Gunfight at the OK Corral

Music: Gunfight at the OK Corral

For my Brother Richard

Song: “Gunfight at the OK Corral” by Frankie Laine
Used very effectively throughout the movie. Note the powerful use of whistling
– echoed so many years later in Sergio Leones Dollars Trilogy.

All gunfighters are lonely. They live in fear. They die without a dime, a woman or a friend.
– Wyatt Earp

TRAILERS:

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – Official Trailer
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050468/

Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) — (Movie Clip) No Women Gambling
http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/303140/Gunfight-At-The-O-K-Corral-Movie-Clip-No-Women-Gambling.html

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1/9) Movie CLIP – You Want to Get Killed (1957) HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCQb93-RrZo

Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) — (Movie Clip) I Like Your Cut
http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/303141/Gunfight-At-The-O-K-Corral-Movie-Clip-I-Like-Your-Cut.html

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (5/9) Movie CLIP – In a Charitable Mood (1957) HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNlo03HucLM

REVIEW:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050468/reviews

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 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.

Boot hill Boot hill,
so cold so still.
There they lay side by side,
the killers that died,
in the gunfight at ok corral

Lyrics: Gunfight at the OK Corral
– by Frankie Laine.

REVIEW:DVD Savant
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s786ok.html

“Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a confident entertainment that sums up everything good
about the big-scale commercial oater of the time …”
______________________________________________________________

There was no law in Tombstone against having too many posters

GUNFIGHT at the OK CORRAL

The Cast of ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral':

Burt Lancaster … Marshal Wyatt Earp
Kirk Douglas … Doc Holliday
Rhonda Fleming … Laura Denbow
Jo Van Fleet … Kate Fisher
John Ireland … Johnny Ringo
Lyle Bettger … Ike Clanton
Earl Holliman … Deputy Sheriff Charlie Bassett
Dennis Hopper … Billy Clanton
John Hudson … Virgil Earp
DeForest Kelley … Morgan Earp
Martin Milner … James ‘Jimmy’ Earp
Lee Van Cleef … Ed Bailey

BURT LANCASTER

BURT LANCASTER

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Lancaster

Two guys who know how to spoil a party
“Look, Holliday, as long as I’m the law here, not one of those cowpokes is going to cross that deadline with a gun.”
Wyatt Earp

KIRK DOUGLAS

KIRK DOUGLAS

“I never lose. You see, poker’s played by desperate men who cherish money.
I don’t lose because I have nothing to lose, including my life.”
– Doc Holliday

The Ladies of Gunfight at the OK Corral

The Ladies of ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’

The GUNS - Gunfight at the OK Corral

The GUNS – Gunfight at the OK Corral

Source: Internet Movie Firearms Database http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Gunfight_at_the_O.K._Corral

Earp Family Website: http://ibssg.org/earp/

From AMC Blog – The Ten Faces of Wyatt Earp
http://www.filmcritic.com/features/2009/10/wyatt-earp-movies/

Doc Holliday, who had saved Wyatt Earp’s life at one time and was a very close friend, had been living in Prescott, Arizona and making a living as a gambler … In late September, 1880, he followed the Earps to Tombstone.  He had a reputation as a gunman, and had been in eight shootouts during his life, although it has only been verified that he killed two men.”
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunfight_at_the_O.K._Corral

Earp’s doing ‘The Walk’

Kirk Douglas

‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’: Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley

Jason Robards, James Garner

‘Hour of the Gun’: Frank Converse, Sam Melville, Jason Robards, James Garner

Val Kilmer

‘Tombstone’: Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Kirk Russel, Bill Paxton

‘Wyatt Earp’: Dennis Quaid, Michael Madsen, Kevin Costner, Linden Ashby

‘Wyatt Earp’: Dennis Quaid, Michael Madsen, Kevin Costner, Linden Ashby

_______________________________________

‘The Wild Bunch’ doing ‘the Walk’?
You betcha!

The Wild Bunch Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine

The Wild Bunch Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine

High Noon Badguys - Sheb Wooley, Ian McDonald, Lee Van Cleef, Robert J. Wilkie

High Noon Badguys – Sheb Wooley, Ian McDonald, Lee Van Cleef, Robert J. Wilkie

TOMBSTONE POSTER

TOMBSTONE GUN LAW POSTER – NOT AUTHENTIC

Poster BASED upon Tombstone Gun Law 1880
$”250 Fine” !!! That’s pretty steep. In 1880 this was more money than many folks made in a year!

http://www.circlekb.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=CKCG
The Actual No-Carry Gun Law: Passed in 1977, Section 5-5-1 of the (Tombstone) city code:
The statute states: “It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person other than a peace officer in the course of his official duties, to carry any deadly weapon concealed or otherwise within the limits of the city.”
http://www.theepitaph.com/news/1-news/512-no-guns-in-town-a-long-standing-law-yet-generally-ignored

 “Awful quiet. Too quiet.”

