My Darling Clementine (1946)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There are 39 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by colkid60.

    • My Darling Clementine (1946)


      20th. CENTURY FOX

      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Wyatt Earp and his brothers Morgan and Virgil ride into Tombstone and leave brother James in charge of their cattle herd. On their return they find their cattle stolen and James dead. Wyatt takes on the job of town marshal, making his brothers deputies, and vows to stay in Tombstone until James' killers are found. He soon runs into the brooding, coughing, hard-drinking Doc Holliday as well as the sullen and vicious Clanton clan. Wyatt discovers the owner of a trinket stolen from James' dead body and the stage is set for the Earps' long-awaited revenge.
      Written by Doug Sederberg

      Henry Fonda ... Wyatt Earp
      Linda Darnell ... Chihuahua
      Victor Mature ... Dr. John 'Doc' Holliday
      Cathy Downs ... Clementine Carter
      Walter Brennan ... Old Man Clanton
      Tim Holt ... Virgil Earp
      Ward Bond ... Morgan Earp
      Alan Mowbray ... Granville Thorndyke
      John Ireland ... Billy Clanton
      Roy Roberts ... Mayor
      Jane Darwell ... Kate Nelson
      Grant Withers ... Ike Clanton
      J. Farrell MacDonald ... Mac the Barman
      Russell Simpson ... John Simpson
      Robert Adler ... Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
      C.E. Anderson ... Townsman (uncredited)
      Don Barclay ... Opera House Owner (uncredited)
      Hank Bell ... Opera House Patron (uncredited)
      Danny Borzage ... Accordionist (uncredited)
      Frank Conlan ... Pianist (uncredited)
      Jack Curtis ... Bartender (uncredited)
      Francis Ford ... Dad, Old Soldier (uncredited)
      Earle Foxe ... Gambler (uncredited)
      Don Garner ... James Earp (uncredited)
      Ben Hall ... Barber (uncredited)
      Aleth Hansen ... Guitarist (uncredited)
      Duke R. Lee ... Townsman (uncredited)
      Fred Libby ... Phin Clanton (uncredited)
      Mae Marsh ... Simpson's Sister (uncredited)
      Margaret Martin ... Woman (uncredited)
      Kermit Maynard ... Townsman (uncredited)
      Louis Mercier ... François, the Chef (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick ... Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
      Frances Rey ... Woman (uncredited)
      Mickey Simpson ... Sam Clanton (uncredited)
      Charles Stevens ... Indian Joe (uncredited)
      Arthur Walsh ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
      Harry Woods ... Luke (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      Samuel G. Engel (screenplay) and
      Winston Miller (screenplay)
      Sam Hellman (story)
      Stuart N. Lake (book)

      Original Music by
      Cyril J. Mockridge (as Cyril Mockridge)
      David Buttolph (uncredited)

      * This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991.

      * On 28 April 1947 Henry Fonda and Cathy Downs starred in a live radio version of this film, broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre.

      * Actress Jeanne Crain was scheduled to play Clementine. Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck ruled against her, writing in a memo that the part was so small, Crain fans might be disappointed by not seeing her in more scenes. That's how contract player Cathy Downs got the part instead.

      * Henry Fonda's first production after returning from U.S. Navy service in World War II.

      * Tombstone, Arizona, is not located in Monument Valley. John Ford "placed" it there because Monument Valley is where he liked to film his Westerns.

      * 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.

      * 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.

      * Reportedly, Lloyd Bacon worked uncredited on this film with Darryl F. Zanuck re-editing this film in deference to preview comment cards.

      * Factual errors: Doc Holliday did not die at the O.K. Corral. He died six years later from tuberculosis.

      * Factual errors: In the film, "Old Man" Clanton (Walter Brennan) is shot and killed after the gunfight. In actuality, "Old Man" Clanton died in August 1881 - before the gunfight - and was not a principal in the gunfight itself or in the events immediately prior to the gunfight.

      * Factual errors: The film shows Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and John "Doc" Holliday (Victor Mature) meeting for the first time in Tombstone, AZ. In reality, Earp and Holliday were good friends by the time they came together in Tombstone, as they had met years earlier at Fort Griffin, TX.

      * Factual errors: Wyatt Earp was never the town Marshal of Tombstone. Virgil Earp was.

      * Factual errors: No mention is made of Tom and Frank McLaury (both of whom were killed in the gunfight), Billy Claiborne (who was at the gunfight, but ran out), and Curly Bill Brocius and Johnny Ringo (neither were in the gunfight, but were Clanton Gang members).

