“T” is for Tombstone (1993)
ombstone is one of my favourite films of all time. Definitely well up there in the top ten. It tells the story of the events leading up to, after and of course the actual Gunfight at the O.K Corral. This movie incorporated two of my biggest loves in this world, movies and history.
From what I have read on the subject, the film is pretty true to the actual events and although there is some artistic licence used, I feel that it is better than the Kevin Costner version of the story in the movie Wyatt Earp, although that is very good aswell.
The second Western movie to feature in my A-Z, Tombstone has everything. A great story (which is true for the most part) some good action in an era that I was always fascinated with as a kid and still find interesting today, and most of all, it has Val Kilmer. I don’t know about you, and please do comment on this, but I think that his portrayal of Doc Holliday in this film is his finest performance on screen.
The chemistry that he and Kurt Russell share on-screen is just so natural and the rest of the cast just seem to feed of this and deliver equally brilliant performances. Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton and Powers Boothe are all electric in this film. Speaking of Sam Elliott, he always struck me as someone who was born out of time and by that I mean that he really belongs in the Wild West era, he just has that look about him and it was used to great effect in this movie.
If you haven’t seen Tombstone, then I suggest you make this one a must. The film wasn’t the success I think the makers had hoped for and although made around $60M from its $25M budget, the film was considered a flop. It wasn’t until after director George P. Cosmatos‘ death in 1997 that the film started to get a little more recognition. Personally I think it is my favourite Western and I just love watching Kilmer at work in this – the accent, the cockiness, the skill of the real Doc just round off what is a truly great movie and one that should be remembered much more fondly by movie fans in my opinion and a film that really should have won some big awards, but was completely snubbed by all.
Fun Fact: The line quoted by Doc at the end of the fight at the OK Corral is historically true and was reported in the Tombstone papers reporting the fight. When confronted by one of the Cowboys at point-blank range, the Cowboy reportedly said, “I got you now Doc, you son of a bitch,” to which Doc gleefully retorted, “You’re a daisy if you do!”