U.S. History in Film

Prof. McClurken’s HIST 329 — Fall 2008

Clementine: Beautiful Scenery, Inaccurate Storyline

I found My Darling Clementine to be very entertaining although highly historically inaccurate. The scenery, especially in the beginning in the movie while the brothers are herding cattle in the prairie, is exceptionally breathtaking. It is portrayed exactly how I picture the Old West to look. One of the first inaccuracies that jumped out at me was the fact that we learned in class that James was married and lived with his wife, he wasn’t continuously traveling with his brothers (although I could be wrong); I also wasn’t under the impression that he was only 18 years old. Despite it’s flaws, the movie is a great representation of the great Old West full of opportunities and excitement for new settlers, gun-slinging included.

I would like to add that I would have loved to have watched Tombstone. It was one of my favorite movies growing up; I loved Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. I haven’t seen it in ages, although I imagine it is probably just as inaccurate as My Darling Clementine, but entertaining nonetheless.

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