Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
7 user

The Busters 

A cowboy is unaware that Doc has given him less than a week to live after being kicked in the head by a horse and his partner tries to give him whatever he wants.


Vincent McEveety


Jim Byrnes


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Episode cast overview:
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Buck Taylor ... Newly
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Gary Busey ... Harve Daley
John Beck ... Mitch Hansen
Lynn Benisch ... Zoe (as Lynn Benesch)
Gregg Palmer ... Simeon Reed
Randy Boone ... Hub Miller
Fran Ryan ... Hannah


Harve tries to ride a wild horse until it settles down but instead it throws him and kicks him in the head. He seems to be okay and he and his partner go to Dodge to seek help in getting paid for the attempt. But Harve starts having dizzy spells, and the partner takes him to Doc Adams for evaluation. Doc tells the partner that he has a "subdural hemotoma," - uncontrollable bleeding into the brain and will die soon. The partner keeps this a secret and invites Harve to go celebrate them finally getting their wages, after which they will get on a train to Montana. Complications arise when both men fall for a saloon girl, and Harve also has a surprise return meeting with the horse that kicked him. Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

10 March 1975 (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?


Gary Busey's character Harve Daley in this episode was the last man killed in the series. See more »

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User Reviews

Two characters were bronco busters, not cattle rustlers
25 June 2007 | by sconeedshelpSee all my reviews

The two characters in the episode were bronco busters, not cattle rustlers. Gary Busey's character was thrown from a wild horse and stomped in the head, causing the head trauma that would kill him. John Beck's character knows the truth from Doc Adams but doesn't tell his friend and even goes out of his way to keep Busey's character from fighting at the Long Branch, knowing he could die from any additional blows to the head.

This is a terrific episode, beautifully acted and written. The series lated twenty years and could have gone longer because of the great stories and characters. Some other Westerns from the same era suffer from hanging on too long or trying to be serious and ending up being campy but Gunsmoke is the star of the genre.

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