My Darling Clementine (1946)

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John Ford’s My Darling Clementine is one of the earlier treatments of the Wyatt Earp story and it’s still one of the best.

Henry Fonda is as rock solid as always as the reluctant law man but it is the supporting cast that adds the necessary spice to the story; Walter Brennan shines as the callous and black-hearted patriarch of the Clanton clan and shows there was far more to him than the grizzled old caricature that became his trademark. Victor Mature’s limited thespian talents actually work here as his Doc Holliday is as stone-faced as he is self-destructive and Linda Darnell is sex on a stick as the extremely Film Noir-esque and fiery tart with a heart. There is also some great night time photography adding to this feel and the final showdown is realistically atmospheric.

It may lack the grit and spectacle of post Sergio Leone westerns but for those who enjoy a traditional tale of the old west, this is an enduring classic.

7.5/10

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