As the lawman of a rowdy frontier town where his brother’s killers have taken refuge, Wyatt Earp dedicates himself to bringing the evildoers to justice, a quest that leads to the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral.
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3,5 The final touch when Clementine's torso's lit to recall a quartered unemblazoned heater shield, a linen breastplate clear of the heraldic signs and engraved name of the unfaithful beau, breathes all her newfound resilience & strength (remember humans were likened to a reed not tree, because the latter's felled by storms while the first lashes back up?) as she emerges from the momentary rigidness of pain. The film
"Sadness, hope, endurance and yearning, Manichaean drama pitting light against darkness. My Darling Clementine approaches allegory [of the experiences of World War II] ... Victory is horrible, and Wyatt must return to the wilderness, to his father (confession; reconstruction), leaving innocence, hope and civilization (Clementine) behind, 'lost and gone forever.'" – Tag Gallagher
Its interesting the one time Ford tackles an iconic Western figure it's the furthest away from the cliches that come to mind when concerning the western genre. As Ebert pointed out the final shootout is more like unfinished business than a typical climax. The sense of loss is so strong when I re watch the film its the not the violence drives it like most westerns but the sense of defeat that follows. Masterpiece.
In the history of film, there are three masters of the 1.37:1 frame. Godard, Costa and Ford. Ford's use of the frame is remarkable here; figures presented with the quiet dignity of a Degas or Renoir, but with an inner sense of grief or defeat suggested by the placement of these same characters within a particular environment (interior and exterior) or through the illusion of depth.
Well, it was okay. I never got much sense of purpose to the movie at all, it felt like it just wandered around for a while until the big shoot-out. Of course, my total allergy to Henry Fonda can't have helped matters. I probably shouldn't be sitting there rooting for the Clanton Boys to shoot the fuck out of Wyatt Earp, should I?
Magnificent western from John Ford that though revisionist history tells with great cinematic flourish the tale of Wyaat Earp, Doc Holiday and the eventual gunfight at the O.K. corral. The b&w cinematography by Joseph Macdonald is gorgeous and the film is chock full of memorable images and scenes. Best in show the stagecoach chase across monument valley and that iconic pose on the porch by Henry Fonda.
Love John Ford but pretty much loath this film. I am not exactly a stickler for historical accuracy (JFK remains an all-time favorite), but for whatever reason it annoys me in this case. Perhaps it's because I am more familiar with the Wyatt Earp story, but whatever the reason, I still consider this the most overrated film in Ford's entire body of work.