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Plot: Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Runtime: 122 mins Release Date: 30 May 1957
Here is a movie that has one memorable scene and one memorable line after another. The Cowboy Movies of today are forgettable in their entirety. It was made in a time when their was a passion for this subject. Now the lack of passion for Cowboys in Hollywood is visible in its lack of quality.
Big OK for This Movie (by Richie-67-485852)
Every once in a while, a ten comes along. What makes a movie a ten? Of course it is subjective but we can all agree it is a good one to watch. This be the case here. The acting is strong and realistic with a good director and sound plus visuals combined to make it a memorable good time at the movies. The opening catchy all time Western tune of tunes will have you singing along. It goes on throughout the movie too. I wonder what this would have looked like on a giant screen? What stands out for me is I am all for law and order providing we all agree. If not, I am for order and it appears so is <more>
everyone connected to this movie as the story plays out so well. At some point, Doc Holiday Douglas screams out a question and it better get answered is all I can say. BTW...check all the horses out in this movie. They are magnificent and in some scenes, you would swear they are acting it's so good. Definitely a snack, worthy drink and either some sunflower seeds or popcorn to prevent nail biting and fidgeting getting out of control as the movie pulls you in. Enjoy pard
A thoroughly entertaining and superbly played Western (by hnt_dnl)
From the great year in movies 1957 comes this trailblazing Western GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL. Gunfight is an early example of a purely entertaining film. And it may just have been the template for the 'action buddy' movie. The 2 'buddies' in question are Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday played by longtime acting collaborators Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas . Actually, in the film, Wyatt and Doc get off to an uneasy start and its hard to call them the best of friends at first. Ironically, this may have mirrored Lancaster and Douglas' off-screen relationship as well. History <more>
says that they were competitive actors always trying to one-up each other, perhaps to get the best out of each other's performance. I don't know if they were the best of friends would like to think so , but in the end it doesn't matter because their collaborations are among the most successful in all of film history.As stated, Wyatt and Doc aren't really buddies at first. Everyone knows the story: Wyatt Earp is an upstanding, earnest lawman and Doc is a shady, alcoholic gambler who constantly gets himself into all kinds of trouble Wyatt has to get him out of it early on in the film . They first by accident meet in a town where Wyatt is to pick up a prisoner and Doc is just passing through also. They meet again in Dodge City where Wyatt is the town marshal and their shaky relationship continues, but seems to get more friendly as they slowly develop a mutual respect for each other as they begin to learn more about what makes the other tick. Of course in the end after the big showdown with the Clanton gang in Tombstone, the men have the utmost care and respect for each other. Just 2 men who gained a mutual respect. You almost wonder if this is how the Lancaster and Douglas relationship happened in real life.This could be considered the first true action buddy movie. Sure, there were buddy movies before this, but a lot of them were comedy teams Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, etc. . Think about all the action buddy movies now where 2 guys don't get along or like each other at first, then develop a respect for each other and save each other's butts at various times throughout the movie. This is that movie, and maybe the first! And very well done to say the least.The buddy combination isn't the only thing impressive. It has a great, catchy theme song O.K...Corral...O.K...Corral . It also has a couple of femme fatales, Wyatt's girlfriend Laura supersexy redhead and 50s pinup model Rhonda Fleming and Doc's companion/lady friend Kate Jo Van Fleet, who played James Dean's mother in EAST OF EDEN . The Wyatt/Laura relationship is way too brief for my taste, but it is well done and very mature. Doc and Kate is a addictive relationship where both seem to have a lot of low self-worth and hate and feel like they can only co-exist with each other.Lancaster is rather exceptional as Wyatt Earp, really capturing that larger-than-life quality of the Old West legend while still making him relatable; he makes the most of it. Douglas as Doc is given the meatier role where he gets to play all different kinds of emotions and he does them all well. He plays Doc as tough, sarcastic, bitter, with doses of humor and charm thrown in for good measure. The teaming is memorable and also the film is just beautiful to look at with its rich technicolor look. This is one of those great old movies that whenever it comes on, I pretty much stop what I'm doing and watch it.The film also boasts a cast of familiar film and TV veteran actors Earl Holliman from the POLICEWOMAN series; DeForrest Kelley from STAR TREK fame; and of course Dennis Hopper from EASY RIDER and BLUE VELVET .A thoroughly entertaining and very influential film.
