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My Darling Clementine
She was everything the West was - young, fiery, exciting!
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.
I've heard a lot about you, too, Doc. You left your mark around in Deadwood, Denver and places. In fact, a man could almost follow your trail goin' from graveyard to graveyard.
- Wyatt Earp
I remember a long time ago when pretty much the only way I'd be able to watch older films would be to hope that they'd show on TV. I'd check the listings in the TV guide a week in advance and then flick through the planner setting everything to record, I probably found at least two things a day that the internet deemed 'good'. The reason I mention this is because a lot of John Ford's classics would play during the weekdays alongside the other…
"You hadn't taken it into your head to deliver us from all evil?"
My Darling Clementine certainly fits into the western genre, but from the visuals alone you wouldn't be remiss to assume that it had more in common with film noir. The term wouldn't be created to retroactively describe a trend in American cinema for another two years, but the social and cultural anxieties that the new subgenre was rooted in were very much alive. The low-key lighting casts shadows that are deep and dark, and they pervade the frame and reflect the social angst of the time and the existentialism that resulted from World War II.
But the similarities go beyond simple imagery: the little town of Tombstone…
One day, there will be a depiction of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, the stories of the Earps, the Clantons, and Doc Holliday that accurately captures not just the spirit of their now legendary lives but also the facts. This is not that film. Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance could be the thesis statement of his work here in My Darling Clementine, in which he depicts the legend that Hollywood birthed regarding Wyatt Earp. I am no expert--I have read a sparse few essays, stories, and critiques about Tombstone and other depictions, but never the direct sources--but I know that this seemingly pivotal moment in American history was nothing of the sort until it hit the big…
"To be, or not to be"
"You have no right to destroy yourself."
A perfect moment in art, Ford in high poetry; a pinnacle of the medium. Civilization at the gravest cost, melancholy that cannot be subdued, friendships of preciously short duration and profoundly real emotion.
More or less the fundamental Ford text, and as I argue here (as part of its Criterion debut), a cinematic representation containing the ethos of American poetry.
"Mac, you ever been in love?"
"Nope, I've been a bartender all my life."
A Western. That's enough to get me all giddy. A Western from John Ford. Hold me, I'm fainting!
After his young brother James was killed and his cattle herd stolen near Tombstone, Wyatt Earp and his brothers decide to stay in the town until they can bring the bandits to justice. Henry Fonda plays the town's new sheriff Wyatt Earp and he's awesome. Victor Mature as Doc Holliday is equally as great. Tombstone is the worst town imaginable, the perfect representation of the savage old west. Gun shots are as commonplace as whiskey. Violence is rampant. The town is called Tombstone after all and if that's not enough, one of the biggest graveyards can be found here. John Ford makes…
I hesitated to give this the full five stars for a couple of reasons:
In terms of what's going on I think I prefer Stagecoach, and Victor Mature's acting style hasn't aged as well as Fonda or Wayne's.
But my god, it's so well shot.
Ford uses every single frame to develop the story or deepen the characters, taking 103 minutes to do what would no doubt be around 3 hours these days. Masterful stuff.
Perhaps the most gorgeously shot western I've seen. There's a love story here, but it's tempered, unlike most westerns. Everything here feels so perfectly modulated, like Ford took his time delicately constructing the whole picture. It's a sight to behold.
An entertaining western from director John Ford.
made something so divine;
a '46 film called My Darling Clementine
That one stanza is the only sensible one,
So, wait, oh shit, I guess I'm done.
no clue why everyone's so mad for it.
Oh yea! John Ford's the man! Henry Fonda's the man! Walter Brannan is the man! Ward Bond is the man! THIS FILM IS THE FILM 🙌! Everything you could ever want from a western in here. Given to you by John Ford.
One of the most beautiful films I've very seen. Criterion's beautiful 4K restoration is quite amazing. This is an art film by a very famous American director with an all star cast. The plot is Altman esque and ambitious.
"Mac, you ever been in love?"
"No, I've been a bartender all my life."
But really, this is among the most gorgeously composed westerns I've ever seen (I'd be too hamstrung to compare to the medium as a whole). There are only about 3 filmmakers that can make a Western that I may call a favourite. Ford is one of them.
-Mac... ¿Alguna vez has estado enamorado?
-No, señor, toda mi vida he sido camarero.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…