Old West Gangsters

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp had no luck selling his version of the Tombstone events during his lifetime. But shortly after his death in 1929, gangster movies became quite popular. Hays Code and other moral defenders were alarmed and felt these movies were too popular. So they asked Hollywood to stop making movies like “Public Enemy No. I.” Hollywood simply put the gangster in the Old West, which made the O.K. Corral story perfect for rival gangs to shoot it out. We’re at 35 movies about the Earps and counting, so I guess you could say Wyatt Earp’s story has legs.

What do you think?

Bob Boze Bell

In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.