34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great western should be
This isn't just a film about the gunfight at the OK Corral, it is a film about the Earps and what became known as the Earp Vendetta Ride. It simply had the misfortunte of being up against another film about Wyatt Earp that starred Kevin Costner in his prime.
Wyatt Earp (19 March 1848 - 19 January 1929) was at various times in his life a gambler, saloon keeper,...
Published on 10 Oct 2009 by Su
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, poor value
First of all Tombstone is a great western, one of the best of modern times. Secondly, it looks magnificent in blu ray, vibrant, clear and just as I remember it to be at the cinema.
So why the three stars? Because this is the standard movie and not the director's cut that's available on DVD. Given how blu ray has been sold to us as superior quality and sound,...
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by Brian V. Burford
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great western should be,
This review is from: Tombstone - The Directors Cut [DVD]  (DVD)This isn't just a film about the gunfight at the OK Corral, it is a film about the Earps and what became known as the Earp Vendetta Ride. It simply had the misfortunte of being up against another film about Wyatt Earp that starred Kevin Costner in his prime.
Wyatt Earp (19 March 1848 - 19 January 1929) was at various times in his life a gambler, saloon keeper, farmer, gold miner and lawman.
Virgil Earp (18 July 1843 - 19 October 1905) mainly a gambler but also a well known lawman
Morgan Earp (24 April 1851 - 18 March 1882)
John Henry "Doc" Holliday (14 August 1851 - 8 November 1887) dentist, gambler and gunfighter
The film Tombstone follows the move of the Earp brothers Wyatt (Kurt Russell) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) at the silver mining town of Tombstone, in Arizona, after leaving Dodge City, where older brother Virgil Earp (Sam Elliott) had just Tombstone been appointed deputy US Marshal.
The film doesn't quite stick to the facts - leaving out some of the Earp brothers and the trial of Wyatt and the others for murder after the gunfight at the OK Corral.
Wyatt and Morgan didn't arrive together. Missing are older brother James (who arrived with Wyatt) and worked as a barkeep, and younger brother Warren arrived later with Morgan. Then finally Doc Holliday arrived. Holliday is portrayed by Val Kilmer, who succeeds in stealing every scene that he is in.
The trouble between the Earps and the cowboys after Virgil accused Frank McLaury of stealing army horses and mules and altering the brands - usually known as cattle rustling. The Cowboys were well known for cattle rustling, if you had any animals and they were missing then they were usually in the possession of the Cowboys.
After several stagecoach hold-ups and shootings tensions between the Cowboys and the Earps were at breaking point and this was the build up to the famous (or infamous) Gunfight at the OK Corral. A few minutes that have since gone down as legend.
Interestingly (and missing from the film) after the gunfight, the corrupt sheriff Johnny Behan arrested the Earp brothers and Holliday, and they faced trial for murder. Ike Clanton's testimony was said to have been extremely unbelievable - the towns people knew him as a bully and a thug, yet he said that he was terrified and feared the Earp's as they had repeatedly bullied, frightened and intimidated him.
It was Ike Clanton's own contradictory and confused testimony that cleared the Earps and Holliday. Claiming that the Cowboys had merely been trying to enjoy the evening air and that they were not in the habit of carrying guns went against every witness that had given evidence at the trial, including his own men. He also claimed that Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil and Doc had confessed separately to him that they were responsible for the stage coach robberies and murders.
Wyatt took advantage of a law that allowed him to read a prepared statement without being cross-examined by the prosecution. He read his statement, in a calm and controlled manner, which detailed the troubles between the two groups, how they only wanted to disarm the men and that they had to fire in self-defence. That, along with the respected witnesses, cast enough doubt on the case that the jury decided to free them.
It was after this that the Cowboys decided to assassinate the Earps, and so Wyatt (with the help of an ailing Doc Holliday and a posse) embarked on the vendetta ride, for the blood of those who had harmed his family.
Wyatt Earp had been friends with notable Wild West figures such as Wild Bill Hickcock and Bat Masterson. As well as western movie stars such as Tom Mix, William S Hart and even a young John Wayne.
