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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).


Allan Dwan


Sam Hellman (screen play), Stuart N. Lake (based on a book by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Randolph Scott ... Wyatt Earp
Nancy Kelly ... Sarah Allen
Cesar Romero ... Doc Halliday
Binnie Barnes ... Jerry
John Carradine ... Ben Carter
Edward Norris ... Dan Blackmore
Eddie Foy Jr. ... Eddie Foy
Ward Bond ... Town Marshal
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Pringle
Chris-Pin Martin ... Pete
Joe Sawyer ... Curley Bill
Dell Henderson ... Dave Hall (as Del Henderson)
Harry Hayden ... Mayor Henderson
Ventura Ybarra Ventura Ybarra ... Pablo
Charles Stevens ... Indian Charlie


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


BIGGER THAN ALL OUTDOORS - Too thrilling for words! (original print ad) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'aigle des frontières See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There is no proof that the Buntline Special with the shortened barrel, which Doc shows to Wyatt, ever existed. See more »


The film is set in the period from 1877 to 1880, but three of the songs sung were published in the late 1880s. See more »


[Three cowboys took Erp out of town and beat him up. He returned and accepted the Mayor's offer to become the Marshal. Erp then found the cowboys and was escorting them out of the saloon at gunpoint when the Mayor appears in the doorway holding a shotgun]
Mayor Henderson: What's up?
Wyatt Earp: I've got a little business with these boys out on the mesa.
Mayor Henderson: Oh I see. You think you better take the guns from them?
Wyatt Earp: Nop, I'd just as soon they'd try to use them.
See more »


Version of Tombstone (1993) See more »


Down Went McGinty
(1889) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Joseph Flynn
Performed by Eddie Foy Jr. at the Palace of Pleasure
See more »

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User Reviews

Randolph Scott and John Carradine
1 April 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

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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