Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 5, Episode 18 - Big Tom - full transcript

Despite a serious heart condition, onetime prizefighter Tom Burr is determined to go through with his plans to fight vicious Hob Creel. The only way Matt can stop the mismatch and save Burr's life is to fight Creel himself.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Ain't we ever goin'
to get out of this town?

What's the matter?
Don't you like it here?

No, I don't like it here.

What's the matter? You homesick?

What's funny?

Your being homesick,
Creel. Homesick for what?

Now, what does that mean?

I can just picture the
rat's nest you was born in.

You want to get your
eye gouged out, Brady?

Oh, take it easy,
will ya, Creel.

We're all in the same boat here.

It's not my fault, is it?

You're supposed to do
the thinkin' around here.

How much money we got?

Oh, about $25, I guess.

Isn't that enough
to get us to Pueblo?


If we don't get there pretty soon,
Clay, they're gonna call the fight off.

Why should they? You're
the big attraction there.

If he's such a big attraction,

how come they can't send
us some advance money?

I've already thought about that.

Oh. Then let's do it.

I telegraphed them two days ago.

- You did?
- Mm-hmm.

The answer came
back this morning. No.

Ah, for the love...

Now you look here, Clay.

I ain't goin' to stay in
this town much longer.

Now, you get us out of here, or
I'm goin' to get me a new manager.

Oh, you are, are you?

Well, you just go right ahead
and get yourself a new manager.

Well, I just think I will.

Well, that's good.

And when you do, you tell
him what a dirty fighter you are.

Tell him how he's got
to get you out of town

just one step ahead of a lynching
party every time you have a fight.

And while you're at it, Creel,
tell him how ugly you are.

Ugly all over.

Shut up, you
understand? Shut up!

Lie down, will ya?

Where are you going?

I'm goin' out. Out anywhere
where I can breathe some fresh air.

I can't stand this dump.

Well, just don't start findin'
no saloons to start breathin' in.

Don't forget we still got
to eat once in a while.

And I'm hungry now.

I may not be back.

Excuse me.

You all right?

Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine.

What's the matter? You drunk?

Drunk, no.

I ain't had a drink
in over a month.

Wait a minute.

When did you
have your last fight?


What fight are
you talkin' about?

A prizefight, in the
ring, with bare knuckles.

You don't fool me,
not with an ear like that.

Say, you must've seen me.

No. I've never seen you.

I would've remembered though.

I ain't fought in
two or three years.

I... I kind of retired.

Mm-hmm. You live
here in Dodge City?

Been here two years.

Just kind of takin' it
easy. You know how it is.

Yeah. I know how it is.

Retired, huh?

I got enough of fightin'.
A man can't go on forever.

No, of course he can't.

Since you're retired,
are you doing all right?

You got a good job?

Oh, I got no complaints.

Well, uh, where do you work?

Oh, here, there. I take
whatever comes along.

I don't think I got your name.

My name is Clay.

Cran Clay from St. Louis.

Tom Burr.

Nice to know you, Tom.

Same here.

You know, I'd like to
know more about you, Tom.

It isn't very often I get to
talk to a real prizefighter.

Say, you wouldn't have a
drink with me, would ya?

No, I seldom drink.

Well, only one wouldn't hurt.

I'd be mighty proud, Tom.

I guess it wouldn't hurt to
do a little talkin', would it?

Of course it wouldn't,
especially about prize fighting.

You know, I never missed
a prizefight if I could help it.

Got great admiration
for men like you.

Fightin' there in the
middle of the ring,

round after round,
takin' it, givin' it out.

Must've paid real well, huh?


You must've been
a great fighter.

How about that drink, huh?

Oh, I hit him with a
right, and it was all over.

Tell us some more, Tom.

I'm gonna have a little
drink, and then I'll tell you

how I whooped that
fighter in Denver.

What's going on here, Jim?

It's Tom Burr. He's on the
juice and relivin' old times.

Looks like he's got everybody
here reliving it with him.


I got to see this.

I knocked him kickin'
with one punch!

In the 23rd round, one punch,

and we was covered
with blood, both of us.

Boy, what a fight.

Clem, ain't you got
any more whiskey?

Your friend left, Tom.

What friend?

The man you
come in with... Clay.

Where'd he go?

I don't know.

Hmpf. Oh, well.

I'll buy you another drink, Tom.

Clem, bring another bottle.

All right.

Come on, Tom. Tell us some more.

Yeah. 23rd round.

We stepped out, and I
caught him with a left hook.

Down, and it was over.


Clay: Come on, Tom.


Where you been?

Just took a walk.

So you're Tom Burr, huh?

That's right.

Sounds like you must've
been a pretty good fighter, Tom.

I was a strong fighter.

