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).
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
The famous gunfight at the OK Corral is shown as being between Wyatt Earp on one side and Curly Bill Brocius and several of his gunmen on the other side, in which everyone on Brocius' side was killed. The fact is that Earp was not alone, being accompanied by his brothers Morgan and Virgil and his friend Doc Holliday; Curly Bill Brocius was not at the gunfight; Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne, two of the Earp factions' opponents, ran when the shooting started and survived the fight. See more »
1939's "Frontier Marshal" was the clear inspiration for John Ford's 1946 "My Darling Clementine," but was actually the second screen version of Wyatt Earp's posthumous tome, a highly fictionalized account of his Wild West days. In the wake of Fox's successful "Jesse James," it's no surprise that they would perform similar heroism toward other notorious figures, with handsome Randolph Scott enjoying one of his earliest lead roles as Wyatt Earp, and heartthrob Cesar Romero in the highly romanticized part of Doc Halliday. The villains are certainly an interesting lot, with John Carradine, Lon Chaney, and Joseph Sawyer among them, they're just totally ineffective against Earp, for whom everything falls into place too easily. Carradine's Ben Carter runs a saloon across the street from the one that does more business (where the broads hang out), so he and his gang resort to occasional holdups to keep things interesting. Carradine actually gets the least amount of screen time, while Lon Chaney's Pringle at least gets to 'dance' before the trigger happy Halliday. By the time we get to the OK Corral, only Sawyer's Curly Bill remains standing to take the fall, Chaney and Carradine casually dismissed in ignominious fashion. The two actors, already teamed as James gang members in "Jesse James," both went on to greater glory by year's end, Carradine in "The Grapes of Wrath," Chaney in "Of Mice and Men." Chaney would reappear opposite Randolph Scott in 1944's "Follow the Boys" and 1947's "Albuquerque," while Carradine appeared with Scott in 1941's "Western Union" and 1945's "Captain Kidd." In addition, Carradine would oppose Wyatt Earp twice more, opposite Hugh O'Brian in the 1959 TV episode "The Fugitive," and opposite James Stewart in 1964's "Cheyenne Autumn." The only character that really resonates is Romero's Halliday, here a surgeon rather than dentist, while Ward Bond (playing the cowardly former Tombstone marshal) not only appears from the 1934 version, but graduated to Morgan Earp in the John Ford remake. It's a solid and enjoyable Western, but below the standard set that year by "Stagecoach" or "Destry Rides Again."
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