Zanuck’s Disputed Ending


“My Darling Clementine” is considered by many as a classic Western. It’s also not what director John Ford planned.

Producer/studio head Darryl F. Zanuck didn’t like the original, believing it was too long and boring. So he edited a number of scenes out, added music, and changed the ending.

The original had Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) awkwardly shaking hands with Clementine (Cathy Downs), showing the hero’s laconic side. Zanuck reshot it—and had Wyatt kiss the lady on the cheek. Ford went along with the boss but didn’t like it, nor did many critics.

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