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I May Destroy You
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My Darling Clementine is another interpretation of a story I’ve seen a few times before, the shootout at the OK Corral. This time we get Henry Fonda playing Wyatt Earp, and I quite liked how he used his matter-of-fact delivery in this role. It was nice to see a lawman who simply presented obeying the law as a forgone conclusion that he just assumed everyone should understand. He’s also subtle in his delivery because he doesn’t need to be brash when he has his brothers backing him up. Victor Mature plays Doc Holliday in this film, and I also found his performance to be good. He is not an actor I’m all that familiar with, but I thought he was able to express some of the pain and regret that haunted this character in his final days. I particularly loved the early scenes between these two men, because they have a powerful standoff without needing to draw pistols. You can feel the tension between them and I also like how that eventually evolves into a begrudging respect. These are men with a strong presence, without needing to puff themselves up with big words. I’m not so sure the romance angle worked as well for me in My Darling Clementine. The film’s title implies it is supposed to be about this innocent young woman who comes seeking Doc Holliday, but her part felt rather superfluous to the story. Chihuahua was the more vital romantic role in driving the story forward. I also felt there was a slight disconnect in the plot because so much of what happens in the film feels like it is Doc Holliday’s story, but Wyatt Earp is constantly treated as the protagonist. It is Earp who is given the motivation and a vendetta that drives him to arrest the Clantons, and Holliday feels like a tagalong in the climax. The final act is also a bit rushed so I didn’t get as emotionally affected when people started dying. I think, perhaps, my opinion of My Darling Clementine was damaged slightly simply because I couldn’t stop thinking of other movies (about the same story) that I liked better. This one is still a well-made movie that I enjoyed, but I’ll probably choose to watch the more modern takes in the future.
Classic western that showcases John Ford's directing and Henry Fonda's acting
My Darling Clementine has a somewhat less interesting, overly slow second act, but it remains one of the most refreshing and different westerns from this period. Instead of action, it focuses a lot on dialogue, it is character-driven and oh so charming. This picture exudes charm in its every frame as the cinematography is among the best of the genre, the score is so wonderful and John Ford's direction is stellar.
The granddaddy of Earp films.
A heavily fictionalised account of the events that lead up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral that is sustained by a robust leading performance from Fonda, gorgeous cinematography and a well-paced and enthralling narrative.
After recently viewing the landmark picture 'Stagecoach', I decided to proceed on John Ford's western journey with this romanticised vision of the myth of the west, illustrating a somewhat disreputable narrative of Wyatt Earp and his encounters in the Arizonan town of Tombstone, and the looming confrontations that led to the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Firstly, I have to make clear how astounded I was at seeing how much John Ford's technical prowess had evolved in the mere seven years that followed his 1939 hit. Sure, the action sequences of 'My Darling Clementine' don't quite live up to that of his earlier piece, but heck it's not all about that. There's enough invigorating energy in the characters alone to give us our action lust, characters that feel more developed and further emotionally connected with the audience, with the interaction between one another bearing a less forced approach and flowing more naturally. I felt this time that I could relate to the characters, and this is in no small part thanks to the likes of Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs etc. for their captivating performances.
Alike 'Stagecoach, the cinematography and location use is practically flawless, further encapsulating the Wild West we cherish to become part of, grounding us with enthralling and confident performances, further bolstered by the plot's steady development and well-executed pacing.
'My Darling Clementine is a gorgeous film, and there's no wonder as to why the critics endorse it as much as they do. John Ford took the lessons he had attained from his Oscar hits like 'The Grapes of Wrath' and 'How Green Was My Valley' and injected them into the ultimate embodiment of the Wild West we feel so sentimental towards.
I could already tell from the minute they got to Tombstone, that the movie was going to be one joy of a ride.
The acting is really good. Each character shines through with their wonderful performance. Pretty damn funny at times. Henry Fonda sure plays the role of a marshall pretty damn well. He's the kind of marshall we all wish we had in our cities/towns.
The use and location of Monument Valley sure is one to behold. Even in black and white, it looks beautiful. I hope to one day visit Monument Valley and experience all of it's beauty in the flesh.
The tense buildup to the final coral shoot out was great. There's this silence that fills the air. I can definitely see the inspiration this movie had on Red Dead Redemption.
Overall, great writing, wonderful acting, charming characters, and beautiful location - Monument Valley.
Still an underrated classic from the John Ford cannon. Fonda is unsuspectingly effective as Wyatt Earp bringing a humanism to the role one wouldn't expect from the mythic tales of his life. Victure Monture provides a fantastic supporting turn as Earp's partner (but not really) Doc Holliday.
Brilliantly shot. Brilliantly acted. Contains images that I will remember forever.
A classic. A testament to the greatness of John Ford as a director. A highly fictionalized account of the gunfight at the O.K. Coral. Still one of the greatest westerns ever made.
With all the classic sharp-shooting and humorous Western conventions you can expect, though drawn out a little long, My Darling Clementine is a more domesticated effort of John Ford.