Tombstone

  • Directors: George P Cosmatos, Kurt Russell 1
  • Producers: Michael Sloan, James Jacks
  • Writers: Kevin Jarre
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell), a retired peace officer with a legendary reputation, re-unites with his brothers Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) in Tucson, Arizona, where they venture on towards Tombstone, a small but growing mining town, to settle down. There they encounter Wyatt’s longtime friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), a southern gambler, expert gunslinger, and shady character who seeks relief from his tuberculosis in Arizona’s drier environment.

All is not perfect, however. Wyatt’s wife, Mattie Blaylock (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), is slowly becoming dependent on laudanum (opium). Just as Wyatt and his brothers begin to benefit from a stake in a gambling emporium and saloon, they have their first encounter with the Cowboys, a band of ruthless outlaws. Led by “Curly Bill” Brocious (Powers Boothe), the Cowboy members are identifiable by the red sashes worn around their waist. Conflict is narrowly avoided upon Wyatt’s insistence that he is retired and no longer interested in pursuing a career in enforcing the law. This is also first face-to-face meeting for Doc Holliday and the psychopathic Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn), widely known to be one of the fastest guns in the West. They take an immediate dislike to one another.

Doc is later admitted to a sanatorium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. After a visit from Wyatt, Doc looks at his feet and the condition of the bed in which he is lying: realizing he is about to die with his boots off (as opposed to “dying with your boots on”, i.e. in a gunfight), he passes away muttering “I’ll be damned. Oh, this is funny”. At Doc’s urging, Wyatt pursues Josephine and the movie ends with an account of their long marriage together, as narrated by veteran actor Robert Mitchum.

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