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The Tombstone movie from 1993 is worth your time

Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, Kurt Russel, and Bill Paxton (Left to Right) in a scene in the 1993 film Tombstone. This photo by wikimedia is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.

Movie Review : Tombstone (1993)

Movies serve as a mirror to society, reflecting the good times, struggles, and complexities of life. Through film, people can witness stories that resonate deeply with our own experiences, making us feel connected and understood. There are many movies that have had a huge impact on me, and who I am as a person. Some films tell stories better than others, and Tombstone was definitely one of those films. 

Tombstone is an American Western film directed by George B. Cosmotos, and written by Kevin Jarre, who was the original director but was replaced early in production. The film stars several of my favorite actors as well. Kurt Russel, Val Kilmer, and Sam Elliot are just a few of the names that made this film the masterpiece that it is. This film is loosely based on real events that took place in the 1880s in southeast Arizona, including the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and the Earp Vendetta Ride. It depicts several western outlaws and lawmen, such as Wyatt Earp, William Brocious, Johnny Ringo, and Doc Holiday. Basically, Wyatt Earp and his friends are successful lawmen that plan to retire in Tombstone, Arizona. However, the town is disrupted by the same kind of outlaws that Earpwas famous for eliminating. They soon begin a feud with the cowboys of Tombstone, and Wyatt ultimately comes out of retirement and takes on the cowboys in a story full of death, revenge, and redemption. 

First off, the cinematography within the film was breathtaking. Some of the scenes of sunsets over the desserts, riding horses through open fields, stormy nights, and so much more. Some of the transition scenes of the desert aesthetic really tie the scene together well. Also, the score of the film paired with the creative cinematography. The music was composed by Bruce Broughton, who said he wasn’t going for the classic western musical approach of guitars and harmonicas, and was creative in how he attacked the score. The orchestral aspect of the music made the movie much better in my opinion, compared to if Broughton had decided to take a more classical western approach to the score. 

The acting all around was a 10/10. Everyone had amazing performances. The film was cast perfectly in my opinion. Kurt Russel was the perfect fit for lead lawman, Wyatt Earp, and Sam Elliot just looks like he should be in every western movie ever made. However, there was one performance that especially stuck out to me. This was Val Kilmer’s performance. He plays real-life gunslinger Doc Holliday. Val’s portrayal of Doc is nothing short of legendary. He captures the character’s calm demeanor, which also has a certain level of volatility and viciousness bubbling beneath the surface at all times. Kilmer learned a southern aristocratic accent for his character, and his body language and unique demeanor he brought to Holliday’s character is a big part of why the movie was so successful. This was by far one of Val’s greatest performances of his career. 

The plot was very well set, and it kept me hooked through the entire film. I found myself growing attached to certain characters. There were many deaths in this movie, so when a character I grew to love was on the brink of death, I resonated with the emotions that were felt by the characters in the film. There was a particular scene, where Kurt Russel’s character, Wyatt Earp, had one of his best friends die in his arms. He walked out in the rain with his friend’s blood on his hands and he started to cry. This was an example of a scene that provoked certain emotions, and I was kind of feeling what the main character was feeling. The director and actors did a great job with this. 

I rate this movie a 9.5/10. It is dubbed a cult classic, and is a super influential western film. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and highly recommend that more people watch it, because in my opinion, these actors deserve more appreciation for the work they did in this film. This was an excellent movie overall. 


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About the Contributor
Eddie Durrwachter, Journalist
Grade: Senior Hobbies: Golf Favorite Holiday: Halloween Favorite Superhero: Spider-man Favorite Season: Fall