Wyatt Earp and his brothers Morgan and Virgil ride into Tombstone and leave brother James in charge of their cattle herd. On their return they find their cattle stolen and James dead. Wyatt takes on the job of town marshal, making his brothers deputies, and vows to stay in Tombstone until James' killers are found. He soon runs into the brooding, coughing, hard-drinking Doc Holliday as well as the sullen and vicious Clanton clan. Wyatt discovers the owner of a trinket stolen from James' dead body and the stage is set for the Earps' long-awaited revenge. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Either because John Ford objected or was unavailable, Darryl F. Zanuck had Fox contract director Lloyd Bacon shoot the scene of Wyatt standing at his brother James' grave. It's an emotionally affecting scene and closely approximates Ford's pictorial style, but it violates Ford's presentation of Wyatt as a laconic man who doesn't explain or justify himself. It bears connection and comparison with similar scenes Henry Fonda played in earlier Ford movies: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and The Grapes of Wrath (1940). See more »
Before he is killed, James Earp shows the other brothers the silver piece he has bought for his sweetheart. Morgan Earp looks at it and tells him what a fine "gold" piece he has See more »
I see we're in opposite camps, Marshal. Draw!
[Draws gun on Wyatt Earp, bar goes quiet]
[Pulls open his vest showing he is unarmed]
We can take care of that easily enough. Mac...!
[Virgil Earp slides pistol to Wyatt, who picks it up and examines it]
Brother Morg's gun.
[Slides gun back to Morgan, Doc turns to see Morgan pick up pistol and holster it. Doc holsters his pistol as well]
Big one, that's Morg. The other one, that good lookin' fella, that's my brother Virg. Doc Holliday, fellas!
[...] See more »
Saw "My Darling Clementine," yet again, yes, but this time on the big screen, not on TV, which was like listening to an old favorite recording on a super stereo system and noticing all sorts of details that in the aggregate make it like watching an entirely new film for the first time.
John Ford is so AMERICAN. It's just all there: the black, the shining; the pure, the defiled. I'm tempted to call him the Norman Rockwell of film, but that would diminish him. Simple, yes, but simplistic, never.
The plot is merely a framework, firm, pure, austere, functional, fairly disappearing, invisible, an excuse for the real fun, film for film's sake, the pure joy of seeing and imagining.
Ford foregoes the extraneous; chatty dialogue is dispense with for what's really important, the eyes, the faces, the body language. Damn, why have movies become so complicated, so noisy?
Henry Fonda's diffident but sure slowhand is classic -- the laconic American. Victor Mature's Mediterranean sensuality is the foil to Fonda's Puritan austerity, (the same north-south polarity is echoed in Cathy Downs as Clementine vs. Linda Darnell as Chihuahua). But, hell, let's not get analytical or intellectual. The movie is instinctual. It's the grown-up version of kids' play-acting, subconscious, freeing.
The images are stunning: a stagecoach whipped into demonic fury, a possessed Doc Holliday riding shotgun over a hurricane of dust and horse hooves. Injustice is blunt: cold summary execution with a shot in the back. American decency is unabashed: an aw-shucks square dance beneath fluttering Old Glory's. Love is a dream we cannot reach, are not worthy of.
Every scene is caught in midstream, in the act, in motion. Damn, it seems so fresh.
This is the Western all others imitate.
PS. Also by John Ford, and essential in the American repertoire: "Young Mr. Lincoln," "Grapes of Wrath," "Stagecoach," "The Searchers," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "Rio Grande," & "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
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