GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957) C widescreen 123m dir: John Sturges

w/Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet, John Ireland, Lyle Bettger, Frank Faylen, Earl Holliman, Lee Van Cleef, Kenneth Tobey, DeForest Kelley, Ted de Corsia, Dennis Hopper

From The Movie Guide: "Solid, expert 'town' Western, but lacking the fuel of passion. Still it's a landmark Western --- more than any other of its era, it gave the genre major film status. The story is legend: strong, resolute, and stoic, Lancaster is the famed Marshal Wyatt Earp, and Douglas is his closest friend, the deadly gunfighter 'Doc' Holliday.

"It's an interesting acting exercise: these two have been called 'the two terrible-tempered twins'; they're like Davis and Crawford in a way. People confuse their roles, claim one's a better actor, the other a bigger star, but unlike the aforementioned ladies, the two opinions flip back and forth on the respective men. Curious --- but predictable --- that GUNFIGHT is exactly the same. It's a stand-off between bravura egos, supported mightily by Van Cleef, Ireland, and the other men, with Van Fleet and Fleming doing definitive western turns as frontier whore and gambling hall floozie. But the film might have profited more from reverse casting in the leads (Lancaster's flamboyance seems more suited to a gunman than a sheriff). And Sturges's direction lacks the bite of Anthony Mann's Jimmy Stewart oaters [e.g.,BEND OF THE RIVER, THE MAN FROM LARAMIE].

"Yet GUNFIGHT, written --- with generous dashes of dramatic license --- by Leon Uris and beautifully photographed by Charles Lang, is truly a classic Western, one which thoroughly revitalized the genre. Its big-budget production and tremendous box-office success sent the making of B Westerns into decline; they all but vanished in the 1960s. The legendary gunfight has been filmed many other times, first in FRONTIER MARSHAL, then in John Ford's magnificent MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, again in Sturges's impressive sequel to this film, HOUR OF THE GUN, and in the introspective DOC."

GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL was nominated for two Oscars: Best Editing (Warren Low) and Sound (George Dutton, Paramount Studio Sound Department).