Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine is a 1946 John Ford Western. It stars Henry Fonda, Tim Holt, Ward Bond and Don Garner as the Earp brothers; Victor Mature as "Doc" Holliday; Walter Brennan, Grant Withers, John Ireland, Fred Libby and Mickey Simpson as the Clantons; Cathy Downs as the titular Clementine and Doc's girl from back East; and Linda Darnell as Doc's current flame.

This film seems to be universally well-respected, including by The Husband, except for me. I think this film is awful. It's one scene dependent on character stupidity followed by another. Honestly, if it weren't for the stupid things these characters do there would be no plot at all. First Fonda refuses repeated offers from the shady-looking Brennan to buy his cattle; then Fonda tells Brennan he and his brothers are going into Tombstone that night to get haircuts; then Fonda and the older brothers go into town leaving the cattle with their 18-year old baby brother; they are then shocked -shocked!- to find out their cattle have disappeared and baby brother is dead; then hmmm they wonder who could've done such a dastardly deed; so they take on the marshalling job to hunt down the dastardly deed doer; stupidity continues throughout the film. It's just stunning how stupid these people are. Stunning!

The one bright point is Walter Brennan, who plays the bad guy Pa Clanton. Brennan can play anything well from bad guys to good guys to comic relief.

trailer: calls it "one of the greatest classic Westerns of all time". DVD Talk calls it "a great and important western". The book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die includes this film. It's on the Images Journal list of 30 Great Westerns, and they call it "one of the great brooding westerns, loaded with iconic moments of darkness." Roger Ebert considers it one of the great movies and says it "must be one of the sweetest and most good-hearted of all Westerns". Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 100%.

See? Everybody else loves this film, and I just shake my head in wonder.


  1. "It's one scene dependent on character stupidity followed by another."


  2. haven't seen but now I'm curious: will I like it?

    1. i'm apparently the only person in the known universe who doesn't think this movie is one of the "greats". there's a good chance you'll like. if you watch it, let me know if i'm still alone in the universe, ok? ;)