This masterfully crafted Western exemplifies the formal elegance and sophisticated worldview Tourneur brought to the genre. Joel McCrea stars as legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, who reluctantly takes on the job of marshal of the wild and woolly frontier town of Wichita and proceeds to run the trigger-happy gunslingers and carousing cowboys out of town—a move that doesn’t sit well with the city’s fat-cat businessmen. The director’s superbly composed CinemaScope frames and carefully controlled color palette lend an unassuming grace and grandeur to this subversive allegory about the clash between capitalism and moral right.

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