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Wyatt Earp (1994)

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The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.


Lawrence Kasdan
2,576 ( 1,155)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Wyatt Earp
Dennis Quaid ... Doc Holliday
Gene Hackman ... Nicholas Earp
David Andrews ... James Earp
Linden Ashby ... Morgan Earp
Jeff Fahey ... Ike Clanton
Joanna Going ... Josie Marcus
Mark Harmon ... Sheriff Johnny Behan
Michael Madsen ... Virgil Earp
Catherine O'Hara ... Allie Earp
Bill Pullman ... Ed Masterson
Isabella Rossellini ... Big Nose Kate
Tom Sizemore ... Bat Masterson
JoBeth Williams ... Bessie Earp
Mare Winningham ... Mattie Blaylock


Wyatt Earp is a movie about a man and his family. The movie shows us the good times and the bad times of one of the West's most famous individuals. Written by Jimmy Anderson <jimmy@wnm.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The epic story of love and adventure in a lawless land.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for strong gunfights, some language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 June 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wyatt Earp - Das Leben einer Legende See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$63,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,543,504, 24 June 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of two 1994's releases starring Kevin Costner and Mare Winningham. They also appeared in The War (1994). See more »


Wyatt carried a "Buntline Special", a Colt 45 with a 12" barrel. Four inches longer than a regular Colt, which made the overall length 18 inches. Five of these Specials were ordered by Ned Buntline for Wyatt, Charlie Basset, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, and Neil Brown. These guns also came with a removable wooden stock, which could be attached to facilitate use as a rifle for long distance shooting. Bat and Bill cut off the extra four inches, but the rest carried theirs as supplied.Wyatt wore this Buntline special for the remainder of his career on his right hip, and a Colts frontier 45 , known as "The Peacemaker", with a 7 1/2" barrel, on his left hip. This can be verified by referring to Stuart N. Lakes, "Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall: Pub 1931 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, See more »


Doc Holliday: Do you believe in friendship, Wyatt Earp?
Wyatt Earp: [nods head silently]
Doc Holliday: So do I. Do you have many friends?
Wyatt Earp: [shakes head 'no' silently]
Doc Holliday: Neither do I.
[indicates Shanssey]
Doc Holliday: John here has been a good friend to me when many others would not. *Dave Rutabagh* is an ignorant scoundrel! I disapprove of his very existence. I considered ending it myself on several occasions, but... self-control always got the better of me.
[takes a slug of whiskey]
Doc Holliday: Besides, I'm a sporting man. I'm not a killer.
See more »


Referenced in Wyatt Earp: Walk with a Legend (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A potentially good film, mishandled by the director
21 March 2011 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

Being one of the most popular figures of the mystical Old West, Wyatt Earp has been dramatised a countless number of times on the big screen and on television. His notoriety as a no-nonsense lawman, his friendship with the drunken and dying Doc Holliday, and his participation in the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corrall, has made him the stuff of legend. Of all the portraits, this 1994 epic, directed by Lawrence Kasdan is possibly the most accurate and detailed, following Earp's childhood amongst his many siblings, through to his old age heading to strike lucky during the Gold Rush. It's just a pity that for all it's trying and accuracy, the film isn't at all very good.

The film begins on the Earp farm where the young Wyatt is taught the words of wisdom by his father Nicholas (Gene Hackman) - 'blood is thicker than water' - which stays with Wyatt throughout his life. It's clear that his family are important, and he and his brothers are soon grown up and are making a living out on their own. Wyatt is refereeing bare-knuckle boxing matches and is soon making enemies. He romances an old flame who dies tragically, causing the recently-married Wyatt to lose his ways and becomes a drunkard, stealing from good Samaritans who offer him food and shelter. After a visit from his father in prison, he changes his ways and finds himself appointed Deputy Marshal in Wichita, after bravely shooting down a violent drunk when the cowardly sheriff watches. As his reputation as a good lawman grows, he is offered a job in Dodge City along with his brothers Virgil (Michael Madsen) and Morgan (Linden Ashby), where his reputation starts to take a turn for the worse.

After the huge success of Dances With Wolves, this film seems to take a similar approach - epic, sweeping storytelling as opposed to the more action-packed angle usually taken when filming an Earp biography. Yet the majority of the film is handled with such a ham-fisted and amateurish approach by Kasdan that the film is nowhere as good as it should be. Kasdan, whose films have mainly consisted of Kevin Kline vehicles, had directed a very young Costner before in a western in the very enjoyable Silverado. It's a strange performance by Costner, who in the first half seems to be sleepwalking his way through his role, delivering his lines like a nervous primary school kid finding himself cast in the lead role. The second half, when he becomes the more Republican, violent Earp, is very good. He can do brooding very well, and even though Wyatt Earp is portrayed as a complete bastard, with Costner playing him he remains an engaging character.

Even with all the star actors on show - Madsen, Hackman, Bill Pullman, Tom Sizemore, Jim Caviezel, Jeff Fahey, Isabella Rossellini, Catherine O'Hara, and the excellent Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday, the film does begin to drag. I almost feel bad saying that, as I have a lot of respect for a director when he takes his time to develop a good story and fully- realised characters, and clocking up a long-running time. But around the 2 hour 30 mark, I found myself wanting the film to end. After the infamous O.K. Corral gunfight (which is refreshingly low-key), the film carries on for another 40 minutes as Earp begins his vendetta against the 'cowboy' gang. In a better directors hands, the last segment could have been a way to portray Earp's fall from grace and his descent into blind blood-lust. But instead it just becomes a long, drawn-out manhunt.

Perhaps I'm being harsh, but I feel this was a missed opportunity. Personally, the definitive Wyatt Earp film is John Ford's magnificent My Darling Clementine, and although it may not have the historical accuracy of this, it is a typically mystical, moving, and surprisingly dark masterpiece, featuring a great Henry Fonda performance.


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