Tuesday, 6 September 2011


This is the second film to be based on Stuart N. Lake's biography of Wyatt Earp, an earlier version having appeared in 1934. The film plays fast and loose with historical fact with Earp played by Randolph Scott as an ex-army scout who arrives in Tombstone without any sign of his famous brothers and single handedly goes to the O.K. Corral for a rather anti-climatic shootout with the bad guys (led by Joe Sawyer as Curly Bill Brocious in the complete absence of the Clantons and McLaurys). The film, directed by Allan Dwan, is a perfectly servicable Western, the main interest of which is in the performances. Randolph Scott plays Wyatt Earp as if he was Randolph Scott and there are nice performances from Nancy and English actress Binnie Barnes (whom I met in London in the early 60s). Oddly, the film gives Earp no romantic involvement - leaving that department solely to Cesar Romero. It is Romero who gives the best performance as Doc Holliday (here called Halliday and being shot down before the O.K.Corral). In a supporting role is Ward Bond who had appeared in the 1934 verion and who would go on to play Virgil Earp in John Ford's 1946 version, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. Rating ***

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