The Best & the Worst of Gunsmoke The Best!!!

9. Bloody Hands

February 16, 1957 Written by John Meston, Directed by Andrew McLaglen, Guest Cast: Ed Platt, Joe Perry, Bob Forrest, Lawrence Dobkin, Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson

The violence of being a Marshal haunts Matt through nightmares and chronic fatigue. The freedom of resigning looms attractive. The badge comes off. You and I know it must go back on - Dillon has another show next week. Why the badge goes back on is the key to the greatness of this John Meston story. We are allowed to peer deeply into Dillon's soul to see why he has chosen to be a U.S. Marshal even though he must live a life of violence and killing he detests. Chester's monologue at the episode's end sums it up wonderfully. The melancholy power of the final speechless moments is burnt into the Gunsmoke viewer's memory and justifies throughout all of Gunsmoke's episodes Dillon's reluctant willingness to be the man he is.

This show was also done on radio's Gunsmoke and is also wonderfully powerful.

Note: Guest Star Russell Johnson later became famous as the Professor on Gilligan's Island.
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