6.7/10
382
16 user 12 critic

Frontier Marshal (1939)

Approved | | Western | 28 July 1939 (USA)
Earp agrees to become marshal and establish order in Tombstone in this very romanticized version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (e.g., Doc is killed by Curley before the actual battle and Earp must do the job alone).

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a book by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

While cleaning Tombstone of outlaws, Michael Wyatt receives amorous attentions of saloon dancer, while the typical girl woos good of the people, to take the upper hand.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: George O'Brien, Irene Bentley, George E. Stone
Coroner Creek (1948)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man is bent on taking revenge on those responsible for his fiance's death.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Randolph Scott, Marguerite Chapman, George Macready
Tumbleweed (1953)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jim Harvey is hired to guard a small wagon train as it makes its way west. The train is attacked by Indians and Harvey, hoping to persuade Aguila, the chief, to call off the attack due to ... See full summary »

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Audie Murphy, Lori Nelson, Chill Wills
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Abilene Town (1946)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Sheriff tries to stop homesteader conflicts in the West after the Civil War.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Randolph Scott, Ann Dvorak, Edgar Buchanan
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Back from the Civil War, an ex-Yankee officer aids a wagon train of former Confederates settle in a prosperous valley marred by cattle-rustling and land-grabbing feuds.

Director: Thomas Carr
Stars: Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Barry Kelley
Albuquerque (1948)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Cole Armin, recruited by his corrupt uncle as heir apparent to his freight-hauling empire, defects to his honest rival.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, George 'Gabby' Hayes
The Nevadan (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A mysterious stranger crosses paths with an outlaw bank robber and a greedy rancher.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Randolph Scott, Dorothy Malone, Forrest Tucker
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Montanans Jim Redfern and Mike Evans head into Canada's British Columbia via the Cariboo Trail intent to raise cattle and dig for gold but find trouble instead.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Randolph Scott, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Bill Williams
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When his father and brother are murdered by a corrupt lawyer and sheriff duo, railroad surveyor Clay O'Mara plans his revenge and is aided by former outlaw Whitey Kincade.

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Audie Murphy, Susan Cabot, Dan Duryea
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Fowler is smuggling guns across the border and his buyer is the outlaw Bragg. The guns are hidden in the luggage of the girls that come to work in his saloon. Border guards Kansas and Chito... See full summary »

Director: Lesley Selander
Stars: Tim Holt, Jane Nigh, Douglas Fowley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sarah Allen
...
...
Jerry
...
Ben Carter
...
Dan Blackmore
...
...
Town Marshal
...
Pringle
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Pete
...
Curley Bill
Dell Henderson ...
Dave Hall (as Del Henderson)
Harry Hayden ...
Mayor Henderson
Ventura Ybarra ...
Pablo
...
Edit

Storyline

Early low budget version of the famous Gunfight at OK Corral with Scott as Wyatt Earp and Romero as Doc Holiday. Remade by John Ford as "My Darling Clementine" in 1946 and by John Sturges as "Gunfight at OK Corral" in 1957 Written by <jbsports@li.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE FLAMING SAGA OF TOMBSTONE! (Hades of the West) (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'aigle des frontières  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris-Pin Martin, who plays the Mexican bartender, played another Mexican in a different version of the story, Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die (1942). See more »

Goofs

Wyatt Earp is shown killing at least four men by himself during the OK Corral gunfight; the fact is that only three people, Billy Clanton and brothers Frank and Tom McLaury,were killed in the fight, and at least one of them was killed by Doc Holliday. See more »

Quotes

John 'Doc' Halliday: I don't wanna hear anymore, Yes, I'm a killer! What of it? Life's nothing! My life... anybody's life! What's the difference to a lot of rats caught in a trap? Whatthey do? How they act? Sarah, you've got to go!
See more »

