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The Prisoner Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #14, Episode #25

Gunsmoke was a popular Western show that aired from 1955 to 1975. It was well-loved by viewers of all ages, notable for being one of the highest-rated shows on television for much of its run. Two episodes from Gunsmoke have “The Prisoner” as their title, each with a varying storyline and guest characters.

Episode 25 from Season 14 depicts the story of Steven Downing, a prisoner accused of murder and taken to a town where his chances of facing a fair trial are slim. Kitty Russell steps in to protect Steven until the Marshal arrives, believing the young man’s innocence. Directed by Leo Penn and written by Calvin Clements, the episode aired on March 17, 1969.

On the other hand, if season seven’s episode about the federal prison escapee Billy Joe is what you’re looking for, you can find that here.

Read The Prisoner, Season 14, Episode 25’s storyline, including some behind-the-scenes information, or watch the Gunsmoke episode below.

Watch the Full Gunsmoke Episode, The Prisoner

Watch the full episode of The Prisoner:

Gunsmoke The Prisoner Cast

Here are the cast members for the episode, The Prisoner.

  • Milburn Stone as Doc
  • Amanda Blake as Kitty
  • Ken Curtis as Festus
  • James Arness as Matt
  • Jon Voight as Steven Downing
  • Ramon Bieri as Jarvis
  • Ned Glass as Pink Simmons
  • Buck Taylor as Newly
  • Paul Bryar as Sheriff
  • Kenneth Tobey as Bob Mathison
  • James Nusser as Louie Pheeters
  • Glenn Strange as Sam
  • Tom Brown as Ed O’Connor
  • Ted Jordan as Burke
  • David Fresco as Barber
  • Jan Peters as Cardplayer
  • Nick Borgani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Michelle Breeze as Saloon Girl (uncredited)
  • Stephen Burnette as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred Dale as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Duke Fishman as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Raven Grey Eagle as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred McDougall as Mathison Henchman (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Noel as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sid Troy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Hank Wise as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Prisoner

Two men, one of which had handcuffs, stopped by Dodge City to check their horses’ shoes. While waiting, they head over to the saloon for a drink.

Miss Kitty, busy searching for something in her purse, fails to see the falling crate from an incoming carriage. Fortunately, the man with handcuffs, Steven Downing, noticed, pushing her away from harm. Grateful, Kitty offers to buy Steven a drink. However, Jarvis states that he’s a murderer who’s about to get hanged in Mathison County.

Kitty finds it hard to digest how the person who saved her life will get hanged. As she returns to the Long Branch Saloon with Newly and Festus, they find Jarvis and Steven fighting as Steven insists that Jarvis buy him a drink. Jarvis was about to shoot Steven when Newly stepped in to stop him. Newly asked for a poster on Steven and was surprised to see the five thousand dollars bounty on him. Still, Newly insists Steven get his wound treated since he has the right to do so in Dodge City.

Sam and Kitty couldn’t understand how an alleged killer would risk his life to save Miss Kitty, who was a total stranger to him. Kitty invites Jarvis to a game to give him credit for his bounty upon seeing his consecutive losses on a game. She eventually wins, causing the dismayed Jarvis to leave the saloon.

Doc tends to Steven’s wounds while Kitty speaks to Marshal Matt about Steven, believing he’s innocent. Matt allows her to find the truth to prove Steven’s innocence until Bob shows up. He also offers to talk to a judge in Lone Butte to give Steven a chance to stand on a new trial outside of Mathison County, which Kitty accepts.

Kitty finds Jarvis outside the saloon. Jarvis tells her that bob, the sheriff, and a few of his men are on their way to Dodge City with a death warrant. Steven hears this from his room, then sets forth to escape. Kitty finds him looking for money. Steven threatens to hurt her if she doesn’t show him where to find the saloon money. Still, Kitty insists on learning the truth.

