October 22, 1966 Written, by Hal Sitowltz, Story by Michael Fisher, Directed
by Mark Rydell, Guest Cast: Darren McGavin, France Nuyen, Michael Conrad,
Stefan Gierasch, Don Hanmer, Allen Emerson. A
gunfighter hired to kill Marshal Dillon is wounded trying to save the life
an aged Chinese man.
Click HERE for an
picture from the show.
Excerpts from GUNSMOKE, "Gunfighter, R.I.P."
1 EXT. JETMORE – MOVING SHOT – DAY
ON JOE BASCOME, a cold-eyed, raunchy loner of 30-odd. He is bone-tired from
long days in the saddle; a month’s beard covers his face. ANGLE WIDENS
as he rides on down the street.
2 NEW ANGLE
Joe reins in, dismounts in front of a saloon, looks around. His first thought
is for a drink. He follows a second thought: moves across the street.
MARK and PAUL DOUGLAS (the former is a bull-like man; gross in movement; shrewd – Paul
is built as his brother but slow of mind) react to Joe’s arrival in town.
It’s about time.
Now we can get goin’!
We’ll wait for him in the saloon.
4 ANGLE – JOE
Moving across the street. He sloshes through the brackish puddles of water
there. CAMERA PANS HIM INTO a Barber Shop; THEN SETTLES ON a small faded sign
proclaiming: "BARBER – HOT BATHS – 25c".
DISS. THRU TO:
5 INT. BARBER SHOP - DAY
CLOSE On Joe, who is shaving. Steam rises around him as water cascades into
While his clothes are nowhere to be seen, Joe’s guns hang over the back
of a chair. He luxuriates in a wood vat, filled with water. The BARBER hands
him a mirror. A quick check of a shave and haircut; of his teeth – a
GRUNT of satisfaction. Then a bottle of witch hazel is surrendered. Joe sloshes
himself generously with this last.
That’ll cost y’extra.
JOE (a look, and)
They’ll be here d’rectly.
(ANGLE ADJUSTS as Joe stands and towels himself, and,)
Anything that makes this place worth its salt?
Passable grub at the café. Whiskey at Ben Tupper’s saloon. saloon.
Clean bed at Widow Jenkins’. That’s about it.
Makes a man want to burrow in and stay awhile.
Dodge is a three-hour ride due east. You’ll get your fill there.
(And CHING LEE ENTERS. She is in her early twenties. A frail, yet we will
learn, capable, determined woman. She carries Joe’s cleaned, ironed clothes.
The sight of Joe wrapped in the towel does not faze her – nor, her presence,
him. Somewhat imperiously:)
Put them down over there.
Pay her. I’ll settle with you later.
(She follows the barber OUT and Joe begins to dress, and:)
EXT. LAUNDRY – DAY
As the door flies open and CHING FA, an elderly, wizened oldster, hurtles OUT – followed
by a cascade of laundry – and BURT, a cowboy.
You shorted the boss’ laundry for the last time!
Ching Fa picks himself up from the muddy street, and:
No shorted laundry! Clean everything Mister Ryan bring me! Everything there.
(Burt smothers a half smile; winks at TWO OTHER COWBOYS, who follow him OUT
of the laundry. Joining in the obvious hazing, they kick at, pick up, and throw
the scattered laundry as Ching Fa tries to retrieve it, and:)
I give you fair warnin’ last time! There was three shirts he sent!
You sent sent back only two!
(And he grabs Ching Fa’s queue and yanks him to his feet.)
ANGLE – BARBER SHOP
Joe Bascome – clean-shaven; clean-clothed – steps OUT. He savors
the good feeling of having peeled himself of grime and sweat. He starts down
ANGLE – LAUNDRY
And the hazing of Ching Fa. The laundry is trampled in the mud by the two cowboys.
Burt swings Ching Fa around and:
I can see you just gotta be learnt a lesson. I’m the man t’learn
(And he pushes him against the building front as Joe moves up. A handful of
people, INCLUDING Mark and Paul, have gathered to be amused by the goings-on.
Joe does not react to any of this; merely tries to inch by without getting
QUICK – CHING LEE
Comes OUT from a building; looks off; reacts, and races off.
ANGLE – THE HAZING
Ching Lee is seen hurrying forward in BG. Burt grabs Ching Fa, who is suddenly
gasping for breath, clutching at his chest.
