The Widowmaker Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #19, Episode #05
Gunsmoke debuted on CBS in 1955 and quickly became one of the most popular Western television shows. The series showed James Arness as Matt Dillon, the Marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, and how he dealt with the various challenges of frontier life. Directed by Bernard McEveety and written by Paul F. Edwards, Gunsmoke season 19’s fifth episode, The Widowmaker, aired on October 8, 1973.
Scott Coltrane, a notorious gunslinger, seeks to live a simple life with his wife. However, when news spreads about his whereabouts, other gunfighters are out to build their reputation and create a name by aiming to kill him.
Read The Widowmaker‘s plotline and trivia, or watch the full Gunsmoke episode below.
Watch the Full Gunsmoke Episode, The Widowmaker
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Gunsmoke The Widowmaker Cast
The following cast members acted in the Gunsmoke episode, The Widowmaker:
- James Arness as Matt Dillon
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty
- Ken Curtis as Festus
- Buck Taylor as Newly
- Steve Forrest as Scott Coltrane
- David Huddleston as Dad Goodpastor
- Randolph Roberts as Kid Chama
- Barra Grant as Teresa
- Glenn Strange as Sam
- Ted Jordan as Burke
- Hank Patterson as Hank
- Jerry Gatlin as Buck Lennart
- James Chandler as Preacher
- Don Carter as Boy
- Rand Bridges as Deak Towler
- J.R. Clark as Sundog Wheeler
- Loren Brown as Townsman (uncredited)
- Ross Dollarhide as Townsman (uncredited)
- Rudy Doucette as Townsman (uncredited)
- Jaye Durkus as Townsman (uncredited)
- Raven Grey Eagle as Townsman (uncredited)
- Michael Jeffers as Townsman (uncredited)
- Alan Marston as Townsman (uncredited)
- Fred McDougall as Townsman (uncredited)
- Jimmy Noel as Townsman (uncredited)
- Danny Sands as Townsman (uncredited)
- Ray Saniger as Cowboy Walking Down Stairs (uncredited)
- Tom Smith as Townsman (uncredited)
- Arthur Tovey as Townsman (uncredited)
- Ann Urcan as Townswoman (uncredited)
- Wally West as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line for The Widowmaker
Scott Coltrane, a gunslinger, known for his reputation as one of the fastest in the West, arrives in Dodge City to settle down with his wife. However, when three men who heard about his whereabouts tried to take him on despite his warning, Coltrane had no choice but to shoot all three in their tracks in retaliation.
Festus tells Marshal Matt Dillon about the fight he witnessed earlier that day and how none of the man’s talking stopped the three others from backing out. They all wonder why three gunslingers, who weren’t friends, came together that day in town to shoot one man. Dillon eventually brings up a man named Scott Coltrane, believed to be the fastest gun alive, who disappeared into a remote area in Mexico. He thinks it’s the same person who arrived in the city, known as “The Widowmaker” for his speed and accuracy in shooting.
Dillon visited Coltrane, who told him he had retired from his profession long ago. The situation the other day forced him to do what he once did, despite his efforts to avoid facing the same circumstances. Dillon informs Coltrane that every gunslinger in the country must have heard the news about him, making each eager to try and take him down to make a name for themselves. Still, Coltrane insists that he left “The Widowmaker” and has no plans of getting involved with the profession again.
Coltrane also tells Dillon about her wife, who knows nothing about his past. He asks Dillon for help, and although he’s willing to, Coltrane will have to leave if further trouble ensues in town.
Eventually, another gunfighter, a young man named Kid Chama, arrives in town. The news about the shootout encouraged him to come to Dodge with Dad Goodpastor to meet “The Widowmaker.” Hence, Dillon had to remind them that he keeps peace and order in the city and that going out of line will bring them trouble.
Later that day, Dillon tells Kitty about Coltrane and Dad and Kid Chama’s arrival in Dodge. He believes Coltrane’s sincere about wanting to change yet thinks that keeping him in town will make Dodge a killing field. Still, he wants to help Coltrane achieve his long-desired peace.
