2014 Symposium Highlights
Venue: Savoy Cinema
Date: Saturday, 7th June 2014
PRICE: €7.00 (conc: €6.00)
My Darling Clementine (1946) is among Ford’s most memorable, perfect works; a masterpiece of the Old West, set in Tombstone, about Wyatt Earp and his brothers, a treacherous family of cattle thieves and Earp’s relationship with the tragic Doc Holliday – culminating in the famous O.K. Corral gunfight. Brilliantly, personally directed, filled with incident, humour, evocative atmosphere; strikingly photography, excellently acted. The simplicity of the telling, the perfection of the construction and playing, the majesty of the photography and composition – all conspire to make it among Fords most classically beautiful achievements.
The film is Ford’s second sound Western and is a perfect example of his extraordinary evocation of the American West, as well as his profound sense of narrative and his poetic range. The real Wyatt Earp used to hang around Ford’s early silent Westerns with Harry Carey (1917-1921), and the director said Earp told him in detail the particulars of the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral with the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday and the Clantons; Ford’s staging has mythic proportions, yet also feels absolutely authentic. The film stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, who gives one of the most sympathetic and richly archetypal performances of his career.
This was Ford’s first film after World War II (which he saw at close range in the O.S.S.) and, significantly, the villains in Clementine (led by Walter Brennan as Pa Clanton) are more insidiously evil and brutal than ever before in Ford’s work, and a poignant sense of loss hangs over the whole film.
– Notes: Peter Bogdanovich
“Rich and elegiac, as freshly evocative as ever, enlivened by a deep and serious sympathy with the values and code of behavior of its vanished world.” Lindsay Anderson