Blu-Ray Review: Mr Darling Clementine

When it comes to Westerns, there’s no director who comes close to the innovation, imagination and exquisite film-making of John Ford. In 1939, Stagecoach not only defined and revitalised the Western genre, it had a profound influence on the whole medium of cinema. It’s an essential on any film studies course. Along with The Man Who Shot Liberty Vance and The Searchers, My Darling Clementine is up there with his greatest achievements.

Whilst driving cattle to California, Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and his brothers (Virgil (Tim Holt), Morgan (Ward Bond) and James (Don Garner)) learn of a prosperous nearby town called Tombstone. When James is killed, Wyatt takes of the vacant position of Marshall; determined to track down the culprit. When the legendary ‘Doc’ Holliday (Victor Mature) rides back into town, Wyatt has his suspicions. Now all he needs is proof.

John Ford once again returns to Monument Valley to create one of the most beautifully shot Westerns ever made. Both Ford and Mature deliver powerful and persuasive performances, whilst Ford keeps the tension high throughout. Tombstone is a town constantly on edge, with violence and death never far away. The story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is the most pervasive in gunslinging mythology. My Darling Clementine is a magnificent film which will entrance, captivate and entertain.

Special Features:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation of the 4K digital film restoration
  • Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Commentary on the theatrical version by author Scott Eyman and Earp’s grandson, Wyatt Earp III
  • John Ford and Monument Valley – a 2013 documentary on the director’s lifelong association with Utah’s Monument Valley containing interviews with Peter Cowie (author of John Ford and the American West), John Ford, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Martin Scorsese
  • Movie Masterclass – a 1988 episode of the Channel 4 series, devoted to My Darling Clementine and presented by Lindsay Anderson
  • Lost and Gone Forever – a visual essay by Tag Gallagher on the themes that run through My Darling Clementine and the film’s relationship with John Ford’s other works
  • Stills gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

My Darling Clementine is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on Monday.

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