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My Darling Clementine

Introduction by Thomas Doherty
Screening on Film
Directed by John Ford.
With Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature.
US, 1946, 35mm, black & white, 97 min.
Print source: UCLA

Western narrative of the rule of law inexorably taming the frontier against the violence of the primal horde. The brawling brood of brothers presided over by their rabid patriarch - played with vicious authenticity by Walter Brennan - is contrasted with the virile but peaceable Earps, lead by brother Wyatt, as they bring order to Tombstone. Somewhere between these two camps is the melancholy Doc Holliday, a Romantic figure who soulfully quotes Shakespeare and seems fated to an early death from tuberculosis. Fonda’s Wyatt Earp, by contrast, embodies a new modernity for the West, taciturn and efficient. Placing the greater good against individual satisfaction, he suborns his feelings to duty instead of wearing his heart on his sleeve. At the literal and figurative heart of the film is a classic Fordian sequence – a dance that brings the fledgling community together to raise funds to build a church.

Part of program

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Classic Ford.
A John Ford Retrospective, Part I

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