      * Factual errors: The ages of the Earp brothers is reversed. In the movie, James is in his late teens, Virgil is in his twenties, Wyatt is about thirty, and Morgan is well into his thirties. In actuality, at the time of the OK Corral gunfight, James was 40, Virgil was 38, Wyatt was 33, and Morgan was 30.

      * Factual errors: In the film, the OK Corral gunfight happens in 1882. It actually happened on October 26, 1881.

      * Factual errors: The gunfight took place in the afternoon, not in the morning.

      * Continuity: When Wyatt is playing poker, Chihuahua puts her leg up on a chair showing her dark stockings. A few minutes later, when Wyatt catches her signaling the gambler, he pulls her outside and pushes her in a horse-trough and she's no longer wearing stockings.

      * Factual errors: The movie shows James Earp killed (murdered) with his marker showing "born 1864 died 1882". However, James Earp was actually born in 1841 and died in 1926 of natural causes. It was Morgan Earp who was murdered on 18 March 1882.

      * Factual errors: The movie shows Virgil Earp killed (murdered - shot in back) by Old Man Clanton. However, in actuality, Virgil survived being shot from ambush on 28 December 1881, but never fully recovered from the wound in his left arm. He lived until 1905, succumbing to pneumonia at age 57.

      * Continuity: At the beginning of the film when Wyatt Earp is preparing for a shave, the lather is yet to be applied by the barber. A second after the gunshot strikes the mirror, Earp's entire chin is lathered, even though the barber is still "preparing" to apply it.

      * Errors in geography: Monument Valley is used as background in many of the scenes, and the town of Tombstone is depicted as located near Monument Valley and within view of the mesas and buttes there. In reality, the town of Tombstone, Arizona is located approximately 340 miles south of Monument Valley, far too distant for any of Monument Valley's mesas and buttes to be visible.

      * Factual errors: The film has Ike, Phin and Sam Clanton being killed in the gunfight. Neither Phin nor Sam were present (Phin died on Jan. 5, 1905). Ike was at the gunfight, but ran out of the fight claiming he was unarmed. He was killed in a shootout on June 1, 1887, six years after the gunfight.

      Filming Locations
      Arizona, USA
      Devil's Tower National Monument, Devil's Tower, Wyoming, USA
      Kayenta, Arizona, USA
      Moab, Utah, USA
      Monument Valley, Arizona, USA
      Monument Valley, Utah, USA
      Utah, USA

      Previous discussion:-
      My darling Clementine
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      My Darling Clementine is a 1946 American western film directed by John Ford
      and starring Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to
      the gunfight at the OK Corral.
      The ensemble cast also features Linda Darnell, Victor Mature,
      Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, and Ward Bond.

      The title of the movie is borrowed from the theme song "Oh My Darling, Clementine",
      sung in parts over the opening and closing credits.

      The screenplay is based on the fictionalized biography
      Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal by Stuart Lake, as were two earlier movies,
      both named Frontier Marshal (released in 1934 and 1939, respectively).

      My Darling Clementine is regarded by many film critics as one of the best Westerns ever made.

      I thought this was one of the better 'Earp' movies,
      brilliantly directed by John Ford.
      Although Ford claimed that he had based the script,
      from Earp's own account of the story,
      there are as usual, in most movies, variations from the truth!
      Indeed, in this movie, there are , factual errors.

      However, this does not distract from a fine film
      and a wonderful portrayal of Earp, by Henry Fonda.
      Victor Mature was good as Doc, but nowhere near as inspirational
      as Val Kilmer's in Tombstone

      Great supporting characters, incuding Walter Brennan,
      favourite Ward Bond, and a few of the John Ford stock company,
      Jack Pennick and others.

      I enjoyed the movie, and even Ford's slant
      on making Clementine the central character,
      does not distract, from a memorable film.

      User Review

      John Ford's Most Poetic View of the West...
      17 August 2003 | by benburgaff (Las Vegas, Nevada)

      If you're looking for a straight-forward, fairly factual presentation of the events leading up to the 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral', watch 'Wyatt Earp', or 'Tombstone'...But if you prefer your history more spiritual, and want to see a master storyteller paint a visual canvas of a West that may never have existed, but SHOULD have, then this film should be a treasured part of your video collection!

