My Darling Clementine (1946)
January 31, 2023 9:27 AM - Subscribe

In the middle of a long cattle drive, Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and his brothers stop off for a night in the town of Tombstone. The next morning they find their cattle stolen, and one of the brothers is dead. Earp suspects the Clanton family, owners of the O.K. Corral, but wants his revenge to be legal. He becomes sheriff of Tombstone and forges a rough peace with an alcoholic gambler, Doc Holiday (Victor Mature). Earp also takes a liking to Holiday's former girlfriend, Clementine (Cathy Downs).

Also starring Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, Ward Bond, Alan Mowbray, John Ireland, Roy Roberts, Jane Darwell, Grant Withers.

Directed by John Ford. Written by Samuel G. Engel, Winston Miller, based on a screen story by Sam Hellman, with uncredited contributions from Stuart Anthony, William M. Conselman. Also based on the fictionalized biography Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal by Stuart N. Lake.

100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental in the US. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
Some truly superlative dialogue:

Wyatt: Mac, you ever been in love?
Mac: No. I've been a bartender all my life."

"When ya pull a gun, kill a man."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:30 AM on January 31, 2023

I have not seen MDC in a long time. But I remember being impressed by it. "This is a good movie." And also by Henry Fonda, another one of his superlative performances. The scene where he's tipping back in chair and tick-tocking the post is pretty cool.
posted by Stuka at 10:02 AM on January 31, 2023

*sigh*. There is no part of this film that doesn't trouble me. Not one aspect of the Earp/Clanton showdown is historically correct. No, the Earps weren't cattle wranglers that just "picked up the badge" in Tombstone. No, the gunfight was not at the OK Corral. And Doc Holliday, a man dying of tuberculosis, was played by a side-of-beef like Victor Mature! I honestly believe that the screenwriter wrote an ordinary Western, and was shocked that the director made it about the Earp/Clanton conflict.
posted by SPrintF at 10:08 AM on January 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

It's based on the (very) fictionalized biography Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal by Stuart N. Lake, which was a best seller a few years before.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 AM on January 31, 2023

I don't usually mention the cinematographer, but in this case, Gregg Toland's work is jaw-dropping.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:25 AM on January 31, 2023

I caught part of this on tv once in... 1996 I think? and didn't know what it was (I figured it out later without the internet!). I thought it was amazing. The Shakespeare in the saloon, the barber chair tipping back... "Do you smell lilacs?" "That's me." Lots of unexpected touches, and humor. I still haven't seen the whole thing but what I saw really made an impression.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:50 PM on January 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

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