Listed are the best current movies available
on Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, etc.
A high-energy action adventure based
on legend rather than historical fact finds Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) desiring
to retire from law enforcement. With brothers Virgil (Sam Elliot) and Morgan
(Bill Paxton), he arrives in Tombstone, Arizona intending to build his fortune.
He discovers that long-time friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) is there and
that the town is run by a group of brutal outlaws called the Cowboys. Earp,
frustrated with his laudanum-addicted wife, begins a romance with traveling
stage actress Josephine Marcus (Dana Delany). Meanwhile, the Cowboys terrorize
the citizens of Tombstone unchecked.
When the town marshal is killed by a Cowboy, Earp steps in to prevent a
lynching by an angry mob. He also refuses to hand the killer over to his
fellows, beginning the enmity between the Cowboys and the Earp brothers.
Virgil, overcome with guilt at doing nothing to help the Tombstone citizens,
accepts the position of town marshal. With Wyatt and Morgan as his deputies,
and the help of Doc, Virgil attempts to arrest several Cowboys, resulting
in the famous OK Corral shoot-out. The Cowboys take revenge by ambushing
two of the brothers and injuring Virgil and killing Morgan. The Earps leave
town, apparently cowed. Wyatt returns, wearing the badge of a U.S. marshal,
vowing to destroy every last Cowboy. He hunts them mercilessly, until the
leader, Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn) challenges Wyatt to a duel. While not
regarded as an artistic masterpiece, "Tombstone" is considered the best of
director George P. Cosmatos' prolific films. The all-star cast delivers solid
performances. Both William A Fraker's cinematography and Bruce Broughton's
stirring musical score are expertly designed for dramatic effect. Blood is
shown liberally in several key scenes, but seems intended to show that there
is nothing glorious in Wyatt Earp's actions, only necessity. He and his deputies
take on the symbolism of the horsemen of the apocalypse -- dispensing judgement,
and the Biblical references form a symmetry at the beginning and end of the
film. ~ Lucinda Ramsey, All Movie Guide
2). Wyatt Earp-1994
This massive, in-depth study of the dark
Western icon comes off with mixed results. Trying to capture the whole life,
(warts and all) of the lawman-criminal-brother-fortune hunter, director Lawrence
Kasdan gains points for sheer scale, giving us a rich epic painted in dark
colors with gritty settings. But the visual poetry and extensive foreshadowing
ruin the dramatic drive. Some scenes have as much impact as stalker movies;
you're just waiting for someone to get knocked off. As Earp, Kevin Costner
is not afraid to look rumpled and play colorlessly (as in The Bodyguard
), but it saps the energy of this 3-hour-plus film. The only relief is Dennis
Quaid as a droll Doc Holiday, a much more engaging character. New faces Linden
Ashby and Joanna Going (as an Earp brother and a lover, respectively) are
solid finds, though the remainder of the female cast is barely given anything
to do. Best is the first half, with Costner, as hip as he was in his Silverado
days, going through a series of ups and downs until he accidentally finds
his profession. Great set design (Ida Random) utilizes dozens of similar settings
that always look distinctive. Recommended to fans of the star and the genre,
but the story never justifies its length. --Doug Thomas- Amazon.Com
Other Westerns unrelated to Earp and Tombstone:
After his family is
murdered, a faithless preacher (Dylan McDermott) becomes the head of a team
of Texas Rangers to deal out some shoot-first-ask-questions-later justice.
His tactics don't sit well, however, with a by-the-book ranger (James Van
Der Beek) out to avenge his own parents' deaths. Can the two men put their
differences aside long enough to get the job done? Rip-roaring western co-stars
Ashton Kutcher, Rachael Leigh Cook, Usher Raymond, Alfred Molina and Tom Skerritt.
92 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1; storyboard
comparisons; theatrical trailer; photo gallery.
The Virginian (2000)
The classic Western
novel is given a stirring and exciting treatment with Bill Pullman directing
and starring as the title character, a man from Virginia trying to make a
new life for himself in Wyoming. After marrying a school teacher and taking
a job as a foreman on a ranch, the Virginian faces danger when he's betrayed
by his best friend. With Diane Lane, John Savage, Dennis Weaver and James
Drury ('60s TV's Virginian). 95 min.
Louis L'Amour's classic
sagebrush tale has been turned into a superior Western in the classic tradition.
Sam Elliott plays a sharp-shooting cowboy, hired to guard cattle on a sprawling
ranch, who discovers that some of the other hands are confederates of a gang
of rustlers. While on their trail, he's shot from behind, sending him on a
mission of vengeance. Katharine Ross, Barry Corbin also star. 94 min.
Four Academy Awards,
including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actor, went to director/star
Clint Eastwood's superb revisionist western about a gunslinger-turned-rancher
who joins his old partner and a young sharpshooter to capture a pair of cowhands
responsible for mutilating a prostitute. With Gene Hackman as a cruel sheriff,
Richard Harris, Morgan Freeman and Frances Fisher. 131 min. Widescreen (Enhanced);
Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital Surround; Subtitles:
English, French, Spanish; filmographies; production notes; scene access; audio
commentary; theatrical trailer; documentaries; "Maverick" episode; more.
Clint Eastwood returns
to the western as a mysterious stranger, disguised as a priest, who helps
the settlers of a small mining town overcome the oppression of a ruthless
gold baron. Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress. 116 min. Widescreen (Enhanced);
Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital mono, French
Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; filmographies; production
notes; theatrical trailers; scene access.
High Plains Drifter
A frontier town's residents,
fearing the impending return of a trio of escaped convicts, look for help
from mysterious new arrival Clint Eastwood. But is he savior or avenging angel?
Violent and compelling western, directed by Eastwood, also stars Verna Bloom,
Mitchell Ryan, Billy Curtis. 104 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby
Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: Spanish; biographies;
production notes; theatrical trailer.