Kurt Russell is an established authority on Wyatt Earp and it shows in the fact that the story is about Wyatt's Vendetta Ride and what caused it, rather than the usual Gunfight at the OK Corral.
It is a shame that the time constraints meant that so much of the story of the Earps, the Clantons and the Cowboys had to be missed out.
Personally, if Mr Russell ever decided to make the story of the Earps into mini series I'd watch it and I'd buy it too, if it was done to the same standard as this movie.
As I have previously said Val Kilmer steals the show as Doc Holliday with a performance that should have earned him awards. But to mention Mr Kilmer with out mentioning his `huckleberry' Michael Biehn would be a crime. Biehn portrays Johnny Ringo, an educated man who Holliday calls the "deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill", and a wonderful foil for Kilmer to play off.
Yet by picking out those I don't want you to think that the others aren't as good, the entire cast is amazing, without exception this film should have been award winning - the only reason it wasn't is down to Hollywood politics and the movie industry snobbery. Shame on them.
This is a well made, well acted, and exceptionally underrated film - it is what a true western should be. Outstanding.
--- Side Note ---
The US region 1 double disc set is well worth a look. If you have a universal player then they are worth the money. You get a disc of extras, as well as a director's cut of the movie. I rate both versions of the film, but the director's cut is a more fulfilling film.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats,
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I want them spitting blood!",
However if you are thinking of buying this particular DVD and own a region 1 DVD player, think again. Amazon's sister in US does Tombstone Vista Series. This is a 2 disc edition in a special collectors box. It is in DTS 5.1, the visual has been digitally restored, it is THX certified and the main feature film has over 30 minutes of extra scenes that were not in the UK release. These extra scenes are not your usual deleted scenes on a separate disc but are proper scenes that were in the US release but deleted for the UK release. Don't ask me why! They add even more detail to this film. They especially add another dimension to the relationship Wyatt Earp had with his opium addicted girlfriend and many more stories.
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm Your Huckleberry",
By A Customer
Dana Delany is radiant as the actress Wyatt falls for even though he is married. His wife has become a drug addict and his marriage is not the stuff dreams are made of, but Dana Delaney is. Wyatt and his brothers are slowly drawn towards the history we have come to know, and the aftermath we may not. This is a multilayered story more faithful to the truth than most versions.
What makes this film different from other westerns is the depth of the story and the realistic performances of the cast, the finest of which is Val Kilmer's terrific turn as Doc Holliday. This film more realistically portrays the relationship of Holliday and Wyatt than any other film. Kilmer is dangerous and intelligent, and above all, loyal to perhaps his only real friend in life, Wyatt Earp. Kilmer so becomes the real Doc Holliday that it was said he remained in character on the set at all times. His performance is something that will always be remembered by anyone who watches this film.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly great modern western.,
This review is from: Tombstone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Kevin Costner and screenwriter Kevin Jarre both wanted to tell the true story of the legendary lawman, Wyatt Earp, so worked together on a script, but they both went their own ways and made two completely different movies. Costner's movie should have been the best of the two movies, but frankly, it was a bit of a dud. Kevin Jarre's version of the story (the writer was the original director but was replaced by Rambo 2 director George P. Cosmatos a few week into filming - although some sources say Kurt Russell was the real director!) delivers everything you could want from a western and more: great action, incredible performances (Val Kilmer is simply awesome as Doc Holiday). I could go on and on as I love this film, however the Blu Ray is slightly disappointing. This is not the the Directors Cut (my preference) but the Theatrical, and the extras are slight to say the least. Still the PQ is top notch so the old west never looked so good in HD.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cinematic portrayal of the Gunfight at the OK Corral,
This review is from: Tombstone - The Directors Cut [DVD]  (DVD)The Gunfight at the OK Corral has been portrayed more than any other event in frontier history on the big screen. There are six - at least - films directly about the subject (Frontier Marshall, My Darling Clementine, Doc, Hour of the Gun, Wyatt Earp, Gunfight at the OK Corrall and this one) and many more Westerns take elements of the historical dynamic, notably Warlock.
