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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on December 10, 2006, 06:56:09 AM



Title: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: cigar joe on December 10, 2006, 06:56:09 AM
Watched this film the other day Dir. by John Sturges, its focus was the events leading up to the OK Corral, staring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, John Ireland, with love interests Joan Van Fleet and Rhonda Fleming.

Miscasting is the opperative word for this film.

First off Lancaster (minus the WE trademark moustache) is in my opinion misscast the same to a lesser extent Douglas as Doc Holiday.  The whole story seems just a tab bit too contrived and again and again this problem with doing a film based on historical figures crops up, tying to make them cross paths. ie. the Arizona outlaws (Ringo) show up in Kansas, lol.

Van Fleet does a better job as alcoholic Big Nose Kate,  and the relationship between her and Doc is explosive at times but it is lost in the convolutions of the story. Fleming is a looker, but its one of the things Leone deservedly knocked US westerns for, she drags the already far fetched story down to a crawl.

I liked Sturges's "Hour Of The Gun" a film (which shows events after the OK Corral) much better than this but it too has been criticised by Tombstone historians. So Far His best Western has got to be Mag 7 followed closely by HotG and Joe Kidd.

John Ireland is ok as Ringo but he should have been a bit more amplified, and doesn't really stand out all that much, too bad. Jack Elam is Tom McLowery again he should have gotten a much bigger role, Dennis Hopper is really good as Billy Clanton, Star Treck's DeForrest Kelley plays Morgan Earp.

There are two things that stand out about this film. Number one is the first 18 minutes with the beautiful cinematic openning credit sequence shows three riders travelling across golden plains on their way into Ft. Griffin Texas, one of the riders is Ed Baily (Lee Van Cleef) out to avenge the killing of his brother by Doc Holiday. The riders end up in a Ft. Griffin Saloon and Van Cleef is priceless as the almost out of control hot headed Baily and this film is worth watching just for his parts.

The second standout is the landscapes and town sets they are great to look at, and that's it. Sturgis does this good "Hour Of The Gun" has great sets also. The OK Gunfight is a total fabrication, but it is good actionwise.

Soundtrack title song is by Frankie Lane, and this dates the film, the rest is orchestral by Dimitri Timokin but I didn't like it either.

Watch it for Van Cleef, Ireland, Elam, Hopper.



Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Tim on December 10, 2006, 11:50:18 AM
  I'm a big John Sturges fan, Mag7 and Great Escape, but I've never been a huge fan of Gunfight at the OK Corral.  I agree completely about the casting, I love Burt Lancaster, but it just doesn't feel right.  IMO, James Garner is much better in Hour of the Gun, Jason Robards too as Doc.

  And I love your comment about the OK Corral.  The gunfight really took about 10, 15 seconds?  Or thereabout.  In the movie, it takes most of five minutes with the partakers ending up chasing each other into Tombstone.  Its still good and entertaining, but history, I think not.  ;D


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: titoli on January 27, 2009, 02:20:21 AM
This is one of my all time favourite westerns. I put it above My Darling Clementine. Why? Lancaster miscast? Yes. I don't care. His chemistry with Douglas it's wonderful. I think it is even better than the Fonda-Quinn in Warlock. The Lancaster-Douglas scenes and the Douglas-Van Fleet (but why did they have to pick such an ugly one?) ones are the reasons I like it so much. And to think that I don't think much of both Lancaster and Douglas as actors. But Douglas here is at his best, on a par with The Vikings.The song which accompanies the movie sung by Laine made me regret this wasn't sung by Pitney ten years later. But it's a minor complainet. 9\10.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: cigar joe on January 27, 2009, 04:25:46 AM
I prefer "Hour Of The Gun" but I'm a big Garner fan.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: titoli on January 27, 2009, 07:11:22 AM
Hour of the Gun is very good. But though a better balanced movie than this it doesn't have Douglas: an actor I don't rate much but who on 2 or 3 performances is absolutely unique. And the dialogues here are much, much better.   


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: The Firecracker on February 05, 2009, 06:08:49 PM
I'm with CJ on this. The romantic subplot ways the film down, luckily when we get to Tombstone we don't have to put up with it anymore.
I'll agree that Lancaster is mis-cast but I really like Douglas as Doc Holiday. The only problem with his portrayal is, except for the occasional cough, we don't get the sense that Doc is ever ill up until the final bits.
Was anybody else surprised to hear the word "Slut" yelled out rather prominantly in a film made in 57' ? I was.


