"GUNSMOKE" is one of those rare tv series that has stood the test of time. Running through the '70s, many of its more than 600 episodes were gems, and as great as the cast is, the writing's just as impressive.
"GUNSMOKE: Season 2, volume 1" has been released by Paramount. James Arness is commanding as U.S. Marshall Matt Dillon, who, along with his deputy and friends, try to bring justice and fairness to the wild west of Dodge City, while lawlessness creeps up at every turn. It's simply amazing to realize the level of craftsmanship that went into writing these scripts, especially at the time, when networks were keenly aware of the expectations for "suitable" storylines. There is a level of daring and social commentary that seeps through in several of the episodes featured in this 3 disc set, comprising 20 episodes from the 2nd season.
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.33:1 aspect ratio for this release. While there are only a few artifacts present, the resolution could be better. Some scenes look fine, but, then are immediately followed by ones that appear too soft or grainy. It's not a bad transfer, just not much above average for dvd.
PARAMOUNT has provided a monaural mix. It's inherently, all center channel focused, unless one plays with the surround options on the receiver. But, even with limited fidelity, it sounds as good as one could expect and there's no notable distortion. Dialogue is always intelligible.