Jacques Tourneur's Wichita tells the story of Wyatt Earp (Joel McCrea) and his efforts to bring law and order to the town of Wichita, Kansas. Its a rather standard story for a western, but Tourneur really just uses this story to explore some interesting themes. For starters, the film really is a meditation on the corruption which money can cause. The business man of the town willingly invite a more dangerous town, for the sake of revenue which can be brought in by the cowboys. Tourneur does a great job of giving these various characters, even the villians of the film, and making them well defined with real motives and humanity. T
The film in general just feels authentic as well. The characters are very hospitable to one and other, even when they clearly don't like each other. They saloons and rowdy nature of alcoholism which ran rampant in the west among cowboys is really shown in a realistic gritty light, being not nearly as celebratory as many western films seem to be. The only minor criticism I would have is that the love story does feel a tacked on, and almost completely unnecessary in telling this story. Its not terrible, but rather just cliche compared to everything else in this film.
In the End, Wichita is a stunning film in that Tourneur takes a very classic pulp western type story but layers some very interesting commentaries on alcholism, greed, and law/order.