Boot Hill” refers to the number of men who died with their boots on. Among a number of pioneer Boot Hill cemeteries in the
Old West, Boot Hill in Tombstone is among the most well-known … approximately 300 people buried there.”
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone,_Arizona

The Earps and the McCoys?

GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL

The real McCoy – Deforest Kelley (Center)

Spectre of the Gun (25 Oct. 1968)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708448/

An (original) TV Star Trek did an episode called Spectre of the Gun (1968) revolved around the gunfight at OK Corral. The kicker was that Deforest Kelley (Dr. McCoy of Star Trek) had played Morgan Earp in the original movie Gunfight at the OK Corral.

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12 Responses to “Gunfight at the OK Corral”

  1. Teepee12 September 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    This is fabulous stuff. You’ve done a huge amount of work on this … and it’s absolutely gorgeous!! My husband will love this site. He is a total western movie addict. I’m sending him the link. You guys should get on very well.

  2. Teepee12 March 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I went to see this with my mother when it came out in the movies. We got there late and wound up having to sit in the second row, so I remember the head of Bert and Kirk were twenty feet high. It’s still one of my favorite old westerns, though I am even fonder these days of Tombstone. But this one is so branded into my psyche as THE ultimate OK corral movie, I will always love it.

  3. Garry Armstrong March 25, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Just revisited this post AGAIN. It’s become ritual. I love it! Thank you!!

  4. jcalberta March 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Thanks Gary – I’m very happy that a few people are enjoying the site.

    Unfortunately, I’m one of those damn Virgo perfectionists and every time i look at thingsI see some editing I want to do … I’ll never get finished !

    You know we’re going to keep nagging you about your memiors eh ?

  5. didier September 1, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    wow, very well documented article, one of my fav’ westerns too… Beautiful pics, with a lot of posters, I Like it.
    You can see one of my drawings about this movie (http://www.stars-portraits.com/en/portrait-224077.html) a second on my wordpress blog (http://www.riowestern.com/douglas-kirk/).
    Beautiful Blog, you’re talented !
    Didier

    • jcalberta September 5, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Thank you Friend ! I’ve looked at your site. Nice work. You have proven your technical masterful of medium. NOW .. keep going ! You will then move past an invisible barrier and break into the open – displaying your own unique style.
      Bravo !

  6. Phil Davis August 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    In the photo from The Wild Bunch….. of the 4 guys walking….. that’s not Edmund O’Brien on the far left, it’s Ben Johnson next to Warren Oats. I know the movie well, and I know all the actors. Check it out on imdb.

    • jcalberta August 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      Dang ! I’ll have to fix that. I know that’s Ben Johnson – the great Western actor. Just a silly mistake.
      Thank you.

  7. didgiv August 3, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Hi Jc ! very good article, with nice pics as usual… it’s one of my best western, I like especially the scenario : a voice tells the story, between each scene, with the beautiful song of Franke Laine. The best scene in my view is the final scene, when Doc Holliday decides to leave the city with Wyatt Earp. I’ve thrills when I see this scene ! It’s a perfect vision of friendness. Kirk Douglas is very, very good in the charachter of Doc Holliday
    (please look at my portrait of Earp : http://www.stars-portraits.com/en/portrait-70611.html)

    • jcalberta August 3, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      Your artwork is wonderful. You inspire me.

      Yes, Kirk and Burt – two iconic Western Greats. I never get tired of this movie.

  8. blankend May 4, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    This is a very good western thanks mostly to the talent of, and chemistry between the 2 leads, Lancaster and Douglas. They did make a great team, didn’t they?

    I would also like to address the historical inaccuracies by pointing out that there has never been a historically accurate movie about Earp, The OK Corral, Billy The Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, or any of the other legends of the west, unless you count documentaries.

    Speaking as a Western movie fan, historical accuracy is not why I watch westerns. It is the action, drama, gunfights, and interesting stories with well-defined characters. I take it with a grain of salt, and accept it as what it is meant to be – entertainment.

    If the westerns were all accurate portrayals, they would be pretty dull. Like you pointed out, the real gunfight lasted a total of 30 seconds. I watched a show on TV that re-created the real gunfight as best as could be determined from historical accounts. It was pretty quick and not that heroic or glamorous. The showdown in the middle of the street was also pretty much made up and probably only happened that way in a couple of incidents. Most gunfights began with the opponents already having their pistols drawn and ready to shoot.

    Even the most historically accurate version, Tombstone, takes artistic liberties to move the story along and make it more entertaining.

    Kirk Dougals’ Doc Holliday is a hoot. It is my second favorite take on the character, trailing very closely to Val Kilmer’s.

    Have you seen ‘Doc’ starring Stacy Keach as Holiday? It is another version of the story told from Doc’s view and it portrays Earp as an opportunist using his badge to gain political power and wealth. The Clantons look almost like the victims.

