Geer as Earp
I've seen quite a few threads on here complaining about Will Geer as Wyatt Earp. I, too, initially thought it was a mistake. Earp is supposed to be some cold-blooded, bad ass killer. Geer played him as a congenial, nice guy. It just didn't seem to fit the legend.
Then I remembered that Earp was the product of a legend of his own making. The movie was made 21 years after his death. His legend would have been on the wan in Hollywood, so they didn't have the reverence for him that we have today. He was the last survivor of the characters we know from the Tombstone years. He related his story to several journalists and his story was written about back East. However, the majority of his legend came from his own mouth. Its quite possible he exaggerated his role in things or just plain made stuff up. Sure, he probably was a stone cold killer, but the movie takes place sometime during 1876. Tombstone and the OK Corral were still 5 years off (1881). Is it possible his reputation as a steely-eyed guy was really an exaggeration of his laid back, down-home style.
Just saying. History is written by the winners. Maybe the Cowboys or others might have a different view of Earp. Either way, I think the character itself was misplaced in this movie. The sheriff didn't have to be Earp as he was not essential to the plot. I'd be curious to know what the director's and Geer's thought process was on this.
My memory foam pillow says it can't remember my face. I can tell its lying.