Wyatt Earp

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A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, this film tells the story of Wyatt Earp and how his story became an American legend.

Wyatt Earp has been portrayed in countless movies and tv shows by a number of Hollywood’s greatest actors, including Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, and recently, Kevin Costner, however these popular fictions usually belie the complexities and flaws of a man whose life is a lens on politics, justice and economic opportunity in the American frontier.

As a young man, Wyatt Earp was a caricature of the Western lawman. He gained notoriety as the legendary gunman in the shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, but shortly after his death in 1929, distressed Americans down on their luck transformed Wyatt Earp into a folk hero, a central figure in the narrative of how the West was won.

Celebrated as a man who took control of his own destiny, Wyatt Earp came to epitomize the town-taming marshal responsible for bringing the forces of law, order and civilization to the Wild West.

This film is part of The American Experience Series. Read more at PBS.

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