The Many Faces of Wyatt Earp
I put on the TV yesterday as I was eating my dinner and found that TCM was running an entire evening of movies about Wyatt Earp. They started with My Darling Clementine, which I’d never scene (except for the scenes that were shown in the “Movie Night” episode of M*A*S*H), then Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, then Hour of the Gun, and finally Masterson of Kansas.
So there were four different actors, all playing the same character … four separate interpretations of a real person (in fact, a whole group of real people) and a real historical event. In order, the Wyatts were Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, James Garner, and Bruce Cowling. And that got me thinking of the mid 1990s when two MORE movies about Earp and the goings on in Tombstone, AZ were released less than a year apart, one being called Tombstone (starring Curt Russel as Earp) and the other being Wyatt Earp (with Kevin Costner in the role). That ALSO got me thinking of another turn James Garner took with the character in 1988’s Sunset, though that movie was set in Hollywood of the 1920s, when Earp was doing consulting work for the movie studios.
Man, there are A LOT of Wyatt Earp movies out there! And, as near as I can tell … I pretty much like them all!