Full page view
HISTORY

The film opens with archival footage of Tombstone, AZ, in the late nineteenth century, accompanied by the narration of Robert Mitchum: “1879. The Civil War is over, and the resulting economic explosion spurs the great migration west. Farmers, ranchers, prospectors, killers and thieves seek their fortunes. Cattle drovers turn cow towns into armed camps with murder rates higher than those of modern-day New York or Los Angeles. Out of this chaos comes legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, retiring his badge and gun to start a peaceful life with his family. Earp’s friend, John ‘Doc’ Holliday—a Southern gentleman turned gunman and gambler—also travels west, hoping the dry climate will relieve his tuberculosis. Silver is discovered in Arizona. Tombstone becomes queen of the boomtowns, where the latest Paris fashions are sold from the backs of wagons. Attracted to this atmosphere of greed, over one hundred exiled Texas outlaws band together to form a ruthless gang recognized by the red sashes they wear. They emerge as the earliest example of organized crime in America. They call themselves ‘the Cowboys.’”
       The final scene concludes with an epilogue, also read by Mitchum: “The power of the Cowboy Gang was broken forever. Ike Clanton was shot and killed two years later during an attempted robbery. Mattie died of a drug overdose shortly after she left Tombstone. Virgil and Allie Earp moved to California, where Virgil, despite the use of only one arm, became a town sheriff. Wyatt and Josephine embarked on a series of adventures. Up or down, thin or flush, in forty-seven years they never left each other’s side. Wyatt Earp died in Los Angeles in 1929. Among the pallbearers at his funeral were early ... More Less

The film opens with archival footage of Tombstone, AZ, in the late nineteenth century, accompanied by the narration of Robert Mitchum: “1879. The Civil War is over, and the resulting economic explosion spurs the great migration west. Farmers, ranchers, prospectors, killers and thieves seek their fortunes. Cattle drovers turn cow towns into armed camps with murder rates higher than those of modern-day New York or Los Angeles. Out of this chaos comes legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, retiring his badge and gun to start a peaceful life with his family. Earp’s friend, John ‘Doc’ Holliday—a Southern gentleman turned gunman and gambler—also travels west, hoping the dry climate will relieve his tuberculosis. Silver is discovered in Arizona. Tombstone becomes queen of the boomtowns, where the latest Paris fashions are sold from the backs of wagons. Attracted to this atmosphere of greed, over one hundred exiled Texas outlaws band together to form a ruthless gang recognized by the red sashes they wear. They emerge as the earliest example of organized crime in America. They call themselves ‘the Cowboys.’”
       The final scene concludes with an epilogue, also read by Mitchum: “The power of the Cowboy Gang was broken forever. Ike Clanton was shot and killed two years later during an attempted robbery. Mattie died of a drug overdose shortly after she left Tombstone. Virgil and Allie Earp moved to California, where Virgil, despite the use of only one arm, became a town sheriff. Wyatt and Josephine embarked on a series of adventures. Up or down, thin or flush, in forty-seven years they never left each other’s side. Wyatt Earp died in Los Angeles in 1929. Among the pallbearers at his funeral were early Western movie stars William S. Hart and Tom Mix. Tom Mix wept.”
       End cast credits are superimposed over footage of “Doc Holliday,” “Virgil,” “Wyatt,” and “Morgan Earp” walking abreast through the streets of Tombstone.
       Acknowledgments include: “The producers wish to thank: Chemical Bank; Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V.; De Nationale Investeringsbank N.V.; Kredietbank S.A. Luxembourgeoise for their assistance…….,” and, “Special Thanks to: International Film Guarantors; City of Tucson; Old Tucson Studios; Arizona Film Commission—Bill McCallum; US Department of Agriculture—Forest Service; Babocomari Ranch; J. Dolan Projection Units and Communications; Ambassador Limo; Caliber Bank; The Catalyst Group; Holiday Inn Palo Verde—Elly McFadden; The Perrier Group; Al Tellez; Crystal Ice of Arizona; Hawaiian Tropic; 1928 Jewelry Company; Stacy Adams Shoes; Buck Knives Resistol/Stetson Hats; Jimlar/Frye Boots; Luxottica Eyewear.” A statement reads, Read the Berkley book, referring to Giles Tippette’s paperback novelization of the screenplay, published on 1 Jan 1994. Credits conclude with the dedication, “For Birgitta C.”