Steven reveals that he hit Bob Mathison’s wife harder than intended, causing her to fall against rocks that may have hurt her head. He did so because he didn’t like to mess with another man’s woman, but then Tessa (Bob Mathison’s wife) started yelling and hitting him with a riding whip. Kitty wants to know why Steven didn’t insist on telling the truth. Steven tells her a prideful man like Bob wouldn’t want to hear about it. Steven also believes it’s no use holding a new trial since Bob and his men are ending him.

Kitty visits Festus to ask him to keep Steven in his place before Bob, the sheriff, and his men find him.

Bob, Sheriff Ryan, and their men arrive in Dodge the next day. However, they fail to find Steven. Out of desperation, Bob offers five thousand dollars to anyone in town who could lead them to Steven Downing. Soon enough, Bob was able to locate Steven’s whereabouts.

Steven tells Bob the truth behind Tessa’s death. Still, Bob insists on hanging Steven. Fortunately, Marshal Matt arrived with a court order allowing Steven to get a new trial outside Mathison County.

Eventually, Kitty’s hunch paid off since Steven freed himself after proving himself innocent.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Prisoner

Laziest critters on the earth.

Only meal they take
is supplied by others.

Need misery to feed on.

Sorta like a bounty hunter.

Nothing lazy about
my job, Downing.

Mighty hard work.

For that last remark, you'll
do without water for the day.

All right, Newly, here he be.

A better shoein' job than that couldn't
have been did by old Hank hisself.

That'll be two
dollars and 50 cents.


I ain't gonna charge you
a penny more, that's it.

Well, now, wait a minute.
Hank charges fifty cents a shoe.

That's two dollars.

My horse has four
legs, Festus, not five.

Just hold on, now, Newly.

Two days of stabling
this here horse,

well, that comes to the
extra 50 cents right there.

It's not my fault it took
you two days to shoe him.

All right. All right.
Don't blabber.

Poor old Hank's laying
up yonder sick in bed

and here you are haggling
over a few measly pennies.

All right. All right.

Two-fifty. Thank you.

Much obliged.

And if you're gonna be wearin'
that badge, you oughta polish it up.

Shoe loose.

Got a lot of hard riding to do.

Best check shoes on both horses.

Get to it the first
thing in the morning.

- You'll get to it first thing right now.
- Whoa, now.

You ain't just too flush with
common manners, are you?

Sorry, friend.

I been a bit on edge
bringing this killer south.

I wanna get across that south
waste in the cool of the night.

I'll get started when I can.

No, no, pay for what
you get when you get it.

Old Doc, he's went out of town.
He ought to be back directly.

No sense wasting doctoring
on him where he's heading.


Look out!

I sure am beholden to you.

Even though you did
ruin a fairly good hat.

Well you're in... one
pretty piece, anyway.

I sure would like
to buy you a drink.

Well, I sure would like
to take you up on that.


You'd be drinking with
a murderer, ma'am.

You know, it's coming down to
what'd give me more pleasure,

taking you in for burying
or watching Bob Mathison

put that noose around your neck.

And, boy, I am close to denying
Bob the pleasure in hanging you.

- You all right, Miss Kitty?
- Yeah, I think so.

Told that Burke a
hundred and one times

not to load them
dray wagons so high.

And old Don Happy, he'd ought
to know better than that hisself.

Are you sure you're
all right, Miss Kitty?

Festus, that boy...
Yes'm, I seen him.

You know, it's like
getting kicked in the belly

knowing that he's gonna hang in the
same breath that he saved your life.

They're gonna hang him?

That... that man said he was
taking him to Mathison County.

To hang, he said.

I think I could stand a drink.

A cold beer'd go good right now.

You think I'm wasting a
nickel on your comforts?

I'm making you a rich man, the
least you can do is buy me a drink!

You're gonna stay out
here with the horses.

If you get thirsty, you
can do the same as them,

drink out of the trough.

Hold it!

Mister, you come closer to
dying than that prisoner of yours.

This is one prisoner that ain't
likely to reach Mathison County.

Mathison County's in Missouri.
You got a poster on this man?

- I'm a bounty hunter.
- I know what you are.

I asked you if you
had a poster on him.

