Tag Archives: Gunfight at the OK Corral

The Gunfight at OK Corral … a short documentary

22 May

OK Corral Gunfight – some background

The music is little heavy handed, but this is a pretty good little documentary on the OK Corral shootout … about 8 minutes long.

Fun with the ‘Gun’ …

9 Dec

HOUR OF THE GUN 1

HOUR OF THE GUN 2

HOUR OF THE GUN 3

Took me longer than an ‘Hour‘ though …

My Darling Clementine (1946) … Masterpiece

11 Oct

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 / Fonda

My Darling Clementine / Opening Vista

My Darling Clementine / Henry Fonda

My Darling Clementine / 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 / Adios

My Darling Clementine / Farewell

My Darling Clementine

Iconic Images: Gunfight at OK Corral 2 …

27 Aug

Iconic Images: Gunfight at the OK Corral …

27 Aug
GUNFIGHT at the OK CORRAL

GUNFIGHT at the OK CORRAL

BOOT HILL …

26 Jul

Rider in the Rain (Randy Newman)

Admission: Free …

Open Every Day …Boot Hill … Boot Hill… So Cold … So Still …Billy Clanton (in back)


Gunfight at the OK Corral – Frankie Laine

Earp’s … doing ‘The Walk’

25 Jul

Epic! The famous ‘Walk’ to the climactic gunfight at OK Corral

Kirk Douglas

Gunfight at the OK Corral – Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley

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

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

'Tombstone' Val Kilmer, Sam Shapard, Kirk Russel, Bill Paxton

Tombstone Val Kilmer, Sam Shapard, 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 Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine

Intentional – or not (and I surely believe it was)
Pekinpah’s Wild Bunch do ‘The Walk’

Guns and Killing … continued

21 Jul

By Frank Prassel, University of Oklahoma Press 1972

Check Your Gun Mister

Are We Safer than the Citizens of Dodge City? By Jim Higginbotham
http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/rkba/check_gun.htm

Sometimes the answers to seemingly complex social problems are hidden in plain sight. Social engineers, lawmakers and “experts” from all around spout off an endless stream of statistics to support or rationalize their position one side or the other of the “gun control” issue. Now I don’t like the term “gun control” for it is ambiguous and usually used to mask the real intent of those advocating it so for the purpose of this discussion let us just say “more restrictive guns laws”. One might think that this is a relatively new idea, it is not! You can go back to the Roman Empire and find the existence of cross bow control, you can look to England and find attempts to disarm the various colonists under their imperial thumb – the American colonists come to mind as an unsuccessful attempt to debar the use of arms to an indigent population. There are many examples of the failure of laws which attempt to disarm the violent in our society but none are more graphic as examples or easier to measure in effect than those in the “wild west” of America circa 1870-1900.

read more … http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/rkba/check_gun.htm

Guns and Killing …

21 Jul

Gun laws were tougher in old Tombstone

No need to check your firearm today in the Arizona town famed for the gunfight at the OK Corral.

ORIGINALLY PRINTED JANUARY 23, 2011:
By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/23/nation/la-na-tombstone-20110123

Reporting from Tombstone, Ariz. — A billboard just outside this Old West town promises “Gunfights Daily!” and tourists line up each afternoon to watch costumed cowboys and lawmen reenact the bloody gunfight at the OK Corral with blazing six-shooters.

But as with much of the Wild West, myth has replaced history. The 1881 shootout took place in a narrow alley, not at the corral. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday weren’t seen as heroic until later; they were initially charged with murder.

And one fact is usually ignored: Back then, Tombstone had far stricter gun control than it does today. In fact, the American West’s most infamous gun battle erupted when the marshal tried to enforce a local ordinance that barred carrying firearms in public. A judge had fined one of the victims $25 earlier that day for packing a pistol.

read more … http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/23/nation/la-na-tombstone-20110123

Lancaster as Earp – the ‘Grin’ and the Grim

16 Jul
MFW LANCASTER THE GRIN

LANCASTER in ‘VERA CRUZ’  and “GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL’

In rebuilding my ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral‘ page I got to thinking about Lancaster’s portrayal of Wyatt Earp. In earlier films Lancaster had become famous for his trademark smile – which he is said to have referred to as “the grin” – most obvious in ‘Vera Cruz’ (one of My Favorite Westerns). Therefore his stoic and stern portrayal of Wyatt Earp in ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ is a stark and deliberate contrast. Was Earp really like this? Because this same humorless image of Earp is carried on through most of the other popular Earp Films: ‘Hour of the Gun‘; ‘Tomestone’ and ‘Wyatt Earp’. Only Henry Fonda‘s portrait of Earp in ‘My Darling Clementine‘ (1946) seems to put a more human face on Earp. Director John Sturges (‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’) continued with this strict image of Earp in ‘Hour of the Gun’ (1968) which starred James Garner as Earp. Garner’s ruthless portrayal of Earp is even more striking because of Garner’s usual soft and often comedic persona from the ‘Maverick’ TV series. It is safe to say however, that Sturges wasn’t very concerned with a historical portrayal of Earp (Lancaster doesn’t even sport a mustache) or the gunfight at the OK Corral. But it seems ironic that the film that makes the greatest effort to paint a historical document of Earp (Lawrence Kasdan‘s ‘Wyatt Earp’ starring Kevin Costner as Earp) is probably the least popular of five films.

Disaster at the OK Corral …

13 Jul

“I AM smiling.” 

A few moons back my ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral‘ page wuz completely bushwacked. By me.

I lost the whole page. (And my temper).

