Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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Mr. Sam'l 

With a drought around Dodge, a city slicker named Norm Trainer plans on profiting off the local farmers. The only hope the farmers have is a 'water-witch' named Sam'l. But everyone is not happy with Sam's presence in Dodge.


Gunnar Hellström


Harry Kronman


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Episode cast overview:
James Arness ... Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone ... Doc
Amanda Blake ... Kitty
Ken Curtis ... Festus
Ed Begley ... Mr. Sam'l
Larry Pennell ... Ben Akins
Sandra Smith Sandra Smith ... Marcie
Duke Hobbie ... Dave Akins
Buck Taylor ... Newly
Peter Mark Richman ... Norm Trainer (as Mark Richman)
Tom Brown ... Ed O'Connor
Woody Chambliss Woody Chambliss ... Lathrop
James Nusser James Nusser ... Louie Pheeters
Ted Jordan Ted Jordan ... Burke


Almost nobody believes traveling medicine man Mr. Sam'l is really a "water witch" who can detect water underground with his divining rod. The exception is a ruthless land grabber who has capitalized on a prolonged drought and all the known wells drying up. The land grabber, secretly, hired professional geologists to locate hidden springs on farmland that the owners are about to abandon and sell -- for a song -- to him. Realizing that Mr. Sam'l could find the water through blind luck if nothing else, and that even if he doesn't he will inspire Dodge City to renew digging before the land grabber can secure the property, the land grabber hires a gunman ... Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

26 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the end when Mr. Sam'l, Marcie (his daughter), and Ben are standing next to each other, Marcie can be seen from behind standing in between the other two with her arms around each one, specifically with her right hand on Mr. Sam'l's right shoulder. When the view is moved to the front her right hand is now more towards the middle of his back. And when the view is returned to the back, her right hand is again on his right shoulder. See more »

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User Reviews

I agree with grizzledgeezer
22 August 2016 | by wildbillhardingSee all my reviews

Warmed over Bonanza crap is exactly what this is. Ed Begley's performance is fine, but the extended and totally predictable final sequence is so boring it's hard to keep watching. The obvious indoor desert set is distracting and, as it does so often in the series, gives proceedings the feel of an amateur dramatics show. The same can be said of many of the old Rawhide episodes, but Rawhide went out on location enough to balance out the stuffiness of the phony sequences.

I've asked this before and will ask it again. WHY did Ken Curtis always have his right ear folded awkwardly under his hat? It must have been uncomfortable for the actor and makes the character seem a little, er, slow. Perhaps that's exactly the point. Maybe I missed an explanation way back when Curtis joined the cast.

Can anyone explain? Anyone?

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