6/10


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 05, 2009, 07:23:23 PM
I'm with CJ on this. The romantic subplot ways the film down . . .
You mean you're with CJ and SL! O0


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: The Firecracker on February 05, 2009, 10:09:27 PM
You mean you're with CJ and SL! O0

Very true 8)


And might I add, Van Cleef's brief screen time is probably the best part of the movie.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 08:15:18 AM
Very true 8)
And might I add, Van Cleef's brief screen time is probably the best part of the movie.
Yikes! He's on screen for what, about a minute-and-a-half?


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Groggy on February 06, 2009, 10:01:41 AM
I saw this years ago. Hardly remember it. I did like the shootout at the end even though it's ridiculously inaccurate.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: titoli on February 06, 2009, 10:23:58 AM
I'm with CJ on this. The romantic subplot ways the film down, luckily when we get to Tombstone we don't have to put up with it anymore.
I'll agree that Lancaster is mis-cast but I really like Douglas as Doc Holiday. The only problem with his portrayal is, except for the occasional cough, we don't get the sense that Doc is ever ill up until the final bits.


Strange though thatr these objections aren't raised when dealing with My Darling Clementine.  >:( There the romantic subplot is more pervading than here (it actually constitutes the backbone of the movie) and the dialogues are not half as interesting as those between Douglas and his (ugly) woman. And Mature looks much more healthy than Douglas.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 01:51:53 PM
In My Darling Clementine, the romance subplot is complicated and consists of this: Chiquita loves Doc; Doc loves himself; Clementine thinks she loves Doc, but gradually transfers her affections to Wyatt; Wyatt is attracted to Clementine but is too inhibited to declare himself. The fact that much of the love is undeclared/unconsummated works to build tension in the story. The resolutions are not Hollywood standard: Doc dies, Wyatt rides off alone.

This arc runs parallel to the revenge story and does not interfere with it. I think this is an excellent example of how to use a love story--or two--in a Western. The film is able to maintain its hard edge throughout.

It's true there isn't much of interest in the way of dialogue, but then MDC is less about what is said between the characters and more about what goes unspoken.

Maybe this is a good time to refer to my "gaze theory"?


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Groggy on February 06, 2009, 03:02:43 PM
(http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Senancour/BarryLyndon.jpg)
Go ahead.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 03:28:44 PM
I'm too mesmerized to continue.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: titoli on February 07, 2009, 12:40:59 AM
In My Darling Clementine, the romance subplot is complicated and consists of this: Chiquita loves Doc; Doc loves himself; Clementine thinks she loves Doc, but gradually transfers her affections to Wyatt; Wyatt is attracted to Clementine but is too inhibited to declare himself. The fact that much of the love is undeclared/unconsummated works to build tension in the story. The resolutions are not Hollywood standard: Doc dies, Wyatt rides off alone.

This arc runs parallel to the revenge story and does not interfere with it. I think this is an excellent example of how to use a love story--or two--in a Western. The film is able to maintain its hard edge throughout.

It's true there isn't much of interest in the way of dialogue, but then MDC is less about what is said between the characters and more about what goes unspoken.

Maybe this is a good time to refer to my "gaze theory"?


Your first paragraph put me to sleep. But I'll admit it was more lively than the movie itself.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: The Firecracker on February 07, 2009, 01:29:27 PM
Yikes! He's on screen for what, about a minute-and-a-half?

I mean the whole opening that he was involved with is the best part of the film.
That and the first confrontation between Ringo and Doc in the hotel room.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: T.H. on May 24, 2016, 05:02:02 PM
I used to think this was merely a good but flawed movie with serious pacing issues, but I was wrong. While the pacing gets a bit wonky in the second act, this is a beautifully directed movie. The use of low angles were excellent and just about everything visually in this movie is wonderful: the use of color, the techicolor, set design, etc.

One thing that sort of surprised me is how good the sound mix is. It's incredible, especially in the excellent climax. I'm assuming it had to be years ahead of its time. The gunshots sound just awesome.

As for the cast, that's on point as well. Lancaster and Douglas are gold together and the supporting cast is very impressive as well.

Sturges is one of the most under-appreciated Western directors, and I was certainly guilty of not giving him his due at one point.

9/10.

