The BEST Episodes of Gunsmoke

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Network: CBS

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.

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#1 - Hammerhead

Season 10 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 26, 1964

Big Jim Ponder's coming to town to buy Fitch Tallman's Morgans. Carrie, Jim's daughter, and Big Jim stop in to say hi to Matt. Fitch has paid shills to grease the rails. Festus runs Fitch's stock down. He says Morgans ain't nothin' compared to Wohaw's quarter horses. Carrie wants a quarterhorse. Tom tells Fitch, Festus is showing Big Jim horses. Fitch bets Carrie $100 her horse versus his pick. Fitch tells Festus any distance. He says Dodge to Cheyenne. Big Jim bets on Hammerhead, Carrie's horse. Big Jim will buy all the stock of the winner. It'll start 6:00 am Monday and end 6:00 am Saturday. Deggers wants to enter a third horse. Deggers bets Jim $10,000. There's over $50,000 bet. Including five from Doc and five from Matt. Some say Festus is riding to lose for the gamblers. Wohaw and Fitch bet each other their stables. Carrie's riding the buckboard, that will accompany Festus, with Squatty. Someone cut Festus' saddle strap. The Morgans have a ten minute lead on F

star 9.00
48 votes
Directors: Christian Nyby
Writers: Antony Ellis

#2 - Minnie

Season 6 - Episode 30 - Aired Apr 15, 1961

Rough and rowdy Minnie comes to Dodge Cith and sets her designs on Doc Adams much to the delight of Matt, Chester and Kitty. Trouble comes though when Minnie's husband comes to Dodge and finds out that his Minnie is sweet on Doc.

star 8.87
48 votes
Directors: Harry Harris
Writers: John Meston
Seven Hours to Dawn

#3 - Seven Hours to Dawn

Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 18, 1965

Matt has to get Dodge City back from outlaws.

star 8.44
32 votes
Writers: Clyde Ware
The Bounty Hunter

#4 - The Bounty Hunter

Season 11 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 30, 1965

Turner's called in from the range to talk to his boss, Chris Thornton. Upon his arrival Thornton tells him he knows his name is really Luke Frazer. He tells Thornton he'll be gone by sundown, but Thornton has different ideas. He shows Luke a wanted poster of Otto Fry, the man who killed Thornton's son. He tells Luke he'll give him a thousand acres as a place of his own if he'll track down Fry and kill him; he can even keep the $600 reward! Frazer heads out looking for Fry and lands in Dodge. Wouldn't you know, he's an old friend of Festus'. It turns out that Fry is better known around Dodge as local rancher Lon Jensen. Matt gets to him first and puts him in jail where Frazer can't get to him. He then sends a telegram to the sheriff in Buckland and learns that the charges had been dropped when Thornton's son made a deathbed confession, admitting to assaulting Fry's wife. When Frazer learns that he's been set up to commit murder he heads back to Buckland to deal w

star 8.35
17 votes
Directors: Harry Harris
Writers: Paul Savage
The Pillagers

#5 - The Pillagers

Season 13 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 6, 1967

Kitty and fellow traveling passenger Newly O'Brien are captured by Mexican outlaw Manez and his gang.

star 8.25
12 votes
Writers: Calvin Clements
Hard Luck Henry

#6 - Hard Luck Henry

Season 13 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 23, 1967

A comedic episode. Festus tries to get a box full of gold coins away from his relatives and back to Dodge, the Dooleys who are feuding with the Haggens are also trying to get their hands on the box.

star 8.21
14 votes
Directors: John Rich
Writers: Warren Douglas
With a Smile

#7 - With a Smile

Season 8 - Episode 29 - Aired Mar 30, 1963

A rancher's spoiled son believes even after he is convicted of murder that his father's wealth and influence will save him from the hangman.

star 8.19
16 votes
Writers: Bud Furillo, George Main, John Meston
Carter Caper

#8 - Carter Caper

Season 9 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 16, 1963

A man with a grudge hits upon the perfect revenge when he spreads the word in Dodge that short-tempered Billy is so good with a gun that he shot down the famous gunfighter, Beau Carter.

star 8.17
18 votes
Directors: Jerry Hopper
Writers: John Meston
The Twisted Heritage

#9 - The Twisted Heritage

Season 14 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 6, 1968

Kitty saves the life of a man during a stage hold-up, taking him back to his ranch she finds his mother a ruthless matron and his daughter alienated from her father.

star 8.16
45 votes

#10 - Drago

Season 17 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 22, 1971

Drago wants to find the person who killed a woman who helped him.

star 8.14
14 votes
Directors: Paul Stanley
Writers: Jim Byrnes

#11 - Quint-Cident

Season 8 - Episode 33 - Aired Apr 27, 1963

A woman newly widowed is powerfully attracted to Quint, but when he gently turns her down, she vows to make him pay for scorning a white woman.

star 8.13
15 votes
Writers: Kathleen Hite
Prairie Wolfer

#12 - Prairie Wolfer

Season 9 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 18, 1964

Festus returns to Dodge from wolfing and is hired by the Cattleman's Association to hunt down the wolves killing everyone's cattle. What he finds is that what's been doing the preying may wind him up in prison if he doesn't get Matt's help.

star 8.13
16 votes
Writers: John Dunkel
The Foundling

#13 - The Foundling

Season 19 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 11, 1974

After being forced to shoot a man who is breaking up the Long Branch, Matt goes off to be alone only to find a young girl and a newborn in a cave. Neither she nor her parents want the child, and they send it with Matt. Matt finds the only logical choice, Miss Kitty, to deposit the baby with till something can be done with it. Matt decides to give it to the widow of the man he just killed but doesn't realize that Kitty is willing to sell the Long Branch to keep the baby for herself.