      John Ford knew Wyatt Earp personally, and was familiar with the events surrounding the Tombstone shootout, but one of his greatest assets as a director was his ability to look beyond simple facts, and focus on what 'made' a legend. 'My Darling Clementine' is a story of icons, of Loners, accepting their own weaknesses and limitations, yet willing to risk their lives and abilities to aid others, then to walk away, allowing Civilization to grow. It's a classic theme of most great westerns, particularly in Ford's work (he would return to it in 'The Searchers', and 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'), as well as other directors ('Shane', 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'Unforgiven', and 'Open Range' are a few examples).

      Wyatt Earp (wonderfully portrayed by Henry Fonda) and his brothers have an aloofness that makes their characters both deceptively simple, yet enigmatic at the same time. At the film's start, Wyatt's a cowpuncher who had walked away from the responsibilities of being a lawman, finding satisfaction with his brothers in the hard work and solitary life of the range. When the Clantons (led by Walter Brennan, in one of his greatest, yet most vicious roles), first approach the brothers on the range, they accept the old man's invitation to get a taste of city life, but it's clear that it will only be a brief stay before they move on, and Wyatt brushes aside any overtures of friendship.

      Wyatt's lack of desire to commit to a larger community is stressed when he subdues an armed, drunken Indian with his bare hands in a saloon (based on an actual event in Earp's life), then turns down the city council's plea to accept the Marshall's badge. Only after a brother is murdered do the Earp brothers decide to clean up the town, as it had become 'personal'.

      In counterpoint to Earp is another 'loner', Doc Holliday (sensitively portrayed by Victor Mature), an intellectual who fled the South, and had found his solitude through his guns, his gambling, and his illness. While Wyatt is a true 'Man of the West', however, Holliday is simply a lonely man with no place to go, only comfortable at a poker table. He is doomed, more by his own shrinking world, than by the disease that forces him to cough into his handkerchief.

      The scenes of Wyatt in Tombstone are wonderful, as Civilization grows up around the uncomfortable stranger. Yet he toys with the idea of settling into this world, through his polite yet obvious attraction to Doc's lost love, Clementine. The scene of the outdoor church dance, where the stiffly formal Earp dances against the vista of a West being 'boarded in' is symbolic of what his own life, and the West, itself, was becoming, and is classic Ford!

      The climactic shootout at the O.K. Corral is both powerful and raw, ultimately fulfilling the Earps' commitment to a world that needed their aid, and ending the downward spiral of Holliday's life, in a heroic and theatrical gesture.

      It's often asked why Wyatt leaves, afterward, when Clementine and Tombstone are so attractive...The answer is simple, really; his work is finished, and his participation was no longer necessary. Civilization could now grow, unimpeded. The Loner would have no place there. Like Ethan, or Shane, or 'The Man With No Name', he must return to the solitary vistas that are his true home.

      John Ford has truly created the 'Stuff of Legends' with this beloved classic!
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      I enjoyed the picture of Henry Fonda sitting on the porch.
      I like how he alternated his legs on the post in the movie.
      I believe, and you can correct me if I am wrong, that he
      ad -libed doing this.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      captain dan wrote:

      I enjoyed the picture of Henry Fonda sitting on the porch.
      I like how he alternated his legs on the post in the movie.
      I believe, and you can correct me if I am wrong, that he
      ad -libed doing this.

      Hello Captain Dan,
      We can watch the same scene in "Two Rode Together" acting by Jimmy Stewart.
      and according to the book"John Ford"written by Scott Eymann,the fact is follows.

      Henry Fonda was bored between set-ups,so he stareted balancing
      on the back two legs of his chair,switching his legs on the post.
      Ford saw this and decides to incorporate itnto the scene.
      It is a "grace note",a poetic moment that serves no purpose of plot,but
      adds to character.
      After World War Two,Ford was confident enough to add many more grace notes to his films.

      Sometimes kids ask me what a pro is. I just point to the Duke.
      ~Steve McQueen~
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      chester7777 wrote:

      One of the great classics of American film.

      Chester :newyear:

      Yep, and I loved it's theme song too: "O'my darlin'....O my darlin'....O my darlin Clementine................"
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)


      A very good book on the film is called My Darling Clementine. It is edited by Robert Lyons and published in 1984 by Rutgers University Press. 30 College Avenue New Brunswick New Jersey 08903.

      The copy I have is a paperback 191 pages.

