Published on Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Hannah Broussard
From gunfighters squarely facing each other on a dusty street and cowboy gangs terrorizing the town, to gambling halls and theaters with a gilt-edged Victorian glamour, and a vigilante lawman finding his true love, the movie Tombstone has it all. Tombstone, which was released in 1993, is an old monumental western, with many modern touches, that is set in Tombstone, Arizona, the boom town and site of the legendary O.K. Corral.
When Wyatt Earp arrives in Tombstone from Dodge City, he is bearing the weight of having killed people in the line of duty. Upon reaching Tombstone, he hopes to start a business and eventually retire peacefully. His plans change when a cowboy gang comes into town, similar to ones he is famous for eliminating. Wyatt is expected to suit up and protect his town, but it takes a lot of prodding before he eventually pins on a marshal’s badge and pursues the cowboy gang that is taking over. Wyatt was like a wolf among sheep, only the wolf has not been awakened until later in the movie when he is drawn into fighting the cowboy gang; a conflict he didn’t want to face.
Throughout Tombstone, Wyatt is a great man who shows constant leadership. Due to the character traits he displayed, he is a man whom I’d come to for advice and help in times of trouble. He always takes matters into his own hands and he showed this when he lead a band of marshals and friends to fight and ultimately take down the cowboys. This man has faced every conflict you can think of, and it’s the way that he handles these conflicts that makes him the leader he is. He remains cool, calm and collected and gets the job done.
Throughout the film, Doc Holliday, is portrayed as a perspiring wreck who is drinking himself to death but does bring forth a number of heroic deeds. Doc is my favorite character because the determination he displays is inspiring. Twice during the film he collapses from liver failure and coughs up blood, yet he is still willing to take on any challenge that comes his way. He was an outlaw who was good friends with the Earp brothers and fought alongside them as a loyal friend, who eventually dies of tuberculosis. Holliday is played by Val Kilmer, who did an exquisite job in the execution of his character. His charisma catches most fans eyes and is what pulls me in. His voice is soothing and exciting and leaves me wanting more.
Tombstone contains guns, fighting, and tough-talk for the guys, but also has a romantic side to ensure that the ladies do not get left out. Wyatt’s love interest throughout the movie is named Josephine, and their love is anything but predictable. The director leaves the audience in suspense as the two characters show signs of love for each other but do not give any exact answers. At the end of the movie, after the gunsmoke clears, Wyatt realizes how he feels about Josephine after she had already left Tombstone to escape the danger of the gang and all the fighting. After this reveal of emotions, Wyatt rides into the sunset on his horse to find the woman of his dreams and eventually marry her. This is one of my favorite aspects of the movie because it teaches me to follow my heart and never give up on my dreams no matter the circumstances.
Tombstone is full of talented actors, beautiful settings, and is overall a tough-talking but soft-hearted tale that is entertaining in a sprawling, old-fashioned manner. This movie is much admired-even by non-western fans because it is unlike all other westerns. It will forever remain one of my all-time favorite movies due to it’s uniqueness. There has never been a movie like this classic western and as much as other producers may try to reproduce something better, they will never be able to beat the individuality of the movie Tombstone.