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1990s, WESTERN

Tombstone (1993)

Tombstone

Duration 2h 10m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Real events and characters through the prism of legend.
Director George P. Cosmatos
Writers/Script Kevin Jarre (With a lot of uncredited input)
Starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston, Jon Tenney, Thomas Haden Church, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Zane

Elevator Pitch: Wyatt Earp and his brothers travel to Tombstone, a new city, to settle down but it is not long before they are forced to emerge from retirement to take on the local gang of bandits, The Cowboys. The brothers with Doc Holliday shoot it out at the OK Coral with some of the gang, but later Morgan is killed and Virgil injured causing Wyatt to get a posse together and ride out into the badlands of Arizona for a final showdown.

Content: There is no sex or nudity but quite a bit of drinking. There are a number of theatrical performances, the atomsphere of whch seems to leak out into the real world. The Cowboys shoot it out with some Mexican police and  cause mayhem in Tombstone on a fairly random basis, so there are many exchangs of gunfire with hand guns, shot guns and rifles. At some points there is a lot of blood visible.  Wyatt and an itinerant actress look longingly at each other quite a bit.

A View: This is one of the many portrayals of events in Tombstone in the 1880s, and was intended apparently to be more of a saga. The critics quite liked it and the general public even more, possibly because it attempts to portray what actually happened, however I found the story quite difficult to follow and the mass of different characters confusing. After his brothers are out of the picture Wyatt apparently just gets another gang together and continues the battle. Hardly dramatic. So probably only a watch for a small fee for Western fans.

Additional Info: There are a lot of interesting back stories related to this narrative, one of which suggests that Wyatt Earp was actually a pretty doubtful character who promoted himself to the film makers in LA in the early 1920s.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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