Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Release Year: 1957
Director: John Sturges
Writers: Leon Uris (screenplay), George Schullin (suggested by an article by)
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet, John Ireland, Lyle Bettger, Frank Faylen, Earl Holliman, Ted de Corsia, Dennis Hopper, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley, Martin Milner
Rating: Nominated for 2 Oscars: Best Film Editing, Best Sound.
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #257, week 21 2019
Marshal Wyatt Earp (Bur Lancaster) and outlaw Doc Holliday (Kirk Douglas) form an unlikely friendship, which culminates in their participation in the legendary 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.
Of the historic events in the actual Wild West to have captured the imaginations of filmmakers and moviegoers, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone is probably the most captivating. It has certainly form the basis for many films. Similarly, of the many bigger-than-life character of the West, there are few as legendary as Wyatt Earp and his outlaw ally Doc Holliday. In this version the enigmatic pair is played by the stoic Burt Lancaster (From Here to Eternity, 1953) and the edgy Kirk Douglas (Spartacus, 1960), who does an excellent job of portraying the consumptive alcoholic with abusive tendencies in a way that makes him intriguing rather than repulsive. This is hardly a history lesson – an shouldn’t be treated as such – but it captures a certain western spirit of the age. Wyatt Earp and his brothers are uninspiring straight lawmen, who are balances by a number of darker characters, particularly Holliday who shakes things up. Douglas has much more to do with his character than Lancaster, but both carry the film well. With good gunfights, a good score, and an intriguing coupling, this is a very good western. Highly recommended!
The actual gunfight at O.K. Corral lasted 30 seconds and left 3 men dead efter an exchange of 34 bullets fired.
John Ireland, who plays John Ringo in this film, played Billy Clanton in My Darling Clementine (1946), which is also about the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
The shoot-out was filmed in Old Tuscon, the same location used for the final shoot-out in Rio Bravo (1959).
Picture Copyright: UIP
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