Five thousand dollars?

- Mathison must want him pretty bad.
- Real bad.

Tell them about it, boy.

He don't want to talk on it.

You know, if you're aiming to
take a bullet instead of a hanging

I'm gonna oblige you
without too much coaxing.

You carrying a
bullet in that leg?

No, I was lucky.
Passed right on through.

When did it happen?

Yesterday on the
trail. Tried to escape.

If that wound isn't tended to,
infection's gonna set in real fast.

Now, you got
rights in this town.

Have the wound treated, put you up
at the jail and have you fed properly.

Uh... Deputy, if
it's all right by you,

after six days on the trail,
saloon sounds better than jail.

Well, I figure you earned it.

But you're not leaving
town till that wound's treated.

Now, look, Deputy, I'm not hanging
around here waiting for no doc.

I said you're not leaving
town till that wound's treated.

They ain't fixing to leave
no way, Newly, till I get done

shoeing their horses for 'em.

Doc, he's out at the Owens' place.
If you want me to, I'll go fetch him.

Appreciate it, Festus.

Sure glad it weren't no
worse than it was, Miss Kitty.

When does Matt get back, Newly?

He said he'd be back tonight and I
hope those two are here when he does.

- I hope so, too.
- Miss Kitty...

if that bounty hunter gives his prisoner
any unnecessary trouble, you tell me.

And a four. Big ace.

Pair of queens.
What are you doing?


I'll see you...

- There she goes.
- Nice little fella.

- Your ride.
- Give me a ride.

Could you leave the bottle, Sam?

Not feeling good, Sam. Kinda
put-on today, know what I mean?

Well, your ride.

That hole card
matching your pair again?

Cost you to find out.

- Well.
- Wait a minute.

- What do you mean, wait a minute?
- The hole card.

Oh, no, no, you don't
pay, you don't see.

- This ain't much a friendly game.
- It was, until you invited yourself in.

Sure look more relaxed than
the last time I seen you, ma'am.

Can I get you something?

A good luck charm.


- A beer would go good.
- Coming right up.

Make that five.

Stay away from that kid.

What's the matter with him,
he got something catching?

Animals generally do.

What he is, animal.

The only animal I've
noticed around here is you.

Your bet.

Let me have a beer
for the boy, Sam.

- Thank you.
- Miss Kitty...

there's something that
keeps coming up in my mind.

I just can't understand
why someone

who's supposed to
be a cold-blooded killer

would risk his life to
save a total stranger.

Yeah, well, he sure wasn't
thinking of his own skin, was he?

You know what bothers me
even more is where he's wanted...

Mathison County.

Well, Bob Mathison still calls
the tune down that end of Missouri.

You remember when I went through
there about, oh, three years ago?

Well, I didn't think it was
possible anymore for anybody

to be tried and
hanged within one hour.

But from the time it took me to get
from one stagecoach to the other one,

that's exactly what
happened. Tsk!

Do you mind telling me about it?

I'd as soon not.

It's, um... it's
not just curiosity.

I'd like to help you.

- Why?
- Well...

you risked your
life to save mine.

So I'm partial to pretty women.

You talk pretty easy.

You got anything going
for you at your trial?

Trial's over and done with.

I wasn't even around to see it.

I was, uh... what's
the word... "absentia."

I was absentia.

You know Bob Mathison?

I know of him.

Well, then you got all
the answers right there.

How come every time either of you
two deal I get shaded out every time?

Well, that's about
it for me, anyway.

Hey, you got over 200
dollars of my money.

- You're cleaned, anyway.
- I still got...

You got what? You haven't
got enough to bet one card.

There's 5,000 dollars
sitting right over there.

You saying there's 5,000
dollars' bounty on that kid?

Says so right here.

That kind of money I don't want.

Well, it's money ain't it?

I'll give you credit
on your bounty.

If you don't mind
playing against the house.

- The house?
- Me.

Sam, bring in a fresh deck.

- Miss Kitty...
- Thank you, Ed.

Why don't you sit down
and name your stakes.

