1993 Running time: 129 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4

Synopsis

The legendary shootout at the OK Corral is given the all-star treatment in this vibrant western starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. Aiming to retire anonymously to Tombstone, Arizona, Earp's plans have to go on hold when he hooks up with his old pal Doc to root out a band of outlaws called The Cowboys. Released a few months before Lawrence Kasdan's much-vaunted biopic of Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner, this shot a much bigger hole in the box office.

Director

  • George P Cosmatos

Cast

  • Kurt Russell

  • Val Kilmer

  • Bill Paxton

  • Sam Elliott

  • Powers Boothe

  • Michael Biehn

  • Charlton Heston

Review

A colourful and vigorous retelling of a familiar tale.

What may be seen by some as clichéd and unoriginal is also a very old-fashioned but thoroughly enjoyable Western.

In contrast to My Darling Clementine and Gunfight at the OK Corral, the fabled showdown, seen about two- thirds of the way through, isn't the climax of the story, but the start of a small war between the avenging Earp and the baddies, led by Curly Bill Brocius (Powers Boothe - very effective).

Kurt Russell looks and sounds the part more than any other screen Earp, helped in no small measure by costuming and his courage in growing a magnificent Earp-like moustache.

There's also vigorous 'tache-wearing from Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton as brothers Virgil and Morgan.

Val Kilmer makes Doc Holliday the fine Southern gent he was and coughs with consumptive conviction.

Wonderful photography and a fine sense of period help to make this an entertaining action film: not as accurate as the Kevin Costner Wyatt Earp perhaps, but, taking a quote from another great Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: `When the legend becomes the fact, print the legend.'

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