NEW My Darling Clementine (DVD)
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TRANSFER: KUDOS to Fox. Their DVD is head and shoulders above previously issued VHS and laserdisc versions of this eternal classic. The black and white picture is very well balanced, with solid blacks and an exceptional spectrum of tonal grays. Film grain is evident throughout - as it should be. There are no digital anomalies for a picture that is smooth, solid and wholly enjoyable. Occasionally there is a slight jump in the image, during certain splices or cuts from one scene to the next, but these are vintage imperfections which do not detract from your visual enjoyment. The audio has been remixed to stereo and is nicely balanced.
EXTRAS: We get the original theatrical cut and the preview cut of the film. Apparantly, Darryl F. Zanuck was none too impressed with John Ford's original version - cutting it down by a half hour and altering several key scenes. These are painstakingly re-created by film archivist, Robert Gitt, in a mini-documentary on the making of the film. Very nicely done.
BOTTOM LINE: An absolute must for film lovers and DVD collectors.
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.
My Darling Clementine is fundamentally about the shootout at the OK Corral, arguably the most famous 30 seconds in American history. But in John Ford's loving hands, the story takes its time getting there and, in the process, becomes as graceful and easily beautiful a piece of film-making as you will ever see.
In this age when movie goers prize realism, sheer violence, and de-mythology, Ford has become something of a whipping boy for those who point out the glaring historical inaccuracies present in Hollywood's traditional portrayal of the American West. These folks miss the larger picture and are the poorer for their narrow, fashionable view. In this archetypal story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and the Clanton family, Ford was not interested in historical detail. He was creating legends, not historical accounts for the archives.
Ford was a film maker. When a movie lover approaches a Ford film, it becomes necessary to give oneself over to the power of film. Once one does that, tremendous pleasures await. Such as: the townspeople of Tombstone having a dance around the skeletal frame of a half-built church while the huge, flat buttes of Monument Valley tower in the background; or Henry Fonda as Earp watching with great sympathy as Victor Mature (Doc Holiday) recites Hamlet's suicide soliloquy in a barroom (as hokey as this sounds, it is Fonda's expression that will move you, I guarantee).Read more ›
Criterion has done s masterful job on restoring the film to HD quality, stunning B&W. And not only that, bonus features that tell the real story of the Erp family and how the "legend" came to life.
"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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
a must see if you are a western movie fan
not as good as I remember it
I probably won't watch it again
The love interest was pretty mild compared to what we know as a love story these days, so interesting to see how times have changed. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
Any affecianado of old Western classics should have this movie !
Thorough enjoyment from start to finish.I'd rank this is in the top 5 of all time western classics.
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