My Darling Clementine

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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 ...
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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.
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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/1999
  • UPC: 086162139833
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

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
Robert Adler Stagecoach Driver
Charles Anderson Townsman
Don Barclay Opera house owner
Danny Borzage Accordionist
Frank Conlan Pianist
William B. Davidson Oriental saloon owner
Earl Foxe Gambler
Aleth "Speed" Hansen Guitar Player-Townsman
Duke Lee Townsman
Mae Marsh Simpson's Sister
Margaret Martin Woman
Jack Pennick Stagecoach Driver
Frances Rey Woman
Charles Stevens Indian Troublemaker
Harry Woods Marshal Luke
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 Sr. Makeup
Fred J. Rode Set Decoration/Design
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Poor history, but entertaining on its own

    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."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding restoration & DVD! *************!

    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.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews