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4.5 out of 5 stars313
4.5 out of 5 stars
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A great recounting of Wyatt Earp and Kurt Russell's portrayal is quite different. Making Wyatt a raving maniac makes a lot of sense with all that happened in his life. I especially enjoyed the ending with love conquering all.
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on May 16, 2014
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on April 1, 2011
The movie looks sharp overall (a few grainy spots) but for an 18 year old movie it still looks pretty damn good on blu-ray and the sound is superb, thundering of the classic shoot-outs is top-notch in blu-ray.

My complaint is that this is the theatrical cut of the film and not the extended cut. While there's nothing too significant cut out, aside from the scene where Doc basically dumps Kate to go on the Earp Vendetta Ride there's one scene in particular that I wish they had left in; when McMasters responds to a parlay by the cowboys and Ringo asks him to re-join with them, when he refuses, Ike sticks a shotgun in McMaster's face and says "Just one question, how you gonna get back to them?" Then the film cuts to where McMasters has been dragged to death behind a horse. Without this scene I found McMaster's death very random as we saw him moments earlier at the Hooker ranch with Earp and the others, then all of a sudden he's dead, being dragged by a horse? Bwah?

Aside from that scene, and the previously mentioned "Doc dumping Kate" scene, I don't think there's anything else left out. So just know this when you buy this movie on blu-ray.
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on March 15, 2013
I have seen this movie at least 30 times, and I never tire of watching it again. The combination of Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer makes it a classic, to say nothing of Sam Elliot's performance. I have added it to my library.
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on January 31, 2013
Val Kilmer should have got best supporting actor award for his excellent and amusing portrayal of Doc Holliday. 'Wyatt Earp' with Kevin Costner was more historically accurate - a better film, but Tombstone is a lot more fun. Received 2 copies of this as well as 'Act of Valor'; this is an ongoing problem!
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on December 8, 2014
Great story of the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp, and the shootout at the OK Corral. The movie, however, is graphically violent and the resolution cannot be set to fill a 16:9 wide screen to eliminate the bars top and bottom.
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on April 10, 2011
The best western since Sergio Leone's Once upon a time in the west, The good the bad and the ugly, and For a few dollars more. The story talking about the legendary Wyatt Earp and his 2 brothers who are moving for their retirement in a new city. This movie is a all-star cast with Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Charlton Heston, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton and many more. If you like action, Tombstone is the best western since decades.
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on May 20, 2004
In 1993/94, the already controversial story of Wyatt Earp got a big boost with the almost back to back theatrical debuts of two (hope to be) Hollywood blockbusters. Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.
If you dont think the story of Wyatt Earp and the famous gunfight is controversial (or rather the telling of it) then you have not read through the reviews on Amazon for either film. Then go look up books on the subject and the furr flies. Now the controversy comes from there being two side to the story.
side 1. the most famous side has of couse Wyatt and his brothers as reluctant lawmen defending the town of Tombstone against a band of ruthless outlaws led by Ike Clanton and Curly Bill Brooches.
side 2. the side rarely taken by Hollywood (a surprise in this day of revisionist history) has Wyatt as a opportunistic criminal who wore a badge when it suited him, and hid behind it in order to dispatch his enemies. To this day the kin folk of the Clantons tell this version of the story...and believe it!!
When ever a book or movie on the subject is released the two factions (just like the two factions of Tombstone) start verbally swinging. Now I'm a sideone person,as are most folks I have met, more or less. So both of these films appealed greatly to me. Although they are distinctly different.
Tombstone is in many ways the classic western, bright(read Technicolor), loaded with plenty of humor, plenty of action, and several big name stars. But unlike westerns of yore it is bitingly violent at times, and violence lies just under the surface waiting to spring. Much like I imagine Tombstone was like in the 1880s.
This film was also the first to show drug use of the period, and to make homosexual references about a few of the characters. Both of these things certainly exsisted in abundance in the west, and kudos to Cosmatos and the producers for allowing them into the film.
