Gunfight at the OK Corral
Novelist Leon Uris wrote the script for this Western directed by John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) and based on the life and times of Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) and his sickly companion, Doc Holliday (Kirk Douglas). The action inevitably leads to the legendary battle between the two heroes and the villainous Clanton gang, but the film is also very much about the conflicts each man faces with women, with one another, and with their own destinies. Lancaster is terrific as the downbeat Earp, and Douglas has one of his best roles as the consumptive Holliday. The thoughtfulness of the tale is matched by Sturges’s captivating way with the dramatic duel. All in all, the film appeals both as a solid action piece and as a fascinating, two-character study.
This classic western has about everything most westerns have, but it does it better than a lot of them. It begins with the meeting of Wyatt Earp, who is Marshall of Dodge City, and Doc Holliday, who enjoys his gambling, drinking, and carousing. The plot leads up to the meeting with the Clanton gang, who refuse to leave Tombstone with their stolen cattle. U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp has warned them but to no avail. When a relative of Wyatt Earp’s is killed in cold blood; Earp ( Burt Lancaster) and Doc Holliday (Kirk Douglas) are determined to accept the Clanton’s challenge to meet them at sun-up at the OK Corral.
This western is fairly violent considering it was made in 1957. It has a lot of saloon scenes with its resulting drinking and carousing, in additon to shooting cowboys. It is a classic with fine acting from both Lancaster and Douglas and we recommend it for ages twelve plus, and award the movie our Dove Seal.