Well scripted, well acted, a western that should appeal even to those who normally wouldn't watch a western. The good guys are well developed, multi-dimensional and likable.
The bad guys, especially usually lovable Walter Brennan, are obviously evil. Enough action, enough intrigue, enough romance.
That being said, 'My Darling Clementine' does not measure up to Ford's typical work. Only Henry Fonda's performance still resonates by today's standards, with the resolve and quiet dignity he brings to the role of Wyatt Earp. The rest of the film is incredibly clunky. The slapstick interludes are disruptive. The supporting players are not as good as they usually are in Ford movies. Most importantly, Victor Mature's Doc Holliday is mediocre at best. Moreover, the relationship between Earp and Holliday is never really explored. To me, this is at the heart of the OK Corral story. Ford himself hints at this when a Shakespearan performer insightfully remarks, "Two souls by instinct to each other turn, demand allegiance and in friendship burn." In this regard (and others) 'Gunfight at the OK Corral' and 'Tombstone' are superior treatments of the same subject matter.
Still 20th Century FOX should be praised for its efforts in putting these older films from its vault onto dvd. The treatment they give their STUDIO CLASSICS series is top notch -- much better than Paramount, Columbia or Universal. In that regard, 'My Darling Clementine' is no exception.
However, those interested in the early westerns of John Ford should check out 'Stagecoach'.
"My Darling Clementine" is one of those films about which so much has been written(including a good Rutgers "Films In Print" entry),that it seems pointless to belabour it's greatness.I award it five stars only because there are no more available."Clementine" is less a story than a series of incidents,and since the purchase of a video implies repeat viewings,this one is a natural for everyone's permanent collection.I'm all for lean,tightly constructed westerns(of which the James Stewart/Anthony Manns are excellent examples),but the leisurely "Clementine"---austere,relaxed,filled with moments that seem utterly spontaneous---has a roughhewn,unrehearsed quality that's all the more surprising in a major studio "A" western.Since we're dealing with Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the O.K.Corall,the narrative does eventually assert itself,if only to steer us toward the final confrontation---but the device involving the stolen "Chingadera" and it's reappearance around Linda Darnell's neck,seems almost an intrusion,taking us away from the simpler moments we've enjoyed(for nearly two-thirds of the running time!),and reminding us that there is a story which must be told and now let's get down to the business of telling it.More telling,however,are the many and marvelous details Ford reveals throughout---check out Doc Holliday's room in the hotel---not only do we see his diplomas,but there are photos of a college rowing team on the water---a wonderfully vivid and underplayed glimpse of Doc's past life.There's delightful scenes of people eating meals---big meals---alone and in groups---whereas in so many lesser westerns,all they do is drink whiskey.Read more ›
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I don't like westerns; but I am a sucker for really good movies- and if they happen to be westerns I don't... Read more