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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic western!!!!!
Probably the best movie of this director: a true celebration of the legend of the American west. The movie tells the classic story of the gunfight at the OK Corral with sheriff Wyatt Earp: while it isn't historically realistic, it outshines ALL later attempt to do a more accurate version of the story. The reason is simple: Ford always said that "the legend is more...
Published on 27 Feb. 2001

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...she is lost and gone forever...
Henry Fonda (Wyatt Earp) and his 3 brothers are driving cattle towards Mexico when his youngest brother Don Garner (James) is murdered and the cattle stolen. As a result of this action, Fonda takes the role of Marshall in the town of Tombstone. Here he meets with Victor Mature (Doc Holliday), a hard-man drifter with a reputation as a killer, and 2 women from the Doc's...
Published on 31 May 2010 by Alex da Silva


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic western!!!!!, 27 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
Probably the best movie of this director: a true celebration of the legend of the American west. The movie tells the classic story of the gunfight at the OK Corral with sheriff Wyatt Earp: while it isn't historically realistic, it outshines ALL later attempt to do a more accurate version of the story. The reason is simple: Ford always said that "the legend is more interesting than the truth". Of course it's a Hollywood movie, and it's not a revisionist Peckimpah western, but it has interesting characters (even the lesser one such as the barman are believable and add some human touches), a solid plot, a great screenplay (don't miss the Shakespearean actor who wants to perform in a saloon!!!) and an EXTRAORDINARY B&W cinematography.
The FOX cassette version is very good!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Western that has everything., 5 Oct. 2009
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Mr. A. Campbell-walter (Hoath, Kent UK) - See all my reviews
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I never tire of watching this classic. The characters are so clearcut and one feels some empathy with all of them even the villains who are a product of a hard country and ignorance. The roughness and cruelty of the wild west is all there. Unusually even the romance angle, which usually ruins most westerns is treated in a simple, unsophisticated manner. The scene with Doc Holliday and the travelling actor leaves one terribly moved and as the story surges towards its inevitably tragic conclusion you know that no one is going to end up happy but this is the way it has to be. Ford never made a better western.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you pull a gun, kill a man!, 29 Nov. 2009
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A. Willard (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Darling Clementine (Cinema Reserve Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
When people say `They don't make them like that anymore' this marvellous film is the sort of thing they mean. You all know the story so i won't bother telling you. Wonderful performances from a never-better Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp(check out the dancing!), Victor Mature as Doc Holliday (got a bit of a cough doncha know) and Walter Brennan as the head of the somewhat parentally challenged Clanton family. Beautifully shot in black-and-white, full of dry humour and, basically, one great scene after another. Who cares if it's historically accurate, it's a great film. See it.
Oh and of course as it's a John Ford film you get to hear `Shall we gather by the river'. What more could you ask for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless Formal Blend of Comic, Tragic and Tragi-Comic Elements, 22 Feb. 2013
Every scene is brilliantly done; there are some classic Western elements wherein: a man does what a man has to do; a man and a woman are threatened with and shown their potential for happiness before delaying or denying themselves a future; a once great man sacrifices himself for the good of humanity despite his faults; all of the supporting characters have back-stories which are worked out with equal and lasting believability. Humane and convincing performances all-round particularly Victor Mature, surely one of the great underrated film actors who may have been hopeless on stage but put in front of a camera is a great presence here certainly. Moments of comedy and pathos and cruelty and lightness and hope all superbly filmed by a luminous camera. It's a cracking story and a superbly amusing and literate script which uses Shakespeare in a thrilling moment as well as any film I've seen ever has (Withnail and I is good at that of course!). To watch and watch again with ever-increasing delight. A masterpiece.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb film with Ford, Fonda, Mature and Brennan at their peak, 11 Jun. 2007
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C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Darling Clementine (Cinema Reserve Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Here is a movie which practically hums with excellence, from the star performances of Henry Fonda, Victor Mature and Walter Brennan to the extraordinary craftsmanship of director John Ford. I've watched a lot of Ford movies; many I like and many I don't. My Darling Clementine is, in my view, Ford's most accomplished film. The movie may seem to be about a gun fight showdown, or about the wary relationship between Wyatt Earp and John Holliday, or about a shy romance between an upright man with little experience with love and a proper young woman who decides to be a school marm, or about honor and justice and retribution. It's all of this. Most of all, it's about how the west changed. Ford shows us not through big gestures and symbolic, obvious actions, but through the little gestures of some good people and some extremely well-crafted set pieces.

