My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine is a 1946 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to the gunfight at the OK Corral. The ensemble cast also features Victor Mature (as Doc Holliday), Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, Cathy Downs and Ward Bond.

My Darling ClementineIn 1882 (in reality, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral happened on October 26, 1881), Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil, and James Earp are driving cattle to California when they cross Old Man Clanton. When they learn about the nearby boom town of Tombstone, the older brothers ride in, leaving the youngest brother James to watch over the cattle. The Earps soon learn that Tombstone is a lawless town without a marshal. Wyatt is the only man in the town willing to face the drunk Indian shooting at the townspeople. When they return to their camp, they find the cattle rustled and James murdered.

Seeking to avenge his brother’s murder, Wyatt returns to Tombstone. To identify the perpetrator, he takes the open position of town marshal and meets with Doc Holliday and the Clanton gang several times. During this time, Clementine Carter, Doc’s ex-love interest from his hometown of Boston, arrives in town on the stagecoach, having searched for him for some time, and is given a room at the same hotel where both Wyatt and Doc Holliday are residing.

Chihuahua, a hot-tempered woman who loves Doc, sings in the local saloon. Doc tells Clementine to return to Boston, or he will leave Tombstone. Clementine stays, so Doc leaves, much to the displeasure of Chihuahua, who starts an argument with Clementine. Wyatt walks in on the two and breaks up the women. Chihuahua then reveals a silver cross that belonged to James Earp. She claims Doc gave it to her.

Wyatt chases down Doc, who is headed for Tucson, and shoots a pistol out of Doc’s hands. The two return to Tombstone, where after being questioned, Chihuahua reveals that the silver cross was actually given to her by Billy Clanton. Billy shoots Chihuahua through a window and takes off on horseback, but is shot by Wyatt. Billy keeps riding, so Virgil pursues him to the Clanton homestead, where Billy dies of his wounds. Old Man Clanton then kills Virgil.

In town, a reluctant Doc is persuaded to operate on Chihuahua, his medical training being her only chance. The Clantons then arrive, toss Virgil’s body on the street and announce they will be waiting for the rest of the Earps at the O.K. Corral.

Chihuahua dies and Doc decides to walk alongside Wyatt and Morgan to the O.K. Corral at sunup. A gunfight rages in which most of the Clantons are killed, as is Doc.

Wyatt and Morgan resign as law enforcers. Morgan heads out in a horse and buggy. Wyatt speaks with Clementine one last time, telling her if he is ever this way again, he will look her up at the school house. Mounting his horse, Wyatt says, “Ma’am, I sure like that name…Clementine,” and rides off after his brother.

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