Sunday, April 10, 2005


There are few movies based on real life stories and there are very few out of them that are impressive (according to me). I must say Tombstone was really impressive considering the fact that I didn't know anything about this real life story.

When I read the line on DVD, "Every town has a story. Tombstone has a legend", I wasn't very sure about what I was going to watch.

The time of story is in 1880s when Tombstone is a newly established town in Arizona. The town is threatened by outlaws Johnny Ringo, Billy Clanton, Ike Clanton and their gang known as 'The Cowboys'. The movie starts with a mass killing at a Spanish wedding.

Retired lawman Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) comes to Tombstone with his wife, brothers Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) and their wives. He is soon followed by his friend and doctor turned gambler Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer). Wyatt is interested in making some money and moving on. But it seems it wasn't his destiny.

One night drunken Billy Clanton kills old town Marshal in a gun fight. Wyatt Earp presents Bill in court but he is released due to lack of evidence. This is the time when Virgil and Morgan take charge and put notices about restrictions on carrying guns in town. Wyatt is not very keen about getting involved. He tells Virgil and Morgan, "Once I engaged in a fight. A man was killed and I killed him. You don't even know how it feels to kill a man." Wyatt knows where it is leading and it only ends with death and devastation. This incidence is followed by the famous gun fight at OK Corral square and eventually some bloodshed. The Cowboys soon cold-bloodedly murder Morgon and cripple Virgil.

Wyatt then decides to leave the town. But Johnny Ringo is interested in ending this at once. He sends Stillwell and Ike Clanton to Railway Station to kill Earp brothers. But Wyatt is ready for them and kills Stillwell. This scene I liked particularly. At the start of movie in mass killing when Cowboys kill a Spanish priest he says something in Spanish before dying. Jonny Ringo explains that he was referring to Bible, "A man will come soon and hell will follow him".
When Wyatt kills Stillwell, Ike drops his gun and begs for his life. Wyatt says to him, "Tell him I am coming. I AM COMING AND HELL IS COMING WITH ME"

Wyatt then takes his revenge and finishes the Cowboys gang. Jonny Ringo, supposed to be fastest gunman, throws Wyatt a challenge for one on one fight. Doc Holliday replaces Wyatt without his knowledge and then you find that Jonny is not fast enough to beat Doc.

The movie though made in 1993 has a fresh look. Almost every character in movie is played perfectly. Kurt Russell is damn good. I also liked Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. According to what I read at IMDB, out of 8 movies related to this story, Tombstone stands above all (as it sticks to reality).