Gunfight at the OK Corral

Theatrical Release: May 30, 1957
DVD Release: April 22, 2003
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.

Dove Review

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.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Kissing between a couple.
Language: H-3; Sucker-2; Slang for prostitute-1
Violence: A man throws a knife at a door right next to woman; woman attempts to stab man; several people shot in the film with some scenes of blood; a man throws a knife and hits man in chest, killing him; cowboys shoot up a saloon; a man is shot in the hand; man shot in back; the fight at Ok Corral at end with men killed.
Drugs: Several saloon scenes; the drinking of whiskey; smoking cigars in several scenes.
Nudity: Cleavage.
Other: Vengeance is big in this film and when some men steal cattle from Mexico, refusing to return them, Wyatt Earp makes them pay.


Company: Paramount
Writer: George Scullin and Leon Uris
Director: John Sturges
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Genre: Western
Runtime: 122 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter