Frontier Marshal (1934 film)

Frontier Marshal is a 1934 American Pre-Code Western film directed by Lewis Seiler and starring George O'Brien. Produced by Fox Film and Sol M. Wurtzel, the film is the first based on Stuart N. Lake's enormously popular but largely fictitious "biography" of Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. A second version of the film, also produced by Wurtzel, was made in 1939, and a third interpretation by John Ford entitled My Darling Clementine was released in 1946.

Frontier Marshal
Directed byLewis Seiler
Produced bySol M. Wurtzel
Written byStuart Anthony
William M. Conselman
Based onWyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal
1931 novel
by Stuart N. Lake
StarringGeorge O'Brien
Irene Bentley
Alan Edwards
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byW. Donn Hayes
Distributed byFox Film
Release date
  • January 19, 1934 (1934-01-19) (U.S.)
Running time
66 minutes
CountryUnited States

He supposedly wrote the book with Earp's input,i[1] and it portrays Earp as a fearless lawman. But before the first movie was released, his widow Josephine Earp sued 20th Century Fox for $50,000 in an attempt to keep them from making the film. She said it was an "unauthorized portrayal" of Wyatt Earp. She succeeded in getting Earp's name completely excised from the movie.[2] His character was renamed "Michael Wyatt," and the movie was released as Frontier Marshal.[3]


Wandering lawman Michael Wyatt rides into a lawless town and runs into conflict with the local boss, Doc Warren.



Actor Ward Bond appears in three films based on the Wyatt Earp story and Lake's spurious book: this film, the 1939 version and John Ford's My Darling Clementine, playing different roles in all three.


  1. "Earp, Wyatt". Encyclopædia Britannica (2007). Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  2. Faragher, John Mack (1996). Carnes, Marck C. (ed.). Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. The Tale of Wyatt Earp: Seven Films". New York: Heny Holt.
  3. Hutton, Paul (1995). "Showdown at the Hollywood Corral, Wyatt Earp and the Movies". Montana the Magazine of Western History (Summer 1995).
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