I really want to see Last Train From Gun Hill again. I'm hoping it's crafted just as well or close to 'Gunfight'. I also have The Law and Jake Wade dvr'd too. It will be interesting to see how much it improves on a repeated view because I really underrated prime Sturges years ago.


For the yanks with cable here, the Retro HD movie channel has a bad ass HD transfer of 'Gunfight' that's been playing a lot recently.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 24, 2016, 05:50:17 PM

I really want to see Last Train From Gun Hill again. I'm hoping it's crafted just as well or close to 'Gunfight'. I also have The Law and Jake Wade dvr'd too. It will be interesting to see how mich it improves on a repeated view because I really underrated prime Sturges years ago.




I dvr'd The Law and Jake Wade recently. Watched the first 2/3 or so last night. It's pretty excruciating to watch.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 24, 2016, 08:54:14 PM
Just watched the ending of THE LAW AND JAKE WADE, and it's decent. If you wanna sit through a shitty movie for a decent end, this movie is for you  ;)


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: stanton on May 25, 2016, 01:57:58 AM
Just watched the ending of THE LAW AND JAKE WADE, and it's decent. If you wanna sit through a shitty movie for a decent end, this movie is for you  ;)

Drink, I still have often not the slightest idea what you see, respectively not see in films. How one who likes westerns can view this film as "excruciating" is a mystery. Or a miracle.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 25, 2016, 04:18:40 AM
Drink, I still have often not the slightest idea what you see, respectively not see in films. How one who likes westerns can view this film as "excruciating" is a mystery. Or a miracle.

If you can tell me what is enjoyable about the first 2/3 of THE LAW AND JAKE WADE ... Especially, say, the first half, before they arrive at the ghost town. Hostage Westerns usually bore me.

Other than Widmark always being fun to watch, the first half of this movie has zero going for it IMO.

And btw, say what you will about location scenery - I saw a TCM print that did not look great and maybe affected it, maybe the dvd has better image quality - but anyway, when they set up camp, there are at least two scenes where they are obviously in a studio set and not outside. It is soooooooo bad.

btw, I think we should move this discussion over to the thread for THE LAW AND JAKE WADE; no reason it should be here in the G@OKC thread


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 25, 2016, 05:28:49 AM
Hostage Westerns usually bore me.
Hostage anythings bore me.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 25, 2016, 08:40:21 AM
Hostage anythings bore me.

Western anythings bore you.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 01, 2017, 11:01:23 PM
Saw G@OKC  for the second time. (On TCM, part of the 31 Days of Oscar).

The first time I saw it was about 7 years ago; it was one of the first AW's I ever watched.


Anyway, here is my opinion: This is a pretty crappy movie.

I have never been a huge Lancaster fan. To me he was basically average: didn't help or hurt a movie he was in.  Maybe he was a gymnast and the girls love this body, but that doesn't do anything for me. Kirk Douglas is alright as Doc. Rhonda Fleming is always beautiful to look at. BEAUTIFUL. Jo Van Fleet is hideous and annoying.

This movie is basically a soap opera, with six-shooters and cowboy hats.

 And this film's music/dong is a contender for the single worst and most annoying score of any movie in history. Dmitri Tiomkin  composed some of the greatest western scores of all time. How he managed to compose this is beyond me. He must  have been drinking too much potato vodka.

What is good about this movie? basically 4 things: A) Lee Van Cleef's few minutes on screen.
B) the production design. the sets were terrific, interiors, town exteriors, and landscapes
C) Cinematography: the color was outstanding. the print I saw on TCM is very nice.
D) The final shootout. Of course it is historically inaccurate, but if you forget about that crap, it is a well-done shootout.

 And I have to repeat: That score was simply excruciating. No other way to put it.

This movie gets a 5.5/10 in my book


p.s.  Earlier in this thread, I saw some people comparing this movie to My Darling Clementine. As that discussion took place several years ago, I will give the offenders the benefit of the doubt and hope that they have realized their foolishness over the past few years  ;) (I myself sure as hell wrote some silly posts years ago that I would be embarrassed if anyone brought up now  ;) ) But right now, anyone who even thinks to compare this movie favorably to My Darling Clementine ought to have his head examined  >:D


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: stanton on March 02, 2017, 01:56:26 AM
I like the score, I like the film.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 02, 2017, 10:07:45 AM
I like the score, I like the film.
That pretty much seals its fate.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Spikeopath on April 26, 2017, 02:16:22 AM
It consistently divides Western fans, as this thread proves. Me? I accept it has problems but I still love it.

