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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (4K UHD Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

Austere lawman Wyatt Earp and alcoholic outlaw Doc Holiday work together to fight a gang of outlaws in the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Director John Sturges (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven) with cinematographer Charles Lang (Last Train from Gun Hill, Some Like it Hot) and a cast featuring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Rhonda Fleming, and Dennis Hopper brought the classic biographical western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral to the big screen in 1957. One of the most star-studded films to capture the infamous October 26, 1881, O.K. Corral shootout in Tombstone, Arizona, involving Wild West personalities Wyatt Earp (Lancaster) and Doc Holiday (Douglas).

The lawman Earp – portrayed as a straight-shooting, moralizer — and Holiday meet when Holiday is being held on a trumped-up murder charge and about to be strung up by a lynch mob. Earp does not like Holiday much at first, but being an honest lawman, he will not allow him to be lynched, and he saves him from the mob. Later on, Holiday returns the favor when he intercedes to help Earp in a shootout in the saloon.

The two slowly become reluctant frenemies, moving to Dodge city where Earp is the marshal, and they scuffle with a group of outlaws who have in for Earp. Eventually, Earp and Holiday go to Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt’s brother Virgil is city marshal, and the infamous Clanton/McLowery outlaw gang awaits.

The infamous gunfight that the film leads up to likely did not last more than a minute or two, so it is the tension between the outlaws and Earp and Holiday, or Holiday and his desperate girlfriend Kate (Jo Van Fleet in a fantastically devilish performance) that drives the narrative.

It is also the gorgeous the beautiful visuals from cinematographer Charles Lang and the rugged performances of Kirk Douglas as the consumptive rapscallion Holiday and Lancaster as the almost austere lawman that make this one of the best westerns of its era.

Purchase Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com

  • Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Burt Lancaster in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 4K Ultra HD Combo (KL Studio Classics)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 4K Ultra HD Combo (KL Studio Classics)

The Video

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a brand new HDR/Dolby Vision master by Paramount – from a 4K scan of the 35mm original camera negative. At the time the film used Technicolor’s dye-transfer process for prints, from the Eastman 25T 5248 negative, shot in 8-perf VistaVision. Presented in 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision on 4K Ultra HD, the beautifully shot film looks wonderfully revealing from the opening credit scenes, with a refined grain structure. The bar scene shows deep background detail, nuanced shadows, and a natural color palette. The Dolby Vision grading, when comparing to the included Blu-ray, which is also from the new 4K scan, looks surprisingly timid with its color palette. The color on the Blu-ray looks more vivid and saturated, although the grain is a little bit more crunchy, less refined. Highlights pop more on the 4K disc and it does present a more natural look overall, but something is very appealing about the Blu-ray, so it is a tossup here. That said, this is a beautiful restoration from Paramount and a good presentation on disc from KL Studio Classics.

The Audio

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral gets an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo mix. The 5.1 mix has good clarity and dynamics with lots of ambience around gunshots and thump in the LFE for bumps, punches, gunshots, and horses galloping. The stereo mix is well presented as well with a little less low end and obviously less ambience.

The Supplements

This one does not come with much, but the audio commentary is an excellent listen.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Author/Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner and Film Historian Henry Parke (True West Magazine) (4K & Blu-ray)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – Trailer (1080p; 00:02:13) (Blu-ray Only)

The Final Assessment

Okay, pardners, wrangle up some poppin’ corn, siddown and enjoy the magnificence of this beautiful transfer. This one is a must for any fan of westerns, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.


Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo February 27, 2024 from KL Studio Classics

Purchase Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: Passed
  • Studios & Distributors: Wallis-Hazen | Paramount Pictures | Kino Lorber
  • Director: John Sturges
  • Written By: Leon Uris | George Scullin
  • Run Time: 122 Mins.
  • Street Date: 27 February 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
    • Max. Luminance: 4000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0050 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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Austere lawman Wyatt Earp and alcoholic outlaw Doc Holiday work together to fight a gang of outlaws in the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (4K UHD Review)