Tuesday, February 8, 2011

8/50: Tombstone

As I said before when reviewing 3:10 To Yuma I have never really been into Western films. I have, however, had my interest piqued with some of the well known crusaders of the west.

Because of that, I was very interested in viewing Tombstone during my 50 films of 2011. One of the things that stood out to me was just how small the Battle at OK Corral was. Hearing about it so many times I assumed it was a huge shoot out - when in fact it was four men taking out a gang of cowboys.

Anyway, the film depicts a retiring Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) joining his brothers Morgan (Bill Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliott) in Tombstone. Earp is well known for being a successful lawman, but is now looking to retire and make money panning for gold or owning a business.

The Cowboys, as they have been called (and also carry a red sash), have sort of taken over the town. When Earp arrives he is asked repeatedly to take over as sheriff of the town, and repeatedly turns them down.

One night, acting sheriff is gunned down my a drunk cowboy named Curly Bill Brocius (Powers Boothe) and Morgan and Virgil decide to take over as the town's sheriffs. It isn't until the Cowboys begin to mess with the Earps and their families that Wyatt decides to join the crew. With the three Earps and Wyatt's life long friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) - the four take on a bunch of the Cowboys in the Battle of OK Corral.

Things start to become worse as both Morgan and Virgil are shot by the Cowboys, and Wyatt and Doc round up a few other men to go on a Cowboy killing spree.

The movie was rather brilliant, not as great as I was hoping, but still very entertaining. The fight scenes were a little lacking for me, but for a 1993 movie I guess I can accept them. The absolute gem of the entire film was Kilmer's performance as Holliday. One of the best characters on film that I have had the pleasure of seeing. His performance alone bumped up my grade for the film, though I did enjoy it anyway.


1 comment:

  1. And it gets better with every viewing. This film has more quotable lines than just about anything, I'd wager. And Kilmer doesn't even have them all, though of course he has many of the best ones.

    I can't believe I don't own this thing...it's a huge void in my collection.