Too bad you're all soft
and broken down now, Tom.

Broken down?

Yeah. I'd sure liked
to have seen you fight.

But I guess it's
too late now, huh?

It's hardly too late.

I'll fight again.

Tom, Tom, you've
been gone too long.

You couldn't beat nobody now.

I couldn't, huh?

Well, you just find
somebody. I'll fight him.

You will?

You bet I will. Anybody.

Fight to a finish.
Winner take all?

Fight to a finish.
Winner take all.

Said I'll fight
anybody, and I will.

Where is he? I'll
fight him right now.

He's coming, Tom. He's coming.


Anybody at all.

What about me, Tom?

Can you whip me?

I can whip anybody in this room.

You'd better turn around, Tom.

It's Hob Creel.

Creel... I beat you
before, remember?

In San Francisco.

You beat me... Not
clean, not in a fair fight.

I beat you blue.

I beat you until
you crawled away.

A foul and dirty fight!

What's the matter,
Tom? Scared to fight him?

A clean fight, I'll fight him!

- Winner take all?
- Winner take all!

Boys, we got ourselves a deal.

There's going to be
a fight tomorrow night

right here in the saloon
between Hob Creel and Tom Burr.

So you'd better get your
money out and get it out quick

because Brady and I will
take care of everything for ya.

Come on.

Oh, Tom, come in.

Good morning, Doc.

Sit down.

How are ya?

Well, I... I guess I
need a little doctorin'.

Well, that don't seem
reasonable to me.

You look fine.
What's your trouble?

I don't know.

Sometimes it happens,
and then it goes away.

What goes away?

These dizzy spells.

Sometimes when I stand
up, I can't walk straight.

And then sometimes it
happens when I'm walkin'.

I see. Well, unbutton
your shirt there.

Have a little trouble
breathin', do ya?

Once in a while.

Uh, how long you
had this trouble?

Well, just a couple of months.

Well, you can give me a
pill or somethin', huh, Doc?

You just keep quiet now,
Tom. Breathe naturally.

Take a deep breath, Tom.

Take another, and
then hold it now.

All right, let it out.

I'm all right, ain't I, Doc?

You can just give me a
little pill or something?

Well, I...

Yes, I'm going to give
you some pills, Tom,

but I'll tell you what
I want you to do.

I want you to go to your
room and you get in bed.

And you stay there for,
oh, two or three days.

I'll be lookin' in on
you from time to time.

I want you to get a lot of rest.

Sure, Doc. Tomorrow.

I got to fight a man first.

You're gonna what?

I'm gonna fight
Hob Creel tonight.

You mean a prizefight?



No, Tom, I'm afraid
you've had your last fight.

You call it off.

I can't do that.

Well, you'd better.

You listen to me, Tom.

I don't like to tell you this,

but I don't think that
I have ever heard

a heart any worse than yours.

If you fight anybody,
it just might kill you.

I got to fight this man, Doc.


Because he beat me once.

He was the dirtiest
fighter I ever met.

He beat me 'til I crawled.

'Til I crawled right
out of the ring.

It's been stuck in
my belly ever since.

And I ain't gonna
crawl no more...

no matter what happens.

Thanks for the pills, Doc.

I'll pay you.

Step right up,
men. Step right up.

There it is.

Big fight tonight.
Don't you miss it.

Only $1.00 to get in.

Chance for each and everyone
of you to make some money,

if you're willing to back
Dodge City's own Tom Burr.

And I'll personally
cover all bets myself.

And if Tom Burr
wins, there's a chance

for each and every
one of you to retire.

Looks like we got
company. Step aside, boys.

Let the marshal through.

Nothin' that says the law
can't place a bet or two.

Of course, the admission's free.

I take it you're Cran Clay.

At your service, sir.

I'd like to talk to you for
a minute, if I can, alone.

Well, certainly, certainly.

Here, I want you
to take over, Brady.

My partner here will take
care of all of your problems,

large and small.

I'll take that dollar bet.

Marshal, you... you're
not goin' to tell me

it's against the law to
gamble in Dodge City, are ya?

Nope. I'm not
gonna tell you that.

What is it, then?

Tom Burr is not a well man.

I just talked to Doc Adams.

And he tells me this
might cost him his life.

So he's tryin' to back out, huh?

No. He's not trying to back out.

He wants to go through with it.

Marshal, I've got an idea.

Would you mind coming with me?

What for?

I'd like to show you something.

This way, Marshal.

Creel, this is a
United States marshal.

He wants to call the fight off.


I thought that'd stop you.

What's this about
callin' the fight off?

Tom Burr is not a well man.

Doc says he can't fight.
He says it would kill him.

Tom Burr never could fight.

I near killed him
the last time we met.

Yeah, I understand
you're quite a fighter.