Dad eventually finds Coltrane farming on his land. He tells Coltrane that he no longer fights, yet another man named Kid Chama wants to meet him as the Widowmaker and see how he handles his firing piece. Dad warns Coltrane that if he refuses to meet Kid at Red Oak Springs by tomorrow morning, Kid will have to come to him and his wife.
Coltrane meets up with Dad and Kid Chama on schedule. After an exchange of remarks, Coltrane proves his quick and accurate aim by shooting Kid in retaliation. Soon enough, Kid Chama dies on the spot, and as Coltrane leaves, Dad warns him that someone will always come after him.
More gunslingers are coming into Dodge, making it a problem for Dillon, whose duty is to protect the citizens in town. However, it will be challenging to push Coltrane to leave if he doesn’t want to go, so Dillon has to figure out another way to meet his goals.
Later that night, Teresa tells Scott they’re having a baby. Surprised and excited at the same time, Coltrane is happy to hear about the bright future Teresa envisioned ahead for their kid.
The next day, Coltrane and Teresa visit town to do some errands. Dillon approached Coltrane to have him surrender his gun as they headed to his office. Every person in the city watches from outside, anxious to hear how their conversation will go. A fight eventually ensues after Coltrane insists on staying in town instead of running away again. Their brawl ends with Coltrane thrown out to the ground. Dillon tells Coltrane to leave Dodge and never to come back again. Before leaving, Coltrane threatens to return for Dillon.
The following day, Coltrane returns as he said, telling Dillon it’s the end for him. Every person in town watches as the showdown starts and ends, only to witness Coltrane dying on the spot.
A funeral for Coltrane took place the day after the showdown. With Coltrane dead, the citizens of Dodge won’t be seeing many more showdowns.
Ultimately, Coltrane is alive and well with his wife, Teresa. Dillon and Doc help him fake his death, giving peace not only to him, who has always desired it, but also to the citizens of Dodge.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Widowmaker
That's three bits. Four bits. Six bits. And fifteen is ninety cents and I sure do thank you, Festus. Much obliged to you, Hank. I just wished you'd get you a new handle for that blamed scoop shovel. Well that there one'd rub blisters on a long-eyed boot. You looking for somebody? You need the doctor? Now, where you been at? Never mind where I've been at. This just happens to be one of the rare occasions that I've caught you with some money on ya, and if you think that you're gonna get away without buying me a beer, you're all wet. Look, Doc how can you stand there ball-faced, and say a thing like that? I ain't got no... You're not gonna talk me out of this either, now don't just, don't try that. Unless of course, you can open that drubby first of yours and show me that you got no money in there. In that case, I'll apologize. Go on and open it. You can't do it. Come on. Now. Oh you blind old mook. Come on here, you're not gonna get out of this, I'll tell you that. Kitty, Kitty, I want you to come on over here. You're not gonna believe this. Uh, Festus, go on, sit down there and get yourself comfortable. Sit right down. Well, just sit down. Sam... I want you to bring over a couple of beers here, and bring the bill to Mr. Haggen. On the way, Doc. "Bring Mr. Haggen the bill." What's the matter Festus? I'll tell you what's the matter. I caught him. I caught old parsimonious here with some money. He's mad about it. I ain't no parson, and church ain't got nothing to do with this here. This sneakity old quack snuck up behind me, and glommed on to me, that's what he done. Did you do that Doc? Well, of course, I caught him with some money, and I just naturally thought that he'd like to treat his friends, you see. And I, I never expected him to make such a fuss about it. Well, now it ain't that at all, Ms. Kitty. I'd be proud. Sam, bring Ms. Kitty a beer here and have one your own self. Thank you, Festus. I don't believe that. I don't believe that at all. You know... that is the first time he has ever bought a round of drinks in this place since he rode into town here on his mule. Now, you can leave Ruth out of this. Just been, I'd been a tad short on cash temporarily like they say. See what happen Ms. Kitty, I got me extra job working for old Hank, down yonder at the livery, and what I was fixing to do, see, was to take this here money and to pay off a certain