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James Arness

Posted: June 11th, 2011, 1:39 pm
I was sorry to hear about the passing of James Arness and I know many will want to talk about his original Gunsmoke series, but if anything I prefered him as the older Matt Dillon in the high quality tv movies of the 1990s. However, one could argue that the older Dillon more resembled Arness' other great tv role Zeb Machan rather that the young Matt.

Unfortunatly in the UK How The West Was Won was aired at the same time as All Creatures Great And Small, a tv spin off of 2 successful movies and I don't think the show fully recovered from that. However, despite that IMO HTWWW was a great series early on and James Arness was outstanding in it as mountain man Zeb (By the way I recenty saw an elderly impresive Leif Erickson in a simaliar role in the underrated western series The Quest). He also played a cop coming out of retirement Mclain's Law and was Thoman Dunsen in a remake of Red River.

His early films of note include Trouble Along The Way and Hondo with friend Duke Wayne and Horizons West with Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson

Re: James Arness

Posted: June 11th, 2011, 4:51 pm
by silentscreen
I really liked James Arness. He was dignified and not a publicity seeker.My grandmother would stay up past her bed time to watch "Gunsmoke."
He is tied into some of my fondest memories of childhood and spending time with my grandmother. :)