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(Review originally written at 10 December 2009)

Thing about these early westerns always is that they are not really being raw enough. They are made always sort of fluffy and entertaining in which the wild west always seems like a place you can have a mighty good time in. In that regard I also see "My Darling Clementine" sort of as the fluffy version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in Tombstone with the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday.

Quite a thing that such a small piece of history of the wild west has always inspired so many film-makers. Really was the gunfight at the O.K. Corral really the most legendary or biggest gunfight? I don't think so but it of course also are its characters involved that speak to the imagination. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are two of the biggest names from the old western days.

Seems quite amazing to me that Henry Fonda had always been cast as the good guy and hero of the movie. He had such a perfect look to play a villain, in basically every movie. It wasn't really until Sergio Leone casted him as the main villain in "C'era una volta il West" that people started to realize this. Having said that he of course wasn't bad in this movie as Wyatt Earp. Quite on the contrary of course. I wasn't too fond though of Victor Mature as Doc Holliday. To me he seemed miscast and was not at all what the Doc character always had been about. In this movie he's more of a crook and mean guy, instead of the charmer and intelligent person.

But yes, the movie is filled with many historical inaccuracies. For that alone you already can't call this movie the ultimate telling of the well known western story.

The movie is basically one big build up to its inevitable gun fight at the end. It means that we first have to endure quite an amount of other stuff and drama but luckily the entire movie is done very well. It's a greatly crafted and told story, by director John Ford. It ensures that the movie never bores, even though when basically nothing interesting is going on on the screen.

A rather good John Ford take on the well known story, despite all of its inaccuracies and the lack of the atmosphere that made all other later more raw westerns so great to watch.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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