       According to a 17 Dec 1992 HR article, Universal Pictures was developing a script written by Kevin Jarre titled The Tombstone Wars, which recounted the events leading up to the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881. Jarre was also attached to make his directorial debut, and reportedly offered Kevin Costner the role of lawman “Wyatt Earp.” Costner declined, since he was already involved with the development of a television miniseries about Earp’s life. On 8 Feb 1993, Var reported that Universal had put Jarre’s project, now titled Tombstone, into turnaround. Although Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, William Baldwin , Michael Madsen, Denis Leary, Brendan Fraser, Gabrielle Anwar, and Timothy Hutton were all interested in roles, the studio remained concerned about the “excessive” $20 million budget and Jarre’s lack of directing experience. The 12 Feb 1993 HR reported that Cinergi Productions, Interscope Communications, and Carolco Pictures all expressed interest in purchasing the property, but Cinergi won the bid by offering to commit $20—$25 million, with distribution arranged through The Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc. and Hollywood Pictures. A 21 Jun 1993 HR advertisement announced that the company would contribute a total of $32.5 million toward the “international portion” of Tombstone and another Hollywood Pictures film, Color of the Night (1994, see entry). A 16 Apr 1993 Screen International brief listed a budget of $28 million, and erroneously included David Strathairn among the cast.
       Meanwhile, Kevin Costner decided to rework his project as a feature film to be directed by Lawrence Kasdan and distributed through Warner Bros. Pictures. Hollywood Pictures was determined to complete Tombstone first, and the 10 May 1993 Var listed an expected release date of spring or early summer 1994. Tombstone was eventually rescheduled for winter 1993, while Costner’s Wyatt Earp (1994, see entry) opened six months later.
       After nearly two months of delays, principal photography began 17 May 1993, as confirmed by production notes in AMPAS library files. The entire film was shot on locations in and around Tucson, AZ, including the Old Tucson Studios and the “movie-set town” of Mescal, forty miles south of the city. Much of Mescal was redesigned for production, including facades of the “Hop City” settlement; the Can Can restaurant; the Bird Cage Theatre; the Tombstone Engine Company; and the offices of the town’s monthly newspaper, The Tombstone Epitaph. Because the real O.K. Corral was destroyed in a fire a year after the famed shootout, the art department rendered their own version of the location using what little research was available.
       Four weeks later, production had already fallen behind schedule, and the 14 Jun 1993 DV announced that Jarre had been replaced by director George P. Cosmatos. According to the 13—19 Jan 1994 Drama-Logue, Cosmatos had only three days to make several quick cast and location changes before filming resumed on 15 Jun 1993. Among those replaced was Jarre’s girl friend, Lisa Zane, who had been cast as Doc Holliday’s love interest, “Kate,” after executives rejected her for the role of “Josephine Marcus.” The 29 Jun 1993 DV reported that Joanna Pacula assumed Zane’s role, while Robert Mitchum, who was slated to play “‘Old Man’ Newman Haynes Clanton,” was forced to drop out due to complications related to a back injury. Newman Clanton was written out of the script, but Mitchum ultimately served as the film’s narrator. A 28 Jun 1993 Var item stated that Glenn “Wyatt” Earp, a distant relative of the famous marshal, received a small role in the film after informing the producers of his lineage. Although he was reported to have signed on as an antagonist named “Zwing Hunt,” Earp played the outlaw “Billy Claiborne,” and is credited onscreen as “Wyatt Earp.” Hugh O’Brian, who portrayed Wyatt Earp in the television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC, 6 Sep 1955—27 Jun 1961), was also slated to make a cameo appearance, but he is not listed in the cast.
       According to an 18 Jan 1994 article in The Guardian, actor Kurt Russell reluctantly assumed the responsibility of ensuring that production continued smoothly under Cosmatos’ hurried preparation, and insisted that as many as thirty pages be cut from the script. Following Cosmatos’ death in 2005, Russell told the 1 Oct 2006 issue of True West Magazine that Cosmatos had actually been hired as a “ghost director,” while Russell composed shot lists throughout the remainder of production. A 24 Nov 1993 HR brief indicated that filming concluded in late Aug 1993.
       Due to the unforeseen schedule changes, filmmakers required more time to complete post-production, and the 17 Dec 1993 release date was pushed back to Christmas Day. The switch also reduced competition with Warner Bros.’ The Pelican Brief (see entry), and allowed the studio to avoid the pre-Christmas weekend, which was considered one of the least profitable weekends of the year. According to a 23 Nov 1993 DV item, studio executives requested fifteen minutes be cut from the “just-over-two-hour” film, but the theatrical cut was released with a running time of 128 minutes.
       Tombstone was generally well received by critics and audiences. The 10 Jan 1994 Var called the film a “low-key sleeper,” earning more than $40 million to date.
       The 16 Jun 1994 HR announced that Image Entertainment planned to release a director’s cut on home video. The extended version was issued on DVD in 2002, and contains six minutes of additional footage. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1993.
