GenreAdventure, Western Duration CountryUnited States
Release dateSeptember 26, 1987 GenresWestern, Television film, Action/Adventure CastJames Arness (Matt Dillon), Amanda Blake (Kitty), Buck Taylor (Newly), Fran Ryan (Hannah), Earl Holliman (Jake Flagg), Ken Olandt (Lt. Dexter) Similar moviesJames Arness appears in Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge and Gunsmoke: To the Last Man
TaglineIn a Lawless Land Ruled by the Gun, He's the Law.
Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge is the first TV-movie based on the 20-year (1955-1975) television version of Gunsmoke starring James Arness. Although it is supposed to be set in the wilds of Kansas, it was filmed in Alberta, Canada.
Retired US Marshal Matt Dillon, now a fur trapper, is knifed by thieves, brought back to Dodge, and nursed by Kitty Russell, played by Amanda Blake. He is hunted by vengeful past nemesis; Will Mannon, who has sworn to kill Matt, and holds Kitty hostage in exchange for a final showdown.
James Arness as Matt Dillon
Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty Russell
Steve Forrest as Mannon
Buck Taylor as Newly O'Brien
Earl Holliman as Jake Flagg
Fran Ryan as Hannah
W. Morgan Sheppard as Digger McCloud
Ken Curtis (Festus Haggen) turned the project down in the wake of being offered far less compensation than Amanda Blake. Blake, meanwhile, returned to the role of Miss Kitty after having left Gunsmoke prior to the original series' 20th and final season.
Subsequent TV-movies based on the series starring James Arness are Gunsmoke: The Last Apache(1990), Gunsmoke: To the Last Man(1992), Gunsmoke: The Long Ride(1993), and Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice(1994).