Scott is the redoubtable western lawman Earp, who enters Tombstone only to find it a wild and lethal hellhole. He goes to work with a vengeance, first subduing a drunken half-breed, Stevens, who is shooting up the town, by merely clouting him over the head with his gun butt. He befriends
Romero, playing the deadly Doc Holliday, and the two of them compete for Kelly while Barnes, Romero's some-time dancehall girl friend, vies for the gunfighter's attentions. Romero has a bad heart (the real Doc had TB) and he is gunned down by Sawyer and his gang, which causes Scott to meet the bad
guys in the famous battle at the O.K. Corral, emerging victorious and winning Kelly. This action-jammed film, based on a lot of fiction created by Earp biographer Lake, is expertly helmed by Dwan, a stellar silent film director. This same Lake story had been filmed in 1934 with George O'Brien in
the Earp role. John Ford's masterpiece, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1947), was wholly drawn from this 1939 film. Although the facts are sometimes fractured in this version, it is nevertheless enjoyable, with Scott and Romero giving top-notch performances and Eddie Foy, Jr., impersonating his father,
who really was kidnapped by the Curly Bill Brocious gang and compelled to perform his act at their pleasure. (Alan Mowbray reprised this role in MY DARLING CLEMENTINE with excellent results.) Fox mogul Darryl Zanuck insisted the actual name of Wyatt Earp be used in this production, which caused
the studio to pay $5,000 to an Earp relative for the use of the name, and yet the relative still sued Fox after the film was released, saying that the Scott-Kelly romance was fictitious and a distortion of the truth.
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