---
Daily Variety
29 Jun 1993.
---
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1993.
---
Drama-Logue
13-19 Jan 1994
pp. 4-7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1992
p. 1, 33.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1993
p. 1, 29.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 1993
p. 8, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1994
p. 31.
Los Angeles Daily News
24 May 1993
L.A. Life.
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1993
p. 12.
New York Times
24 Dec 1993
p. 6.
Screen International
16 Apr 1993.
---
The Guardian
18 Jan 1994.
---
True West Magazine
1 Oct 2004.
---
Variety
8 Feb 1993.
---
Variety
10 May 1993.
---
Variety
28 Jun 1993.
---
Variety
3 Jan 1994
p. 53, 56.
Variety
10 Jan 1994.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
as Henry Hooker
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Film by George P. Cosmatos
From Hollywood Pictures
Andrew G. Vajna Presents
A Sean Daniel James Jacks Cinergi Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
Film loader
Cam trainee
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
Video assist
Video asst
Gaffer
Best boy
Hot head tech
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Crane grip
Grip
Grip
Grip
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Video asst, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip and elec equip by
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dept coord
Art dept coord
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Addl ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set des
Asst set dec
Leadman
On-set dresser
On-set dresser
On-set dresser
On-set dresser
Key set dresser
Key set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Buyer
Shop mgr
Prop master
Prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Armorer
Const coord
Shop foreman
On-set foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Shop carpenter
Shop carpenter
On-set carpenter
On-set carpenter
On-set carpenter
Lead scenic
Lead scenic
Scenic foreman
Scenic foreman
Scenic foreman
Sign painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Props, 2d unit
Props, 2d unit
Armorer, 2d unit
On-set dresser, 2d unit
Gang boss
Period saddles provided by
Firearms provided by
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Asst cost des
Key set costumer
Key set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer, 2d unit
Set costumer, 2d unit
MUSIC
Mus ed for Triad Music
Conductor
Scoring mixer
Score prod
Performed by
Mus supv by
for Lightstorm Music and David Landau
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
ADR supv
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR asst
ADR mixer
ADR rec
ADR rec
Re-rec and Foley at
Addl re-rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
Re-rec
Dubbing eng
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Cable asst
Foley supv
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff, 2d unit
Titles by
Title opticals by
Digital film services
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup and hair dept head
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Key hair
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Makeup/Hair, 2d unit
Makeup/Hair, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Projectionist
Casting
Casting asst
Tucson casting
Tucson casting coord
Tucson casting coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst coord
Asst to Mr. Cosmatos
Asst to Mr. Vajna
Asst to Mr. Vajna
Asst to Mr. Daniel
Asst to Mr. Jacks
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Los Angeles office asst
Los Angeles office asst
Accountant
1st asst accountant
Asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Accounting intern
Set medic
Set medic
Set medic
Caterer
Caterer, Tux Wagon
Caterer, Tux Wagon
Craft services
Craft services
Craft services
Craft services
Pub intern
Studio teacher
Security
Security
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Tucson transportation capt
Transportation office
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod asst, 2d unit
Transportation capt, 2d unit
Medic, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
Tech adv, 2d unit
Head wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Buckaroo coord
Asst buckaroo coord
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
Buckaroo
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col and prints by
Col timer
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Tombstone Wars
Release Date:
25 December 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 December 1993
Production Date:
17 May--late August 1993
Copyright Claimant:
Cinergi Productions, Inc. and Cinergi Productions, NV
Copyright Date:
25 February 1994
Copyright Number:
PA711511
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording® Dolby Stereo SR in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
128
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32851
