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).
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Peter Gunn investigates the murder of Scarlotti, a mobster who once saved the detective's life. The primary suspect appears to be Fusco, who has taken over. In the middle of the case, an ... See full summary »
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
Chris Pin Martin, who plays the Mexican bartender in "Frontier Marshall," played another Mexican in a different version of the story, "Tombstone, The Town Too Tough To Die" three years later. See more »
The film has Doc Holliday being shot to death in an ambush by Curly Bill Brocius shortly before the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, on October 26. 1881. Holliday actually died of consumption in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on November 8, 1887. See more »
Early version of the Earp-Holliday, OK Corral legend.
Thanks to big-budget TCF, this is a well-produced, mid-level Western. Those barroom scenes along with the crowded streets are high energy and appropriate to a boomtown, which Tombstone was. Dwan directs these scenes with flair. Can't say the same for the final shootout that is poorly staged and fleetingly done as if the production had to hurry up to meet schedule. Ford's 1946 remake My Darling Clementine greatly improves on that final showdown with the kind of close-ups and structured tension that're needed.
Scott and Romero cut formidable figures as the legendary heroes. The screenplay suffers, however, by failing to spotlight an equally formidable villain to challenge them, spreading the villainy instead across several minor players. Too bad the impressive Carradine is largely wasted in an incidental role. On the other hand, Kelly is very pretty as the good girl, while Barnes shines as the good-time girl. I like the way their rivalry evolves over time.
I can see why the estimable John Ford saw so much potential in the characters and story. There's a lot of color in the array of personalities and rivalries, including the show biz Eddie Foy Jr., an entertaining contrast to the frontier types. Of course, Ford's version is clearly superior. Still, this 1939 entry remains a respectable little Western with its own modest merits.
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