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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 03:04:33 AM



Title: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 03:04:33 AM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031346/

I just saw "Frontier Marshal" (1939) on Fox Movie Channel. I'd give it 7/10


As a movie, it is an enjoyable watch, but (surprise surprise!) it bears just about zero resemblance whatsoever to the true story of Wyatt, Doc, and the Gunfight at OK Corral.

Yes, I have seen "My Darling Clementine," "Gunfight at the OK Corral," "Hour of the Gun," "Tombstone," and "Wyatt Earp"; but "Frontier Marshal" is so wildly inaccurate, it makes the others seem like documentaries.

This movie was directed by Allan Dwan, and produced by Sol M. Wurtzel. (Wurtzel also produced a 1934 movie called "Frontier Marshal," which was directed by Lewis Seiler; the main character's name is "Michael Wyatt." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025144/
According to Wikipedia, both films were "based on Stuart N. Lake's enormously popular but highly fictitious "biography of Wyatt Earp, [entitled] Wyatt Earp; Frontier Marshall." I have not seen the 1934 version).

Randolph Scott plays Earp, and Cesar Romero plays Doc (whose last name in this movie is "Halliday.") Their performances are OK, but nothing spectacular. Romero's is probably my least favorite film portrayal of Doc. This is not meant as a criticism of Romero's performance, as much as a comment on the incredible Doc performances by Mature, Douglas, Robards, Kilmer, and Quaid.
Scott's performance as Earp is not as good as the performances by Fonda, Lancaster, or Garner. Again, this is more of a comment on the great performances by Fonda, Lancaster, and Garner, than a criticism of Scott's performance. (I don't care much for the Earp performances by Kurt Russell or Kevin Costner ).

Nancy Kelly and Binnie Barnes deliver very good performances as "Sarah Allen" and "Jerry," who are the equivalent characters to "Clementine Carter" and "Chihuahua" in "My Darling Clementine.")

It's funny to see Ward Bond as a very young-looking mayor.


Much of the plot is very similar to that of "My Darling Clementine," which was released 7 years later, in 1946. (I am not sure if it's because Ford copied some of his plot lines from this movie, or it's just that both films are based on the same book; I'd guess it's the latter, though I have not read the book. I'm not much into reading fiction ;)
 But this movie is FAR less accurate than even "My Darling Clementine." I watched this movie purely as a work of fiction, and to amuse myself with the inaccuracies. To that extent I enjoyed the hour & 11 minutes very much  :)

-- It is interesting to note RE: the movies that have been released about the Gunfight at OK Corral: the movies have become progressively MORE accurate; the later movies are far more accurate than the earlier ones. I guess that initially, people were only interested in the mythology of Wyatt, Doc, and the Gunfight. As time goes by, people became more interested in setting the facts straight than in the mythology of it all.

-- I once read somewhere -- I am not sure where I read this, or if there is any truth to it -- that Wyatt Earp himself used to hang around Hollywood toward the end of his life and that he personally told the story of the Gunfight to a young John Ford, when he met him on the set of a movie where Ford was working as a prop guy. If that is true, and if Earp indeed told Ford the TRUE story, it is surprising that Ford would have made "My Darling Clementine," which, as great a movie as it is, is completely historically inaccurate.

-- I have been unable to find an official dvd of this movie. (Luckily, I recorded and saved it on my DVR!)
After doing some Googling,  I see that a dvd is available here http://www.lovingtheclassics.com/frontiermarshal.html I looked through some of the literature on the site; apparently, this site sells unofficial dvd's of movies that they believe have entered the public domain. Sounds like a cool idea, but I have never heard of this site before and have never used them, so I have no idea about their shadiness factor.

-- I have not found any dvd -- official or unofficial -- of the 1934 version of "Frontier Marshal." I'm very curious to see it. If any of you know how I can get a copy of it, please reply here or PM me. Thanks  :)

-- Here is the New York Times Movie Review for the 1939 film http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9907E4DB1230E53ABC4151DFB1668382629EDE

-- Here is the New York Times Movie Review of the 1934 film http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C05E5D81E3DE23ABC4950DFB766838F629EDE

Thanks for reading!



Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on February 28, 2011, 04:43:53 AM
see if you can catch Doc (1971) for another Earp film, I've also heard people comment that "Law & Order" with Walter Huston (I think it was released in the 30's also) is based on the Earp story and is pretty good


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 05:45:25 AM
see if you can catch Doc (1971) for another Earp film, I've also heard people comment that "Law & Order" with Walter Huston (I think it was released in the 30's also) is based on the Earp story and is pretty good

so the film industry milked a single 30-second gunfight for a dozen movies and who knows how many millions of dollars  ;D


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: Groggy on February 28, 2011, 02:28:12 PM
see if you can catch Doc (1971) for another Earp film, I've also heard people comment that "Law & Order" with Walter Huston (I think it was released in the 30's also) is based on the Earp story and is pretty good

How about Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die?


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on February 28, 2011, 07:33:15 PM
How about Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die?

Didn't see that one, is it also about the Earp/Clanton feud?


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 07:53:46 PM
ok, I just rented "Doc" from iTunes. I'll watch it as soon as I can.

