Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

If I’m gonna die, at least let me die with the only friend I ever had.

Been a while since I’ve seen a straight-up western. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is one of the many films made about, well, about the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but it’s the first one I’ve seen. I know of a couple others, and quite frankly, after this one, I think I’ll be expecting a little more out of them than what I got with this. This wasn’t bad, but neither was it really good; what it was was cookie cutter. It seemed to pretty much be a classic western just because it’s regarded as a classic western, but I guess I can live with it. It wasn’t a bad way to kill a couple hours, but neither did it exceed any expectations.

The film recounts the uneasy and burgeoning alliance between lawman Wyatt Earp and gunslinger Doc Holliday, and how their would-be friendship culminates in their teaming up against a gang of outlaws at the titular gunfight, one that would go down in history. Well, in mostly embellished history; the climactic gunfight takes more than a few Hollywood liberties with what actually happened, but hey, in real life the gunfight was only thirty seconds, so we can forgive Hollywood a little pizazzing for the sake of an entertaining story, especially since that pretty much ends up being all that this actually has to give. Really, I can sum the aspects of this one in a rough sentence: standard everything, from the production to the acting to the story, with a good heaping helping of on-the-nose to top it all off. The story was very cut and dry, with all the necessary elements in exactly the right spots, and even the obligatory romantic subplot to make sure the audiences get everything they want in one picture. The production value was pretty good, but nothing out of the ordinary for a western. The acting was okay, although the two leads were particularly good, especially Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, who always seems to have a charm about him, even when he’s coughing up his lungs. Oh, and the title song was really corny, which was amplified by their playing it every twenty minutes or so through the film.

If you were to tell me I had to come up with one or two good solid reasons to convince someone to see this film, in all honesty, I’d probably tell you I couldn’t do it. Douglas’ performance is a highlight, but the same could be said for a good deal of other pictures he’s starred in, so what makes this any better than all the rest? Really, not that much. It’s a solid film, but it’s far too formulaic to really grasp at the strings of greatness, and really, it doesn’t even seem like it’s trying to grasp in that particular direction. If you’re curious, you can give this a try, but like I said; if you’re looking for me to give you an actual reason to check this one out, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Arbitrary Rating: 7/10

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