old particular medicine man that I know, but it's a heap more fun a treating folks to beers here in the Long Branch. Can't beat him, Doc. Course not. How can you beat a deadbeat? Excuse me, sir, the stage is twenty minutes late. I wondered if maybe... Look, miss, why don't you relax. The stage could have broke an axle. Anything could of happened, but I'm sure it'll be along. Now, just take it easy, huh? See, this here fella was just like you, Doc. He could read, writing, but he never could get it through his thick head what the feller meant that wrote the writing when he read the writing that the feller wrote, don't you see? Uh, Sam, bring Ms. Kitty and my friend Doc her another beer, would ya? No, no thanks. No thank you very much. Mr. Haggen, I believe that it would be grossly unfair of me to take advantage of your newly acquired opulence. Thank you, thank you, and excuse me, thank you. Got right pleasant there, didn't he? Golly bill Ms. Kitty, I just forgot, I'm supposed to pick up some papers on stagecoach that Matthew will be want to eyeball when he gets back. I'll see you directly. That's him. That's him. Been a lot of years. You're in the way, sir. You best move. Here, now, what are you fellers up to? Deputy, I have no quarrel with these men. We reckon you have. Sure now, a whole lot of quarrel. Been a long time coming, but that makes it more sweet. You... shy clear hog meat. Mister, you got a mighty sorry mouth. Pretty nigh as big as you are tall. Festus that fellow over there with the big mouth is Deak Towler, the gunslinger. I have no quarrel, Deputy. I'm willing to put myself under the protection of the law. The law. Now that's some lullaby. The law. Any one of you reaches for your pistol, you'll find out more about it than you wanna know. Nothing to see. You can sit out on me, if this don't take all the marbles. Three of them cat danglers gunned down in one town in one go around. And by cheating Peter and Judus and sole God, if that don't make you top dog, you can kiss me and not pay me. Listen here what it says. Says, "The quiet man that gunned down... the three scoundrels in self-defense, road off with his wife, and was never heard from again." Now, ain't that sweet as peaches? Read that first part again. They forced him to draw against his will, but divine justice prevailing, he beat the bullies at their own game. What's prevailing? Winnin', taking over. Divine justice. That's like he never even killed them himself. Let me tell you something, boy. There's only four men that ever lived could take them three down together. Who else? Well... Well it wasn't Dillon, was it? And McCallister's in Wyoming, killing for the XIT. And Jobson He's in jail. Well, what I'm saying is, whoever it was, whoever it was, he was the best. I'm the best. And you know, ain't nobody's better than me. I know that. I know that. But wasn't you that gunned down these three, was it? In fact, the day that this happened, you was so drunk you couldn't hit the ground with your hat. Hey, little heifer, bring us another bottle of this bug juice. Now, I ain't no gypsy, and it's just a guess, you understand... but the best there ever was, in the old days, run me out of Abilene. Killed my younger brother in a duel. Then he just, then he just plum disappeared. Went down to Guatemala. Just never come back, you see? I'm gonna tell you something, boy. There's strange things happening in the world of sulfur and saltpeter. Now, how, how'd it be, how'd it be if me and you road in to Dodge, and you called this wind miller out? And you blowed him down. Well, I mean he is in your way, ain't he? And you killed him, you'd really be top dog, but just, just supposing, supposing he's the fella I'm talking about. How'd it be, how'd it be for you to be the man that killed... the Widowmaker. I'll tell you Matthew, you have never saw nothing like it. Well, Doc there can tell you, he seen the whole thing from the staircase. I never even knowd this fella had the pistol on him till I seen them fellas laid out there, flatter than a wet toad sack. Fastest thing I ever saw, Matt. What caused the fight? Well, that's what I've been trying to tell you, Matthew. It didn't seem to be no reason to it at all. How'd the fight start? Well, I was coming out of the freight office, and I seen these three fellers standing out there in the street all spraddled out and a-badgering this here feller. Now, when I seen this here Deak Towler, I figured we had us a holdt of the wrong end of the rope, but he just knocked him, kickin', and never even blunk his