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MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) 103m Anecdotals: Jane Darwell (Ma Joad) plays a b


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Jane Darwell (Ma Joad) plays a brothel madam(!!!!)
Zanuck yet again imposed his artistic will on Ford (Forcing Darwell on him; having another director shoot Wyatt’s visit to James’s grave)
New game: Spot and name the Ford Stock Company players
-Major Fordian themes:
Nobility of society’s outcasts
Conflicts between wilderness & civilization; freedom & responsibility
Family, love, camaraderie, necessity of self-sacrifice
Tension between authority & anarchy
-The Community / Role of the church
-The undemonstrative but immensely strong and resolute Ford hero (both Fonda and Wayne) / American “manhood” as akin to the majestic buttes of Monument Valley
-Plot would dictate the avenging of a murder in the first act, but it is pushed aside for the far more important tone and atmosphere that is paramount to Ford – The church dance; the barber’s lingering scent; Wyatt’s porch foot play foolery… the plot is resumed far later and culminates in the gunfight at the OK corral.
(Harry Chapin’s lyric comes to mind: “It’s got to be the going, not the getting there, that’s good.”)
-Fordian economy of shots and scenes; Less being more:
-Discovering James – Montage of shadowed figures; foot caught in stirrup
-Wyatt and Doc’s “shootout” in long shot and understated brevity
-Deep focused low ceilings and smoky bar backgrounds (Doc’s entrance)
-The Ford gaze is back (has it ever left?)
-Wyatt staring at Doc’s completion of the soliloquy
-Ward Bond (Morgan Earp) pouring sugar into his coffee while staring at Wyatt and Clem, presaging a similar and most effective moment in THE SEARCHERS
-Per our reading on mise-en-scene in MDC, of buttes, barber poles and saguaro cactii
-Hitchcock storyboarded meticulously. Ford storyboarded in his mind, thereby shooting shot by shot what he knew would be used…so no master shots followed by coverages in medium or close, etc. Final editing was thus pat, with no real alternatives
Miscellaneous Gems in Shots and Dialogue:
-Prostitutes gleefully applauding when referred to as “ladies”
-“Shave please…shave…shave” etc.
-“Hard town to…get a shave; get a peaceful game of poker”
Wyatt: Have you ever been in love?
Mac: No. I’ve been a bartender all my life
Reading: Gomery”Mise-en-Scene in MDC”in Wide Angle Pp.14-19
Budd’s “Genre, Director and Stars in JF’s Western” Pp.52-61


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