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Tombstone - Real American Hero Western - Lovable Legends, Lawlessness and Larceny

Updated on August 16, 2014

What happened on the big screen when Kirt Russell, Sam Elliot, Val Kilmer and Bill Paxton got together to recreate a legendary period of American history?

The hottest rendition of the famous exploits lived by western figures Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday to ever grace theaters happened.

They named it after the setting, Tombstone, an old west type spot in Arizona.

Follow along to see how Tombstone rocked history.

When I first saw the trailers for this, it seemed Kirt Russell would get all of the play. Being a western lover, I grabbed it but was kind of hoping Sam Elliot would be concentrated on. He's a dream boat.

However, in my opinion, Val stole the show, hands down. His portrayal of Doc Holliday is by far my favorite out of every one I have ever seen.

I've seen a lot of versions of the famous shoot out at the OK corral.

The infamous shoot out at the OK corral was an actual piece of American history. While it may arguably be the most famous historical scene, it's not alone.

Tombstone starts at a leisurely pace setting up the characters but the action gets progressively faster and more intense as the show unfolds. This too is true to history as the tensions between factions mounted in the town.

The bad guys are pure. The good guys, not so much.

One of the most stand out things about this particular portrayal of these icons of the old west is the human factor brought to the characters.

Wyatt Earp has always been portrayed as a hero and he was but he wasn't just that. Kirk Russell's rendition shows a self motivated interest guiding Wyatt. It's through mostly circumstance and sheer bad luck that the famous shootout takes place.

While Wyatt may be shown as being reluctantly pushed into being a hero, he's got nothing on Doc. Val plays Doc Holliday as the most lovable scoundrel one could ever wish to meet. With a southern drawl second to none, a keen wit prone to sarcasm and a gambler's view on life, Doc remains a rouge while being a hero at the same time.

Classic tales are told again and again.

How many movie and TV versions of these wild west heroes have been made over the years? Dozens, maybe even hundreds have graced screens. Out of every one I've ever seen, I love this one the most.

I've watched it more times than I'm going to admit to and each time I fall in love with Doc all over again. My heart bleeds a little for the characters, the sacrifices made by so many so that law and order could be brought to a new land. I marvel anew at how events unfolded in our great nation, how ordinary people when confronted with extraordinary obstacles rose to greatness in such a savage and untamed land.

Trailers, clips and the making of.

Check out the official trailer below along with some of my personal favorite clips featuring Val Kilmer playing Doc. That drawl is smooth as velvet. I could listen to him all day. The last video included is a full length feature of the making of the movie.

Be sure to listen for the best lines from Doc.  There's something about that attitude, that southern drawl, that half smirk that takes this character so into iconic status.


Background image credit: Poetvix.

Who is your favorite famous American western legend?

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Movie art

Movie art

Legends Never Die Tombstone II Framed Photo Collage, 11x14-Inch
Legends Never Die Tombstone II Framed Photo Collage, 11x14-Inch

For fans of the film, westerns or true based American tales this will be most appreciated.


Do you like westerns? What about true life inspired hero tales? What are some of your favorites?

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    • Mark W Kuglin profile image

      Mark W Kuglin 

      4 years ago from Imperial Beach, California and Ensenada, Mexico

      Tombstone is one of my all time favorites. Great lens.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @georgepmoola2: I just can't help but watch it. Doc is just so engaging. Yea, it played with some details but its still so much fun :). God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @WriterJanis2: I would love, love, love to get to actually go there. How cool is that? Hm. Now, I'm off for more research as to the specifics of where the reference originated for it way predates the movie. Fun :). I love trivia. Blessings!

    • georgepmoola2 profile image


      4 years ago

      I am a complete sucker for westerns and have seen this one several times, it's a crackerjack although some inaccuracies persist.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      4 years ago

      I have visited here before and was surprised that the actual shootout took place in the street and that the corral was made up for the movie.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @takkhisa: Oh! I remember that movie from back in the day. My Dad used to love "The Magnificent Seven." I'm going to have to watch that again now. It's been too long for me to remember much about it other than it was kind of spaghetti styled and Daddy loved it. Thank you!

    • takkhisa profile image


      4 years ago

      Last year me and my brother watched this movie, I did like it but it is not a classic one like the movie "The Magnificent Seven!" Well, honestly it is a great review.


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