Tombstone manages to be both the most historically accurate AND the most exciting, which is no mean trick in a film made for a fraction of the Lawrence Kasdan/Kevin Costner epic released shortly afterwards and a production plagued with directorial changes and mass cast sackings as - on-set- the underwhelmed actors and production crew struggled with a 'difficult' script.
Kurt Russell portrays Wyatt Earp as a very tough man who is tired of being a 'legendary' law officer and just wants to make some money. However - at the prompting of his brothers - Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton), he is sucked into taking on the 'Cowboys' - who are described in Robert Mitchum's narration as 'the first organised crime gang in America.'
They weren't, but they were pretty nasty and - when suitably prodded - capable of collective, violent and vengeance driven, action. Wyatt Earp wanted to be sheriff of Tombstone so was really not running away from his peacemaker past. It's the only glaring historical mis-step and, in my opinion, foregiveable.
For what Tombstone delivers is an utter credible portrayal of 1880s frontier life, personified by the former dentist and current gunfighter/gambler Doc Holliday.
Holliday has been portrayed by some heavy-hitting actors - Kirk Douglas, Jason Robards, Dennis Quaid - but no-one gets as close to capturing the drunk, consumptive, Southern gentleman psychopath as Val Kilmer in this work. Kilmer is, frankly, astonishing and as someone who endured his work in turkeys like The Saint and Alexander, I do not bandy praise about this actor lightly. Doc Holliday's most recent biographer - who knows the real man rather than the Hollywood legend - praises Kilmer effusively and there is no higher accolade, in my opinion.
In this new DVD special edition, the biggest irony is that George Pan Cosmatos - who died a couple of years back - is able to make such a joyous director's commentary considering - in some ways - star Kurt Russell was 'meant' to be directing. Cosmatos was a bit of a hack - notable for Stallone vehicles Cobra (urgh) and Rambo Two (double urgh), but this was the work of his life and in its energy, design and look, Tombstone - bathed in South west sunshine - is just superb.
You don't believe me? Check out the clip on You Tube of the actual gunfight - Thomas Haden Church acting his little socks off. Then trust me, the rest of the film is that good.
The extras are cute, but don't add a whole heap. There are better documentaries on the real incidents in Tombstone. It doesn't matter. This is a great film. If you love westerns - even if you don't - this should be on the shelf.
My only regret is that Kevin Costner - who is the best Wyatt Earp ever on screen - is not in this instead of the Lawrence Kasdan film. His morally upright, unsettling intensity would make this film perfect and I'm talking Godfather Two perfect.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will never get old,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justice at last,
This review is from: Tombstone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)At last this great film gets the justice it deserves, if you have seen the DVD copies of this you will know what I am talking about (pro logic sound, letterbox picture ). fantastic full screen picture and room filling DTS master audio sound. A must buy if you are a fan of this movie.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, poor value,
This review is from: Tombstone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)First of all Tombstone is a great western, one of the best of modern times. Secondly, it looks magnificent in blu ray, vibrant, clear and just as I remember it to be at the cinema.
So why the three stars? Because this is the standard movie and not the director's cut that's available on DVD. Given how blu ray has been sold to us as superior quality and sound, which it is, and how they can fit even more extras on here, why are we cheated by buying blu ray when if we bought the supposedly inferior DVD you get the director's cut - meaning an extra 5-10 minutes of cut footage?
Once again this seems like a cynical way of making movie fans part with our cash again to buy the blu ray special edition or some such thing. In these hard times, perhaps the studios and what have you should consider actually giving us value for money because customers will not be so free and easy with our hard earned cash as we used to be. And then, maybe, blu ray may not take off in the manner that they expected.
To conclude, great movie, looks great on blu ray, okay extras, but its not very good value for money when compared with the DVD version, the director's cut.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great western,
This review is from: Tombstone (Director's Cut) (Vista Series) [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]  (DVD)This must be one of the best of this genre, even though it not historically correct. This is my only criticism but nevertheless it is an action packed film sure to please any fan. Fine performances from all the cast but more especially Van Kilmer who is a revelation as Doc Holliday.
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Tombstone [Blu-ray] by George P. Cosmatos (Blu-ray - 2010)