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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral [Blu-ray]


(John Sturges, 1957)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:02:39.393

Disc Size: 23,780,316,254 bytes

Feature Size: 23,704,301,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.84 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 11th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3013 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3013 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), French, Spanish, none



• None





Description: Of the many filmed versions of the October 26, 1881, O.K. Corral shootout in Tombstone, Arizona, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was one of the most elaborate and star-studded. Burt Lancaster plays Wyatt Earp, the renowned lawman, while Kirk Douglas is consumptive gambler (and gunfighter) Doc Holliday -- the two meet in difficult circumstances, as Earp discovers that Holiday, for whom he initially feels little but loathing, is being held on a trumped up murder charge and being set up for a lynching, and intercedes on his behalf. The action shifts to Dodge City, Kansas, where Earp is marshal and Holiday, hardly grateful for the good turn, shows up right in the middle of all kinds of trouble, this time mostly on Earp's side of the ledger. And, finally, the two turn up in Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt's brother Virgil is city marshal, and where Wyatt finally gets to confront the Clanton/McLowery outlaw gang (led by Lyle Bettger as Ike Clanton). Since the time-span of the actual gunfight was at most 90 seconds, the bulk of the film concerns the tensions across many months leading up to the famous battle.



The Film:

John Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) was hardly the first, and wouldn't be the last, film to cover the legendary shootout involving Wyatt Earp, "Doc" Holiday, and those ornery Clanton Boys (see John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) for the heavyweight champ of this particular story.) But Gunfight at the O.K. Corral features one of the more thrilling shootouts ever filmed. Although Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas (as Earp and Holliday, respectively) deliver the goods, the thing people remember most about Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is...that gunfight. Everything else is really just a well-crafted prelude to the blazing six-guns.

You probably have a passing familiarity with the basic storyline. It's 1881. Earp and Holliday are gun-slinging compatriots in the town of Dodge City, where Earp is also the marshal. Earp is ready to hang up his guns and settle down with a beautiful gambler named Laura Denbow (Rhonda Fleming) when he's contacted by his brother Virgil (John Hudson), the marshal of the aptly named burg of Tombstone, Arizona. Virgil needs help controlling the Clanton-Ringo gang, whose members are mercilessly terrorizing the locals. Earp and Holliday, living, as they do, by a code of honor, take it upon themselves to ride out to Tombstone and try to make peace. Eventually, things come to a head at the O.K. Corral, where everyone starts shootin' and hollerin' and dyin'.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Students of American frontier history will know from the title that this film has to do with a famous gunfight that took place in Tombstone, Ariz., between a small posse headed by United States Marshall Wyatt Earp and five members of the lawless Clanton gang. And students of motion picture patterns will deduce from that knowledge that this film is mainly a build-up to that showdown, which comes in blazing fury at the end.

They will be right. Leon Uris, working from an article by George Scullin, has hacked out a screen play in which Wyatt Earp goes through a long lot of getting acquainted with the gambler-gunman Doc Holliday before he brings those two doughty heroes side-by-side and face-to-face with the Clantons at the O. K. Corral.

Excerpt from the New York Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral appears far less manipulated than the simultaneously released Paramount Blu-ray Wayne flics (Hatari and El Dorado). I don't discount some digitization manifesting in a movement to moiring.  Generally though, it has not crossed my personal threshold. It is a shade waxy and glossy but nothing I can't live with - you may differ. This is only single-layered with a more modest bitrate but the image is clean and shows crispness in close-ups. Colors seem authentic (flesh tones minutely warm). There are frequent examples of depth. Daylight scenes dominate and the Arizona and California 'big sky' scenes add to the flavor. This 1.78:1 Blu-ray is pretty consistent in the representation of the visuals. I enjoyed the presentation.





















Audio :

Purists will find a less-necessary bump to a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3013 kbps and no option for the original mono. The separations are infrequent, but there and add some atmosphere to the olde west, I suppose. Of course, there is gunplay, that gets some punch from the lossless transfer. Score is by the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin (Angel Face, Strangers on a  Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) and there are optional subtitles (and 2 foreign language DUBs.) My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

None at all - not even a trailer.



Classic western - not only the lore of the story but the stars. I like the Paramount Blu-ray - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a film I will revisit. Bare-bones but the reasonable prices reflects that. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 24th, 2013


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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