The Earp brothers led by Wyatt (Henry Fonda) have their cattle rustled and their youngest brother, James, killed just outside the wild town of Tombstone. Earp is sure Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan) and his four sons are responsible. He decides to stay awhile as Marshal and see about a little legal retribution. He encounters John Holliday (Victor Mature), a self-loathing former doctor, now a quick-shooting killer and gambler, ill with tuberculosis, who runs things in the saloon and is drinking himself to death. Holliday has had a relationship for quite a while with a bargirl named Chihuahua (Linda Darnel). Then Clementine Carter (Cathy Downs) shows up on a stage from back east looking for Holliday. She loves him and wants to rescue him. And Earp finds himself thinking that Clementine is the nicest, prettiest woman he's ever met. "I love your town in the morning, Marshal," she tells him. "The air is so clean and clear...the scent of the desert flower." Says Earp, a little shyly, "That's me...barber."

All these story threads are weaving in and out as the Earps press Old Man Clanton, as Wyatt and Doc nearly kill each other a couple of times, as they discover a medallion that was worn by young James Earp which was given to Chihuahua by the youngest Clanton. Before long a Clanton and another Earp are dead and the showdown at the OK Corral is set for sunup the next morning.

What satisfying delights Ford and his actors give us. There's Fonda's Wyatt Earp, a natural gentleman, shy with a "nice" woman, something of a killer himself. There's Victor Mature's John Holliday, self-loathing, honorable when it matters, a headstrong killer ready to gun down anyone who crosses him. And there's Walter Brennan's Old Man Clanton, just plain mean, a back shooter, a cattle rustler, an old man who always carries a horsewhip and doesn't hesitate to use it on his own sons. "When you pull a gun," he snarls at them, "shoot a man."

The set pieces are powerful and poignant, but they always advance the story and build up the characters. The first meeting between Wyatt Earp and Old Man Clanton out in the scrub. Without being in the least obvious Brennan lets us know Clanton is going to be trouble. Alan Mobray as the alcoholic, over-the-hill actor who is going to recite Shakespeare for the townspeople, encounters the Clanton boys in a bar. They force him to recite 'To be or not to be..." while they shame him...until Holliday intervenes. When Mobray falters and asks Holliday to continue, Holliday picks up the lines "....but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will." It's a sad moment for Holliday and for us. Fonda on horseback chasing after Holliday who is seated next to the driver on a stage. The horses are running their lungs out and Holliday isn't letting up. Earp catches him and there is a showdown which is quick and efficient. Earp on the porch leaning back on the rear legs of his chair, a boot bracing himself on a railing. Earp and Clementine at the church social when he invites her to dance with a stiff bow. A serious look on his face changes to joy as they whirl around.

The showdown at the Corral is a textbook piece of editing. The whole sequence from the walk to the corral to the final shooting takes only nine minutes. The actual gunplay lasts only one minute. It's dramatic but matter-of-fact. When it's over the old West is done for and the new West, with school marms, is starting. And we realize this by all that we've seen during the prior hour and a half, not just because of a 60-second shootout.

Not only, in my view, is My Darling Clementine John Ford's best movie, it has to be one of Henry Fonda's strongest and most subtle performances. I think he'd easily land among the top two or three on any list of America's best film actors. He shows why with this film.

