Thursday, Nov 2020

my darling clementine posterAn undisputed classic of Hollywood and the Western genre. This is a re-make of the film Frontier Marshall (1939). It is said that director John Ford knew Wyatt Earp personally and based this film, which tells the specific events leading up to the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, from Earp's own stories. This lends further legitimacy to another Western excellently directed by the acknowledged master. There are many renditions of this legendary showdown, and My Darling Clementine stands above them all.

The gunfight evolves from what is essentially a frontier gang war between the Earp's and the cattle-ranching Clanton clan (led by Walter Brennan, performing an outstanding role of unmitigated evil in the old West).

The slow-building tension is palpable as the reluctant Wyatt Earp plots his course toward justice. Henry Fonda is superb as Earp, a romantic cowboy of incomparable skills who rarely makes a false move. Earp is torn between settling down as a rancher and exacting revenge and Fonda perfectly balances this combination of vulnerability and vengeance. Victor Mature does not give us as much as Doc Holliday, but this intriguing character is indispensable to the story.

My Darling Clementine is vintage Ford, full of great long shots of the West (Monument Valley) surrounding Tombstone, and tightly staged action sequences. Coming in at just over an hour and half long, this Western is an example of how well a legend can be told in the hands of a great director. A Classic in all aspects.

Jed

Cast:

  • Henry Fonda --- Wyatt Earp
  • Linda Darnell --- Chihuahua
  • Victor Mature --- Dr. John "Doc" Holliday
  • Cathy Downs --- Clementine Carter
  • Walter Brennan -- Old Man Clanton
  • Tim Holt --- Virgil Earp
  • Ward Bond --- Morgan Earp
  • Alan Mowbray --- Granville Thorndyke
  • John Ireland --- Billy Clanton
  • Roy Roberts --- Mayor
  • Jane Darwell --- Kate Nelson
  • Grant Withers --- Ike Clanton
  • J. Farrell MacDonald - Mac
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