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Tombstone: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer and Sam Elliott Recapture Famous Shoot-Out at O.K. Corral

Updated on January 28, 2017
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green enjoys good movies and discusses these with readers who may be looking to add to their home libraries.

It's Guns Blazing and Strong Character Portrayals in This Exciting Blockbuster.

A gripping portrayal of the gunfight involving Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp and the McLaurys and Clantons at the OK Corral, October 26, 1881.

A Stellar Cast & a Gripping Movie

The Tombstone movie starring Kurt Russell (Wyatt Earp), Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday), Sam Elliot (Virgil Earp) and Bill Paxton (Morgan Earp) showcases the talent of a stellar cast, giving viewers the feeling they've stepped back in time.

Others big players are Powers Booth (Curly Bill Brocius), Michael Biehn (Johnny Ringo), Stephen Lang (Ike Clanton) and Thomas Haden Church (Billy Clanton).

Wyatt Earp, moves to Tombstone, Arizona, retiring his badge to start a peaceful new life.

Doc Holliday travels west and joins his friend, Wyatt, in Tombstone, which is fast becoming a boom town, attracting its share of outlaws.

One gang will forever change Wyatt's plans for a peaceful new life.

In a showdown that has gone down in the annals of time, the Earps and the Cowboys face off in the famous gunfight in the OK Corral.

More than just a Western movie depicting historical events, Tombstone is a psychological drama, which makes this movie far more compelling.

Good & Evil Played Out in Tombstone

Tombstone is a riveting portrayal of the powers of good and evil and how these forces leave their marks on men. The Tombstone movie aptly demonstrates that the lines often become blurred.

  • On one side of the fence there's Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday; on the other is the Red Sash Cowboy Gang, a motley crew of outlaws.
  • Wyatt Earp stands for law and order yet is friends with Doc Holliday, who has chosen the darker side.
  • Glimpses are seen of an educated and innocent and good Doc, before he became hardened, ruthless, and violent.
  • Wyatt is a man of values but falls prey to temptation with Josephine. And when pushed to the limit, he goes on a rampage, showing that even good men can be provoked to violent behavior under certain circumstances.

More than a famous gunfight, this movie portrays men fighting their own demons.

"You tell 'em I'm comin'... and Hell's comin' with me!"

Character Analysis

  • Wyatt Earp--Wyatt is strong and sensible. Earp is a man of values, who finds these tested to the limit.
  • Doc Holliday--Doc is educated and intelligent but through disillusionment uses his talents to become a gambler, gunslinger, and a lovable rogue.
  • Johnny Ringo--Johnny Ringo is cold and deadly but he meets his match in Doc.
  • Curly Bill--Curly is charming and charismatic, which blurs the lines between who is actually "good" and who is "bad."

Who's your Favorite Tombstone Character?

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"Must be a... peach of a hand..."

Doc was called "Lunger" in this movie. It was a slang term of the period for someone suffering from consumption.

Val Kilmer Quotes

  • "I'm your huckleberry."
  • "Isn't that a daisy."
  • "There, now we can be friends again."
  • "That's just my game."
  • "I have two guns. One for each of ya."
  • "I have not yet begun to defile myself."
  • "The strain was more than he could bear."

Three Thumbs Up

This was such an enjoyable movie. The acting was topnotch and you felt you were watching history unfolding.

What a line-up of big-name stars. I loved the coin sleight-of-hand and all of Doc's sayings. The bad guys were interesting, as well.

A great movie and a good choice for the home library.

Fast Facts

Tombstone was released by Hollywood Pictures in the United States on December 24, 1993
Tombstone ranks number 14 (Western genre) in the list of highest-grossing films since 1979

Intriguing Contrasts

  • Josephine is attracted to corrupt sheriff Behan & to peace-loving Wyatt.
  • Wyatt has a depressed wife and a fun-loving mistress.
  • Charming Wyatt and charismatic Curly Bill have as their sidekicks, two ruthless men: Doc Holiday and Johnny Ringo.
  • When the Earp brothers walk down Center Street, a line is drawn that forever divides people.
  • Tombstone does not climax with the shoot-out in the OK Corral, rather, this sparks a greater battle as Wyatt wages war on the Cowboys.
  • Wyatt battles both inner and outer demons, as he hunts down the outlaws.
  • Justice and revenge are intermixed in this George Cosmato film.

"Why, Johnny Ringo... you look like someone just walked over your grave... "

Have You Seen Tombstone?

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One of the Best Tombstone Movie Versions

This version of the Wyatt Earp story stands out because of the character portrayals. Viewers become emotionally involved with believable men and women with their inherent human foibles.

Tombstone grabs its audience and then some, giving fans much to think about after the movie is over.

© 2011 Athlyn Green

What did you think of this version of Tombstone?

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    • profile image

      WillWynn2 4 years ago

      This is a very good movie. Though Val and Kirk played their parts well, I have to take my hat off to the man who played Ike Clanton, Stephen Lang. He was always in the middle of things. He was both a brave man and a coward.

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 5 years ago from West Kootenays

      I agree with you. This is one of my favorite movies.

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

      You beat me to the punch I was going to review this movie about 11 months ago. My husband and I bought the video, then the DVD. Kilmer as Doc and Russell as Wyatt is the best casting ever. The cast as a whole shine. BB Thorton . . a little more meat on his bones than now was superb!!! I'm a huge fan of the western gendre, but Tombstone, is the best ever made. Thank you for sharing Voted up marked interesting!

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 5 years ago from West Kootenays

      Tombstone is a psychological drama done so well by the actors. This is one of my favorite movies portraying a historical event.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Great movie and great remake of this story. Good hub too.

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 6 years ago from West Kootenays


      Thanks for both your comments. Yes, this version of the shoot-out at the O,K, Corral is one of my favorites. Tombstone with this cast of excellent actors, really makes the grade, so very well done and well worth watching.

      I loved Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday & Kurt Russell did a fabuloous job as the strong Wyatt Earp.

      The interchange between Johnny Ringo & Doc Holliday was fascinating, You have two men who can be ruthless and who are alike in that they are both empty souls.

      This movie rocks from a psychological standpoint.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Tombstone is one of my favorite movies... I loved Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday ...he should have gotten some love at Oscar time....Little tidbits about this movie....look for Billy Bob Thorton in a small role....and Kurt Russell pretty much ended up directing this movie...great hub on a great movie.

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

      I loved this movie. It is now one of my favs

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