Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
My Darling Clementine
"My Darling Clementine" is John Ford's retelling of the famous shoot out at the OK Corral that arose from the the Earp Clanton feud.
“They're dead. I ain't gonna kill you. I hope you live a hundred years... so you'll feel just a little what my pa's gonna feel. Now get out of town - start wandering!”
-Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda)
In this retelling of the infamous tale of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, titled My Darling Clementine and helmed by legendary Western director John Ford, Henry Fonda takes up the mantle of the infamous Wyatt Earp.
First things first, it pays to remember that this ‘retelling’ is very loose on genuine historical accuracy of the events depicted, instead opting for a dramatized account of the much versed tale. Whilst details could be seen as scarce anyway, regarding the truth of the fight…
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…
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…
"Ma'am, I sure like that name: Clementine."
It's not easy to watch this one with pure eyes. I saw Tombstone at least twice in the theater back in the 90's (at a time when I, as a college student, almost never went to the movies at all). I have seen it probably a dozen times since, so that version of the Wyatt Earp legend has been burned on my brain - especially Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday.
Ford's version is a lot more compact; as best I can tell, it only covers a few days' time. The Earp brothers come into town, tangle with the Clantons, befriend Doc, encounter Clementine, and shoot it out at the OK Corral. Then Wyatt rides…
«Sure is a hard town to play a quiet game o' poker in.»
The opening scene is perfect. Ford was back at Monument Valley for the first time since Stagecoach (1939), and makes proper use of the landscape. We can see the mountains almost in every outdoor shot also when within the city limits. I believe it was director Lindsay Anderson (This Sporting Life, If....) who said that this single scene made Ford's films turn from prose into poetry...
The DVD cover boldly states «John Ford's greatest western» without any further ado. This might be a long stretch, it having to compete with The Searchers among several others. Anyway, it's one of my personal favorites of his.
Ford didn't care…
What makes John Ford’s dramatization of the story of the gunfight at O.K Corral so special and exhilarating is its astonishing visualization of the mythical Monument Valley coupled with the old bitter story of love and revenge. My Darling Clementine is like a sad poem, story of men and women who can’t escape their destinies. They have to accept what fate awaits them, and their gloomy lives brings no happiness, peace or love to them. In such a world it’s no surprise that when Wyat Earp (Henry Fonda) asks Mac the Bartender (J. Farrel MacDonald) that if he has ever been in love his only answer is an icy “I have been a bartender whole my life”, life can’t get…
One of the best films I've ever seen. A perfect western. Can't believe I hadn't gotten to it before, but then at least when I finally did it was on the big screen and after a great restoration.
I dunno... Some great moments and great scenes, but it seems kind of slight to be one of the greatest films ever.
Victor Mature is kind of great as Doc Holliday.
This is going to require immediate revisiting later in the week. Wow!
They Died With Their Boots Off
"Ma'am, I sure like that name... Clementine."- Wyatt Earp
My Darling Clementine is a very good Western. The always dependable Henry Fonda gives a brilliant performance as famed Westerner Wyatt Earp. Victor Mature is also fantastic as Doc Holiday. The two of them worked great together and its their performances that really sell the movie. This film was my introduction to the story of Earp and Holiday and he shootout at the OK Corral, which has had many film adaptions. It was a solid intro to this particular story. I have seen watched Tombstone, which is another telling of the story and liked it a but more than this one. That being said, My Darling Clementine is still one of the better Pre-1960's Westerns. 8/10
The new blu-ray is a thing of real beauty.
Either I'm finally coming around with Ford or this film just caters to everything I love about movies. Stagecoach is my other favorite, but in comparison, My Darling Clementine is practically an art film. The movie opens with a brawl and then a tragic slaying, but the "conflict" eludes us until the shoot-out at O.K. Corral resolves it. For most of the film's duration, we observe little details of frontier life, like the way, on instinct, the barber places a chair under an awning, just where Wyatt likes it, so the marshall can lean back and do some calisthenics, an eye peeled on main street all the while. Wyatt and Clementine's long walk to church is as pure and hopeful…
Sot like a western noir. Loved it. Loved it too much to post a proper review. Just go watch it. Have you seen it? If so go watch it again. I mean there is a women named Chihuahua in the thing!? WTF amazing! John Ford you crazy bastard!
Wasn't certain if this still was my all time favorite western. Double checked tonight.
John Ford is God.
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