Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1946
Directed by
John Ford
97 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

My Darling Clementine

The story of the gunfight between Wyatt and Morgan Earp, Doc Holliday and the Clantons which took place in the small Western town of Tombstone, Arizona in 1882 has been filmed many times including the well-known 1957 John Sturges version, Gunfight At The O.K.Corral. John Ford’s version is arguably the best.

The strength of Ford’s film is that it is a slow-burn mood piece that forsakes the usual brawlin’ and shootin’ for a more measured portrait of the main character (apparently the real Wyatt Earp told his story personally to Ford although the excellent script is by Samuel G. Engel and Winston Miller).  Henry Fonda is outstanding as Earp. He spends a lot of the film doing very little but watching and waiting and Ford captures his laconicism with humour and grace, focussing on small everyday moments, well-aided by the tasteful black and white cinematography of Joe MacDonald.

Victor Mature is an unlikely choice for Doc Holliday and one can’t help but feel the character deserved better but Cathy Downs and Linda Darnell acquit themselves well in the familiar virgin/whore opposition. Playing against type, Walter Brennan is wonderfully nasty as Ol’ Man Clanton.  Even if you are not a fan of Westerns, My Darling Clementine is a rewarding film.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst