Film Studies Essay

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Introduction to Film Studies (ATS1305) Assignment 1 The film My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946) is a Western retelling of the gunfight at the OK Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton gang. Wyatt Earp and his two brothers, Morgan and Virgil seek revenge following the death of their youngest brother, James. This scene involving Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday has been lauded as one of the strangest and most beautiful in all of John Ford’s work as director. It is when a British actor played by Alan Mowbray has come to the town of tombstone to put on a play but goes missing. The scene begins when Earp and Holliday find him in the saloon on top of a table being tormented by the Clantons. This scene is human centred, with characters possessing clear character traits. The Clantons are the villains, Earp is noble and just, Holliday is mysterious and a source of intrigue. This keeps in line with classical Hollywood cinema narration. The characters are goal-oriented. Earp and Holliday are there clearly to find the actor who had gone missing from the theater. Characters is classical Hollywood cinema face obstacles, conflicts and antagonists. In this scene, the antagonists are clearly the Clantons who antagonize Earp’s efforts to return the missing actor. Actions and events that result from these goals and oppositions are linked into a logical and linear chain of cause and effect. In this scene the Clantons get infuriated when Earp interferes and rescues the actor from their mistreatment and try to shoot him. However Earp saves himself and in the altercation shoots one of the Clantons instead. This will then lead to the shootout at the OK Corral. In classic Hollywood cinema, motivation and action are always as clear as possible and narration tends to be objective and omniscient. Every scene allows the audience to know exactly what is happening so that the plot

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