American Chameleon: Wyatt Earp's Life of Reinvention

Virtual Presentation by Andrew C. Isenberg


Virtual Screening Room Thu, Oct 21 6:00 PM
Arizona / Mountain Standard Time


Most who know Wyatt Earp through film think of him as a lawman so committed to justice that, in Arizona in the 1880s, he did not flinch from vigilante killings when the legal system was too weak to bring murderers to justice.  Earp spent the last decades of his life dictating memoirs in which he edited out his missteps and embarrassments, and appropriated the deeds of others as his own.  He presented himself as thoroughly committed to the law and tried repeatedly to sell this version of his life story to Hollywood. Reinventing his past was something with which Earp was familiar: he had been dissembling about himself since early adulthood. Earp told a story of his life in which his vigilantism was consistent with his alleged commitment to justice; in other words, he told a story of justice redeemed by violence. But Earp’s real story, embodied in the many films made after his death, is about the redemptive power of the media.


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  • Free Admission
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Additional Information

This is an online viritual event.  A Zoom link to join the presentation will be sent to you by email in your registration confirmation.

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