Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ten Wyatt Earp Vendetta Ride Myths

I've long been a fan of Western dramas about frontier deputy marshal Wyatt Earp, going back to my childhood when Hugh O'Brian (seen in the below photo) portrayed Earp on TV.

I later watched old movies on TV, such as John Ford's My Darling Clementine with Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp (director Ford met the aging Wyatt Earp in Los Angeles) and later still I went to the theater and saw movies about Earp, such as John Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral with Burt Lancaster as Earp, and another John Sturges film about Wyatt Earp, The Hour of the Gun, with James Garner this time as Earp (seen in the below photo).

Good films all, and I've watched them time and again over the years, but as I began to read history I discovered that the TV series and the films were all historically inaccurate, with The Hour of the Gun  being the closest of those early films to the real story.

George P. Cosmatos' 1993 film Tombstone, with Kurt Russell as Earp (seen in the top and below photos), is perhaps overall the closest to being historically accurate, but even that film fictionalized events, such as the gunfight between Doc Holiday and Johnny Ringo, which never happened, and got things wrong, such as they Vendetta Ride.

Peter Brand at True West offers a piece that points out 10 myths about Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Ride, which occurred after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (which actually happened on the lot behind the O.K. Corral).

You can read the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Washington Times review of Tom Clavin's outstanding book about Earp and other Western legends in Dodge City via the below link:   

And if you would like to read a good biography of Wyatt Earp, I'd recommend Casey Tofertiller's  Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend.

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