Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
4 user
Chato is a mixed-race Native American with a serious grudge against lawmen. He also has a remarkable athletic ability: he can run and jump over mountain ledges while keeping up a steady ... See full summary »


Vincent McEveety


Paul F. Edwards (as Paul Edwards)


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Episode cast overview:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc (credit only)
Amanda Blake ... Kitty (credit only)
Ken Curtis ... Festus (credit only)
Buck Taylor ... Newly (credit only)
Ricardo Montalban ... Chato
Miriam Colon ... Mora
Peggy McCay ... Beth Cooter
William Bryant ... Marshal Dan Cooter
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... Juanito (as Rodolfo Hoyos)
Robert Knapp ... Surgeon
Pedro Regas ... Old Man
Jim Sheppard Jim Sheppard ... Deputy Case


Chato is a mixed-race Native American with a serious grudge against lawmen. He also has a remarkable athletic ability: he can run and jump over mountain ledges while keeping up a steady fire with his rifle. After an exciting duel, he kills a friend of Matt Dillon's who was tracking him. Matt comes to New Mexico and engages him in a duel of wits with Chato to catch him. Chato's one soft spot is his common-law wife. She is shot and severely injured by a group of renegade tribesmen who were also gunning for Chato. Chato calls a truce with Matt so the group can escape and get her to a doctor - but it's only a truce. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Release Date:

14 September 1970 (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?


Writer Paul F. Edwards won a Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award for this episode. See more »

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User Reviews

Ricardo Montalban centers outstanding episode
16 March 2018 | by kenstallings-65346See all my reviews

The character of Chato required a strong actor, and Ricardo Montalban found a role he was made for! The episode features none of the regular ensemble cast, but instead features just three actors. This clean script allows James Arness and Montalban to shine.

Chato's path in life is determined by a US Army raid on his Cheyenne tribe's encampment, where his mother is killed, in addition to most others. Chato is a boy when this happens. He develops an intense hatred of Army soldiers, and dedicates the rest of his life to hunting down and killing soldiers as revenge. These many attacks and killings on US soldiers results in US Marshals being sent into the wilderness to try to arrest him. These efforts are how Dillon gets brought into the situation.

What we learn through the many twists and turns of the plot is the men of even vicious character can have a center of honor, though the honor may be very hard to see. People unfamiliar with the details of Chato's life refer to him as death incarnate, who has only one love in his life, a woman, who is the third key player in the plot.

What develops forms an interesting bond of honor between Dillon and Chato, though one that must end violently.

This is an excellent script, and another of the episodes in the Gunsmoke series that sets it apart from all others of the genre, one that still stands above all others.

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