My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine – A Ford Classic

My Darling Clementine – from Soundtrack

My Darling Clementine – Opening Banner

My Darling Clementine Trailer

Clanton’s Meet Earp

Earp Meets Holliday

John Ford … man of substance … man of vision …

Stagecoach – John Ford – Iconic Images

“I am… a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.” / John Ford

John Ford Bio

Documentary Biography: Directed by John Ford (1971)

Directed by John Ford

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” / John Ford

Directed by John Ford

John Ford Western Filmography

Information edited from Screen Junkies: John Ford Western Movies – Jackie Barlow /

“Rider of the Law“ – 1919, black and white silent movie – Told of the adventures of  the Texas Rangers.

“3 Bad Men” – 1926, Ford’s last silent western. Filmed in the Mojave Desert and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Stagecoach“ – 1939, Ford’s first western with sound. Starring the unknown John Wayne, along with Claire Trevor, this movie is still the most admired and the most imitated of all the Hollywood movies.

“MoDrums Along the hawk“ – 1939, Ford’s first Technicolor movie.  It co-starred Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.

“My Darling Clementine“ – 1946, romanticized version of the legend of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Film’s starred Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, Victor Mature as Doc Holliday, and Linda Darnell.

“Fort Apache“ – 1948, The first of Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy”.  John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and also Shirley Temple in one of her last movie appearances. It was one of the first movies to present a sympathetic and authentic view of Native Americans.

“She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” – 1949, second of the “Cavalry Trilogy”.  In Technicolor.

“Rio Grande“ – 1950, Third part of the “Cavalry Trilogy” starred John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and screen debut of Wayne’s son Patrick Wayne.

“The Searchers“ – 1956, The only western Ford made in the 1950′s besides “Rio Grande”, this  movie was named “the greatest western of all time” by the American Film Institute in 2008. Featured the rising star Natalie Wood as well as Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, and others.

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance“ – 1962, said to be Ford’s last great movie.  It starred John Wayne, Vera Miles, James Stewart, Edmund O’Brien, Andy Devine, Lee Marvin, Denver Pyle, and John Carradine.

“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” / Navajo Proverb

Henry Fonda

John Ford’s Canvas

When you attend Art College, the first thing they do is take your colors away and lock ‘em up. Then they hand you a black crayon and a piece of white paper and say: “Shut up and Draw, pardner.”

And draw you do.

In 1917 John Ford was handed a black crayon and a camera – and between 1917 and 1927 he drew 62 black and white ‘moving pictures’.  ’Silent films’ they called ‘em.

Some 40 of these ‘pictures’ were lost – basically thrown away. But in the process Ford learned the Mastery of composition, framing and direction.

Then, about 1928, somebody said: “Hey … maybe this guy can help us figure out how to use this thing called ‘Sound’.”

Wikipedia: “Stagecoach (1939) was Ford’s first western since 3 Bad Men in 1926, and it was his first with sound. Reputedly Orson Welles watched Stagecoach forty times in preparation for making Citizen Kane. It remains one of the most admired and imitated of all Hollywood movies, not least for its climactic stagecoach chase and the hair-raising horse-jumping scene, performed by the stuntman Yakima Canutt.”

Ultimately, in 1939, Ford finally got his colors back.

Wikipedia: ”Drums along the Mohawk (1939) was a lavish frontier drama co-starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert it was also Ford’s first movie in color and included uncredited script contributions by William Faulkner. It was a big box-office success, grossing $1.25 million in its first year in the US and earning Edna May Oliver a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.”

But Ford had learned something about Black and White – it could say things in dramatic ways that color often distracted from. So on occasion he went back to his black crayon and white slate, as in “The Man who shot Liberty Valence”.

So … pardon my colors.


My Darling Clementine / A Photo Essay

In my study of Journalism, Graphic Design and Fine Arts, I learned a simple lesson: “Keep your mouth shut and let the pictures do the talking.”