How much credit you giving me?

You've got five
thousand, I'll give you five.

I thank you for the trust.

I wouldn't trust you three cents'
worth if he wasn't sitting there.

- Sam, bring in the chips, please.
- Yes, ma'am.

- Two hundred.
- Thank you. Much obliged to you.

- Cards?
- Two.

I'll take three.

Your bet.

Five hundred.

Five hundred.

And five hundred more.

That whiskey ain't gonna help you
see them cards any better, Jarvis.

You shut up!

Your bet.

You can't be having
that kind of luck all night.

Lady, I'm betting you're
playing a bluff hand.

Then, bet.

I'll see your 500, and
raise you 500 more.

I'll call.

Sixes. Four of them.


Four of them.

Those are the luckiest house
cards I've ever run across.

Either that or you got a
special way of dealing them.

If you mean cheating, then
why don't you just say it?

You're out four thousand
dollars, Mr. Jarvis.

You got a thousand
dollars left in your prisoner.

Put the keys to those irons
and the poster on the table.

Well, sit down, or
cough up 4,000 dollars.

I'll make you a sporting
proposition, Mr. Jarvis.

High card.

Four thousand you owe me against
the thousand you got left in your prisoner.

If I win, he becomes
my property.

What are you gonna do with him?

That's none of your business.

Excepting I want a
new deck and I deal.

High card?

One turn?

You're some woman,
I'm beginning to think.

Spare me that, please.

Don't I get to cut?

And as the saying
goes, bury yourself.

Have a good trip.

Gentlemen, ladies,
drinks are on me.

Well, you're the prettiest
bounty hunter I ever seen.

Want a drink?

Uh, ma'am, what... what
you gonna do with me?

Well, I thought I'd try to get
you as comfortable as possible

and have Doc take
a look at that leg.

Sue, would you mind going up and
setting a room for him? Thank you.

I'm much obliged
to you about my leg,

but, uh, I didn't
mean about my leg,

I meant, what you
gonna do with me?

Well, I'm gonna wait until
the Marshal gets back to town

and we'll see that
you get a fair shake.

You know, Bob Mathison
ain't gonna wait for no Marshal.

He's gonna breathe fire. He'll
take this town apart to get to me.

I'll worry about Bob Mathison
when the time comes.

I'll get your drink.

Miss Kitty?

I know it's been a spell since
you handled a deck of cards,

but you can sure
still haze them.


Why, you were dealing cards
off the bottom of that deck

smoother than any
tinhorn I've ever seen.

He dealt the last
hand, remember?

That last deck was an ace shy.

And it was up your sleeve.

You've got eyes like
an owl in the night.

Miss Kitty, I'd like
to buy you a drink.

It's a mighty good thing you
sent Festus for me when you did.

Another couple of hours, I
might've had to take that leg off.

I want you to stay off of it.

I don't think you need to
fret about me much, Doc.

I don't think I could move
one leg after another right now.

Matt, you know very well
what Mathison County is.

Bob Mathison even
appoints his own judges.

Well, Kitty, the only
thing I can tell you is

as soon as the boy's able to be
moved, I'm gonna have to lock him up.

What if Bob Mathison shows
up? And you know he's gonna.

If he shows up with the law and he
can prove that the boy's guilty of murder,

I'm gonna have to turn him over.

Well, I just can't believe
that boy killed anybody.

Yeah, but can you prove it?

No. It's just a hunch.

You know, it would help matters
if you could get the boy to talk.

Tell you what, Matt.

Why don't you let me
play my hunch through.

Let me talk to him and
see what I can find out.

Let me find out if that trial in
Mathison County was really on the level.

All right. You've got
until Mathison shows up

or the boy's able to be moved.

All right.

You know, Kitty,
there is one other thing.

There's a judge lives up in
Lone Butte, name of Moore.

Now, if I can get out of here
tonight and ride up there,

I could talk to him
in the morning.

The only chance this boy has
got is if the judge will grant him

a new trial outside
of Mathison County.

