John Ford’s My Darling Clementine

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Although the legend of Wyatt Earp and his gunfight at the O.K. Corral seem like a familiar piece of American folklore to us now, the story wasn’t actually common knowledge until decades after it happened—and even then, it only entered the public imagination through the magic of media. Stuart Lake’s 1931 book, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall, was monumental in introducing the public to the story of the Western lawman, who had passed away just two years prior. From the pages of that book came three direct cinematic adaptations, the last of which, John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (1946), was an especially popular and an essential component in establishing the myth of the man and his legendary shootout.