A pure Western with a great score... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
"Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" derives from one of the most celebrated shoot-outs in Western history in Tombstone, Arizona, on October 26, 1881... The semi-legendary confrontation had made of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, men of exceptional quality... "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" has some of the Sturges virtues, but not all It doesn't however disappoint when it comes to the crunchthe gunfight itself This is magnificently staged It probably equals anything that law and order movies have produced in set-piece battles The film also focuses on the friendship <more>
between Earp and Holliday and the good will of two different kinds of men... Earp, is an honest lawman with authority, and Holliday, a gambler with a 'real big hate for the law.'The two characters are powerful, strong, and at the same time compassionate, with respect and dignity... Holliday's character as the black sheep, is much more interesting than the straight marshal who is at the same time the lawman, the judge and the jury.' The main assets of the motion picture are Lancaster and Douglas, two great stars conscious of their potentialities with excellent ability...Douglas is impressing and brilliant as the troubled sick Doc Holliday and Lancaster is confident, solid and likable as Wyatt Earp... The mirror scene, in the beginning of the film, is great: Douglas, cool and steady, is ready for action observing carefully in the mirror the sharp feature and narrow steely eyes of Lee Van Cleef who is so anxious to kill him with a small gun hidden in his left boot...Fine performances by a first-class cast heighten the interest: Rhonda Fleming is ravishing as the redhead lady gambler; Jo Van Fleet is very effective as the jealous lady, torn between Ringo and Holliday; Earl Holliman is good as the naive deputy who 'picks up the hardware as soon as the cowboys hit town;' John Ireland is unforgettable with his slight stoop and menacing walk; Lyle Bettger is strong as Ike Clanton, the organizer of the toughest bunch of gunslingers; Dennis Hopper is difficult and rebellious as the young Clanton who can't take the advice of the marshal; and Jack Elam is threatening as the tall and lean man with an evil leer...Dimitri Tiomkin's great score back up the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," a pure Western, magnificently photographed by Charles Lang in VistaVision and Technicolor... John Ireland has been twice on the losing side of the Corral incident... The first time as Billy Clanton in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine."
This is a great and underrated genre movie that is a take on the story of the Earp brothers and 'Doc' Holliday and their fight with the Clanton gang, in Tombstone.The movie features some classic western characters, that almost everybody knows already. It makes the movie more easy and probably also more fun and light to follow than most other genre movies. The movie features very many characters, with could had made the movie confusing to follow but you just know who all the characters are and where they stand.The story is very fascinating and entertaining. It's a bold story about <more>
gunslingers and lawmen and getting even. The story also leaves room for subplots and layers about family and friendship, mostly of course the 'unusuasul' friendship between Wyatt Earp and 'Doc' Holliday. Unusual because their characters are some different from each other. The movie even leaves room for the love-story between Wyatt and his lady friend, though it's not as much present in the story as you would perhaps expect and it most certainly does not distract from the movie as a whole.The storytelling is great and begins from the moment Wyatt tries to settle down after his career as a lawman and the movie ends with the well known confrontation and shootout at the O.K. Corral. Yes, the movie takes lot of liberty with the true story but its all for the good of the movie and its entertainment value. Director John Sturges surely knows how to tell a good story!It's a very pure western with all of the classic ingredients present; of course gunfights, card games and shootouts. The ending shootout at the O.K. Corral is surprisingly well brought to the screen. It's action packed and really spectacular filmed. It makes the ending very exciting and spectacular as well to watch.All of the characters are great and it's true that the movie is most definitely uplifted by the performances of the cast. Burt Lancaster is fairly good in the role of Wyatt Earp but the one that steals the show is Kirk Douglas as John 'Doc' Holliday. Also quite fun to see how much the 'young' Kirk Douglas looked like his son Michael. They even sound the same. The movie features an also still very young and hard to recognize Dennis Hopper as Billy Clanton.The movie its musical score is highly unusual. I mean the theme is actually sung by Frankie Laine! But it fits the movie surprisingly well and knows to capture the mood and atmosphere of the movie. The same goes for the 'normal' musical score by Dimitri Tiomkin.A very pleasant and greatly told movie from John Sturges, with also memorable performances from the cast.9/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
Personal is not the same thing as important (by Igenlode Wordsmith)
