Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not before I make your head into a canoe!

The second film in our celebration of Kurt Russell is, to say the very least, a doozie: Tombstone (1993), starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton.

Kurt Russell plays none other than the Dodge City lawman, Wyatt Earp, in this mid-nineties western classic. While perhaps lacking the same no-nonsense sentiment of Big Trouble in Litte China, Tombstone is beyond a reasonable doubt one of Russell's finest films. Sheepish, but not unwilling to start some shit, Russell's Earp is a tough-as-nails peacemaker trying to settle down in the "quiet" town of Tombstone. Of course, when you have the reputation that Earp does, trouble finds you. It isn't long before the resident Cowboy gang and Earp butt heads, ending in an historic killing spree.

Not only did Russell star in Tombstone, he directed it. Maybe this is why he strikes that "I'm humble, but I'm an ass-kicker" tone so well. Further, his casting of Billy Zane as the traveling thespian, Mr Fabian, was brilliant. As was his choice of Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. It was Kilmer's Holliday that inspired me to become a chain-smoking, TB having, alcoholic gunslinger who spouts latin when drunk....

Now, apparently there are some historical inaccuracies in this movie. For example, it turns out that the shootout at the O.K. Corral actually took place on a cold afternoon after a light snow. Damnit Russell! A snowy shootout would have been cinematic genius! However, apparently Virgil Earp did lose function of his arm after an assassination attempt, and did tell his wife, "I still got one good arm to hold you with." Damnit Virgil! You got class!

I've always thought that it would have been seriously badass to be a cowboy. This was one of the movie that put me over the edge. I am now the proud owner of hand-made in Missouri boots, a rattlesnake belt buckle, and have sported a strong moustache from time to time (not as good as Wyatt's, but better than Morgan's). One day, I'll get there.


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