26 October 2002 | dhsmith
Matt Dillon was a hero in the truest since of the word.
Having Tivo (a system that records programs automatically) has re-introduced Gunsmoke to me. I was a young boy when it began in the 1950's. I loved the early shows. The 1962 shows are being aired on TV Land right now and I have about a dozen recorded for future viewing. I wanted to make an observation about James Arness's character, Matt Dillon. He was my hero growing up and watching the show. After seeing the shows again, 40 years later, I know why. Matt was justice. He meted out retribution to those who were evil. Here he was, standing 6 feet seven inches with a voice like God.
Watching Matt save the day in episode after episode made me realize how great it would to have a Matt around today: someone who would stand up to the bully, step in a wield his gun at the villains taking advantage of anyone in sight. I guess we all had heroes, but who could ever match James Arness. He was fair, gentle, understanding, but had the strength and skill to ward off any foe.
I miss Matt Dillon. We won't see his like again. Even Clint Eastwood, with his Dirty Harry justice, did not have the depth of Matt with his combination of gunplay and compassion.