eyeballs. I'll tell you, that's not all he did, either, because those other two men were just as good as Deak ever was, maybe better. Buck Lennard and Sundog Wheeler, they're two the worst there ever was. Not only that, but those three weren't exactly friends. Now, what were they doing together? Well that quiet fella must've been a professional. There's not four men alive that could have downed that bunch. McCallister, maybe Kid Chama, maybe Jobson. Well Matthew, this here feller done everything that he could to talk himself out of that scrape, but they wouldn't listen at 'em. Now, I didn't even try to hold him, 'cause it was a champion case of self-defense, that I've ever saw. There was a young woman waiting for him in the Dodge House. He rode out of town with her. You know Doc, years back, down along the border there was a slinger. Man that some said he was the fastest there ever was, and he disappeared, went over into Mexico. Sure, wait a minute. - Scott Coltrane. - That's the man. Now, they wrote about him in the books. They called him the Widowmaker. Well, Matthew you reckon this could be him come back? I don't know, Festus. When you're talking about a man that's as fast as this one you described, kind of narrows the field. Take over, will ya, I'm gonna see if I can find this man. That's who I was. That's who I don't ever want to be again. That's a big order, Coltrane. I reckon I don't know that. They just don't retire 'em in your profession. I don't have a profession, Dillon, not anymore. What would you call that in the street the other day? Well... nothing to say. They forced my hand. I did all I could to avoid it. If I didn't believe that I'd be here to take you in. What do you say about it? I say that every slinger in the country has heard about what happened. They're gonna be curious about who it was that put those three men down. You're saying they'll be looking. That's it. Let 'em look. That doesn't quite cut it Coltrane. I've had all the face-offs I'm gonna have in the streets of Dodge. They're gonna be no more, if I can help it. And you're saying I ain't welcome here. You're welcome. Your reputation is not. Dillon, I've been to the end of the world to lose my name. I left this country, as you may know. I went where there wasn't no range wars, no job gunners, no lunatics, no whiskey braves, no milktooth kids pushing slugs into folks, so they could call themselves men. I cut and run, Dillon, but not from no man, not from no gun, from me. Because I come down sick, you see. Sick to my soul of killin'. No matter the world is full of fools that need it, and you know that. There's other ways of handling it. For you, maybe. But you done your share of putting out the lights. You can't change that. Well, I got lost, in myself up here. In Yucatan, down there, I went so far back in that God had never been there. And the part of me that was ailing, died in that wilderness. And when I come out, I come out Coltrane right enough, but I left the Widowmaker in the swamps of Gracias a Dios. You saw that woman in the house there. Well, she don't know guns. She don't know my old world. If she did, God knows she might not suffer me. But I love that woman. I'm asking your help Dillon. Them gun tramps never said a thing in Dodge. I left that town with nobody dreaming who I was. They're not gonna find out from me, I'll guarantee you that. But I'm afraid there's other ways of the word getting around. I hope I'm wrong. I found ya, so can others. I come here clean in my heart, Dillon. I don't want ever to put them guns on again. I believe you. I'll do everything I can to help you. But there's just one thing. If your being here means that it brings trouble in my town, I'll have to ask you to leave. Well, was he sincere? I'm dead sure, Doc. What's he want? Well, he said he just wants to live quiet, be nobody. No. Nothing unreasonable about that. No. I told him the hardest thing for him is gonna be to live with what he's done and what he's been. But he seems to understand that. Well Matt, folks will forget how the sun looks coming up before they forget a gunslinger. I think this man really means it Doc. I think he wants to change. Sure he's been a gun fighter, maybe the fastest there ever was, but, you know, to my knowledge he's never been on a wanted poster. I told him his biggest problem is gonna be that every lead pusher in the country is gonna be coming in to Dodge to look him up after hearing about that shoot-out. Not an easy thought for him to live with. I told him if that happens, I'd have to ask him to