Hollywood and the O.K. Corral

Hollywood and the O.K. Corral

The gunfight lasted only 30 seconds, but it would eventually propel Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and a Arizona mining town into the annuals of history. It would also provide Hollywood filmmakers numerous opportunities to recount the incident.

From 1939 until 1994, Hollywood has turned to that moment in Tombstone to tell the tale of the Earp brothers, their friend, Doc Holliday, and the famous gunfight. While often playing fast and loose with the actual facts, Hollywood made the gunfight (which did not take place at the O.K. Corral, but in a near-by vacant lot) part of Americana lore.

Film historian Michael F. Blake provides readers a look at the events which led to the actual gunfight, as well as the tragic aftermath for all parties involved. He then shows how and why Hollywood discovered Wyatt Earp and the gunfight, using fictional characters in place of the actual players in early adaptations of the gunfight. It wasn’t until 1939’s Frontier Marshal that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday (called Halliday in this film) actually make their debut in movie history.

Using various script drafts, production reports and interviews, Blake recounts the making of Frontier Marshal (1939), Tombstone – Town Too Tough To Die (1942), My Darling Clementine (1946), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Hour of the Gun (1967), Doc (1971), Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994).

Complete cast and crew listings and numerous rarely seen photographs round out this volume which is the definitive work on this fascinating story of Hollywood and American West history.

Praise for Hollywood and the O.K. Corral:

“Blake knows his movies, and this book is a great read for anyone interested in the Earp legend and/or Hollywood’s West.” – Round-Up: Western Writers of America

“Blake is well qualified for the job . . . Western fans will enjoy this book.” – Cowboys and Indians

“A wonderful premise for a book that makes fascinating – and surprising – reading for students of history as well as film.” – James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography

Hollywood and the O.K. Corral Photo Gallery