The Best OK Corral Movies

When you travel to Tombstone, Arizona, you’ll have the opportunity to watch an OK Corral reenactment on the actual site where the historic shootout took place. You can also watch the gun battle in the comfort of your own living room by screening any one of the following movies.

My Darling Clementine

Widely regarded as one of the finest Westerns ever made, this 1946 film, which was directed by John Ford, stars Henry Fonda as the iconic Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature as his wingman, Doc Holliday. “My Darling Clementine” focuses on the events leading up to the shootout, and let’s just say the screenwriters used plenty of poetic license. The acting, the direction and the art direction are all superb, however. Interestingly the screenwriters chose to set the action in 1882, which is a year after the real gunfight took place.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

There’s just something about this bit of American history that makes film writers and directors want to blow it up to supersized proportions. In this movie, which is directed by John Sturges, the fictionalized bloodbath lasts for five long minutes whereas in real life, it took something less than 30 seconds. Burt Lancaster plays Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas plays Doc Holliday. The movie was rife with historical inaccuracies, but that didn’t hurt its reception at the box office: “Gunfight at the OK Corral” was one of the biggest hits of 1957.

Hour of the Gun

John Sturges liked Wyatt Earp and Tombstone so much that he revisited the material again a decade later with the 1967 movie “Hour of the Gun.” This time, James Garner played Sherriff Earp as a congenial wisecracker while Jason Robards plays his laconic sidekick. This movie is more historically accurate than most cinematic depictions of events at the OK Corral since it was based on a nonfiction book called “Tombstone’s Epitaph.”


In 1993, Kurt Russell became Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer, Doc Holliday. The film provided a reunion of sort for many of the legendary outlaws and lawmen of the Wild West. “Tombstone” was directed by the Greco-Italian director George Pan Cosmatos, and it earned nearly $60 in theatrical release.


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