Care to try your luck?

You see, Marshal,

there's really no reason
to call the fight off.

I think saving a man's
life is a pretty good reason.

There's nothing wrong with
Tom Burr exceptin' he's a coward.

He wants to fight you.

I don't believe it.

How much did he pay the doctor
to say he was sick, Marshal?

What'd you bring
me over here for?

To meet him.

All right. We've met.

That badge don't mean
a thing to me, Marshal.

I could roll it up in a little
ball and throw it away.

You see, Marshal, there's
really nothing you can do

without making
a fool of yourself.

You're wasting my time.

What do you think
he's gonna do, Clay?

Oh, he ain't gonna
do nothin', Creel.

This whole town
wants this fight.

He can't stop it.


You go feed your face.

I got some work to do.
Got to make some money.

Well hello, Marshal. Chester.

Dillon: Hello, Tom.

Come in.

Sit down.

How you feelin'?

Me? Oh, I'm feeling
fine, Marshal. Fine.


Tom, I just got through
talkin' to Doc Adams.


And I talked to that
promoter and Hob Creel, too.


He's the dirtiest
fighter I ever met.

He beats men to death
and enjoys doing it.

Doc says you
can't fight him, Tom.

He says it'll kill
you if you do.

I got to fight him, Marshal.

He had me crawlin' once,
and he laughed at me.

But not this time.

No more.

Mr. Dillon, I don't understand
why you just don't call the fight off,

say it's off, and that's that.

No, you can't do that!

I'll fight Creel anyway.

If I don't fight him here,

I'll find him, and I'll fight
him without a crowd.

Tom, you're under arrest.


You heard me.

I ain't done nothin'.

Well, I don't know. You
were pretty drunk last night,

and you were swinging
pretty wide the way I hear it.

There ain't nothin' to that.

I didn't cause no damage.

You did, too. You were
disturbin' the peace.

You fell down twice tryin'
to get home last night, Tom.

Well, that wasn't
the liquor. That was...

Let's go, Tom.

You can't do this, Marshal.

You got to let
me fight this man.

No, I don't.

Come on.

Be glad to get you
a cup of coffee, Tom.

Tom Burr here yet?

I ain't seen him.

It'll give us a chance to
cover a few more bets.

Look, why don't you go
in there and warm up?

And don't show off, will ya?

It'll just hurt the odds.

You tell me your business,
and I'll tell you mine, huh?

Howdy, ma'am.

You're a little early, Marshal.

Maybe you'd like to make a bet.

There isn't gonna be
any fight tonight, Clay.

I got Tom Burr
locked up in jail.

All right, break it up,
boys. Come on. Step back.

Give me a little room here.

I got a very special announcement
I want to make to you.

Your marshal here
just informed me

that he's going
to stop the fight.

Seems that he locked
up Tom Burr in jail.

Now listen.

Doc Adams tells me that Tom Burr's
got a very serious heart condition.

This fight here
tonight could kill him.

All right, you boys came in here

to put your money
down to see a fight.

You didn't put it down to
a see a murder, did ya?

Tom Burr's a coward, and
you're tryin' to cover for him.

Ain't that the truth, Marshal?

No, it's not. But the
fight's off anyway.

Now, you can be kind
of meddlesome, can't ya?

Especially when
you're wearing a gun,

and it's a good thing
you're wearing one.

Seems the marshal's got
a stripe up his back, boys.

What's the matter
with you, Marshal?

You got a bad heart, too?

Man: Yeah, Marshal,
why don't you fight him?

All right, let's
get it over with.

Dillon: You gonna get up?

All right, then you
crawl out of here.

Go on, crawl!

Hold it, Clay.

Now get out of here.

Man: Boy, did you see
him go through that window?

Kitty: Okay, come on. Get back.

Give him some air.
Drinks on the house.

Some way to stop a fight.

Thanks, Kitty.

Are you all right, Mr. Dillon?

Yeah, I guess so.

Doc wanted to see
you over at the jail.

Tom Burr tried to escape.

- He did?
- Yeah. Yeah.

He... He tried to
pull the bars apart.

I guess the effort was
just too much for him.

Well, I guess I'd better
get over there, then.

Kitty, would you see that
everybody gets their money back?

I sure will.


- We'll see ya later.
- Okay.

How is he, Doc?

What happened to you?

Tom: Marshal.

Yeah, Tom.

It's good you locked me up.

I couldn't have done much good.

You fought him?

Yeah, I fought him.

You beat him?

Made him crawl, Tom.

That's good, Marshal.

That's good.

Well, he sure wanted
to make that fight.

He died tryin' to get there.

Well, nobody could say
that he was a coward.

That's for sure.

No. I don't think
they ever will.

Not ever again.