"Each man has a song and this is my song." (Leonard Cohen)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Doc (UA, 1971)


The most beautiful woman on the planet.





 
Many films about Doc Holliday do a good job with the likeness of the man himself. But they persist in having glamorous stars with small noses as Kate, and they never give Kate her proper name. Never mind, we must allow for cinematic licence.

This was a revisionist Wyatt/Doc picture and while it is acceptable, indeed, worthy to redress the balance of all those portrayals of decent, tough Marshal Earps cleaning up Tombstone, this picture goes too far the other way. Wyatt (Harris Yulin) is a corrupt, scheming politician who cynically guns down the Clantons at the OK Corral in order to win an election when they have “just come to talk”.

Still, Stacey Keach in the title role is moving and powerful, one of the better Docs, it must be said. This is strong fare and the language and action will not be to everyone’s taste but I feel the film has its merits. The Pete Hamill dialogue is earthy and barbed. Gene Callahan, the production designer, and Gerald Hirschfeld, the photographer, produced a terrific Tombstone in southern Spain, more plausibly Mexican than is usual.

Denver John Collins is the best support actor, in the invented personage of “The Kid”. Faye Dunaway of course is a fine actress and one of the most beautiful women on the planet. And Dan Greenberg, as Clum, looks exactly like Quentin Tarantino.

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Not in the premier league of Wyatt/Doc pics, nevertheless Doc is worth seeing.

 

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