All of the acting is very good here with the performers obviously having fun Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday is by far the most memorable performance. He should have been nominated for an Oscar. It is far superior to Victor Matures(Darling Clemintine), Kirk Douglas(Gunfight at OK Corral) and yes better than Dennis Quaids( Wyatt Earp). While many will hail Quaids as much more realistic ( and I believe this is probably true), Kilmers certainly had an edge of realism but at the same time was very entertaining. It was easy to forget you were watching Val Kilmer.
I believe the story when properly told revolves around Wyatt and Doc, and their friendship. The chemistry between Russel and Kilmer is terrific, and is noticeably missing with Quaid and Costner.
This brings us to the most argued point, Wyatt Earp himself. Well, I never knew Mr. Earp, and the professional historians cannot agree, was Wyatt the silent, stoic, and haunted man of Costners portrayal, or the tough when he had to be, money making, somewhat charming, very reluctant lawman. Who knows, from the histories and archived newspaper reports it could go either way. But if I had to choose one over the other I would certainly choose the Wyatt of Kurt Russell, I mean boil it down which one would you want to kickback with and have a shot of whiskey, smoke a cigar, and play a round or two of Faro??
As far as this DVD release it is excellent, great picture and audio.The extras are fairly intresting, the commentery track by Cosmatos is ok.
I say saddle this one up and enjoy.
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on January 12, 2003
I won't wax eloquent about the film itself. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed this movie enough to purchase it's first release on widescreen DVD in 1996, and was very much looking forward to this new Vista Series release. I suppose the commentary and documentary could justify the additional expense I put out for the Vista Series, but I am going to take this opportunity to elucidate some negative aspects of the new release. Since this new transfer is THX certified, I was expecting a very pristine presentation compared to the 1996 DVD release. My main complaint of the new transfer is that it's black level is set waaay too low. You will find yourself cranking up the brightness to see any shadow detail at all, and even then you can't dial it in just right. On the positive side, the color is much, much nicer on the new transfer, and the sharpness is a tad more detailed also. Just a few comments now on some of the "extras". The extra 4 minutes of added footage does nicely fill some gaps in the original version, and certainly does not ruin the experience, as one very opinionated viewer noted below. The commentary by George Cosmatos is entertaining and quite informative, even more so than the three-part "Making of" documentary. The "Tombstone Epitaph" looked very nice, until I actually tried to read it. One reviewer noted that the print was too small to see. I suppose that determination hinges on the size of one's screen and the quality of one's eyesight. All I can add to his comment is that on my 32" monitor the Epitaph print was clearly legible, albeit small. But my one reservation about the Epitaph hinges about how one must navigate to read the print. Imagine that a big picture was taken of the paper, and your screen zooms in on just a portion of it. To navigate up, down, left and right to see the whole thing, you use the arrow keys on the remote. Problem is, some of the columns in the newspaper are divided down the middle by the edge of the screen. So, you can read the left half of each column, or the right half. But to read each line you must constantly be pushing the arrow keys left, right, left, right endlessly. Ridiculous, and I gave up. They should have made one column of the paper fill up one screen's width. Also included as an extra is a map of the beginning of the gunfight at the O.K. corral as penned by Wyatt Earp in 1919. This is printed on very nice looking paper, but all of the small handwriting is illegible as presented. Nice thought, though. It is hard to believe that a Director's Cut Special Edition of a film does not include any cast bio's or filmographies. Sad. Finally, the new packaging is quite slick looking, with both the cover art and internal art having a very nice rustic look to it. Quite classy. The only reservation I have is of the durability of the package. I have not experienced good longevity of this type of packaging, with the plastic DVD trays hot-glued to a paper or plastic backing. They always seem to come unglued eventually with heavy use. Just thought I would cut through the hype and offer some meat-and-potatoes info on this new Vista release.
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on November 21, 2007
TOMBSTONE, one of two epic westerns about Wyatt Earp released within a few months of each other (1993-94) lacks the lyrical, 'warts-and-all' quality of Kevin Costner's WYATT EARP, but is a more successful film, with tighter pacing, more clearly drawn characters, and a reverence to the genre that has made it the most popular Western of the last twenty years.