Maybe if I skin ya six ways from Sunday, you’ll get m’message.
(And he shoves the oldster away.)
FAVORING Joe, as Ching Fa falls into the street, slams into a puddle. Muddy
water splashes onto Joe’s clean pants – and Ching Lee is there,
FAVORING Ching Lee and her father. Joe nearby YELLS angrily:
(overlapping) He’s dead!! My father is dead..!!
(The cowboys stop laughing. They stand not really knowing how they feel about
You got names? (It takes a minute before the drovers know that he refers
I asked you if you got names.
You a friend of his?
No. But I thought you’d like a marker on your grave.
(The three men look at each other in astonishment.)
QUICK SHOT – MARK AND PAUL
As they watch. Paul tries to take a step toward Joe: Mark stops him.
He’s crazy. What’s he doin’?
You got three guns against one. You gonna make your play, or are you gonna
The three men look at one another. There is no way out, and they know it.
It is a small movement, but Joe catches it, and before the first cowboy can
even get his hand on his gun, Joe has his weapon in his hand and PULLS OFF
a SHOT. He turns his gun on the next drover and KILLS HIM as well. The third
drover is able to PULL OFF TWO SHOTS. The bullets slam into Joe’s right
shoulder and thigh. His is slammed against a wall; FIRES, killing the remaining
CLOSE ANGLE – MARK AND PAUL
There goes our chance at getting’ Dillon.
EXT. ROAD LEADING INTO DODGE – DAY (STOCK SHOT)
As the stage comes into Dodge.
EXT. MAIN STREET – DODGE – CRANE SHOT – DAY
As the stage pulls up in front of the stage stop. Joe stands out in the street
As Doc and Kitty come out of the Longbranch to greet Matt.
CRANE SHOT – HIGH – DAY
As the stage door opens and the PASSENGER and Matt EXIT onto the street.
EXT. HOTEL WINDOW
As Paul, Mark and Ching Lee watch the action below. Ching Lee is anxious. Her
face reflects the fear in her heart.
EXT. MAIN STREET
As Joe quickly looks up to the hotel window. His face tightens, then he looks
back to the stage as Matt takes a step towards Doc and Kitty.
JOE (calling out)
(Matt turns and faces Joe.)
What is it?
The name’s Joe Bascome. I’m callin’ you.
CLOSE SHOT – MATT
As he looks at Joe. He knows the name.
CLOSE SHOT – KITTY AND DOC
As they watch, horrified.
CLOSE ANGLE – CHING LEE, MARK AND PAUL
Paul is enjoying it. He licks his lips. Mark, his gun still held to Ching Lee’s
head, drops his other hand from his shoulder as he reaches over to get a better
EXT. MAIN STREET – DODGE
As the play between Joe and Matt is about to take place. An instant before
either can reach for their gun, a HIGH PIERCING SCREAM can be HEARD. A second
later, it is followed by a THUD.
Joe turns to look back to the hotel window. An amazed Mark and Paul look down
to the street level which Ching Lee has fallen. Joe draws his gun and FIRES
at the window, killing Paul immediately. Mark opens up but Matt draws his
gun and SENDS A BULLET into his chest.
As Joe makes for the fallen Ching Lee. Matt is on his heels as Joe bends down
Ching Lee…Ching Lee…
(A crowd has gathered around. Doc finally manages to work his way through.)
Watch out. Let me get a look at her.
Doc… Is she…
(Doc is making a quick examination of Ching Lee.)
No. (then, to the crowd)
Back off, everybody. Help me get her up to my office.
(Matt bends down, lifts the girl in his arms and as he turns and starts for
Doc’s office, followed by Joe)
CLOSE SHOT – JOE
As he looks down. His eyes are misty.
(Chinese salute) **
(The writer did not have the dialogue for the salute at the time the script
was in its final draft.)
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal him rising from a fresh grave. It is Ching Lee’s.
He stands for a moment, turns and mounts his horse. He guides the animal onto
the road and slowly rides away.
As Doc’s buggy comes around the bend. Joe passes them. No words are exchanged.
Doc stops his buggy, and he and Kitty turn back to look at him.
CLOSER ANGLE – DOC AND KITTY
He hasn’t got much of a reason for living any more.
He might have had a chance with her.
I wonder if he even has a reason for killing now.
(Doc kicks his horse up. We can see Joe in BG, slowly riding away, as we:)