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Arness: A clip from 'Gunsmoke'

 

This, my friends, is what many millions of Americans watched for decades. "Gunsmoke" was on the air for some 630 episodes - give or take a few - and the lawman who rode this western into the sunset was the most famous lawman in the world for a time. The western as a genre, of course, is deader 'n cold toast and has been for decades, but it was Arness who made this so incredibly durable. You can ask- well, why did the westerns die? And the answer might be that they didn't really die - they were just updated, and what we now have instead is "NCIS." 

  But Arness trully was one of a  kind. He was of course modelled on the archetypal Gary Cooper lawman; the hat was always white, the intentions always noble. In this famous clip, he guns down a Robert Blake baddie....I'm guessing the episode aired in the mid-60s. 

 

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