Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
14 user

The Gallows 

While returning suspected killer Pruit Dover to Dodge to stand trial, Matt is shot and badly wounded, and yet Dover stays with him and nurses him back to health.


Andrew V. McLaglen


John Meston


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Episode cast overview:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Dennis Weaver ... Chester
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Jeremy Slate ... Pruit Dover
Joseph Ruskin ... Judge Henry
Robert Stevenson ... Ax Parsons (as Robert J. Stevenson)
Richard Shannon ... Jud Gamer
James Nusser James Nusser ... Louie Pheeters
Orville Sherman ... Sheriff
William Challee ... Feist
Nancy Walters ... Gal
Ollie O'Toole Ollie O'Toole ... Milt
Bob Gravage Bob Gravage ... Peters (as Robert Gravage)


Footloose but honest Pruit Dover saves Matt's life while being returned to Dodge to stand trial for killing a man during a drunken argument. Matt's faith in the law and even his devotion to duty are severely shaken when vindictive Judge Henry disregards the lack of credible witnesses or hard evidence against Dover and sentences him to hang. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

3 March 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Dillon and Pruit ride into Hays City it is the same location on the Paramount western street that served as Virginia City in the series 'Bonanza'. See more »


When Pruitt Dover fights the older man next to the pond, it is obvious that there is a stunt double standing in for him. Pruit's hair is much lighter in color than the double's, whose hair is black. See more »


The Old Gray Mare
Traditional Folk song
Saloon music
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User Reviews

View with caution
27 November 2012 | by lrrapSee all my reviews

I first caught "The Gallows" about 15 years ago on cable; I've always liked Jeremy Slate, and gladly followed this fascinating morality tale through its unpredictable twists and turns.

And then there was the final scene. I will only say that, at the final fade to black, I sat there literally with my mouth hanging open; I couldn't believe it.

There are few viewing experiences that come to mind that combine the same sort of pathos and nobility with an almost heart-breaking sadness and sense of helplessness, all delivered in a dignified and understated way. The script is first-rate; Jeremy Slate's performance is brilliant, as is that of James Arness. Most impressively, the writing and lead performances convincingly render a tale in which an almost impossibly selfless and fatalistic sense of morality determines the final outcome.

Pruitt Dover to Marshall Dillon: "Your debt's been paid".

"The Gallows" is a show that I will watch only on special, carefully- chosen--and rather somber---occasions, such as today, the 52nd anniversary of it premier broadcast (1st Saturday in March, 1962). It's just as powerful as I remember it.


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