My Darling Clementine (1946)

My Darling Clementine (1946), directed by John Ford.

Much fictionalized (as always?) account of the Earps, Clantons, Tombstone and the gunfight at the OK Corral. Ford's Tombstone is a tiny place surrounded by nothing but the Monument Valley horizon.

Henry Fonda is a perfect American type: no polish, simple honesty, dry humor, courageous and generous in spirit. In a priceless bit he shyly works up the nerve to ask Cathy Downs to dance, while she reads his thoughts as if they were printed on his forehead.

Walter Brennan is a great evil old man. Whipping his huge cringing sons after an infraction: "When you pull a gun, kill a man!" "Yes, Pa."

Did Victor Mature establish the cultured and self-loathing Doc Holiday, or was that an earlier part of the mythology?

Linda Darnell always takes my breath away.

The Earps take jobs as lawmen to get revenge for the death of a brother, but over an hour passes before they do anything about it. According to a bit of dialogue only a few days have passed in the plot but I don't get any other indication of the passage of time; it might have been longer.

Little bits: the bordello, madam and "ladies" are just there, no big deal. The cantina band includes a hammered dulcimer strummed by hand. Alan Mowbray as the ham Shakespearean, and the drunken crowd's eagerness to see him.

This is the first time I have seen the "preview" version, which is about six minutes longer than the theatrical release. It is an attempt to restore Ford's original cut as it was before studio editing. A documentary details the differences: mostly some extended dialogue and a different soundtrack with less background music. The DVD is a flipper with the theatrical release on the other side.


What kind of town is this? Selling liquor to Indians!


Mac, you ever been in love?

No, I've been a bartender all my life.