Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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Death Watch 

Two Bounty hunters bring in a wounded Mexican bandit worth $30,000 and find out the Mexican government might not pay for a man who dies a natural death, so they get the idea of shooting him dead.


Mark Rydell


Calvin Clements Sr. (as Calvin Clements)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Roger Ewing ... Thad
Albert Salmi ... Holly
Patricia Quinn ... Amy Boyle (as Ariane Quinn)
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Ed Halligan
Robert Foulk ... Fields
Karl Lukas ... Williams
Steve Gravers ... Wales
Glenn Strange ... Sam Noonan
Howard Culver ... Howie Uzzell
Sam Flint ... Jake
Rudy Sooter ... Rudy


Two bounty hunters bring seriously injured murderer Johnny Drago into Dodge for treatment prior to traveling to Mexico to collect a $30,000 reward, but Matt refuses to let them move Drago until he recovers. They decide to try to kill Drago and remove him by force after an unscrupulous newspaperman convinces them that they will not collect the reward if Drago dies from his injuries rather than from his captors' gunshots. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

8 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode was given the 1966 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Fictional Television by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Westerm Heritage Center. See more »

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User Reviews

It was more like watching two different shows but it somehow worked.
30 March 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This episode featured two main plots. One involved the capture of a known Mexican bandit and the other involved bringing a new life into the world. Both plots were suppose to be tied into this one story involving life and death. But I think it miss the mark and instead we get two stories played out in one episode.

It begins when two bounty hunter come upon a dead Sheriff and a badly wounded prisoner. Both seemed to have been injured from a fall from a horse. From paperwork they find out that the prisoner is none other than John Drago that has a price on his head of $30,000 from the Mexican government.

When they get to Dodge, Matt informs the two that the prisoner cannot be moved until his wounds are healed. The bounty hunters are fine with the Marshal's instruction until a newspaper man from Kansas City starts talking with them. He tells the bounty hunters that if Drago dies from his injuries that they will not get the reward money. Now the bounty hunters want to make sure that he dies from a bullet wound rather than from the fall off a horse. Matt will have his hands full.

The other story involves a young married couple expecting their first born child. There is complications with the birth and Doc Adams is worried. The husband is blaming himself for the problems because he could not afford to take his wife to Hays City where there is better facilities. He thinks about teaming up with the bounty hunters so that his wife would have a better chance of living through the child birth process.

The writers tried to weave the plots together but each story was so different that each stood on its own merit. It would have been better to separate the two stories and make a full episode out of each. Not trying to be negative about the episode since both stories were actually entertaining- was just disappointed that they did not spend enough time on each plot. But with all that said it did hold the viewer's interest till the end and that is a sign of a good show.

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