Novelist Leon Uris wrote the script for this Western directed by John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) and based on the life and times of Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) and his sickly companion, Doc Holliday (Kirk Douglas). The action inevitably leads to the legendary battle between the two heroes and the villainous Clanton gang, but the film is also very much about the conflicts each man faces with women, with one another, and with their own destinies. Lancaster is terrific as the downbeat Earp, and Douglas has one of his best roles as the consumptive Holliday. The thoughtfulness of the tale is matched by Sturges's captivating way with the dramatic duel. All in all, the film appeals both as a solid action piece and as a fascinating, two-character study. --Tom Keogh
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