Well, I finally pulled the trigger and bought Tombstone on iTunes. Do you see what I did there? I’ve been itching to watch this movie again for over a year, but just didn’t want to pay up. I’ve checked again and again for a sale that never happened. Finally today, I shelled out the full 18 bucks. Jeez, you’d think it was a Disney film at that price. Granted, I could’ve saved a bunch by renting it on Amazon Video. Yeah right…I need to own it. And now I do. But, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
You want cool movie quotes? This one is chock full of them. A veritable cornucopia of meme worthy fodder. I could sit here all day and drop lines that I know you all love. There will be plenty of them, but I need to get the show started first. So without further ado, lets get on with the film. I lied earlier though. I haven’t actually bought it yet. Just give me one more chance to look for a sale. Checking, checking, and…skunked again. Okay I give up, I’ll pay. Can someone drop me a donation to help cover this maybe?
As I watch the intro (Mitchum!), let me point out that Wyatt and Morgan make an appearance in the “new” Michael Crichton book. It’s strange to find even more new material from a man who died ten years ago, but it sure makes me happy. The novel is called Dragon Teeth and once again centers around dinosaurs. The twist, is that this time it involves hunting for dinosaur fossils. It takes place back when the Earp boys were patrolling the west. Do you think I should get back to the movie now? Just say when.
In steps Mr. Doc Holliday. Is there a debate somewhere about which actor played the better Holliday? There is none here. It’s Val Kilmer every day and twice on Sunday in Beechum County. I can’t stand his girlfriend, though. Doc’s, not Kilmer’s. If not for her, he might have survived a bit longer. She may indeed be the anti-christ. Every time I watch this I hope for him to just get a little bit healthier. Sadly, every hero must have his flaws.
Tombstone certainly touches on it, but you really don’t get to see just how opportunistic the Earps were. Wyatt in particular chased the proverbial “quick buck” every day of his life. He was a lifelong gambler and owned brothels as well as saloons. That’s fine by me. Anyone who slaps the stupid off Billy Bob Thornton is cool in my book. Madcap that he is.
You know, as bad as Johnny Ringo is, he did save Sarah Connor from the Terminator. Not too shabby to have on the resume. Hard to decide what the best scene is, when there are so many in Tombstone. The first meeting between Ringo and Doc certainly has to be in the running. The latin, the gun twirling, and Doc’s hilarious rebuttal with his whiskey cup is absolutely brilliant. For me, it sets the tone perfectly for much of what happens later on in the film. Someday, I too will yell out, “drinks are on me” and toss a wad of cash in the air. Of course I’ll be at home and drinking alone when it happens.
While every bit the oak he claims to be, Wyatt did eventually end up with Josephine. She was the type of woman who is not at all uncommon to come across today. Back in those days however, she was pretty unique.
She was that unconventional free spirited lady always in search of “room service”, as she put it. Josephine was a perfect match for the restlessness that epitomized Wyatt’s entire existence. The contrast at the end of the movie where they dance together in the snow after all the dry desert scenery was interesting. It has a certain ring of freedom from Wyatt’s days of gun battles and conflict.
Hey loving man, did you know that Ike Clanton was played by that marine Colonel from Avatar? You’re a daisy if you do. That’s a fact.
Here comes another fact…the actor who played Billy Claiborne? Wyatt Earp. You are thinking he looked pretty young for his age? Well okay, he’s a distant cousin of the famous Wyatt. It’s great that he gets a role in the movie, though. Is it me, or are there a lot of Billy’s in Tombstone, Arizona?
Another really cool thing about this version of the story featuring these historical characters? As famous as the gunfight at the O.K. Corral is, it’s not the biggest moment of the film. Here, it is depicted as the beginning of hostilities rather than the resolution. And it’s a great scene, but not in the running for the best. In my humble opinion it comes down to either the aforementioned first meeting, the gunfight by the river, or the final showdown between Doc and Ringo. I’m right now leaning towards the latter. Nope, I’m sure of it…that’s the one.
I wish I could see this scene again for the first time. Obviously, I know now that Doc was not quite as sick as he let on. On first viewing though, I thought he was all done. I recall being pretty upset over that. Too bad I can’t ever relive the surprise of that one moment. A dark figure emerges from between two trees, and is revealed to be Holliday. A Holliday that appears to be quite able to do battle on this day. I guess I could find somebody who hasn’t seen it, and enjoy it again through their eyes. But, that’s not quite the same, and I don’t happen to know anybody who fits the category.
Aside from the surprise encounter, there is much to love about this iconic meeting. The notoriously tough gunfighter immediately attempts to back down when confronted by a dying and clearly sick man. He knows he’s in trouble and there is no whiskey to boost his courage. When Doc points out that it was he who made the original challenge during an alcohol fueled rage, Ringo claims he was “just foolin’ about.” Holliday then coldly replies “I wasn’t.” With that, it’s clear there is no way out. Suddenly, you can see in Johnny’s eyes that he summons one last wave of defiance in order to face his foe. He thinks he’s confident in the result, but we know better.
They begin to pace around each other in a circle. Doc attempts to distract his opponent by continuing to smoke and then breaking the silence. When Ringo nervously moves toward his pistol, Holliday smiles. He knows it’s already over. There’s a gentle tapping of his gun butt now as if to say, “whenever you’re ready.” Alas, Johnny Ringo was just too high strung.
I would be remiss if I did not include this here for your entertainment:
Oh, I forgot you were there. You may go now.