Well, I can't see how Steven Downing
could ask for anything more than that.

I'll give it a try, Kitty.


- Thanks.
- See you later.

Doctor wasn't... wasn't
fooling around, was he?

He sure wasn't.

Thank you, ma'am.

You mind telling me why you
and the marshal are doing all this?

You saved my life.

I know I saved your life.

I'm playing a hunch.

The Marshal's backing my play.

I just... I just ain't too
sure I'd be all that trusting.

I promised the Marshal
you'd be behind locked doors.

That's all right,
ma'am. I understand.



Well, I would have thought
you would have left town by now.

Been down to the telegraph
office. Got Bob's answer.


Right after that poker
game, I wired him.

He's on his way here with the Mathison
County sheriff and a few of his men.

And they're bringing
with them a death warrant.

Which means they can hang
that killer trash wherever they want,

and any time the
feeling hits them.

- Miss Kitty.
- Newly.

I just talked to
that bounty hunter.

He said Bob Mathison is on
his way here with a lawman

and he's carrying
a death warrant.

Could you keep Steven
here until Matt gets back?

Miss Kitty, if Mathison
has a lawman with him

and he's carrying a warrant,
I'm gonna have to turn him over.

I'm sorry.

Now, don't you start
yelling, Miss Russell.

I'm not the yelling type.

Where do you keep the money?

Why do you want to add burglary to
everything else you've got against you?

You don't add to
murder, Miss Russell.

I got only one neck.

I'm sure you're not gonna break my
arm, so why don't you just let go of it?

I need money and I need a horse

and I'm willing to break more
than your arm to get it, too.

Why don't you give
it to me straight.

You owe me the truth.

Bob Mathison is coming to this
town personally to see you hang.


I killed his wife.

When I go out on a limb,
I sure pick a long one.

We're talking about
money, Miss Russell.

- You were.
- Miss Russell...

Go ahead. You've
killed one woman.

Killing another one shouldn't
bother your conscience.

- You're calling it right now.
- Well, go ahead.

Steven, you're no killer.

You're in no condition
to ride anywhere.

Why don't you tell me about it.

I killed Bob Mathison's wife.

That's enough for
anybody to tell, ain't it?

Now, just don't prod, Miss
Russell. Just leave me alone now.

Well, I'm just trying to put together
a picture of you killing anyone.

I hit her.

She fell up against some rocks
and, uh, she must've hit her head.

Why'd you hit her?

She was hitting me
with a riding whip.

She lived just long enough
to tell them it was me.

And she had to go and
say she was fighting me off.

Well, was she? Was
she telling the truth?

Miss Russell, are
you always this tough?

Well, I'll tell you
the truth. I, uh...

I don't believe Tess
ever fought any man off.

But it comes to me, I don't like to
mess with another man's woman.

I just don't have
no stomach for it.

And that's what I told her.

It's bad business, I told her
that, then she starts yelling at me

and hit me with that
riding whip and I...

I just struck out at her.

I hit her...

harder than I intended.

So I just...

got on my horse...

and rode.

Why didn't you stay
and tell the truth?

How you gonna tell a
man a thing like that?

How's he gonna face up to it?

And a prideful man like Bob
Mathison, he don't want to know it.

He... he don't want to know that his
hat's turned around backwards on him.

How you gonna let him
know a thing like that?

How's he gonna face that?

Well, you gonna pour me another
drink? I have to tell my life story here.

I don't want you
to give up hope.

Matt'll be back in town tomorrow and
he just might have some good news.

About a new trial, outside
of Mathison County.

Miss Russell, it comes to a
certain point at a certain time...

you don't go hoping for your troubles
to turn out like a storybook ending.

Now, I'm not saying I'm giving
up, I'm facing facts as they are.

I heard what that bounty man said.
They're coming in with their own rope,

and I'm gonna end up
doing a jig off the end of it.

I guess I'm just a
little scared, that's all.

Steven, you can stay put.

I'll be right back.

Miss Kitty.

What're you doing
out this time of night?

Festus, I need some help.

