Wyatt Earp on Film

Wyatt Earp has been the subject of 13 major feature films…and has appeared in dozens of television shows.  Which portrayals stand up to the scrutiny of history?

All business
  1. James GarnerHour of the Gun :   Dark, torn, repressed…Earp at his most troubled.  Garner is the real deal in this John Sturges classic.
  2. Kurt Russell- Tombstone :  A good mix of Earp the capitalist and Earp the lawman, Russell is workman-like in his performance.  Unfortunately, Val Kilmer steals the show as Holliday.
  3. Henry Fonda- My Darling Clementine :  Fonda portrays a humorless Earp?  Who would have guessed?  John Ford’s masterpiece is short on history, long on drama. 
  4. Hugh O’Brian- The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp : Dapper dresser, serious lawman, frontier justice personified….O’Brian brought a believable Earp to the small screen.
  5. Kevin Costner – Wyatt Earp :  Properly displaying Earp’s stern disposition, Costner is almost too dour in his 1994 performance.  Wyatt didn’t overpower his brothers like a misguided patriarch. 
Too serious

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