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A 'Realistic' Look At The Town Of Tombstone

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
3 August 2007

After watching this bonus feature on the "Tombstone" special-edition DVD, it inspired me to watch this film again and pay attention to the details.

It was said in this behind-the-scenes look that they went to great pains to have everything in this movie authentic. That includes the clothes, the actual guns that were used in that time period, the look of the roads and buildings, even the wallpaper in the rooms. Everything matched what they could find in actual pictures of Tombstone during the "Earp" days. I laughed when Director Geroge Costmatos said, "We tried to put things in here you never saw in any other westerns, like the horse manure in the streets. We paid attention to all the little details."

This was the first film, too, that portrayed the famous Wyatt Earp has having a dark side, too. Kurt Russell, who played Earp, said, "He was interesting man and had a lot of bad as well as good. We went 360 degrees with his character, showing all the sides. Powers Boothe, who plays bad-guy "Curly Bill," said the Earps (Wyatt and his brothers) didn't come to Tombstone to mete out justice but to make money, like everyone else."

Booth, Russell, Val Kilmer and others seemed to revel in making good guys look bad, too. They really have the Hollywood attitude that loves showing heroes with warts. Kilmer, who really sounds like enjoyed playing a cold-blooded killer, played the best "Doc" Holliday most people have ever seen.

There were so many good actors in this movie, "name" people, that Michael Biehn, who played the gunfighter "Johnny Ringo," said he never enjoyed working on a movie so much. Just looking at all these great actors was enough for him. I had forgotten, myself, how many are in here, some with small roles. Stephen Lang, who plays badman "Ike Clanton," said the latter really wasn't a bad a man in real life as he was always portrayed on film. It seems all these actors did a lot of study on these characters.

Costamos remarked about this "being a great ensemble film. "I've never seen a western," he said, "where you have 85 speaking parts and every actors builds on his character."

Near the end, I enjoyed everyone's comments about the famous gunfight at the OK Corral which, many here said, was a short (28 seconds) but extremely important battle because it drove the outlaws out of the area. They also point out that it was an unfair fight with the "cowboys" only having two guns and basically being shot down by the Earps, who were looking for a fight. You see, these Hollywood guys sympathize more with villains.

Anyway, fans of this movie know how enormously-entertaining it is, (although overly profane), so it was interesting to see how the director and others felt about making this look so real and believable. Overall, a good behind-the-scenes addition to the DVD and recommended.

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