Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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The Constable 

Dodge City's businessmen learn a hard lesson when they reject Matt's advice and hire a meek constable to handle a gang of rowdy but free-spending trail cowboys.


Arthur Hiller


John Meston


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Dennis Weaver ... Chester
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
John Larch ... Rance
Strother Martin ... Dillard
Pitt Herbert ... Green
William Bryant ... 1st Cowboy
Joel Ashley Joel Ashley ... 2nd Cowboy
Scott Peters Scott Peters ... Pete
Joseph Kearns ... Botkin (as Joe Kearns)
Joseph Breen Joseph Breen ... Mike
Robert DeCost Robert DeCost ... Carl
Dan Sheridan Dan Sheridan ... Dobie
John Mitchum ... Joe


Dodge City's businessmen learn a hard lesson when they reject Matt's advice and hire a meek constable to handle a gang of rowdy but free-spending trail cowboys.

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Release Date:

30 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The town leader character of Dobie was played by Dan Sheridan in his final of three appearances. The following year, Sheridan would go on to his first of 41 appearances as Bartender Jake Summers on Lawman (1958), a series where he had already appeared once as another character. Sheridan would pass away 4 years later in 1963 at age 46 due to cancer. See more »


The tinny sound as the cowboy's ride up to saloon in the first few minutes of this episode. The sound is the result of set inside a studio building. As opposed to a street scene shot on an outside set. See more »

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User Reviews

Marshal Dillon at his best..
17 August 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This is one of those episode that made 'Gunsmoke' on of the best western TV series of all time. Plus it really shows the ability of James Arness when he has to be as tough as nails to get his point across to some rowdy cowboys. Just an all around good show.

It begins when a Texas cattle drive stops outside of town. The cowboys believe they can come into Dodge and do about anything they want. However, someone forgot to tell them that Marshal Dillon enforces the law and when a few get out of hand Marshal has to knock some heads and place people in jail.

The trail boss, Rance, comes and talks with the town leader and advises that they will stop coming to Dodge because of Marshal Dillon. Well the leaders tell Matt that he is not needed in town as they are going to hire their own man to run the city. And you can already guess where this is leading when Matt sits in his office while a meek Constable tries to keep peace with the rowdy Texas cowboys.

One of the better episodes seen in some time. James Arness is great as he is given the chance to really show his tough side. Was impressed with actors Strother Martin, as the mild Constable, and John Larch, as the trail boss. Both men looked perfectly cast for the parts which really enhanced the viewer's watch. Even the extras that were cast as the drunk cowboys made this show enjoyable to watch. This is a show that makes the series so entertaining. Great show!

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