Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Penelope Allen, John Bottoms, Denver John Collins, Gene Collins, Faye Dunaway
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 05/12/2009 Run time: 96 minutes Rating: Nr
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A Revisionist at Tombstone
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1971 re-telling of the Earp-Holliday relationship clearly paints the darkest picture of the Earp family yet on film, and even suggests that Wyatt may have homosexual interests in Doc Holliday. Whatever the nature of the relationship, Doc appears to want little more of it and feels trapped into his part in the famous shoot-out. At best the relationship serves the Earp family business interests with little or no reciprocal value for Holliday. Harris Yulin and Stacy Keach play Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, respectively and well - both men being actors of considerable ability. Faye Dunaway plays Doc's common-law "wife" (Big-Nose Kate) in more of a cameo than a fully developed part. Frank Perry directed the film as a darkly psychological study of the relationship between these two gunmen. The dark rust-red of the Arizona desert provides the dominant color for the film. Film grain and texture reflects the men and the times: rough, gritty, and dark. While certainly a well performed and directed film, this is a film for NEITHER the John Wayne-shoot'em-in-the-street-at-high-noon-and-never-lose-your-hat crowd NOR the Hugh O'Brian devotee. "Doc" will please only the fans of the off-centered, slightly twisted quasi-film noire crowd. Indeed, one could easily describe this as a film noire western. "Doc" takes the "darker" side of Earp a good deal farther than the Sturges 1967 film "The Hour of the Gun" with James Garner and Jason Robards as Earp and Holliday. In "Hour of the Gun" Sturges greatly humanizes Earp from the earlier "Mr. Pure-Goodguy" in his film "The Gunfight at OK Corral." Still, Perry's "DOC" goes far beyond "Hour of the Gun" in his depiction of Wyatt as a sociopath with a badge, a gun, and a grudge."
Anarchy Now | 06/14/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film, probably the 1000th telling of the shoot out at the OK Corral, has a different perspective from most of the films I have seen on this subject, from 'My Darling Clementine' to 'Tombstone.' Doc Holliday, played by Stacy Keach, is ambivalent about his life and unhappy with the killings. Wyatt Earp on the other hand is a villainous politician whose only desire is to get political power and milk the town dry. Ike Clanton is seen more as a victim of the heartless Wyatt Earp. Faye Dunnaway does an excellent job playing Doc's temporary girl, Katie Elder.
Some of the scenes in the film are really striking, particularly the scenes of Doc and Katie struggling through the desert to get to Tombstone.
There are no heroes in this film and the violence is minimal. The entire shootout at the OK Corrall was over in a few seconds. There are also no happy endings here. Doc has a chance at redemption and throws it away to shoot 'The Kid' who reminds him too much of himself. Earp apparently wins the day by wiping out the Clanton gang and then making a political stump speech. This is probably one of the most cynical films I have ever seen. If you like old fashioned westerns, avoid this one. But this film speaks mountains as to our politics today."
It's all very somber
Chris Wilson | Dallas, TX | 05/21/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Was the west really this gloomy? Probably. But do we wish to see it in a Western? "Doc," an interesting version of the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral, chooses to demystify the combatants with the exception of Doc Holliday (Stacy Keach) and Big Nose Kate (Faye Dunaway). It's a squalid land complete with dishonorable alley brawls and buzzing horse flies.
Director Frank Perry has several interesting films on his resume [The Swimmer (1968), Rancho Deluxe (1975)] and "Doc," a 1971 product of the anti-Vietnam War times, was his attempt to unmask the statuesque heroes churned out by the John Wayne factory [Chisum (1970), Big Jake (1971)]. It's a revisionist Western, though completely lacking in historical authenticity.
Harris Yulin, an excellent character actor who portrays the villain more often than not, is an unusual (though intentional) choice for Wyatt Earp. He mopes and broods while staring with unblinking eyes at Doc Holliday's body, Big Nose Kate, Ike Clanton, his horse - anything within his line of vision. Yulin's Earp is a bleak assassin on the verge of firing his gun at the drop of a spittoon. He hides behind his weapon and when forced to fight Clanton man-to-man with fists, is soundly pummeled. Holliday is the even-tempered partner walking the streets alone in dark suits. Everyone fears and respects Doc, a gunfighter with the proverbial heart of gold. He protects Earp, making sure he and his disinterested brothers stay out of trouble, going against the grain of general historical belief.
Keach, as usual, is excellent in the title role. This was an interesting performance during the peak of his career, and he portrays Doc as a tortured soul wishing to escape the life of a notorious gunfighter. His only happiness comes from his relationship with Kate, who he kidnaps from a life of prostitution. They buy a humble home and decide to forge a life of domesticity. The scenes are not particularly believable and Dunaway seems out of her element. For a film attempting to reveal the dark underbelly of the Western myth, casting the strikingly beautiful Dunaway seems peculiar at best. She chews the scenery in her typical style, answering the door whenever the unblinking Wyatt pays an awkward visit - "Where's Doc? I need him," a statement having more than one meaning.
The rest of the cast is unknown, owing much to the fact the movie was filmed in Spain. With the exception of Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West, I have never been a fan of European-filmed Westerns, lacking the appropriate topography and supporting color. One could argue this gives "Doc" a dream-like quality, a familiar drama playing on an alien landscape. Perry wants to sweep away the ghosts of Ford, Fonda, Sturges and Lancaster, and perhaps this is a film only Sam Peckinpah could love. But "Doc" lacks the intense detail and artistic vision of The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1969) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1973), far superior Westerns in tone, idea and - let's face it - budget.
With inexplicable slowness, the movie stumbles towards the OK Corral battle. While the confrontation is no more realistic than in previous films, perhaps a drama attempting to cut to the bone should pay more attention to history. The Clantons outnumber the Earps more than 2-to-1, Earp and his men carry shotguns, one of the Earp brothers is killed and Doc even guns down a youthful Clanton with whom he forged a father/son relationship. None of this is true, though I like the idea that Doc's action, as he pauses briefly in thought before shooting the boy through the heart, is his way of delivering the coup de grace to his legacy. The old ways have come to an end, and now the Earps can take root.
Disillusioned, having lost Kate because of his opium addiction and dying of the now-famous coughing disease, Doc rides out of Tombstone alone. It's all very somber, played to the tune of mournful guitar. "Doc" would have been better served to have not been based on the legendary shootout, but then it would not have been bankrolled. How's that for existential dilemma?"
gunslinger | St Louis, MO USA | 09/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very interesting take on the Doc Holliday / Wyatt Earp / Big Nose Kate relationships. It is typically villified by reviewers. It is definitely down beat and rather coarse. It is not historically accurate, particurlarly in terms of the final shoot out at the OK Corral. However, it does hold your interest. Stacey Keach's and Faye Dunaway's acting is very good. It was filmed in the era of the revisionist westerns. If you are turned off by that, this will not appeal to you. Otherwise, I recommend Doc for casual viewing."