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Note :The opening scene is not a disc error .It was intentionally shot and presented in this format and aspect ratio as this was the directors vision for his film.
A sizzling, star-studded cast brings to life the legendary battle to deliver justice to TOMBSTONE! Kurt Russell (MIRACLE, VANILLA SKY) turns in a gripping performance as U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer (THE MISSING, BATMAN FOREVER) ignites the screen as the outrageous Doc Holliday. Together, they team up to bring law to the lawless in a notorious showdown with the ruthless outlaws at the O.K. Corral! The all-star ensemble also includes Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Dana Delany, Jason Priestley, Michael Biehn, and long-time Hollywood favorite Charlton Heston. Get ready for an explosive, action-packed adventure the Wild West would never forget!
This Western has become a modest cult favorite since its release in 1993, when the film was met with mixed reviews but the performances of Kurt Russell (as Wyatt Earp) and especially Val Kilmer, for his memorably eccentric performance as the dying gunslinger Doc Holliday, garnered high praise. The movie opens with Wyatt Earp trying to put his violent past behind him, living happily in Tombstone with his brothers and the woman (Dana Delany) who puts his soul at ease. But a murderous gang called the Cowboys has burst on the scene, and Earp can't keep his gun belt off any longer. The plot sounds routine, and in many ways it is, but Western buffs won't mind a bit thanks to a fine cast and some well-handled action on the part of Rambo director George P. Cosmatos, who has yet to make a better film than this. --Jeff Shannon
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Kurt Russell turns in another excellent performance, proving once again that he has grown considerably as an actor over the years.
The performances of Michael Biehn, Sam Elliott, Powers Boothe, Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Jason Priestly, Joanna Pacula, even Charlton Heston, in supporting roles -- major and minor -- are carefully crafted and played to perfection.
But in my book Val Kilmer steals the show as Doc Holliday. Chalk this up as another excellent performance (e.g. Thunderheart) by the oft-maligned but excellent actor.
Do yourselves a favor and view this movie as a stand-alone ... don't try to compare it to the other Wyatt Earp movies; don't compare it to history. Just enjoy it as it is -- a truly well-told tale, a violent love story (think True Romance set in the 19th century if you will), full of outstanding performances.
This story (as are almost all tales about Earp) is heavily romanticized. History reveals that there were no good guys or bad guys in the power struggles that took place between town authorities, Earp's crowd, and The Cowboys. Nonetheless, the director has paid close attention to period accuracy in costume, language, and props. The firearms used -- an area that is often woefully researched -- are period accurate, with only the most minor license taken for cinematic effect.
My guess is that in time this movie will establish itself as an audience favorite regardless of "expert" opinion. And the cast members have every reason to be proud of a truly fine ensemble performance.
Dana Delany is radiant as the actress Wyatt falls for even though he is married. His wife has become a drug addict and his marriage is not the stuff dreams are made of, but Dana Delaney is. The film takes its time as Wyatt and his brothers are slowly drawn towards the history we have come to know, and the aftermath we may not.
This is a multilayered story more faithful to the truth than most versions. What makes this film superior to other westerns is the depth of the story and the realistic performances of the cast. The finest of the aforementioned is Val Kilmer's extraordinary turn as Doc Holliday.
This film more realistically portrays the relationship of Holliday and Wyatt than any other film. Kilmer's Holliday is dangerous and intelligent, and above all, loyal to perhaps his only real friend in life, Wyatt Earp. Kilmer so became the real Doc Holliday that it was said he remained in character on the set at all times, even when the camera was not rolling. His performance is something that will always be remembered by anyone who watches this film.
Wyatt is a real man in this film with raw courage but no self delusions. He is no gunman and realizes he can not beat the quick and dangerous Johnny Ringo in a gun battle. Doc Holliday, in spite of his illness, has Wyatt's back and arrives there first. What follows is one of the most tense and accurately portrayed gunfights in film history.
Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp remained friends until Holliday finally was overtaken by the tuberculosis which had plagued him for years. As in real life, Wyatt Earp actually does find happiness and settles down with Dana Delaney after his wife dies in this film. The real Wyatt became quite wealthy in the latter part of his life.
The rich tapestry of events that formed the legend of the dangerous Doc Holliday and Marshal Wyatt Earp are given the best and most accurate screen treatment ever filmed. This is a must see western. You will never forget it and you will never see a better and more colorful true to life performance than Val Kilmer's turn as Doc Holliday.