leave. Nobody knows for sure but you. And you. For now, at least. Maybe, his luck will hold. I sure hope so. I think he deserves it. Be a great world... if everybody got what they deserve, wouldn't it? Hey, Kid. That's Kid Chama. Some say he's the fastest there is. Dad. Hello, Dillon. Long time. What brings you to Dodge? Nothing special. Just heard that Dodge might be a friendly place to spend some time. Is that so? Yeah. Folks are saying that a fella with some color in his past, somebody like me, say, fella like that could come in here and hang his hat and settle down with the heifer hazers and the tater diggers and nobody'd bother him. Dodge hasn't changed. Hear tell there's a fella like that here now. - Is that so? - You bet. Course me and the Kid here we figured we might just spike the cannon, so to speak. Maybe even go to selling lady's hats and such. Yeah, let me tell you something just in case you've forgotten. I run a nice clean quiet town here. As long as you remember that you're gonna be all right. Get out of line, you're gonna be in trouble. Now, you see now there is a real sobering thought, Dillon. Real sobering. Teresa. Them coyotes woke ya, did they? No. I was just sitting out here dreaming. That's our own land out there. Yes. Where I grew up, only rich people owned land. We are rich people. I love you, Scott. Now, there's room in that for wonder. If you got something rare, and you know it, then you got everything there is. Scott, I'm afraid for you. I told you not to be. When you first came for me, I was afraid. Well nobody in the world ever had less cause. No, not for myself, because I love you, for you. Well, I've been alive a long time. You're not one man, Scott. Look... I've done some proud living, and I've done some not so proud, some I'd rather forget, so I do. That day... in Dodge. There's nothing to say about that. I know. I killed some men, because I had to. Else, I wouldn't be here. No more than that and no less. It wasn't the first time Scott. I hope to God, it's the last. Can you... Will you tell me why? Why you have to kill? No. No, there's some things a man can't talk with a woman. I never asked you before. I never will again. You've got to trust me, girl. If you love me, you'll give me that. I'll make it all come right. So Dad brought Kid Chama here to kill him? No doubt about it Kitty. Well, if you know that Matt, why don't you arrest 'em? Can't arrest a man for something he's planning to do, and there's no federal warrants out on this Kid at all. Now, I could pick him up on something temporary, but I couldn't hold him. And when he got out, it'd just happen in the end. Why doesn't Coltrane just leave? He's not the kind of man that runs away from anything. If he's discovered they'll just keep coming. Well, the thing is he doesn't know about it yet, and I'm afraid by the time he finds out, it's gonna be too late for him to do anything but face it. What is he to you, Matt? Kitty, he's a man that's trying to change. Whatever he's been in the past, he wants to get away from it. Now, if a man like that wants to avoid a fight, not because he's afraid of it, but just because it's senseless, then I respect that man. I'm gonna do everything I can to help him. Hello, farmer Bundy. Why you ain't farmer Bundy. You ain't him at all. You're some other fella. You want something here, mister? Me? No, no, no, not me. But now I see you ain't farmer Bundy. You do, you do put me in a mind of a fella me and my brother know'd back in Abilene a long time ago. Say your piece and get out, Dad. Dad? Well, lordy Mr. Coltrane, it is you. And we all thought you was dead and buried. I did. Towler did. Old Buck, Sundog, course now, they learned the hard way, didn't they? But then, they was getting old like you and me. See, I ain't carrying Mr. Coltrane. I don't fight no more. You never did, you sorry dog. Now get off my land. Oh, I'm going. But I got to tell you something first. And this message I got for ya comes from a fella that don't run off as easy as me. Now, he just a punk kid actual, kinda strange in his ways, but... fast as you please. Name is Kid Chama. Said he just had to see how you handled your firing piece. Said he would just admire to meet the Widowmaker. Course now, if you don't want to come to him, he will have to come to you. Maybe even meet the little lady. Oh, I'm goin' now, I said I was goin', I'm goin'. Red Oak Springs. Tomorrow morning. Sun up. Scott. Scott! My name's Coltrane. You want something from me? Nothing I can't take for myself. Old man. Are you set on dying boy? You're