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"Stories of the Century" Doc Holliday (1954)

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"Doc - that's a strange name for an outlaw."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
25 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes you have to take these old TV programs with a grain of salt. This episode in the "Stories of the Century" series was very weak considering the way it could have been written. A couple things that it got right was that John 'Doc' Holliday ventured West from Georgia for his health and gained a reputation as a ruthless and deadly killer. His nickname was earned, he received a degree in dental surgery just before he turned twenty one.

In this story, Doc Holliday has a relationship of sorts with Ike and Billy Clanton that turns sour. Frankie Adams (Mary Castle), an assistant to Railroad Detective Matt Clark (Jim Davis) seeks out Holliday for a fake toothache to try and find out about a recent robbery the trio was involved in. Too bad for Frankie, she got busted when Holliday realized her teeth were just fine.

Very abruptly, the story changes direction with Doc hooking up with the Earp Brothers as they all march off toward the OK Corral for their infamous showdown with the Clanton's and McLaury's. It's generally a haphazard affair, with Matt Clark on the scene observing the gunfight as it happened. As a history lesson, this was a pretty poor one.

As far as movie treatments go, you can't go wrong with 1993's "Tombstone" with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer portraying Doc Holliday. Of all the films I've seen dealing with the Gunfight at the OK Corral, this one probably gets most of the events and characters right, and Kilmer is a blast as the dentist turned gunfighter.

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