From the opening scene, narrated by the legendary Robert Mitchum, a nod to the great Hollywood Westerns of the past is evident; a gang of outlaws calling themselves 'The Cowboys' break up a Mexican wedding in a small town, ruthlessly killing nearly all the men, including village priest Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (son of the legendary Western actor), in a scene reminiscent of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Led by two of Hollywood's flashiest character actors, swaggering Powers Boothe, and coldly psychotic Michael Biehn (playing Johnny Ringo), the presence of such pure evil sets the stage for the Earps' arrival in Tombstone.

A powerful cast is essential for a great Western, and you couldn't find a better group of actors as the Earp brothers; Kurt Russell, chiseled, squinty-eyed, and razor-thin, is an ideal Wyatt; Sam Elliott, one of Hollywood's best Western actors, plays Virgil with a growl but a twinkle in his eye; and Bill Paxton, soon to achieve stardom in APOLLO 13 and TWISTER, makes a terrific Morgan. Then there is Val Kilmer, as Doc Holliday...While Dennis Quaid, in WYATT EARP, gave the most realistic portrayal of the dying dentist-turned-gambler/gunfighter ever recorded on film (he was superb), Kilmer, relying on bloodshot eyes, an ambiguous sexuality, and a Brando-esque line delivery, literally steals TOMBSTONE, and has become the 'Doc' everyone remembers. He is so charismatic that you nearly forget that the Earps are the focus of the story! Watch for his early scene confronting a shotgun-wielding (and chubby!) Billy Bob Thornton (three years before SLING BLADE), out to kill Wyatt, and you'll see my point.

The events leading up to the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral are clearly and decisively presented, from Wyatt's first meeting with future wife Josie (Dana Delany), to the murder of Tombstone's Marshal (Harry Carey, Jr., son of another legendary Western star, and a staple of many John Ford films), which leads to Virgil taking the badge and making his brothers (in Wyatt's case, reluctantly) deputies, to the friction with Ike Clanton (GODS AND GENERALS' Stephen Lang) that explodes into the short but bloody shootout that became legendary.

Where TOMBSTONE and WYATT EARP both excel is in presenting the aftermath of the gunfight. Unlike MY DARLING CLEMENTINE or GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, the true story doesn't tie up neatly with a happy ending at the Corral, but becomes darker and bloodier. The Earps are placed under house arrest, and after they are acquitted in court, friends of Clanton (in TOMBSTONE, Ringo and other Cowboys), cold-bloodedly murder Morgan and cripple Virgil. Wyatt explodes, and grimly sets about, with Holiday and a small band of gunmen, to execute every possible Clanton ally he can find ("You tell him I'm coming! And hell's coming with me!"). Becoming a wanted fugitive himself, he only stops his mission of vengeance long enough to take the ailing Holiday to a friend's cabin (Charlton Heston has a brief but memorable cameo as the rancher), but the gambler returns in time for the gunblazing climax of the film.

TOMBSTONE is the kind of Western that critics love to say aren't made anymore, a throwback to the golden days of Ford and Hawks, when Good and Evil were clearly defined. Director George P. Cosmatos grew up on those films, as well as those of Sergio Leone, and he said, of TOMBSTONE, that it was made to honor the Westerns he loved so much.

It is his love of the Western that makes TOMBSTONE a truly superior film!

I'll be damned." Really are the final words of John "Doc" Holliday. To this day, historians have debated on why Doc said that. The main theory is that Doc had become a gunfighter hoping that someone would kill him and spare him the effects of tuberculosis and that he was amazed that that the disease is what killed him: Not the drinking, gambling, or gunfighting
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