star 8.12
41 votes
Writers: Jim Byrnes

#14 - Chicken

Season 10 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 5, 1964

Dan Collins is reputed to have shot four outlaws at Hackaberry Creek. Dan meets Lucy Benton and her crippled brother Carl. Lucy tells Dan not to come to her place. A cowboy coming out the Lady Gay bumps into Dan. He's ready for a showdown till he's told who Dan is. Wes Morgan offers Dan a job, killing if necessary. He offers him a hundred a month. Dan says he'll haave to think on it. Dan goes to Lucy's farm. She says I told you not to come out here. Carl says she just wants to be left alone. Lucy and Carl say Morgan is trying to run them off. Lucy asks Carl please let me tell him. Carl says no! Morgan interviews Hal Davis and hires him at $50 a month. Lucy talks to Dan in town, tells him to leave her alone. Lucy tells Doc Carl won't let me tell the truth. Doc's the only one that knows the whole truth. Dan's thinking of telling Lucy he's no hero. Davis and his partner are ready to shoot up Lucy's. Dan rides up to them. He says he's Dan Collins and the Bentons are hi

star 8.12
50 votes
Writers: John Meston
Honey Pot

#15 - Honey Pot

Season 10 - Episode 34 - Aired May 15, 1965

A man comes to town and tells Sam he's going to shoot Matt. It's soon understood he is an old friend. Involved in shooting and killing a man, their friendship is stretched as he claims self defense even though he was the only one armed.

star 8.12
43 votes
Directors: Harry Harris
Writers: John Meston
The New Society

#16 - The New Society

Season 10 - Episode 35 - Aired May 22, 1965

Matt is ordered to Ridge Town to reopen the case of an army major who was murdered 12 years before, when a dying outlaw he shot swears he did not commit the crime, and it appears the whole town is hiding something.

star 8.08
13 votes
Directors: Joseph Sargent
Writers: Calvin Clements Sr.
Daddy Went Away

#17 - Daddy Went Away

Season 8 - Episode 35 - Aired May 11, 1963

Chester is sweet on a widow dressmaker. When the widow is not only intent on marriage but eager to make changes in Chester as well, he has second thoughts--especially after a talk with her child suggests that the widow may still be a wife.

star 8.07
14 votes
Directors: Joseph Sargent
Writers: John Rosser, Kathleen Hite
The Quest for Asa Janin

#18 - The Quest for Asa Janin

Season 8 - Episode 38 - Aired Jun 1, 1963

A young man is convicted of killing the saloon girl he wanted for his own. Matt is so sure that the young man is really innocent that he goes on the road after another suspect to prevent an unjust hanging.

star 8.07
14 votes
Writers: Paul Savage
Stranger in Town

#19 - Stranger in Town

Season 13 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 20, 1967

Professional gunman Dave Reeves comes to Dodge for an assignment, kill his ex-wife's new husband-to-be.

star 8.06
16 votes
Abe Blocker

#20 - Abe Blocker

Season 8 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 24, 1962

Abe Blocker, an aging mountain man, tells Bud and Mary Groves to get off their homestead or die. Bud tells Matt. He goes looking. Abe shoots at Buck's hooves. Abe's wife and child died in childbirth. Matt tells Bud he talked to Abe to no avail. Joe tell Matt the Groves have been scalped. Matt finds big moccasin prints, and start trailing Abe. He sees him thrice but he disappears. Matt gives up and returns to Dodge. Quint says he's killed again, Jim Kelly and Pete Brice. Emmet's forming a posse. Gant says Joe Clark has been killed. Abe appears to the posse, and starts picking them off. Gant hits Abe. Matt tells Quint if he 's hit that bad no need to track him. Matt finds Abe in the cave near where his wife and child is buried. He dies trying to kill Matt.

star 8.06
17 votes
Writers: John Meston
Exodus 21.22

#21 - Exodus 21.22

Season 14 - Episode 26 - Aired Mar 24, 1969

A friend of Matt's, a former lawman arrives in Dodge to kill the men responsible for his wife's death.

star 8.05
43 votes
Writers: Arthur Rowe
The Iron Men

#22 - The Iron Men

Season 20 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 21, 1974

Matt and former lawman now turned alcoholic, Chauncey Demon go up against land baron Carl Ryker.

star 8.04
45 votes
Writers: John Mantley

#23 - Chesterland

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 18, 1961

Chester becomes engaged more or less accidentally, but he takes to heart his obligation to his betrothed, leaving his job with Mr. Dillon to devote himself to homesteading a barren quarter section.

star 8.00
55 votes
Directors: Ted Post
Writers: Kathleen Hite
The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner

#24 - The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner

Season 8 - Episode 36 - Aired May 18, 1963

Aaron, sweet on saloon girl Leah and wanting to make her his wife, is attacked and killed by Colie Fletcher. When Matt goes after him, Colie runs into Jubal Tanner, wounds him, and steals his horse. Jubal, ungrateful to those who help him, meets Leah, and each helps the other's outlook.

star 8.00
14 votes
Writers: Paul Savage
Comanches Is Soft

#25 - Comanches Is Soft

Season 9 - Episode 23 - Aired Mar 7, 1964

After some horsing around, Festus breaks some of Quint's equipment. To repair or get anew, they travel to Wichita and meet a saloon girl who tells them she needs to get away from town but her jealous boyfriend is now hot on their trail.

star 8.00
13 votes
Directors: Harry Harris
Writers: Kathleen Hite