Posts Tagged ‘John Wayne’

Thanks to this flikr friend for a fab pic of the original poster

I know that I regularly allude to my love of the silver screen & vintage films. More often than not I have an old movie or musical on in the background while I sew and create fashion. Over the years I’ve collected a decent amount of old VHS films. In fact my collection of VHS classics (alas, not fabulous enough to ever be DVD’d), prompted my sweetheart to get me a new VCR, just so I could enjoy my favs despite the digital age. However, in addition to the retro classics, I am a huge fan of a really good western. Lucky for me, when I was young my dad introduced me to some of the best westerns of the pack. From Rio Bravo to Stagecoach to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, I loved westerns. When I was in some parts of the now-not-so-wild west, I got to enjoy first hand a bit of the scenes and sounds of the backdrop for some of those dusty tales. One of my all time picks is the 1957 version of Gunfight at the OK Corral, starring two excellent actors, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. It is an excellent story. Clear good law against shifty bad cowboys. Some sweet (and not-so-sweet) women, excellent score by Dimitri Tiomkin, and a riveting opening theme sung by the sunny Frankie Laine. In all honesty, I’ve yet to watch Wyatt Earp and Tombstone, but from what I’ve heard this is still one of the best.

From Wikipedia, thanks friends!

I’ve wondered why this particular event, this gunfight in tombstone, was so memorable. I suppose it was symbolic of the political issues occurring in many small towns in the west (this one just happened to be near an extremely rich silver mine and included an already famous Wyatt Earp). Main issue. Would the west be unruly forever, or would the law have the final say? After watching the film, and reading more of the actual history (sorry friends, the real gun-fight was only 30 seconds, not 8 minutes), it seems that people are divided about the good vs. bad (many sources state, the “murder” of the McLaury’s and wee Billy Clanton). These seem to be punctuated by the sad mention of “little” Billy Clanton’s age…only 19. For real? But the way I see it, that was QUITE old enough to a man in the old west, and no pity is coming from this modern gal, especially if he was toting a gun. There are also reports of guns being lifted off one of the men, making it look like he was shot unarmed. With all the conjecture of modern propriety, seems like history was happy with both the Earps and Halliday. I’ll throw in my lot with the revered history 🙂

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