On Thanksgiving, Starz Encore Group LLC's Westerns multiplex will marshal its
programming resources behind a marathon based on Western series archetype
The premium multiplex announced Monday that it will run five films based on
Gunsmoke and Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) in succession on Turkey
Day, beginning with Return to Dodge (co-starring Amanda Blake and Steve
Forest) at 1 p.m.
That 1987 film will be followed by 1990's The Apache (Michael Learned,
Richard Kiely); 1994's One Man's Justice (Bruce Boxleitner); 1993's
The Long Ride (James Brolin, Ali McGraw) and 1992's To the Last
Man (Pat Hingle, Joseph Bottoms).
Gunsmoke premiered on CBS in September 1955 and completed its run 20
years later. The series, set in Dodge City, Kan., circa 1873, began as a
half-hour but expanded to a one-hour version seven years into its turn.
Arness starred in the lead role throughout its course, while Blake, who
portrayed saloon owner Kitty Russell, was with the program for 19