This must have been one of the first Westerns I ever saw, and I was completely bowled over -- not so much by the story as by the tight-knit web of loyalties and obligations that run through the film. Watching it again after a lapse of years and four or five other pictures on the same subject, that knife-edge tension is inevitably spoilt to some degree by foreknowledge: yes, hero and antihero will successfully team up, and Doc Holliday will rise from his deathbed. And I'm more aware of the Western clichés, for example the way that Holliday is repeatedly used to preserve Wyatt's <more>
lily-white hero status by stepping in to do the actual shooting; alas, I'll never recapture quite that state of adolescent innocence again.But if the overall outcome is no longer up for grabs, individual scenes can still despite all logic mesmerise. My adult self knows perfectly well that Wyatt must survive until the end of the film... but watches with bated breath as he faces down an armed drunk by sheer force of will. As for Holliday's tormented relationship with Kate, crippled by mutual self-loathing, almost every scene is a nail-biter as you ache for these two lost souls to stop hurting one another and find some comfort in their shared dependence.The Holliday role is inevitably the scene-stealer in any version of this story; as the antihero he gets all the best lines. And while the Earps, as lawmen, have to do the right thing or, at least, are supposed to , for Holliday it remains a matter of active and thus significant choice at every turning. Some of the most agonizing tension in the film comes in the scene where, having given his word 'as a gentleman' not to betray Wyatt's trust by engaging in extra-curricular killing, he is challenged to fight in a matter of personal pride: two codes and two loyalties conflict, with Doc's 'better self' caught hopelessly between them. Does he have the strength of character -- the surviving shred of honour -- to hold out in the face of mounting humiliation? Can he bear to hold to his word at the cost of his reputation? Ironically, when Wyatt faces the same choice -- between the 'personal' and the 'important' -- he comprehensively fails it: he has to, of course, or there wouldn't be any point to the film's title, but it gives an oddly downbeat note to the final confrontation. By going out hand to hand against the Clantons in revenge for his brother's death, by abandoning the law in a quest for personal vengeance, he is effectively betraying everything he formerly stood for, and he knows it. Again and again we've seen him refuse to escalate under provocation: this time he allows himself to be pulled in. And when the final shot has sounded, his lawman's badge goes spinning down into the silence -- his self-righteous, self-confident days are done.Most versions of the OK Corral story start with Wyatt & Co riding into Tombstone and planning to hang up their guns for a prosperous civilian life: given its take on the theme, this one chooses to establish its version of the character and of the law on active duty, via a succession of little frontier towns introduced by a sombre common thread -- Boot Hill. While the rapid turnover of locales never becomes confusing, it provides a sense of the way Holliday keeps wearing out his welcome; it also serves to introduce the other side of the lawman's coin, the aging, weakened sheriff Cotton Wilson.Our first sight of him is through Wyatt's eyes in the character of a respected veteran, and the gap between that perception and the bar-room murmurs of a 'corrupt sheriff' is so wide as to make it hard to draw the connection; but it gradually becomes clear, to Wyatt and to the viewer alike, that Wilson truly has reached "the end of the line" and given up. All he wants any longer is the easy life: he has no real stomach for crime, but he no longer has the moral fibre to stand up in the face of men like Ike Clanton. He is the spectre of Wyatt's future: "a twenty-dollar a week pension... if you live to collect it". It is easy to preach while you still have your strength, and Wyatt has little time or pity for him. But the warning is there from the start.The script is tautly set up, establishing important characters and information brother Morgan and the Clanton ranch near Tombstone; Holliday's knife-throwing tendencies ahead of time, and without obvious effort. The main exception is in the character of Laura Denbow, who makes an assertive entrance only to dwindle into a rather soppy romantic interest and then vanish out of the plot altogether. Her final ultimatum to Wyatt is used to point up the theme that the law will ultimately consume his life to no return, but the character is ill-served overall, creating the sneaking feeling that she is only present to provide some obligatory love-scenes of a wholesome nature. And given his forthright distaste for Holliday's lifestyle, Wyatt seems remarkably ready to ally with a woman who makes a living at late-night poker! In the end, however, this is not the story of one man's journey from badge-holder to disillusioned civilian; despite its title, it's not even the story of the gunfight at the OK Corral. The film's story is that of a strange alliance of obligation and opposites, of self-destruction and dour conviction, and improbable liking and odd loyalty: of unlikely and all-but-unspoken friendship. Of the unforeseen path that brought Doc Holliday -- gambler, killer and long-since-fallen gentleman -- onto the same side as Wyatt Earp.Its impact lies in that it makes this fragile outcome matter.