"Tombstone: The Town Too Tough Too Die" is unavailable on iTunes, but I'll keep my eyes open for it on the classic movie channels, or get the dvd sometime.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 07:55:23 PM
Didn't see that one, is it also about the Earp/Clanton feud?

I've never heard of it before either, but looks like it is indeed another story about the Gunfight at OK Corral http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035450/

Heck, pretty soon I think we gotta start a "Gunfight at OK Corral Western Index"  ;)


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: Groggy on February 28, 2011, 08:30:32 PM
Didn't see that one, is it also about the Earp/Clanton feud?

It's got Richard Dix as Earp and Edgar Buchanan as Curly Bill. I remember reading about it in a book called Hollywood and the OK Corral, a book devoted entirely to Earp films; they didn't seem to like it.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 01, 2011, 04:43:57 AM
see if you can catch Doc (1971) for another Earp film, I've also heard people comment that "Law & Order" with Walter Huston (I think it was released in the 30's also) is based on the Earp story and is pretty good

I never heard of that Law and Order film. Just looked it up on imdb; it is from 1932 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023121/

Looks like it is indeed about Earp and the Gunfight at OK Corral, but the characters have different names; like the Earp character is renamed "Frame Johnson," and the Clantons are re-named the "Northrups"

I guess it has the distinction of being the earliest film (that I know of) about Earp and the Gunfight




Title: Re: Law And Order (1932)
Post by: cigar joe on March 01, 2011, 05:41:36 AM
Its supposed to be very good.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: stanton on March 01, 2011, 06:23:33 AM
It was ages ago, but I remember Law and Order as a pretty good western, with a longish and tough shoot-out at the end.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 01, 2011, 07:07:22 AM
anyone know if a dvd is available of that "Law and Order" movie? I have been unable to find an official dvd.

(The only dvd I could find is from that "lovingtheclassics.com" website which sells unofficial copies of old movies that it says have entered the public domain; I have never purchased from that site so I don't know their deal).


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on March 01, 2011, 02:09:18 PM
I asked if there are any R2 DVD's out there, I'll let you know what I find out.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on March 02, 2011, 03:48:21 AM
The only other possibility is TCM's DVDr's or possibly Warner's archives, I really haven't checked into their titles.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: titoli on September 10, 2012, 03:16:46 PM
I'm one of the few who take this over the released version of MDC: it doesn't waste so much time with characters but when it does it does it clear. The actors are all better suited herein than in MDC, with the exception of  Brennan over Carradine\Sawyer.  It doesn't have the heights of MDC but as a whole movie is preferable. 7\10


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 10, 2012, 03:45:01 PM
I'm one of the few who take this over the released version of MDC: it doesn't waste so much time with characters but when it does it does it clear. The actors are all better suited herein than in MDC, with the exception of  Brennan over Carradine\Sawyer.  It doesn't have the heights of MDC but as a whole movie is preferable. 7\10

Henry Fonda vs. Randolph Scott. nuf said


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: titoli on September 11, 2012, 01:27:47 AM
Henry Fonda vs. Randolph Scott. nuf said

Scott is better suited to play an all action character like the Earp of this movie than Fonda playing the action parts in MDC. (Hope it is) nuf said.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: stanton on September 11, 2012, 01:57:30 AM
Scott is better suited to play an all action character like the Earp of this movie than Fonda playing the action parts in MDC. (Hope it is) nuf said.
Not really


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: titoli on September 11, 2012, 05:28:10 AM
Just compare the way Scott disposes of the drunk mexican at the start with Fonda's: no doubt he will solve the problem, can you say the same about Fonda?


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: Groggy on September 11, 2012, 07:10:48 AM
Fonda's Earp was not supposed to be an action hero.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: stanton on September 11, 2012, 11:54:21 AM
Just compare the way Scott disposes of the drunk mexican at the start with Fonda's: no doubt he will solve the problem, can you say the same about Fonda?

I don't remember how the scene was in Dwan's version, but I think there was no doubt that Fonda will solve the problem, or whoever else would have played Earp in MDC.

Fonda has rarely acted in pure action material (has he ever?), but he could have.

And Frontier Marshal is a 6/10 on the entertainometer.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 11, 2012, 12:17:28 PM
The Earp in MDC is more of a noir character than an action character.

Anyway, I don't think there's a damn thing that Randolph Scott could do in front of a camera that Henry Fonda couldn't do


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: stanton on September 11, 2012, 12:52:02 PM
Scott couldn't act, Fonda could.

I like Scott in some of his films, but Fonda was mostly an absolutely fascinating actor. Probably the greatest western actor, even if mostly not considered as being one.


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 12, 2012, 12:40:05 AM
I don't know how many Westerns Fonda was in -- when you think of him, I guess the ten-gallon hat isn't the first thing that comes to mind -- but he was damn good in every western I've seen him in: Jesse James, The Return of Frank James, The Ox Bow Incident, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, OUATITW, My Name is Nobody


Title: Re: Frontier Marshal (1939)
Post by: stanton on September 12, 2012, 01:59:41 AM
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
Drums along the Mohawk
The Tin Star
Warlock
The Rounders
Welcome to Hard Times
There Was a Crooked Man

He was also part of the all star cast of How the West Was Won and in some more less interesting westerns.

Only John Wayne appeared in more great and good westerns.