There are many legends involving Tombstone. What's unfortunate is the behind-the-scene tales of its creation are more interesting than the rehashing of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral it presents. What started as a project between writer Kevin Jarre and actor Kevin Costner ended up with Kurt Russell starring as Wyatt Earp and, according to him, directing through George P. Cosmatos after Jarre was fired. The movie is rather average with the good elements canceling out the bad.
After retiring as lawmen, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Morgan (Bill Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliot) along with their wives make their way to Tombstone in the Arizona Territory to seek their fortune. The town's marshal, Fred White (Harry Carey, Jr.), is ineffective against the outlaw gang known as the Cowboys who run rampant. Although pleaded with by town leaders, the Earps refrain from getting involved and stick to Wyatt's plan of making money. That is until their hand is forced when Curly Bill (Powers Boothe) kills the marshal. Virgil takes White's job and Morgan joins him.
This leads to the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which occurred on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 26, 1881. The three Earps, joined by Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), a gambler handy with weapons and stricken with tuberculosis, attempt to enforce the town's recent no-gun ban against a group of Cowboys. Virgil and Morgan are both injured and Billy Clanton (Thomas Haden Church), Frank McLaury (Robert John Burke) and his brother Tom (John Philbin) are killed. The Cowboys exact revenge, which Wyatt returns in kind.
But it's not all fisticuffs and gunfights. For the ladies, a romance takes place. Wyatt's wife Mattie (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) is addicted to opium-based laudanum, and rather than get her any help for her condition he falls under the spell of the free-spirited Josephine (Dana Delaney).