These ‘stills’ from My Darling Clementine speak loudly. My Darling Clementine probably contains more ‘Iconic Images’ than any other Western ever made. These are just a few:

My Darling Clementine Still 1
My Darling Clementine / Opening Vista
My Darling Clementine / Henry Fonda
Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
My Darling Clementine / Victor Mature and Henry Fonda
My Darling Clementine / Victor Mature
My Darling Clementine / Henry Fonda
My Darling Clementine / Henry Fonda
My Darling Clementine / Henry Fonda
My Darling Clementine / Walter Brennan
My Darling Clementine / Walter Brennan
My Darling Clementine / Vista
My Darling Clementine / Farewell
My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine Trivia:

  • Director John Ford, who in his youth had known the real Wyatt Earp, claimed the way the OK Corral gunfight was staged in this film was the way it was explained to him by Earp himself, with a few exceptions.
  • Tombstone, Arizona, is not located in Monument Valley. Director John Ford “placed” it there because Monument Valley is where he liked to film his Westerns.
  • An alternate “preview” version of this film exists. In the 1970s, 20th Century Fox donated some film to the UCLA Film Archives. In 1994, it was discovered that the UCLA print was different from the one being shown on TV. It was about 8 minutes longer with minor variations throughout and a slightly different ending. Both this archival 103 or 104 minute version and the 97 minute release version are included on the Fox DVD released on January 6, 2004. The pre-release version print has additional footage and a different soundtrack from the released 1946 print and runs 103 minutes
  • Henry Fonda’s first production after returning from U.S. Navy service in World War II.
  • According to Henry Fonda in 1976 Darryl F. Zanuck’s first choice for Doc Holliday was James Stewart but he was overruled by John Ford who didn’t believe Stewart could do the part.
  • John Ireland, who plays Billy Clanton in My Darling Clementine, played Johnny Ringo in Gunfight At The OK Corral.
  • Vincent Price was considered for the role of Doc Holliday.

8 thoughts on “My Darling Clementine”

  1. Thanks JC.I have heard this little ditty in some other Westerns;I believe like Camp Town Racers , mostly in.a saloon scene. Anyway I enjoyed you and your blog.Now I can Cowboy Up
    Hit me on facebook .Robert Lacy
    I have picts in my Cowboy outfit as The Jersey Cajun Kid .Happy Trails Pard.

    1. Greetings Reverend!
      I can not identify the song they are dancing to. It’s the only music in the movie that is not identified – except for the famous Hymn, ‘We Shall Gather at the River’ which is being sung as as Wyatt and his gal approach the gathering.
      I’d call it a Reel, but I do not know it’s name. There is likely someone around who would know that, but not me. Sorry. There are a number of excellent Western websites and Blogs on my Favorites list whereby someone might be able be able to answer your question.
      I will say that I appreciate this movie more and more each time I watch it. It is a masterpiece.
      Thank you for your comment.

  2. Not my words, but they certainly speak my feelings about this masterpiece and its great director:

    “John Ford’s permanent authority in film history maintains his influence over today’s directors, most significantly those of the Western, few as they may be, by outlining the tools that every new addition into the genre either conforms to, or, in the case of Revisionist Westerns, uses as a platform to operate against. Ford’s themes and techniques could be found in any number of Westerns from his era or since, but My Darling Clementine is no less significant for it, because no other filmmaker imposes his touchstones with the same sense of craft as their originator. His film represents an unmatchable paradigm from which all subsequent Westerns evolve. That the picture also contains drama and joy and tenderness is one of cinema’s most welcomed rewards. “

    1. Thanks for that Blankend. I really have to do more on this Page.
      A tremendous and important movie. Really extended beyond the Western genre into just purely great movie making.

    2. It’s incredible isn’t it? When you watch this movie and at what is being made these days …
      Nobody seems to have learned much.
      Thank you for that comment.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful tribute page! I wrote an essay about why My Darling Clementine is such an important social statement, in addition to being such a great film: In the serious debate over guns lies the question of individualism vs. public safety. My blog entry on a classic film – My Darling Clementine – shows how this issue has challenged Americans for a long time.

    1. Howdy Barry,
      Sorry I missed your comment. Evidently my Inbox does not include comments made on my Pages – just the posts !!
      I will look in on your Essay and Page.
      Interesting that here again in 2016 the Gun Issue rises again. I am a great believer and advocate of Freedom. Most people (about 99%) will never use of cause any problem with their guns. But that’s not News. The singular events that do occur are in our faces and living rooms immediately and for a long time. I believe the immense power of mass media distorts the magnitude of such events. But I guess something should be done??? It’s going to be tough because the barn door has been open for a very long time. It’s an easy call however that assault weapons should be monitored and controlled better – if sold at all.
      Thank you for looking in and I’m going to watch movie again shortly because each shot is framed so beautifully.
      Too bad most of the Westerns made these days seem to have no eye for Art and everything else that goes with a high expression of human values.

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