Frontier Marshal (Dwan, 1939)

Frontier Marshall (Allan Dwan, 1939)

The story of Doc Halliday, with his cold and murderous presence chipped away by the revelation of his past as well as his friendship with Wyatt Earp, should not be told in 70 minutes. There’s too many important relationships, too much emotional weight, and too much tragedy to help but feel rushed here. But Randolph Scott, Cesar Romero, and Nancy Kelly give such great performances that the two most important relationships are salvaged. There’s such an honesty in the comradery and mutual respect from the two male leads, and the attention to detail of the nuances of their relationship was excellent. And, yes, despite my previous complaint about feeling rushed, the tragedy of central romantic relationship is still poignant and did manage to tug on my heart strings. I still prefer My Darling Clementine when it comes to this story, but this one did come before, and is very strong in its own right.  8/10


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