Author Topic: My Darling Clementine (1946)  (Read 1726 times)

Offline Antares

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My Darling Clementine (1946)
« on: July 27, 2010, 12:04:34 AM »
My Darling Clementine

Year: 1946
Film Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre: Western
Length: 96 Min.

John Ford (1894)

Samuel G. Engel (1904)...Screenwriter
Winston Miller (1910)...Screenwriter
Sam Hellman (1885)...Story By

Samuel G. Engel (1904)

Joseph MacDonald (1906)

Cyril J. Mockridge (1896)...Composer

Henry Fonda (1905) as Wyatt Earp
Linda Darnell (1923) as Chihuahua
Victor Mature (1913) as Dr. John 'Doc' Holliday
Cathy Downs (1924) as Clementine Carter
Walter Brennan (1894) as Old Man Clanton
Tim Holt (1918) as Virgil Earp
Ward Bond (1903) as Morgan Earp
Alan Mowbray (1896) as Granville Thorndyke

       One of the finer points of John Ford’s famous western My Darling Clementine is that John Wayne is nowhere to be found. I find that a lot of the films they made together tended to be rather formulaic, corny and a little boring. My Darling Clementine is quite the opposite, starring Henry Fonda and the always versatile Walter Brennan, Ford takes his shot at the often told tale of the legendary gunfight at the OK corral. Aside from Jesse James, I think this is the one event which has been brought to the screen in more variations than any other in ‘western’ history.

       Fonda stars as famed ex-lawman Wyatt Earp, a man that wants to make a new start out west in the cattle industry. But upon reaching the lawless town of Tombstone Arizona, he is forced to re-enter his former line of work after his brother is murdered and his livestock rustled by the ever cantankerous and downright mean-spirited Ike Clanton (Walter Brennan). What ensues is a classic chess match between the two adversaries as each tries to get the upper hand on the other and assert their own form of control over the town.

       What helps the film stay on course and remain interesting throughout is that Ford never reverts to making the film satisfy every member of the audience. He had a penchant for doing this in many of his other westerns, primarily the films starring Wayne. You could always count on at least one or two scenes that were added to the film that were put there to add homespun charm to the films atmosphere. For example; in The Searchers we get the annoyingly corny fight scene between Jeff Hunter’s and Ken Curtis’ characters and in Fort Apache we get the scene where the Irish sergeants are given orders to destroy contraband whiskey and they come up with the predictable idea of how to get rid of it all.

       Thankfully none of these unessential scenes are in My Darling Clementine and the suspense builds up to the climatic final showdown. There have been many countless interpretations of what really happened at the OK corral, and although Fords version is highly fabricated, of all the films that have been made on this subject and event, his is the most exciting.

Review Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:15:02 PM by Antares »

Offline Achim

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Re: My Darling Clementine (1946)
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 03:26:06 AM »
The title alone would have made me think of something entiely different. Now I may have to seek it out at some point.

Offline Antares

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Re: My Darling Clementine (1946)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 03:31:55 AM »
Just don't expect historical accuracy. It's a great film though.


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Re: My Darling Clementine (1946)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 08:16:01 PM »
It's long and dumb, but I love the style of Wyatt Earp. For my money, Dennis Quad became Doc Holiday and he is marvellous. But the most notable thing is it is apparently the most realistic depiction of the shoot-out. All 30-ish seconds of it! It's brutal and brilliant, but no way could it have worked before the 70s at least. Probably because there was no such thing as a set-piece, which strangely, the accurate telling is almost reduced to.