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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Gunsmoke - The Killer

This classic episode of Gunsmoke (known as Gunlaw in the UK)  features future superstar Charles Brosnan in a very impressive performance as the homicidal maniac and coward, Crego. Brosnan is brilliant in the role, cast completely against type - Crego has built up a reputation as a gunfighter by only challenging those who aren't quite so fast on the trigger. He goads them into slapping leather and is thus always able to claim self defence.

'I'm not wanted by any law, anywhere,' Crego tells Marshall Matt Dillon.

Crego, not so much a gunman as a serial killer, struts his stuff around Dodge, getting into gunfight after gunfight and always coming out on top. Dillon knows that Crego will never stop killing, that he likes it, but is powerless to do anything about it. The lawman knows that he must bend the law, that the law is working against the greater good and that Crego must die.

"Crego, he's a brutal man, Matt. He... you know what he did here? He shot that man in the gun arm first, then he put a bullet through each one of his knees. Finally shot him in the belly. That's a terrible thing to do, that's a painful way to kill a man. It's evil! He was just a poor potato grubber. He didn't have a chance. " Doc Adams tells Marshall Dillon.

James Arness is, as always, brilliant, not for nothing was he the small screen's answer to John Wayne. Indeed John Wayne was initially asked to play the part of Dillion but the actor didn't want to do any TV and recommended his good friend James Arness - the rest is history.

Below I've embedded the video of John Wayne introducing the first ever episode of Gunsmoke.


old guy rambling said...

Love all the old BW Gunsmokes's

Davieboy said...

Charles Brosnan - or Pierce Bronson?

Or.... Charles Dennis Bronson (November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003), born Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Lithuanian: Karolis Dionyzas Bučinskis). ... aka Man with Harmonica. Can't you just hear that music, even now...

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Whoops - thanks

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember this episode well.