Doc and Wyatt.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wednesday, October 26, 1881, gets an all star glossy Hollywood telling. Directed by John Sturges and adapted by Leon Uris from an article written by George Scullin. It stars Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet, John Ireland and Lyle Bettger. Music is by Dimitri Tiomkin and cinematography by Charles B. Lang Junior.

I don't want any part of him. I don't even like him.

Actually The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral as a title is something of a bum steer, for Sturges' two hour movie gives up just over five minutes to the actual event that continues to fascinate over 130 years later. In fact, for such a glorious sounding title, it's arguably surprising that there is very little action in the movie. For what unfolds in that two hour running time is what director (Sturges would be bemused by its success and ten years later took another stab at the legend and made Hour of the Gun) and leading actors agreed was a very talky movie, the emphasis is on a friendship, a love really, between John Henry "Doc" Holliday and Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp. This is one of the Western genre's greatest "buddy-buddy" movies.

Listen, preacher, being here is causing me a lot of embarrassment. Some people are even taking me for a lawman.

In spite of its talky nature and being very much a "town" Western, the film was hugely successful and became a leading forerunner for all star Westerns. It wasn't all sweetness and light, mind. In the beginning Douglas had already turned down the role of Earp before accepting the part of Holliday (Bogart was close, Palance and Widmark also considered) and Lancaster had to be "bribed" to take on the role of Wyatt (being pretty vociferous about the talky nature of the screenplay). The two leading men were initially at odds with each other, but they would form a respectful friendship from here on in and their chemistry as Doc and Wyatt is why the film succeeds as a "literate" piece.

All gunfighters are lonely. They live in fear. They die without a dime, a woman or a friend.

It has a mixed reputation amongst Western aficionados, which is understandable. Some of the dialogue is cheesy and the likes of Fleming and DeForest Kelley are in turn badly written and under used. There's also the historical fudging of the story and the sparsity of landscape photography, the latter of which a crime given it's a VistaVision Technicolor production. The town set designs often look artificial, a problem since 90% of the picture is set to town background, but if viewed as a story of a friendship set to the famous shoot-out, it strikes all the right notes; including Frankie Laine's warbling of the clippy cloppy catchy title tune. It should have been titled Doc and Wyatt, though. 8/10

Region 2 DVD.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 02, 2017, 10:14:32 AM
I'm surprised so many people here find the movie just OK. I love it. It may be a bit talky but as a "psychological Western" that's fine with me.

I don't see why Burt Lancaster is supposed to be miscast. He manages to never let his the law-abiding and upright Marshal get one-note and boring which could easily have been the case with a lesser actor.

Jo Van Fleet may not be the prettiest actress, but her scenes with Douglas are fascinating. Their relationship is an odd one, they seem to despise themselves (Kate knows she's very near the gutter) and each other, but can't quite be without the other. Both are self-destructive, but need each other. I'm sure there is a modern word for it, but frankly I don't need it.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: cigar joe on May 02, 2017, 10:23:28 AM
I'm surprised so many people here find the movie just OK. I love it. It may be a bit talky but as a "psychological Western" that's fine with me.

I don't see why Burt Lancaster is supposed to be miscast. He manages to never let his the law-abiding and upright Marshal get one-note and boring which could easily have been the case with a lesser actor.

Jo Van Fleet may not be the prettiest actress, but her scenes with Douglas are fascinating. Their relationship is an odd one, they seem to despise themselves (Kate knows she's very near the gutter) and each other, but can't quite be without the other. Both are self-destructive, but need each other. I'm sure there is a modern word for it, but frankly I don't need it.

Lancaster doesn't quite look right where is the handlebar moustache? lol. Douglas doesn't look too sickly either if I remember right. Check out Doc (1973) if you ever get a chance completely different take.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 02, 2017, 10:30:00 AM
I'll check it out, Joe. The entire Doc Holliday/Wyatt Earp myth is fascinating to me.

And I can live without the 'stache.  ;D


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 02, 2017, 05:56:43 PM

And I can live without the 'stache.  ;D

I hear ya. I recently neglected to shave for a while, and Miss Bush -- MISS BUSH!! --  was complaining that my face was itching her.


Title: Re: Gunfight At The Ok Corral (1957)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 02, 2017, 06:40:14 PM
You're too funny, D & D, but I won't be drawn into an argument about, erm, hairstyles.  :P