstances lead to a tragic conclusion that is not too surprising knowing the tendencies of the Gunsmoke writers.

This episode features some fine performances. Steve Ilhat is always good, and he plays the tired outlaw John Farron very well here. Sam Gilman is also great as Farron's sidekick Jim Gunther. As other reviewers have noted, Vincent Gardenia is outstanding as the despicable Charles Shepherd.

This is primarily a Matt Dillon episode, although Festus, Thad, Doc, and Kitty, as well as some of the Dodge City regulars, make appearances.
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