My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine

4.6 3
Director: John Ford

Cast: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature

     
 

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One of the greatest movie Westerns, John Ford's My Darling Clementine is hardly the most accurate film version of the Wyatt Earp legend, but it is still one of the most entertaining. Henry Fonda stars as former lawman Wyatt Earp, who, after cleaning up Dodge City, arrives in the outskirts of Tombstone with his brothers Morgan (Ward Bond), Virgil (Tim Holt), and

Overview

One of the greatest movie Westerns, John Ford's My Darling Clementine is hardly the most accurate film version of the Wyatt Earp legend, but it is still one of the most entertaining. Henry Fonda stars as former lawman Wyatt Earp, who, after cleaning up Dodge City, arrives in the outskirts of Tombstone with his brothers Morgan (Ward Bond), Virgil (Tim Holt), and James (Don Garner), planning to sell their cattle and settle down as gentlemen farmers. Yet Wyatt, disgusted by crime and cattle rustling, eventually agrees to take the marshalling job until he can gather enough evidence to bring to justice the scurrilous Clanton clan, headed by smooth-talking but shifty-eyed Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan). Almost immediately, Wyatt runs afoul of consumptive, self-hating gambling boss Doc Holliday (Victor Mature, in perhaps his best performance). When Doc's erstwhile sweetheart, Clementine (Cathy Downs) comes to town, Earp is immediately smitten. However, Doc himself is now involved with saloon gal Chihauhua (Linda Darnell). The tensions among Wyatt, Doc, Clementine, and Chihauhua wax and wane throughout most of the film, leading to the legendary gunfight at the OK Corral, with Wyatt and Doc fighting side-by-side against the despicable Clantons. Its powerful storyline and full-blooded characterizations aside, My Darling Clementine is most entertaining during those little "humanizing" moments common to Ford's films, notably Wyatt's impromptu "balancing act" while seated on the porch of the Tombstone hotel, and Wyatt's and Clementine's dance on the occasion of the town's church-raising. Based on Stuart N. Lake's novel Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshall (previously filmed twice by Fox), the screenplay is full of wonderful dialogue, the best of which is the brief, philosophical exchange about women between Earp and Mac the bartender (J. Farrell MacDonald). The movie also features crisp, evocative black-and-white photography by Joseph MacDonald. Producer (Daryl F. Zanuck) was displeased with Ford's original cut and the film went through several re-shoots and re-edits before its general release in November of 1946.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
John Ford was to westerns what Alfred Hitchcock was to thrillers, and his matchless directorial ability has seldom been displayed more effectively (and less ostentatiously) than in My Darling Clementine, a highly fictionalized but dramatically satisfying re-creation of the Wild West’s most famous feud. Ford all but threw out the historical accounts in preparing his version of the notorious gunfight at Tombstone’s O.K. Corral, which pitted mild-mannered lawman Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and deadly gambler Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) against brutal rustlers led by shifty Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan) and his dull-witted son Ike (Grant Withers). In realizing his own vision of the places and events -- which included building a replica of Tombstone in the middle of his favorite location, Monument Valley -- Ford successfully conveyed a sense of authenticity that belied recorded facts and eyewitness recollections. Fonda’s Wyatt Earp is honest, taciturn, and diffident, unlike the morally ambiguous character his real-life counterpart apparently was; Mature’s Doc Holliday similarly romanticizes the drunken, murderous psychopath who eventually died of tuberculosis. But Ford’s liberties are easily forgiven in recognition of his peerless skill in dramatizing the arduous lives and violent deaths of the hardy pioneers who settled America’s southwestern deserts. Exquisite cinematography, faultless performances, and archetypal situations are woven together seamlessly to make Clementine a masterwork among movie westerns.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Considered one of the greatest classical Westerns, John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) turns an idealized version of the Earp/Clanton shootout at the OK Corral into a story of how the West was won for the good of civilization. Shot on location in Monument Valley in crisp, deep-focus black-and-white, the film opens as Henry Fonda's upstanding yet slightly (and humorously) awkward Wyatt Earp arrives in Tombstone to settle a family score with the murderous Clantons, staying long enough to make the untamed town safe for the new church and schoolmarm-to-be Clementine and enable corrupt, tubercular Easterner Doc Holliday to find a bit of redemption. Yet even as Ford celebrates the possibilities of the new West, he also engages the post-war tendency for Westerns to examine their own myths: for instance, in the expressionistic photography and in Earp's contradictory place between civilization and the wilderness. He knows the way Tombstone ought to be, but he can't settle there himself; the final shootout begins as an orderly ritual but becomes a chaotic montage of death. The "director's cut" discovered in 1994 contains several minutes of excised footage; the ending was reportedly changed due to the reaction of a 1946 preview audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/1999
UPC:
0086162139833
Original Release:
1946
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Wyatt Earp
Linda Darnell Chihuahua
Victor Mature Doc John Holliday
Jane Darwell Kate Nelson
Walter Brennan Old Man Clanton
Cathy Downs Clementine Carter
Ward Bond Morgan Earp
Francis Ford Dad
Don Garner James Earp
Ben Hall Barber
Tim Holt Virgil Earp
John Ireland Billy Clanton
Fred Libby Phin Clanton
John Farrell MacDonald Mac, the Bartender
Louis Mercier Francois
Alan Mowbray Granville Thorndyke
Roy Roberts Mayor
Mickey Simpson Sam Clanton
Russell Simpson John Simpson
Arthur Walsh Hotel Clerk
Grant Withers Ike Clanton
Aleth "Speed" Hansen Guitar Player-Townsman
Frances Rey Woman
Robert Adler Stagecoach Driver
Charles Anderson Townsman
Don Barclay Opera house owner
Frank Conlan Pianist
William B. Davidson Oriental saloon owner
Earl Foxe Gambler
Duke Lee Townsman
Mae Marsh Simpson's Sister
Margaret Martin Woman
Jack Pennick Stagecoach Driver
Charles Stevens Indian Troublemaker
Harry Woods Marshal Luke
Danny Borzage Accordionist

Technical Credits
John Ford Director
James Basevi Art Director
David Buttolph Score Composer
William Eckhardt Asst. Director
Samuel G. Engel Producer,Screenwriter
Eugene Grossman Sound/Sound Designer
Sam Hellman Original Story,Screenwriter
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Rene Hubert Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Winston Miller Screenwriter
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Alfred Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Fred J. Rode Set Decoration/Design
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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My Darling Clementine 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
RTFORD More than 1 year ago
How about putting this on HD or SD movie for my Nook Book? I'd love to have it then
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is the DVD outstanding, but the restoration of John Ford's classic western is phenominal. The documentary telling what all had to be done is outstanding, & one of the most interesting featurettes I've seen on a DVD. Regretfully, not everything Zanuck cut was restored, due to the fact Fox destroyed the first reel, but the restoration team did their best to restore this film to Ford's intentions, & to view the film closer to his view is fascinating. It's like taking a great work of art, & realizing that it was even intended to be even better.
rickr44318 More than 1 year ago
If you don't think too deeply about the history of the Earps, the Clantons and the Gunfight at the OK Corral, this is a great John Ford Western; Fonda and Brennan in particular are marvellous to watch. But if you're looking for an accurate rendering of the Earp-Clanton-Behan factions and what really happened in 1881, check out the "Unsolved History" documentary or the Kurt Russell/Val Kilmer film "Tombstone."