You betcha. All
you got to do is ask.

Could you hide my prisoner
here in the back room?

Nobody would think of
looking for him here and...

well, you're here all day,
and if they did come after him,

you'd know about it.

Bob Mathison is on his way here
with one of his own private sheriffs

and some of his boys, and...

they got a death
warrant out for him.

Death warrant?

That means that Newly would
have to turn Steve over to him.

I'll do it, Miss Kitty.

Thank you, Festus.

Bring the wagon and meet
me down at the Long Branch.

- Yes'm.
- Thank you.

Easy, easy. Ease him down.

That's the way.

Well, I don't reckon
you're in no shape to care

that Mathison's
riding into town.

I just wish ol' Matthew
was here, that's all.

Come on, come on.

All right. Whoa there. Whoa.


Old Codge Collier
gonna be all right here?

Yeah. If we can keep him from falling
out of his hayloft he will be, I guess.

How's Downing?

He's kind of piqued, Doc.

- I moved him over to the stable.
- Stable?

Miss Kitty thought
it'd be safer over there.

- Why?
- 'Cause Mathison's in town.

I think you'd oughta
take a look at him, Doc.

You'll need this here to get in.

Well, I'm gonna have to go to the
office and get some more bandages.

Now, would you take
care of my rig for me?

You betcha. Doc, they
sure are looking for him, too.

Mathison's got a death warrant.


Whiskey for my men.

- You're Miss Russell?
- That's right.

- I understand I owe you 5,000 dollars.
- You do?

I'm Bob Mathison.

Would you care to count it?

Well, I'm sure you wouldn't ride
all this way to cheat somebody.

He at the jail?


No sale.

I told you you'd be
running into trouble.

Why don't you keep
that lip of yours shut.

You're gonna have enough
trouble for gambling with that kid.

I'm willing to listen.

I'll turn my prisoner over
to the proper authorities

when the Marshal gets back.

I brought the proper
authority along.

Saved you the trouble of a trip.

Sheriff Ryan here is
carrying a death warrant.

That closes the case completely.

I'll still wait for the
Marshal's opinion.

I understand you have a feeling of
obligation towards young Downing.

I appreciate those feelings.

But they're misplaced.

He'll hang. Isn't a thing
you can do to prevent it.

What is it you want?

Mr. Mathison, I'm new
at this bounty game.

Aside from the reward, I
think a little consideration

ought to be given
to, um... justice.

My wife is dead.

I'm deeply concerned
about justice.

When you harbor a wanted man,
you leave yourself open for grief.


You stay away from there.

If you have any intentions
of, um, searching my place,

I don't think the Marshal's
deputy's gonna like that too much.

Deputy, that badge in your shirt

says it's your duty to turn
young Downing over to us.

Except I don't know where he is.

Seems to me that half this
town knows where that kid is.

Which puts you all outside
the law. Especially you.

Mathison County law.



The town doc.

I'm betting where he's
going you'll find Downing.


Come on!

No, no, no, just take
a little off the top.

And don't scalp me,
either like you did last time.

I almost caught
my death of cold.

How come a doctor can catch a
cold with all the medicines he's got?

Oh, it ain't easy. That
proves my point. Just...

- Excuse me, sir.
- Yes, sir?

Are you the doctor in this town?

Yes, what can I do for you?

Well, I'd like to ask, if I may,

where you're headed
with that medical bag.

Well, I don't think that's
any of your concern.

Uh, were you taking care of a
young man named Steve Downing?

At the risk of
being repetitious,

I don't think that's any
of your business either.

Well, maybe we can
change your mind about that.

Are you gonna cut my hair or
you gonna just stand there all day?

That kid is holed
up here in this town.

And there's plenty knowing
about it, like you said.

Folks, would you good people
come here a moment, please?

Here's five thousand dollars.

There are certain
people in this town

that have been hiding
a fugitive from justice.

A murderer.

- Now, he's been tried...
- Hold on a minute.

And convicted, and
yet people in this town,

including the law, harbor him.

A woman killer.

