Tombstone This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   There haven't been many good westerns in the theaters lately, not since Unforgiven won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards two years ago. For those of us who like good westerns (lots of shoot-outs, and the good guy always seems to find a way to win), we are now in luck. Tombstone, a movie made about the legendary Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral, is our savior.

After a fast-paced, bloody opening scene, director George P. Cosmatos employs a classic western technique, slowly panning the protagonist from toe to head as he steps off a train. We meet Wyatt Earp (played competently by Kurt Russell) in late 19th century Wyoming where he is planning to travel to Tombstone, a small ranching town. He was going to this town to put his gun-fighting days behind him, and live a peaceful, nonviolent life. With him on this trip are both his brothers, and all their wives. The six of them ride to Tombstone, and Wyatt quickly finds a job as a card dealer in a local saloon.

The only problem with this town is that it is filled with cowboys, a group of men wearing red sashes who feel that they are outside of the law and can do anything that they want. One of them was even able to shoot the town marshall dead without being charged with murder.

Soon after arriving, Wyatt has to break his promise of not using violence because both of his brothers are shot by these cowboys (one died of his wound).

The other protagonist is Doc Holliday, a man who agreed to help Wyatt in his quest to clean up the town of the cowboys. Val Kilmer's portrayal of Doc Holliday is the best performance in the movie, and is destined to be legendary. His character, a drinking, smoking, gambling, womanizing, quick-draw man suffering from tuberculosis, is believable from the first time we lay eyes on him to the last.

The bad parts of this movie are completely overshadowed by the excellent parts (great shoot-outs, excellent fight scenes, Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, and Sam Elliot as one of Wyatt's brothers). The cinematography is beautiful, and the suspense keeps the viewer hooked from the minute that Wyatt steps off the train to the final anticipated shoot-out. Since this movie (which may earn an Oscar nomination for Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday), is now on video, it should not be missed by any fan of the true western. .




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback