All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
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.
"When ya pull a gun, kill a man."
So goddamned fresh. John Ford depicts an entire community - a town at the edge of the world, the skies of Monument Valley as encasement for the unknown - with spectral simplicity, unleashing a strong-willed presence of law and order into a population surrounded by death. And if residents are defined by their environment, then Tombstone is barren in every facet; a ghost town kept alive through alcohol, gambling, and the looming threat of savagery. Ford's images are boundless in more ways than one, delivering direct, uncluttered information via human placement as well as evoking fluid, expansive landscapes with searing poetic flourish. In particular, the gunfights in My Darling Clementine end…
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…
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…
"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…
"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."
What I Learned:
Title characters don't have to be important characters
Classic John Ford Monument Valley western that brings back fond memories of my roadtrips between AZ, UT, and CO.
I don't see why this is rated higher than any of the cavalry trilogy much less the Searchers, Henry Fonda Does his wide eyed aw shucks rube thing. It looks great as all John Ford stuff does but it just doesn't seem special in his filmography. It doesn't help that Wyatt Earp was a real con man piece of shit in his day who built the legend we see in the dozen or so films about him through dime novels.
The use of silhouettes would be enough by its lonesome to justify this on aesthetic grounds, and it boasts a well above-part Henry Fonda performance. I still find it a little hard to be engaged by the story which is just fine without doing anything to particularly distinguish itself from many other versions of the same story, all of which lack Linda Darnell (whom, in general, I don't like) and Victor Mature (whom, in general, I hate). I think one could argue that every Western Ford made between here and the end of his career was more "interesting", even the actively bad ones.
Highest recommendation. Check out my full review here: mattslifeinfilm.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/794/
Muy al oeste y muy al sur de los Estados Unidos quedaba la ciudad de Tombstone en 1882. Muy lejos de los modos civilizados del este del país por entonces. John Ford se sirvió de uno de los más notorios episodios violentos de la historia de la expansión de la frontera para entonar un poema inolvidable sobre la forja de un lugar en el que vivir sin temor a que las balas trunquen el porvenir. Evidentemente, esa transformación exigirá el sacrificio de hombres sobrados de rectitud o faltos de toda esperanza. En el film, los Earp llegan a Tombstone en una noche cerrada y violenta, en la que el único indicio civilizador es la posibilidad de adecentar tu aspecto en…
That front porch is about as iconic as it gets in cinema.
Like the rest of John Ford's best works, this is a deeply humanistic and beautiful movie. I'm convinced that Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature's Doc Holliday are two of the best Western characters ever.
UPDATED: December 4, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…
More Info to come