Lancaster and Douglas --- Earp and Holiday (by bkoganbing)
In one of her books Hedda Hopper devoted a chapter to both of the stars of Gunfight at the OK Corral, calling them the Terrible Twins. As a columnist Hopper was a firm defender of the old studio system and both Burt and Kirk were seen by her as betraying old Hollywood.Now personally I think their careers show that both of these guys knew exactly what they were doing in guiding their own destinies. This film is a great example of it. It was deservedly a critical hit and a moneymaker.No film has ever been made that completely told accurately the story of the famous gunfight, least of all this <more>
one. But it sure captures the spirit.I think both of these guys could have played each other's part and the film still would have been a winner. The problem with playing Wyatt Earp is that he's usually such a straight arrow on screen or on television that the main job of the actor is to keep from making him sound like Dudley Doo-Right. Burt Lancaster is capable enough and did it, but Wyatt Earp maybe one of the least complex roles he ever essayed.Kirk Douglas though is the best Doc Holiday I've ever seen portrayed. Doc Holiday is a brooding, consumptive alcoholic who's also a woman batterer. He treats Jo Van Fleet like garbage and her responses to him is responsible for several of the plot twists. As I've said before Douglas can flip into rage better than any other actor ever. Just watch him with Van Fleet after the youngest Earp brother has been killed.Today we would call Jo Van Fleet a battered spouse even though she and Douglas are living common-law. Her's is the next best portrayal in the film besides Kirk Douglas.Rhonda Fleming has little to do except look coquettish and beautiful as the lady gambler who Lancaster falls for. But that was usually enough for her public. It's ironic that she's playing a liberated woman for 19th century and Fleming's politics are quite right wing and Lancaster her very traditional 19th century man was a noted political liberal.And of course the unbilled co-star is Frankie Laine singing that wonderful title song by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington. Tiomkin was one of the best of movie composers, his music gave that extra oomph into a lot of good movies, making them great.