      Besides containing a complete transcript of the film, the book opens with an article entitled My Darling Clementine as History and Romance by the editor which lays out the truths and untruths of the film. A biographical sketch of John Ford.

      Interviews Reviews and Commentaries.

      An article entitled The Old Horseman Rides Again John Ford talking about Westerns The New York Times Review and the New Movies Review of the film and much much more.

      If you come across the book and liked the film this is a must have, although it might be difficult to get. I was lucky enough to come across this in a second hand bookshop and paid three pounds for it.

      I also recently bought a DVD of the film it is released by 20th Century Fox Premiere Reserve and describes itself

      ' The Cinema Reserve DVDs are 2-disc Metal box editions with the most comprehensive special features and unique inserts. All films have been restored to bring purists as close to the original theatrical experience as possible. They have pristine film transfers, enhanced digital picture quality, superb restoration process, maximised bitrate and upgraded sound.'


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      Nothing much to say about this film other than one word GREAT. I have always said that the westerns of John Ford including Stagecoach, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon were pretty good prose as they literally flowed gracefully from scene to scene. But in this film Ford set the standard above anything he had done prior and maybe only arose to twice after, the afore mentioned She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and The Searchers. As I said these movies were all pretty good prose, but when compared to My Darling Clementine well this one was just pure POETRY!!!!!

      Don't Believe In Surrenders!!!!!
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      Came across an old thread about 'Clementine',
      so I thought I'd copy the important posts here,
      to bring it all under one roof.

      January 7th, 2004,

      They still have those bat doors from the "Clementine"-Saloon at the museum at Goulding's in Monument Valley - anybody ever been there? The town of Tombstone was built close to Goulding's (where the main road actually divides and leads up to the valley) - the same place where many Ford scenes were filmed, like a portion of the fort in "Yellow Ribbon".

      January 7th, 2004,
      Hondo Duke Lane

      After seeing the movie closely, I discovered that the alternate pre-release version of the movie is sort of like the version that John Ford wanted in the movie before the head at Fox studios chopped it up to the final version that we are familar with today. The behind the scenes featurette about Alternate Version, was seen and they made the comparisions, and it's really fascinating. There was some lost footage from the Ford version that was never found, so the put what they could.

      The story goes that a film class at UCLA was seeing this film and discovered that this was not the same movie. After long research, they discovered that this was the film that Ford presented to the studio for viewing with 30 additional minutes. The execs saw the film and didn't say anything but the next day sent a memo or letter to Ford of their concens about the movie. The people a Fox went back and edited, and reshot without Ford the scenes that they wanted changed, and added more of a musical score in the scenes. Anyway, they made major changes, that nobody knew about until recently.

      I haven't read the Ford bio, so I don't know if there were anything mentioned in the book. It would be interesting if that book said something about the finish product of that movie. It was noted that this was one of the greatest Ford films ever, only to know that his work was changed from what he wanted.

      I see that this movie was shot at Monument Valley. One of Ford's favorite locations. It's good that the set is still up after over 50 years. I'll have to get there soon. Thanks for the heads up Roland.

      Anyway, that was in the new DVD of My Darling Clementine with both versions of the movie. I'll be watching soon both movies in one DVD. :)

      Cheers, Hondo B)

      January 8th, 2004,

      As always, Ford never talked much about his films - but in the case of Clementine, he was really quiet. I guess it's because the film is regarded as a masterpiece - and not as a film that was chopped up by a studio. Why? It was filmland's wonderboy Darryl F. Zanuck who did the changing, and he was no fool. What he did is very well documented in the book "Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck" which has Zanuck's writings and orders, word by word. Ford mentioned the changing of the end to Peter Bogdanovich, and that he was forced into it.
      Hondo, the set - the town of Tombstone - was pulled down after the filming (note that Ford put in some fake cactus that doesn't grow in Monument Valley). What you can find today is the exact spot, and the only thing left in Monument Valley is, as I said, the bat doors at the museum

      January 8th, 2004,


      Hi Hondo, Chester and Itdo

      Before I start can I say that I consider John Ford's 'My Darling Clementine' one of his finest pictures and very similar to 'Young Lincoln' which besides also starring Henry Fonda also had a number of similarities particularly in the dance and grave scenes.


      As you rightly say Itdo Ford never spoke much about My Darling Clementine even when pressed to name his favourite pictures.