I wuz just trying to figure out how to adjust the line spacing on the page … when suddenly … something went terribly wrong … the whole page disappeared … into cyberset. (Cyberset is the Western equivalent of ‘riding off into the sunset’ … ‘cept you don’t ‘ride off’ …. you just vanish … No glory … No completion … No sunset …  No kiss. It just takes one slip of your trigger finger …. and before yu can holler “Look out Billy!” the whole damn page disappears. Oft times never to be retrieved …. or even tracked … particularly by a tenderfoot blogger like myself.

And I never learned or noticed – that there was an emergency page retrieval button at the bottom … until I rode back later. Alas … too late.

Worse yet I never figured out how to do that damn line spacing thing until later.

Sooo … I’m having to rebuild the whole page – or at least what I had done so far – which was quite a bit. I will be able to do get it almost identical though, but that will take a while …

I’m paying my dues.

Good thing I don’t do this for a living.

Earps ahoy! and the importance of Star Power …

22 Jun
Douglas, Lancaster, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley

Douglas, Lancaster, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley

In working on The Gunfight at the OK Corral page the question and inevitable comparisons arise between subsequent and previous versions of the ‘Earp Saga’ – as it has been called … My Darling Clementine; Gunfight at the OK Corral; Tomestone; Wyatt Earp (the movie) …

What are my conclusions  ? Comments ?

Firstly: Star Power.

Star Power covers a lot of ills … and saves the day. Sydney Pollack, who directed Jeremiah Johnson (and six other movies starring Robert Redford), had a simple theory about film making: employ established Move Stars.

A movie that may well be less that the sum of it’s holes … can be readily and easily saved by Star Power. Otherwise …  it can be shot to hell.

For instance, Wyatt Earp – the movie. Many Critics savaged this movie. And yes, it has flaws. Namely, it’s probably a bit long. And unfortunately, for myself, I find it boring in places. I don’t like to say that because I like Kevin Costner and Director Lawrence Kasdan. The first thing we notice about criticism of this movie (by the Critics themselves – and ordinary folks) is that the criticism of the film all seemed to be leveled at Costner – not Kasdan. Why? Kasdan Directed it – not Costner. One reason may be (by my observation) that some folks have a ‘hate on’ for Costner. Is this due to the incredible success of Dances with Wolves – which Costner directed and spearheaded (if you’ll excuse the expresion) – and Field of Dreams in which he starred. Simple jealousy? Maybe some people feel that he needed his balloon pricked – lest he become some kind of God. ??

In any event, it’s safe to say that Costner has been overly brutalized since his early success. Waterworld; Wyatt Earp … and a couple of others … have sure seen Costner’s once brilliant and unstoppable Star fall from the heavens. Some of that criticism has been a too vociferous – in my opinion.

Apart from this I think Wyatt Earp / the movie was shot down for a couple of other reasons:

1. People wanted – and expected – an action movie. But ‘ Wyatt Earp’ was really almost a documentary about the historical Earp and his family – not gunfighting – at the OK Corral – or anywhere else. Any anticipated ‘Action’ was almost incidental. It wasn’t Kasdans intention to create an action film – a traditioanal Western. And folks were disappointed/didn’t like that/didn’t ‘get it’.

2. It lacked Star Power. YES. There are several fine actors – and performances – in Wyatt Earp. BUT … Costner and crew simply lack the Star Power and charisma (that intangible magic that great Actors have) to pull it off. Gunfight at the OK Corral is long too – and slow in places (almost 3 hours!). BUT … it has Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas – two of the greatest Hollywood actors to ever grace ‘the Screen’ and ‘ride the range’. These guys are SO GOOD they can make you watch paint dry … and like it. THAT’s Star Power. Costner – bless his little Soul – just doesn’t have that same magic. Likewise My Darling Clementine is carried by Fonda and Victor Mature. Ironically – the ‘studio system’ (that Lancaster hated and rebelled against) was the very animal that produced him – and the likes of Douglas, Fonda and Victor Mature. For all it’s constrictive flaws, it produced some great movies (and plenty of bad ones) and some great Actors. One indeed has to wonder if Lancaster or Douglas would have ever achieved their (just) fame and exposure in todays system? I doubt it. In any event, Costner can’t measure up (not his fault) his Star Power to Lancaster, Douglas, Fonda or Mature. Years later Costner Directed the successful ‘Open Range’ with Robert Duvall, which I believe was made as his ‘answer back’ to the failings of ‘Wyatt Earp’.

3. It’s soo loooong. Again, not Costner’s fault. But the movie may well have used some chopping. Gunfight at the OK Corral was long too, but Lancaster and Douglas could carry it. Costner could not.

In all fairness, Tomestone, which was Directed by George P. Cosmatos – NOT Kirk Russell, also fails in this regard. The inevitable comparisons of Russell to Lancaster sees Russell fail. It can’t be done. I like Kirk Russell too – but he’s no Lancaster. WHO IS? (I also wonder if some of the acclaim for Tomestone was not again an indirect criticism aimed at Costner. ??)

All these things … and more … rumble and ramble about in my head.

Onward.

Update at the ‘OK Corral’ …

6 May

Continuing to add pages to Gunfight at the OK Corral profile …

Thing is … I keep finding new stuff … and changing things.  So I’m editing and adding new material as a go along.

Combined with my inexperience at Blogging, it’s taking quite a bit of work and I’m only able to add 2 or 3 sections a day.

BUT … it’s a labour of love … and I’m enjoying it. And I never want to get into a space where I’m just throwing things on there just to get it done.

So … I should have Gunfight at the OK Corral pretty well finished in about 3 days … I’m guessing.

Then it’s on to the next movie which I think will be Pekinpah’s ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’.

In any case these profiles are never finished. I rarely ever look at them when I don’t see something that needs fixing – or improving. Not to mention the fact that I keep finding new material. So if you check back here you will continually find that these profiles are changing, expanding and growing. 


Moving along …

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