Connections

Version of Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
Early 19th Century American minstrel folk song
[Played in saloon when Lon Chaney Jr. is being made to dance by Cesar Romero]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Above Average Western
13 February 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Randolph Scott, as Wyatt Earp, rides into Tombstone thinking about starting a stagecoach line. But Indian Charlie, drunk, starts shooting up the local saloon. The local marshal (Ward Bond) is afraid to go in and roust Charlie, so Earp dons a badge, goes in and drags him out by the feet. Earp becomes the full-time marshal. He meets Doc Halliday (Caesar Romero), a tubercular physician, gambler, and gunman, and after an initial wary brush, the two become more or less friends. Romero has a local trashy girlfriend (Binnie Barnes) whom Scott has to dump in a water trough. Doc gets liquored up, pulls his gun at the bar, and Earp knocks him out to save his life. An old flame of Doc's (Nancy Kelly) shows up in town, having pursued Doc all across the West, but Doc dumps her unceremoniously because he loathes what he's become. He redeems himself, however, by saving a badly wounded patient, only to be killed by Curly Bill and his gang as he walks out of the saloon door. There follows a shootout at the OK Corral in which Scott makes mincemeat of the bad guys. Binnie Barnes leaves town on the stage, and Kelly stays behind, probably not unaware of the moon eyes Scott has been casting her way.

Sound at all familiar? Seven years later it was remade as John Ford's "My Darling Clementine."

It isn't a bad movie, better than the majority of Westerns being made at the time. Yet one can't help wondering what makes Allan Dwan's "Frontier Marshal" an above-average Western and Ford's "My Darling Clementine" a classic.

Small things first. Dwan's movie is short on creativity in the wardrobe and makeup departments. Like most of the other principals, Scott dresses in an echt-1939 suit, only with a cowboy hat and gunbelt. The women's makeup dates badly, with dos out of the late 1930s and pencilled eyebrows and big lashes. It isn't that "Clementine" is extremely good in those respects -- it's just better.

The photography and location shooting don't reach the bar set by "Clementine" either. The photography isn't bad at all but it hardly fits into a Western frame. Almost the entire movie is shot at night, with no more than a handful of daylight scenes. The location isn't Monument Valley but it is, after all, Movie Flats which has been used expressively before. Here, it's not really present in any utilitarian sense because you can't SEE it at night.

Acting. Caesar Romero is probably as good as Victor Mature was in the later version. Binnie Barnes and Linda Darnell (in the same hooker role) are equally good, although they give us two quite different versions of what a hooker is like. Barnes is older, tougher looking, a bit treacherous. Darnell is younger, more Hispanic, tousle-haired, tempestuous, and childish. Scott is a competent actor, but Fonda is on the other hand outstanding. Throughout "Clementine" Fonda wears an expression that has something of puzzlement in it. When he whacks a guy over the head with the barrel of his pistol, he looks up from the unconscious body as if he's slightly surprised at what has happened and hasn't got a very clear idea of what's going to take place next.

Above all, there is the difference in direction. Dwan was a forthright story teller, a pioneer in the movies, and he does a good job. But Ford goes beyond the story, almost into visual poetry. "Clementine" has not only the family, but two opposing families, which gives the characters added depth and more intense motives. "Clementine" also has the familiar Ford opposition between the wilderness and the garden, which in Dwan's film is given very short shrift indeed. There is nothing in "Frontier Marshal" like the scene in which Fonda escorts Cathy Downs to the half-built church and awkwardly dances with her. What a celebration of community. Dwan's story deals with individuals who have conflicting ideas of how to get ahead. A couple of people know one another but there is little sense of a "town" in Dwan's movie. I won't go on about Ford's touches of roughhouse humor except to mention that they add another element lacking in "Frontier Marshal." There's an intentionality behind these brief incidents. Instance Fonda's dance with his feet against the porch post, or Darnell throwing a pitcher of milk in Ward Bond's face after he whinnies at her.

Still -- allright, so it's not a classic. But "Frontier Marshal" is better than most. And it's worth seeing for its historical value, a kind of lesson about how to make a good movie into a very good movie indeed.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?