Steven Downing murdered
my wife in cold blood.

And I'm offering five thousand
dollars for any information leading

to the apprehension
of Steven Downing.

This offer stands until
two o'clock this afternoon.

I can be found at the hotel.

That'll flush our
bird from cover.

Human nature is
always dependable.

- Mathison.
- Get up, Steve.

There might... might be a problem
with me riding all the way to Missouri.

No problem, Steve.

You're gonna hang right
here in Dodge. Take him.

Mathison, listen to me now.

You know why Tess is dead?

'Cause I turned her down.

Probably the only man in
Mathison County ever did.

Don't tell me you don't
want to know about it 'cause...

just 'cause you
don't want to know.

Because your men do. Everybody
else does. Ask your men here.

Ask Covey. Tell him, Covey.

Now's the time to
talk about it Covey.

Now, when a man's life's
at stake. Now, tell him!

I don't suppose you
can open your mouth

to tell him I'm a liar,
can you? Can you?

Mathison, how you gonna
face up to these men?

You ain't gonna shut it up
by hanging me, Mathison.

To do that you're gonna have to hang
near every man in Mathison County.

Miss Kitty!

Newly! Miss Kitty!

They're going to hang that boy!

Hold it. Just hold on, there.

There's not gonna
be any lynching.


We're within the law.

Just seeing that
justice is done, Deputy.

Let him swing.


This is a court order.

Now, Downing's getting a
new trial outside of your county.

Turn him loose.



Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Newly, get a couple of men
to help me get him up to Doc's.

Here you go. Easy.

Marshal, I'm... I'm
much obliged to you.


Cold beer go good right now.

Well, because that's the
way it is, Newly, that's just...

You hold them up by the heels

and spank 'em on their little
bottoms, then they start to bawl,

and that's all there is
to it. It's not complicated.

Doc, all I'm asking is what did people
do before they had doctors around

to spank 'em and get
'em started on their way?

Well, Newly, that's one of the
silliest questions I've ever heard. You...

I'd expect something
like that from him,

but you ought to be able
to figure that out for yourself.

Matthew. Miss Kitty. This
here's for you, Matthew.

Why don't you just go ahead and
tell him what's in it, I bet you know.

All right, smarty
britches, it just so happens

that Barney did tell
me what's in that.

Miss Kitty, that Steven
fellow got hisself set free.

That's about the size of it.

Well, Kitty, looks like
your hunch really paid off.

Yeah, well, I'm glad.

Although, I got to admit,
I'd just as soon not have

any more bounty prisoners coming
through Dodge any time soon.

It's a bit wearing
on the nerves.

Doc, you never
answered my question.

Well, I... Talk about
wearing on the nerves...

I did, too, answer
the question but I'll...

I'll do it one more
time for you slow.

You pick a little
baby up by the heels

and you just give nature
a little help, that's all.

You spank 'em and they start to
cry and that get's 'em started off.

And that's all there is to it.

Well, Doc, ain't that
acting kind of raunchy?

- Raunchy?
- Well, I mean,

a great, big old man picking
on a little baby that way.

After they get to
be a year or two old,

then a fella can heist
'em off to the woodshed

and just thump the
daylights out of 'em,

but picking on a little
baby that way, it...

You know, this day was
starting off just fine. Just fine.

And I'm gonna keep it that way.

Well, here's mud
in your eyeball.

Behind the Scenes of The Prisoner

This episode is one of the two Gunsmoke episodes with “The Prisoner” as the title, with the other being from Season 7.

Early in the episode, Jon Voight’s character saves Miss Kitty Russell by pushing her from a falling crate. From the camera shot on the ground, Kitty’s “beauty mark” appears on her right cheek. However, the beauty mark appears on the wrong cheek after she stands up.

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

Gunsmoke is a must-watch series for anyone who wants to learn more about the old west or who wants a great Western to watch. All full Gunsmoke episodes aired on CBS. The 25th episode of Season 14 is entitled The Prisoner.

You can find more about any of the Gunsmoke episodes here.

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