Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
2 user

The Widowmaker 

Coltrane may be the fastest gun alive, and all he wants to do is live a quiet life with his beautiful wife, but so many men are out to make a reputation by trying to kill him.


Bernard McEveety


Paul F. Edwards


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Buck Taylor ... Newly
Steve Forrest ... Scott Coltrane
David Huddleston ... Dad Goodpastor
Randolph Roberts ... Kid Chama
Barra Grant ... Teresa
Glenn Strange ... Sam
Ted Jordan Ted Jordan ... Burke
Hank Patterson ... Hank
Jerry Gatlin Jerry Gatlin ... Buck Lennart
James Chandler James Chandler ... Preacher
Don Carter Don Carter ... Boy


Scott Coltrane's nickname (the title of this episode) is well-earned; he is one of the fastest guns in the West. But Coltrane is honest and has no desire to get in a non-legitimate fight; furthermore, he has recently married and learns he will soon become a father. When he comes to Dodge to settle, three men take him on at the same time (he drops all three in their tracks, though only after trying as hard as he can to persuade them to quit). Before long, another hired gun comes after him. Coltrane has a Hobson's choice of fighting until he gets killed or not fighting and getting killed anyway. Matt tries to figure out another route Coltrane can take. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis









Release Date:

8 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James Arness's limp, the result of a war injury, is very pronounced in the scene where he walks with Coltrane on the latter's ranch. It prevented him from walking, or even riding, for long periods of time. See more »


Scott Coltrane: My name's Coltrane, Do you want something from me?
Kid Chama: Nothin' I can't take by myself.
See more »

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User Reviews

Back to its roots- this show is one of the better in the entire series run
9 August 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

After a few episodes in the 19th season that was less than watchable, the show returns to its roots and provides the viewer with a top notch episode that is as good as any show in the entire run of the series. As simple as the plot seems, the show has a nice twist that is usually unseen in western type shows. Thus making it a very entertaining show for viewers.

When a gunslinger named Scott Coltrane (Steve Forrest) tries to make Dodge City his home, his reputation precedes him. Seems like every young gunman will try there luck with Mr Coltrane in order to make a name. This will cause problems not only for Coltrane but for the citizens of Dodge City.

Matt will either have to live with his town being a killing field or make Coltrane leave town. When all else fails, it may have to come to a gunfight in the streets of Dodge City between Marshal Dillon and Scott Coltrane. The Marshal versus the fastest gunman in the west.

This is one of the better episode of the series. Make sure that you stay for the entire ending or you could miss one of the better written scripts in a long time.

NOTE- Glenn Strange (Sam) is very ill at the time of filming this episode. By the time the show is broadcast, Mr Glenn had passed. Even though Mr Strange has no speaking part, it was very evident that lung cancer has taken its toll on the fine actor.

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