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Review: Tombstone

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Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston and Billy Bob Thorton in a western. This is how you cast a movie.

Across the board, this film is top-notch work from everyone involved. This is what Hollywood movies should all be like. The quality of acting, script and direction found here is what we should see each time that we plop down our hard-earned cash at the theater.

Val Kilmer kills in this film. His rendition of Doc Holiday is one of the great performances in the genre. His acting is worth my recommendation and your investment of time and money into renting this film. Kilmer’s performance is proof that a given a great script, talented actors will exceed themselves.

Kevin Jarre’s script is perfectly paced and full of so many brilliant lines I can’t decide where to start my praise. The dialog in this script puts most screenwriters to shame. Characters in films should always be more grand than the usual bum off the street. The best way to elevate your characters is through the words that flow from their lips. Jarre offers his characters with great lines that perfectly match their personalities. Not once does the elevated language seem imposed. Another example of this use of language is the work done on Pirates of The Caribbean (written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.) Jarre’s wise use of language meshed with Kurt Russell’s cruel eyes give credence to the fear that Wyatt Earp puts into those around him even though he doesn’t use his gun until the midpoint of the film.

“Are you gonna skin that smoke wagon or are you going to just stand there and bleed?”

“You got to rap a guy on the beard to get some respect around here.”

“I’m your huckleberry.”

That is how you write dialog.

If you haven’t seen this film yet, you are missing one of the great westerns and a darn fine film. Rent it and enjoy. While it is quite violent, it is still worth your time. If you have any interest in the genre, this is a must-have for your collection.

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About Nehring

  • I like Tombstone, but I liked Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp better.

  • LiamGallagher

    Tombstone is WAY better than Wyatt Earp. Val Kilmer should’ve won a best supporting actor award for that performance. Awesome, and incredibly quotable.

  • -E

    I got bored in Wyatt Earp. But I love Tombstone. And I agree, Val Kilmer is amazing in this film. I would say it his his best performance I’ve ever seen.

    “You’re no daisy, you’re no daisy at all.”

  • I thought Dennis Quaid’s performance of Doc was good too.

  • rob

    Wyatt Earp was more to my liking, but I enjoyed Tombstone as well. Val Kilmer made a better Doc, but Costner made a better Wyatt. Costner makes a great Western.