My Darling Clementine

This is going to be a short post. The biggest problem with John Ford's 1946 western My Darling Clementine was that my DVD didn't work. I didn't realize until we started playing it that it was badly scratched, and I probably ended missing about 40 minutes of the movie. The parts I missed seemed to be Ebert's favorite parts - the shootout, the parts with Clementine. I feel bad since I know I probably missed what made this movie great, but it was so late that I didn't have time to find a different copy.


In the end, from what I saw, I didn't really like it. I sort of dislike John Ford's clean version of the west. His cinematography is always amazing to look at - big sky, dark shadows. But the plot and the actors always leave me cold. I didn't feel any of the actors in this. Maybe I was spoiled by Val Kilmer's awesome Doc Holiday, but watching Victor Mature bumble around just made me bored. The women are dull, all pristine and angelic even after being shot or undergoing makeshift surgery. They have no real personalities, only image and fantasy.

I just don't get it, I'll admit it. This is the type of western film that I cannot understand. I read Ebert's essay and I appreciate what he said, but I missed most of the parts that he was talking about and I was so bored by most of it that I'm not sure I'll find it to watch it at any point in the near future.

If you like American westerns, go check it out. It's pretty much the epitome of them, and it is good for the style. I mean, I'd rather watch this than anything that John Wayne is in (other than The Searchers). Otherwise, you can probably spend your time better. Find a Sergio Leone western to watch, or watch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Rent the new True Grit when it comes out, it's better than the first. I just don't feel the style of the older westerns, and I'm not sure I ever will.

Links:
Ebert's Great Movie essay on My Darling Clementine

My Life to Live/Vivre Sa Vie

Mr. Hulot's Holiday