MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
$7.50 Member $13.00 Regular
Directed by JOHN FORD
Starring HENRY FONDA
(1946) Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature as Doc Holliday — here in a quadrangle with title-roled schoolmarm Cathy Downs, Mexican hooker Linda Darnell, and galloping consumption — square off with Walter Brennan’s nasty Old Man Clanton and his clan en route to the O.K. Corral. A poetic fantasy of the legend — “Clementine Carter” never existed — and one of Ford’s most atmospheric works, memorable highlights (among many oft-anthologized scenes)including Alan Mowbray’s interrupted Hamlet soliloquy, and Fonda’s dances, with a tilted chair and a pole in front of his office — a favorite bit of Ingmar’s Bergman’s — and with Cathy Downs in an unfinished church under the vaulting sky. Approx. 104 min. DCP.
A 20th CENTURY FOX RELEASE
"IF EVER THERE WAS A GATEWAY DRUG TO THE HAPPY ADDICTION OF HOLLYWOOD OATERS, THIS IS IT! The film's most lasting impact might have been on gobsmacked Sergio Leone, maestro of the spaghetti Western, who both captured and subverted what he saw. Consider this the burning bush."
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"A CHARMING, ELEGIAC WESTERN… Ingmar Bergman singled out Henry Fonda's self-satisfied (and seated) porch dance as one of his favorite screen moments."
– Eric Grode, The New York Times
"John Ford is often called a great American filmmaker, but rarely a national poet. He filled space with silence and introspective breaks as well as any Frost or Stevens could. Henry Fonda, cloaked in shadow, plays Earp as firm, responsible, and fundamentally shy; he differs from Fonda's naive young men of promise in earlier Fords... carrying a weight of unspoken sadness from losses past."
– Aaron Cutler, Village Voice
"How, in the Wild West of 1882, is a community to operate? What values, institutions, and individuals come out on top, and which are left to rot in the dustbin of history? These concerns can be felt throughout Ford's filmography, [and] within a genre of American cinema defined by the collisions between people of varying classes, ethnicities, and visions of the nation's future. Rarely have these weighty queries been explored with such elegance, poignancy, and dexterous economy as in My Darling Clementine."
– Matthew Connolly, Slant
“THE MOST CLASSICALLY BEAUTIFUL WESTERN OF THE 40s!”
– Georges Sadoul
“FORD’S MOST POETIC AND MOST PERSONAL WESTERN!”
– Peter Bogdanovich
“FORD’S GREATEST WESTERN! The film’s greatness (and enjoyability) rests not in the accuracy of the final shoot-out but in the orchestrated series of incidents — the drunken Shakespearean actor, Earp’s visit to the barber, the dance in the unfinished church, etc. — which give added significance to the final confrontation.”
– Phil Hardy, The Western
“Even with standard Western fiction — and that’s what the script has enjoined — Mr. Ford can evoke fine sensations and curiously captivating moods. From the moment that Wyatt and his brothers are discovered on the wide and dusty range, trailing a herd of cattle to a far-off promised land, a tone of pictorial authority is struck — and it is held. Every scene, every shot is the product of a keen and sensitive eye.”
– The New York Times (1946)
“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
“Most Westerns put the emphasis on the showdown. My Darling Clementine builds up to the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but it is more about everyday things — haircuts, romance, friendship, poker and illness... Fonda makes Earp the new-style Westerner, who stands up when a woman comes into the room and knows how to carve a chicken and dance a reel. Like a teenager, he sits in a chair on the veranda of his office, tilts back to balance on the back legs and pushes off against a post with one boot and then the other. He’s thinking of Clementine, and Fonda shows his happiness with body language... There is the quiet tenseness in the marshal’s office as Earp prepares to face the Clantons, who’ve shouted their challenge that they’d be waiting for him at the corral. Earp’s brothers are with him, because this is ‘family business.’ Under the merciless clear sky of a desert dawn, in silence except for far-off horse whinnies and dog barks, the men walk down the street and take care of business.”
– Roger Ebert