ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

My Darling Clementine (1946)

US 97m, B&W
Director: John Ford; Cast: Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan, Cathy Downs, Tim Holt, Ward Bond, Don Garner, Grant Withers, John Ireland

My Darling Clementine is an American western about the events leading up to and including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Though based on actual events, the screenplay is very loosely adapted in this romanticized version of the story of the Earp Brother’s. Among the most notable differences is the addition is Clementine – a woman who comes looking for Doc Holiday (Mature), but ends up being the center of Wyatt’s (Fonda) attentions, when he’s not looking for his brother’s killer. The film is also marked by Walter Brennan’s noteworthy performance as a cold-hearted killer – a far cry from his lovable grumpy old man personae for which he had become known (Klaus Ming November 2012).

3 comments on “My Darling Clementine (1946)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    I like some things about this movie, but it’s far from my favorite Ford western. For one thing, the “good girl” and “bad girl” dichotomy is pretty ham-handed (and neither character is even remotely interesting). Fonda and Brennan are excellent (though Ford didn’t like Brennan and never used him again).

    Mature does the best he can, but he’s not right for the part (as one critic said, he looks about as consumptive as a Kodiak bear). Ford was stuck on that one, though, since John Carradine’s character in Stagecoach had been based on Doc Holliday (both in his appearance and in his having “fallen” from a better upbringing). It had never occured to Ford that he’d actually get to direct the story of the OK Corral. But when it came along, if he cast Carradine and used the same type of character again, he’d be accused of ripping off his earlier movie. So, he went pretty far in another direction. 🙂

    When people pointed out how the events of the movie diverged from the historical record, Ford (always testy when criticized) would say that’s how he head it from Wyatt Earp himself (Earp had been around Hollywood in the slent era and they may have known each other).

    • Klaus

      I agree with you on the female characters – they add very little to the story (and seemed largely incidental).

      I really liked Brennan’s character – such a departure for him, which i thought he pulled off very well.

      I thought Henry Fonda looked a little boyish beside Victor Mature. I’d like to have seen their roles reversed.

  2. SJHoneywell

    This one was a big “meh” for me. If I’m going to watch this story, I’m going to watch Tombstone, not because it’s more accurate (it’s not) but because it’s a hell of a lot more fun.

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This entry was posted on 11/28/2012 by in 1001 List, 1940s, All and tagged .
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