      Ford prided himself on his meticulous adherence to history particulary in his westerns and always followed the historical facts. A close inspection of the entire film reveals that in this case his knowledge of the Earps, and even stranger when Ford states that he counted Wyatt Earp among his personal friends and actually had Earp's rifle, was lacking somewhat.

      apparantly James Earp was the eldest of the brothers not the youngest and could not have been killed in a cattle rustling incident as the Earps did not own cattle in Tombstone. He was killed in 1881 and not 1882.

      By the time of the gunfight in October 1881 Old Man Clanton was dead.

      None of the Earps had been shot prior to the gunfight and all emerged unscathed from the resulting battle although both Morgan and Virgil were subsequently killed in seperate incidents.

      The biggest alteration to history is when Ford killed off Doc Holliday when he actually died from tuberulosis in a Colarado sanitarium in 1885.

      In 'John Ford's American West' Ford explained how he came to film the actual gunfight and placed the emphasis on the arrival of the stagecoach. He explained that Wyatt Earp had told him about the gunfight and how he had planned his entire strategy on the arrival of the stage and the ensuing dust being enough to give him covering fire.

      Watching 'My Darling Clementine' you can understand the later 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' and the statement 'when the legend becomes fact print the legend'.

      Regarding the cutting Ford was a great believer in cutting with the camera, and on occasions he would hold his hand in front of the camera thus self cutting. This ensured that the editor was left with very little film to play with.

      Darryl Zanuck however in scenes reminiscent of The Barbarian and the Geisha got the film and took out a number of scenes. Jane Darnell as the madam of the whorehouse was particully savaged to little more than a cameo role.

      When Ford found out what Zanuck had done he was most displeased and felt that the picture had been taken away from him.

      Others felt that the clash was a simple matter of Ford adopting a deliberate well ordered structure as opposed to Zanucks impatience and that his resulting fast structure had destroyed the rhythm of the picture.

      Although the film received good reviews it was not considered to be a classic and its supporters while being complimentary about the direction and the beauty of the picture dismissed it as at worst horse opera and at best as a rip roaring saga.

      His critics weren't so complimentry one found the film to be 'a slow poke cowboy epic ruined by Ford's pictorializing', while another claimed: that Ford's happy preoccupation with style reduced his material to a sentimental legend of rural America'

      Taking your point in an earlier post Itdo the film is an art form to be enjoyed. Documentaries are for fact, and I will now repeat what I said earlier, right wrong or indifferent factual or legend I find Ford's
      westerns very watchable and I do like 'My Darling Clementine'


      January 8th, 2004,
      Hondo Duke Lane

      The DVD tells us a little bit about what happen to the picture, and Zanuck went back to edit the film himself. He brought in another director to refilm what changes he wanted to make.

      The Documentary tells us that 'after Ford left the picutre', Zanuck began redoing the picture. The ending was different from Ford's ending with more dialogue and a kiss. In Ford's ending, he had a little spoken part, and Fonda's character shaking hands with the girl. As a matter of fact Zanuck had Fonda and Cathy Downs come back, and reshoot the last scene a the studio. That was after it was reviewed by a test audience who wanted more of an affectionate ending. This is an interesting DVD, and I hope all will get it.

      It's a great buy.

      Cheers, Hondo B)

      January 7th, 2005,

      Well, call me Johnny-Come-Lately, but a year later, we have finally purchased and watched My Darling Clementine. Costco had DVD 2-packs, and this one had My Darling Clementine coupled with The Ox-Bow Incident. The other one I bought had How Green Was My Valley and The Grapes of Wrath. Each pack was $13.99 plus tax.

      We really enjoyed watching MDC, and seeing some good ol' favorites from John Wayne movies, and also just from many of the old movies we have watched. It's interesting that you should mention the different endings, Hondo, because as we watched the ending in the pre-release version, even Christopher commented that John Wayne would at least have swept Clementine into his arms and kissed her before leaving :D .

      At the beginning of ours, it says -

      This version of John Ford's My Darling Clementine was copied from a 1946 nitrate preview print. It contains additional footage not in the general release version as well as a different soundtrack.

      Our DVD probably has the general release version, but we couldn't find the remote control for the DVD player , so couldn't watch any special features, and by default watched the pre-release version.

      We appreciate you guys talking about it here; we might not ever have bought it, but are glad we did.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- My Darling Clementine (1946)

      One of the best westerns ever! It's such a beautiful movie ... :teeth_smile:
      "You're too good to give a chance to." John Wayne as Cole Thornton in El Dorado (1966)