One of the finest and most memorable westerns of the fifties is GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL! A splendid Vista Vision Technicolor presentation based around the famous shootout that took place in Tombstone Arizona on the 26th October 1881. Produced by Hal Wallis for Paramount Pictures in 1957 it was masterfully directed by John Sturges and mightily cast with Burt Lancaster as the great frontier lawman Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday. The combination of these two heavyweight stars playing the leads plus the movie's catchy fire cracker title assured the picture's box office <more>
success. From an excellent screenplay by Leon Uris it was stylishly complimented by the brilliant and glowing cinematography of Charles B. Lang together with Dimitri Tiomkin's rollicking score including the clever vocal sung by Frankie Laine which operatically guided us through the narrative. Regretfully Sturges had another go at the incident ten years later with the now disregarded and dismissed "Hour Of The Gun" 1967 starring the lightweight James Garner as an unconvincing Wyatt Earp, Jason Robards as a just about adequate Doc Holliday and a poorly cast Robert Ryan in the under written role of Ike Clanton.The story we all know and love recounts the arrival in Tombstone of Marshal Wyatt Earp. From his developing relationship with the dubious Doc Holliday to his many run ins with rancher Ike Clanton and his law breaking gang of cowboys which would inevitably lead to the event that would become known as the most famous and notorious shootout in American western history.........THE GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL.The incident itself has been well documented by Hollywood. Most famously by John Ford in 1946 when it featured in his classic "My Darling Clementine" for 20th Century Fox with Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature as the consumptive Doc Holliday. After the dismal "Hour Of The Gun" in 1967 came "Tombstone" in 1993 with Kurt Russell as Earp and Val Kilmer who just chewed up every shred of scenery as a swashbuckling Holliday. This was followed the next year by Kevin Kostner's over long and bloated "Wyatt Earp" 1994 with Kostner making for a stiff Earp but Dennis Quaid delivering a blistering and definitive performance as a really frail and ill looking Holliday.It is interesting to ponder that the actual event that occurred on that fateful October afternoon in 1881, when the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday confronted the Clantons and the McLaurys at the OK Corral, was but the briefest of encounters. It was all over inside of thirty seconds! With thirty shots fired at point blank range it resulted in the deaths of Tom and Frank McLaury and young Billy Clanton. Morgan and Virgil Earp along with Doc Holliday were wounded but survived. Wyatt was unhurt. For an incident that - in reality - was so short it is quite amazing how elaborate and embellished Hollywood has depicted the event in every movie. Sturges' '57 film probably contains the longest and most colourful version of the incident which took up to about twenty minutes of screen time. Of course we must accept this to be artistic licence and enjoy it as it is - regardless of the liberties taken by the film makers concerning the facts of what actually occurred that day. Also It is curious that situated next to the OK Corral was the photographic studio of Camillus Fly Fly was famous for his many photos of early Arizona including those taken at the negotiations between the Apache warrior Geronimo and General Crook . Unfortunately Fly - reputed to be under threat from the Earps - took no photographs of the unfolding events that day in the adjacent OK Corral. A missed opportunity most certainly, a shamefully lost scoop that history can never forgive. Fly's studio is nowhere to be seen in either Sturges' or Ford's pictures. And yet it was quite prominent in 1993's "Tombstone". However, actual occurrences and events not withstanding Sturges' movie is still an immensely entertaining picture. Performances are top notch! Lancaster makes a fine upstanding square jawed Wyatt Earp against Douglas' tempestuous and aggressive Doc Holliday. Good too are those in smaller roles like Jo Van Fleet as Doc's abused girl friend "Big Nose" Kate, Lyle Bettger as Ike Clanton, John Ireland as Ringo and Dennis Hopper as Billy Clanton. All in all another great one from the fifties, the decade of the classic Hollywood western.
Who really cares if this film is historically accurate? This is the re-telling, no matter how grandiose and overblown, of a gunfight that has gained in reputation over the years and has become legendary, deserved or un-deserved. The result is one jim-dandy of a western with a little bit of love, a little bit of drama and a whole lot of violence as the Earps and the Clantons go head to head.And who better to be the bigger than life heroes than those two bigger than life stars, Lancaster and Douglas. Talk about perfect casting...... Lancaster as Wyatt Earp moves through this film like a ballet <more>
dancer and Douglas as Doc Holliday squares that famous chin and gets tough while hacking up his lungs to tuberculosis. Who can forget Lancaster running and diving across the corral with a shotgun. His former career as an acrobat and trapeze artist is on display here.The supporting cast is about as good as it gets. From Lyle Bettger to John Ireland as the bad guys......to Jo VanFleet as Doc's woman.....to Dennis Hopper as the confused youngest Clanton. Rhonda Fleming is beautiful and is only part of the sub-plot used to flesh out the running time but I'm not complaining.You don't have to be a fan of westerns to get involved in this epic tale......and I haven't even mentioned Frankie Lane's title song. It's a heroic tale of family honor and violent consequences when honor is challenged. Accuracy be damned......it's a great film.