way too old to be talking so foolish. You're awful young to be dying. Your day's over Coltrane. And your night's already fallen son. Never... never thought nobody could take him. You're an ignorant man. There's no man that ever lived who can't be killed. You too, Coltrane. You too. There'll be somebody coming for you. Mark me well. There'll always be somebody coming for you. There'll always be somebody coming for you. You hear me? Always! Guess he'll have to go now, won't he? Well, I wish there was some other way. There's McCallisters coming in from Wyoming. There's gonna be others. I can't stop 'em from coming into town. But I can stop more fights from taking place. Well, how you gonna prevent it? Well, I'll just have to tell Coltrane he's got to leave town. It'll be a hard man to push if he don't want to go. Yeah, I've given that some thought, Doc. You know if it came to a showdown with 'em, I'm not just sure how it'd turn out. Goodnight. You thirsty? No. Again, Scott? Scott. I have a child inside me. Teresa. You'll have a son. Are you proud of me? Proud? I'd trade the world for you. He'll grow in to a strong man, you'll see. - We'll send him to school. - Yeah. He'll have a fine education. Uh huh. And he'll always love us, because we'll be good and honest to him. And watch him grow. We'll see him change from a boy into a man. Oh, you'll be proud of your son. And when we're old, he'll comfort us. He'll stand by us when we need him. He'll take care of us. Oh, Teresa. Teresa. Oh, Scott. How could I live without you? Don't be too long now. Coltrane. I, uh, liked to talk to ya in my office. I'll have to have your gun. What's happening, Doc? Well, Matt's telling him to get out of town. What if he doesn't? Might get rough. Coltrane, I'm not gonna have any more gunmen in Dodge. Marshal, I got a woman to consider and I'm tired of running. I figure we'll stay. Brought too much trouble here already. I can't endanger the lives of innocent people. I got as much right in town as the next man. I'm not arguing with you. I'm just telling you how it's gonna be. Well, I'm tired of being told. I'm tired of packing every time somebody says get. Now, listen to me, Dillon, I'm not listening anymore. In that case, I'm gonna have to throw you out of Dodge. Like hell you will. Coltrane I want you out of Dodge, and I want you to never come back again. No man in the world Dillon, ever done me what you done, and it ain't beginning now. Make your peace with God. Cause I'm coming back to cut you down. All right folks, break it up. Go on about your business. All right, go on. You heard the Marshall. All right now you hear what Matthew said, get on back to business. Scat. He's coming. I said, Coltrane's coming. He's coming. He's coming. Coltrane's coming. Marshal. This is where it ends Dillon. Sorry, it had to come to this Coltrane. So am I. Not too late for your to ride out. Not too late for you to change your mind. I can't do that. Neither can I. He's dead, Matt. I am the resurrection in the light, sayeth the Lord. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, yet will I fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Weak are we all in dying. Give us peace, strength for our battle while it lasts, and rest at the close of day when our work is done. Amen. I guess that's about the last of the great gun fighters. Probably won't be seeing too many more showdowns. Don't be fretting about that now. They'll be more than enough gun fighters coming along. More's the pity for that. Teresa. Marshal. Hello, Matt. Scott. Here's those papers you were expecting on that ranch sale. Much obliged to you. And old Doc Adams too. He was happy to do it. How are things in Dodge? They're very quiet. We buried a big gunfighter a while back. Oh, is that so? Well, they take a heap of killing, some of these fellas, so they say. Some more than others Mr. Tyler. Some more than others. Goodbye, Mrs. Tyler.
Behind the Scenes of The Widowmaker
A war injury caused James Arness’s limp. This limp is noticeable during the scene where he walks with Coltrane on his ranch. Moreover, his limp caused James Arness to walk and ride with difficulty for long periods.
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Are you fond of an old-fashioned yet classy television series? If so, Gunsmoke is for you. Whether alone or with loved ones, this 20-season television series aired from 1955 to 1975 on the CBS network will surely satisfy your boredom. The Widowmaker is the 5th episode of Season 19.
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