Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
6 user


Outlaw gang leader Jude Bonner seeks to force Matt to try and keep his condemned brother from hanging by kidnapping Kitty, brutally abusing and threatening to kill her.


Gunnar Hellström


Paul F. Edwards (as Paul Edwards)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Buck Taylor ... Newly
William Smith ... Jude Bonner
Geoffrey Lewis ... Lafitte Bonner
Marco St. John ... Virgil Bonner
Nina Roman Nina Roman ... Amy Lee
Glenn Strange ... Sam Noonan
Ted Jordan Ted Jordan ... Nathan Burke
Woody Chambliss ... Woody Lathrop
James Chandler James Chandler ... Governor
Hal Baylor ... Toke
Sandra Kent Sandra Kent ... Martha


Matt Dillon apprehends Virgil Bonner and brings him in to stand trial. Bonner is wanted for murder and he is found guilty and sentenced to hang. His older brother, Jude Bonner, leads a band of outlaws known as the Dog Soldiers and he swears to have his revenge if his brother is hung. To back up his threat he takes Miss Kitty hostage and threatens to kill her. Matt must try to get a stay of execution from the Governor in order to save Kitty. Written by tomtrekp

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis









Release Date:

11 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The final fight between Matt Dillon and Jude Bonner takes place outdoors on location but almost all the reaction shots of onlookers (including one of director Gunnar Hellstrom in costume as a "dog soldier" were filmed on a sound stage in Los Angeles. Festus also pops up from behind a huge rock that is seen for the first time when he appears (and is not around when the scene cuts away to a group shot). See more »

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User Reviews

20 January 2013 | by krisdoeringSee all my reviews

This is truly a remarkable episode. It is both horrific and touching. As Matt tries feudally to prevent the hanging of Jude Bonners brother in order to save Kitty's life. She is brutally beaten and brought back to Dodge and shot in front of the town. She clings to life as even Doc cries over how badly she has been treated. Matt gets back and sits for hours by her side telling her "I need you Kitty" . She awakens enough to be aware of what he says and in her weak state cries. He takes off his badge to go after Bonner and kill him. He tells Festus and Newly that they should stay back -this is his fight. They tell him they are going. They stay close behind and catch up with Matt only to be told thanks for all the good years but to take the men of Dodge that followed and go back. Thankfully they don't. They let Matt have his fight but surround them from behind to watch and guard their friend. Ultimately they save his life. I will agree maybe a last scene back in Dodge would have been good but they really did show the great love of Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell. As truly close as two people and a town ever could be. Wonderful!

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