If you have an all-region DVD player, consider getting The 20th Century Fox Film Classic Region 1 DVD. It comes with the July 1946 preview version which is largely Ford's and the October 1946 release version which had some substantial editing overseen by Darryl F. Zanuck, scenes re-shot and a more obtrusive film score added where Ford had wanted natural background sounds. There is a fascinating interview with Robert Gitt, who did the restoration work at the UCLA Film and Television Archives. He not only describes and shows what his work involved, but also the changes which Zanuck insisted on. Except for the music score additions, I think Zanuck was right. After hearing Gitt and looking at the comparisons, it was the release version I watched. It's an instructive example of just how limited a director's rights can be when the top guy decides to exercise his authority.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my darling clementine, 23 May 2009
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Jddry - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Darling Clementine (Cinema Reserve Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
i have just bought a second dvd of my darling clementine what a superb movie this is.I taped it a few years ago off the tv but always wanted to buy the movie when it came out i seen it on amazon and liked the look of the packaging as well and i wasnt disappointed its superb and the price also i hadnt heard of cinema reserve before but i will certainly be buying again.jddry
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5.0 out of 5 stars Austerity Western?, 4 Oct. 2013
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This western, shot in black and white, and directed by John Ford, leads us through the events that led to the shootout between Wyatt Earp, helped by Doc Holiday, and the Clayton family, at the O. K. Corral. Stunning photography and sparse dialogue contribute to the film's outstanding austere beauty. A must see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hoedowns & shootouts, 21 Jun. 2014
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GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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I hadn`t seen this for decades, but I remember loving it when I first saw it (on TV - I`m not that ancient) and the same feeling came back watching it again.
There`s a mythic look and feel to this 1946 black & white movie, with its measured air and easy pacing, stopping en route to indulge Alan Mowbray enjoying himself as an itinerant Shakespearean actor, or an impromptu hoedown at the local half-built church in the fabled town of Tombstone.
Henry Fonda reminds us all that along with James Stewart and, arguably, John Wayne, he was the best film actor in America. His Wyatt Earp is a digniified, complex, good-humoured individual who falls into his new post as town Marshal almost by accident, just as the Clanton gang - led by Walter Brennan`s unsentimental turn as Pa Clanton - are tearing up the place.
Tim Holt (who died much too young) and old Ford stalwart Ward Bond are excellent as two of Earp`s brothers, while a gloomy Victor Mature gives one of his most credible performances as a (rather too corpulent) Doc Holliday.
The ladies are a nicely opposing pair, Linda Darnell bold and brilliant as Doc`s unpredictable floosie Chihuaha, Cathy Downs a little colourless but effective as the attractive, if homely, old flame Clementine.
The film looks gorgeous, though what Tombstone is doing in Monument Valley is anyone`s guess. But then, John Ford virtually lived there - I expect he had a permanent tent set up in the lee of one of the big rocks.
There are things one could criticise - as there are in all of Ford`s films - but it would take a hard heart to hold out completely. It`s well-cast, and Fonda already looked and sounded like the dusty, ironic voice of the old west.
What`s also so likeable about the film is its willingness to 'stop and smell the roses', in other words to pace itself so that it`s not all action. It`s as though Ford took his cue from Fonda, rather than the other way round.
The camerawork by Joseph MacDonald is faultless, and Ford never made such a tender, poetic film. The usual Ford roistering and knockabout 'humour' is, thankfully, mostly missing here, leaving instead a sombre, beautiful film that lingers - for decades, in my case! - in the memory.
The Extra Feature is quite a coup: a Commentary by none other than Wyatt Earp III. Now, that`s class.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth having in your collection., 7 July 2013
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If you want to know the real story of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK Corral do not rely on this film to give you the true facts. It is based on Stuart Lake's book which was notoriously inaccurate. For the real story read, 'Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend' by Casey Tefertiller - a superb account, or alternatively watch the later films, 'Tombstone' or 'Wyatt Earp'. The screen writers of this film even embellished Lake's account with some more fiction: who was Clementine Carter for a start? Where was 'Big Nosed' Kate, Doc's real girlfriend? Where was Josie Marcus - Wyatt's future wife, with whom he lived until they were both a ripe old age? Who were the guys who accompanied Wyatt, his brother and Doc Holliday? In reality it was Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp plus Doc Holliday who confronted the Clanton gang who were themselves also misrepresented in this film. Holliday survived the shootout and died many years later of his TB in Colorado. Oh, and Doc was not a doctor but a dentist, so what was he doing carrying out major surgery? Meanwhile, if you want an entertaining movie which is very loosely based on the actual facts then this could be the film for you. The black and white photography lends a very atmospheric and dramatic mood to the story. It is of course a John Ford film so is worth having in your collection on that account.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 9 Sept. 2012
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R de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Great on historicity if not exact history, but this is an atmospheric film and it conveys the Old West intelligently and with great artistry. John Ford is an eminent western director who can elevate the genre out of the B-movie status that such films generally have. This story has been told many times in film and books: all of the films use artistic license to a great extent, but this film uses it it to good effect also in the charcterisations of the semi-respectable bandits and the honest to goodness uprightness of gamblers and associates of loose women: the old west was not so high on moralising as what was good for business, which made bringing the Clantons to justice so difficult and makes Wyatt Earp something of an anti-hero. This film conveys these moral and leagal dillemas to good effect and entertains throughout. Well worth watching and owning.
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