Director: John Ford
Yet another deeply factually inaccurate take on the events including Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the Clantons at the OK Corral, but a solid one that throws out all attempts to stay true to the story and instead does its own myth-making. That's alright. We have how many years of TV and movies that have used Earp and Holliday as fictional characters with fictional motivations to the point where my usual rules about biopics can't possibly apply.
I was spurred to check this one out based on a single photo of Victor Mature in a cowboy hat, a still from this movie, and I'm a bit of a Victor Mature fan, and I had never seen him in a western. When I checked to see what the story was with My Darling Clementine (1946), it was directed by Ford and co-starred Henry Fonda as Earp and Linda Darnell as "Chihuahua", a Mexican songstress. And, look, I'm only human. I'll watch a Linda Darnell movie for all the wrong reasons. The titular Clementine is played by Cathy Downs, who would go on to sci-fi fame in some B pictures like The Amazing Colossal Man, but who also performed in some noir pictures around the 1940's and 50's.
|he's so cool|
The movie fictionalizes a full background as a surgeon for "Doc" Holliday (he was a dentist), and makes up a love triangle between himself and Chihuahua, his local saloon lady, and Clementine - a nurse he once loved when he was still practicing. While the Clantons are trying to remain outlaw lords of Tombstone, they make the mistake of killing Wyatt Earp's (Fonda's) brother, which leads to Earp becoming Marshall of Tombstone - already famed for his work in Dodge City and Deadwood. Earp falls hard for the virtuous Clementine, and she has some conflicted feelings (and Doc seems kinda screwed up anyway, plus, you know, he's dating Linda Darnell).
I can genuinely recommend the movie. I think it's got a lot going for it, and Ford gets great stuff out of his four leads. The real life story will continue to exist, but I like the arc for Mature's Holliday, and I think he nails it. But you've also got Ford's Monument valley backdrops, beautifully shot, thoughtful execution of scene after scene, and a kind of humanity to the characters that grounds everything.
|I mean... Linda Darnell|