    Another of my favorite Westerns is Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid’. It is a great movie even though Billy is played by a man in his mid-thirties, and the real Kid never rode with Garrett. That doesn’t prevent my enjoyment of the great storytelling and interesting characters. This movie had some great western character actors for support like Slim Pickens, Jack Elam, LQ Jones, Chill Wills, RG Armstrong, Matt Clark, Paul Fix, Harry Dean Stanton, Gene Evans, Dub Taylor, Bruce Dern, Jason Robards, Barry Sullivan, and Katy Jurado. That is quite a line up. How could you lose with support like that?

    I enjoy your site, and plan to explore it further. Keep up the good work and keep watching westerns.

    • jcalberta May 4, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

      You are very kind – thank you. I openly admit that I am a mere fan – not an expert on the Old West or Western Movies. I just love the Genre – and pay homage to it.

      “This is a very good western thanks mostly to the talent of, and chemistry between the 2 leads, Lancaster and Douglas. They did make a great team, didn’t they?”
      No doubt about it. None of the other depictions could match the Star Power of these 2 guys.

      “I would also like to address the historical inaccuracies by pointing out that there has never been a historically accurate movie about Earp, The OK Corral, Billy The Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, or any of the other legends of the west, unless you count documentaries.”
      A few make a nod toward known history, though usually they embellish mightily. But, like you say, we aren’t watching or expecting a documentary. I’ve met a few picky folks that won’t allow themselves to enjoy these movies because of historical inaccuracy. Too bad for them, I say.

      “Speaking as a Western movie fan, historical accuracy is not why I watch westerns. It is the action, drama, gunfights, and interesting stories with well-defined characters. I take it with a grain of salt, and accept it as what it is meant to be – entertainment.”
      Westerns can be like SciFi – used to make a statement – Political, Spiritual, Social … you name it. Or simply be straight-up action movies. Most outsiders see them as simply that – and the genre is rarely taken seriously – with a few exceptions like Eastwood’s Unforgiven that won top Oscar. Being able to combine any of these elements and still be Entertaining … that’s the trick.

      “If the westerns were all accurate portrayals, they would be pretty dull. Like you pointed out, the real gunfight lasted a total of 30 seconds. I watched a show on TV that re-created the real gunfight as best as could be determined from historical accounts. It was pretty quick and not that heroic or glamorous. The showdown in the middle of the street was also pretty much made up and probably only happened that way in a couple of incidents. Most gunfights began with the opponents already having their pistols drawn and ready to shoot.”
      I read that the gunfight at OK Corral was not even that well known until ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ hit the screen?? Now it’s achieved an iconic stature – a cherished piece of Americana Western History. So it’s like the guy said in Liberty Valence: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
      That being said, there was a lot of bloodshed in Tombstone. 26 people are said to have been killed in The Bird Cage Theatre alone – just one of hundreds of saloons, brothels, etc. that made up Tombstone in it’s heyday. It’s pretty certain they weren’t classic ‘show downs’ – as you say – but somebody surely went down.

      “Even the most historically accurate version, Tombstone, takes artistic liberties to move the story along and make it more entertaining.”
      Much is unknown, though we do have some idea of Earp’s and Holliday’s personalities. Wyatt is portrayed pretty well the same in all the movies: a humorless (thug?) with a badge – A serious guy who doesn’t smile much or laugh. And kills badguys. I’m guessing this is fairly accurate?

      “Kirk Douglas’ Doc Holliday is a hoot. It is my second favorite take on the character, trailing very closely to Val Kilmer’s.”
      I like Kirk the best. But Robards, Kilmer, Quaid all do a great job. I think Jason Robard’s Holliday portrayal in ‘Hour of the Gun’ (1967) has some nice humor in it.

      “Have you seen ‘Doc’ starring Stacy Keach as Holiday? It is another version of the story told from Doc’s view and it portrays Earp as an opportunist using his badge to gain political power and wealth. The Clantons look almost like the victims.”
      I have not seen this. Keach can do some good acting. I’ll have to catch up on that. Thank You.
      I just found out that I can watch the whole thing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxoRm-Fe4aM – Image quality is not that great though.
      Depending on whose side you might take, some folks favour the Clantons.

      “Another of my favorite Westerns is Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid’. It is a great movie even though Billy is played by a man in his mid-thirties, and the real Kid never rode with Garrett. That doesn’t prevent my enjoyment of the great storytelling and interesting characters. This movie had some great western character actors for support like Slim Pickens, Jack Elam, LQ Jones, Chill Wills, RG Armstrong, Matt Clark, Paul Fix, Harry Dean Stanton, Gene Evans, Dub Taylor, Bruce Dern, Jason Robards, Barry Sullivan, and Katy Jurado. That is quite a line up. How could you lose with support like that?”
      Yeah Kris sure doesn’t look much like the Kid does he? But this is a hell of a Western. A top 10 Classic. Pek sure loved Westerns and knew how to make them. As you say, an awesome cast – a who’s who of Western actors and Western support actors.

      “I enjoy your site, and plan to explore it further. Keep up the good work and keep watching westerns.”
      Thank you my friend and thank for dropping by with some great comments. I’ll be following up on Tombstone and the OK Corral shortly. See you then.

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