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1879, reputable lawman Wyatt Earp, now retired, intends to settle with his family in the mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. In Tucson, Arizona, he reunites with his brothers, Virgil and Morgan, and their wives, Allie and Louisa. He introduces them to his common-law wife, Celia Andon “Mattie” Baylock, who has developed an increasing dependency on narcotics. Once they arrive in Tombstone, the Earps learn that the town has been overrun by a band of outlaws known as “the Cowboys,” identified by the red sashes worn around their waists. Wyatt takes an interest in the least profitable saloon, the Oriental, and agrees to invest in a substantial share of the business. Outside, he runs into his old friend, John “Doc” Holliday, a Southern gambler who hopes Tombstone’s dry climate will alleviate the symptoms of his tuberculosis. That night, Doc and the Earps attend a performance by a traveling theater troupe, and Wyatt is enchanted by the lead actress, Josephine Marcus. Afterward, Doc teases Wyatt about his obvious attraction to Josephine, who appears to return his feelings. At the Oriental, Doc finds himself in a standoff with Cowboy “Curly Bill” Brocius and his gun-slinging sidekick, Johnny Ringo. While horseback riding through the woods, Wyatt encounters Josephine and formally introduces himself. They spend the afternoon together, and Wyatt, realizing he is unhappy in his marriage to Mattie, falls in love with the actress’s forward manner and zest for life. After visiting an opium den, Curly Bill begins randomly firing shots into the air and kills the town marshal. The townspeople want Curly Bill to hang for his crime, but Wyatt insists he stand trial. Several weeks later, a judge dismisses the ... +


In 1879, reputable lawman Wyatt Earp, now retired, intends to settle with his family in the mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. In Tucson, Arizona, he reunites with his brothers, Virgil and Morgan, and their wives, Allie and Louisa. He introduces them to his common-law wife, Celia Andon “Mattie” Baylock, who has developed an increasing dependency on narcotics. Once they arrive in Tombstone, the Earps learn that the town has been overrun by a band of outlaws known as “the Cowboys,” identified by the red sashes worn around their waists. Wyatt takes an interest in the least profitable saloon, the Oriental, and agrees to invest in a substantial share of the business. Outside, he runs into his old friend, John “Doc” Holliday, a Southern gambler who hopes Tombstone’s dry climate will alleviate the symptoms of his tuberculosis. That night, Doc and the Earps attend a performance by a traveling theater troupe, and Wyatt is enchanted by the lead actress, Josephine Marcus. Afterward, Doc teases Wyatt about his obvious attraction to Josephine, who appears to return his feelings. At the Oriental, Doc finds himself in a standoff with Cowboy “Curly Bill” Brocius and his gun-slinging sidekick, Johnny Ringo. While horseback riding through the woods, Wyatt encounters Josephine and formally introduces himself. They spend the afternoon together, and Wyatt, realizing he is unhappy in his marriage to Mattie, falls in love with the actress’s forward manner and zest for life. After visiting an opium den, Curly Bill begins randomly firing shots into the air and kills the town marshal. The townspeople want Curly Bill to hang for his crime, but Wyatt insists he stand trial. Several weeks later, a judge dismisses the case due to lack of witnesses. Wyatt suggests the Earp brothers use their earnings from the now-flourishing Oriental to open their own business, but as crime continues, Virgil decides to take action. He and Morgan volunteer as sheriffs, helping Mayor Clum limit the use of firearms within town boundaries. Although initially reluctant to resume his position as a lawman, Wyatt feels obligated to join them. Meanwhile, Doc’s symptoms worsen, but he ignores the doctor’s orders to rest. When six Cowboys ride into town carrying guns, a shootout ensues at the O.K. Corral. Virgil and Morgan are injured, and three Cowboys are killed. The incident intensifies the feud between the Earps and the Cowboys, who seek retribution. One stormy night, while Virgil is walking home from the saloon, a member of the Cowboys attempts to kill the Earps’ wives. Virgil is wounded in the scuffle, and Morgan is mortally shot in the back. Josephine wishes to console Wyatt, but he callously rejects her, knowing that Mattie is nearby. In mourning, the Earps decide to leave town and bid goodbye to Curly Bill, who sends two members of the Cowboys to follow them. At the Tucson train station, Wyatt sends Virgil and the women away while he and Doc stay behind to exact revenge. The next morning, Wyatt and Doc join forces with three Cowboys—Sherman McMasters, “Turkey Creek” Jack Johnson, and “Texas Jack” Vermillion—who have shifted their allegiance. As they ride back toward Tombstone, they encounter a band of Cowboys in the woods. Wyatt kills Curly Bill, prompting the others to flee. When Josephine’s colleague is killed, two more Cowboys choose to side with Wyatt. Doc collapses again, and Wyatt allows him to rest at the home of a rancher named Henry Hooker. On her way out of town, Josephine stops by the ranch, and Wyatt apologizes for his behavior toward her. She forgives him, but continues on her journey before he can admit his feelings. Johnny Ringo, now leader of the Cowboys, shoots Sherman McMasters and invites Wyatt to meet him at the mouth of Silver Springs Canyon for a final gunfight. Unknown to Wyatt, Doc gathers his strength and goes to Silver Springs in his place. Doc wins the quick-draw duel and shoots Ringo in the head. Wyatt arrives at the scene, and together they kill all the remaining Cowboys except Ike Clanton, who escapes. Doc lives out the remainder of his life in an infirmary in Colorado, and encourages his friend to live a more fulfilling life. That winter, after Mattie’s death from a drug overdose, Wyatt finds Josephine and pledges his love. They kiss, and share a dance in the snow. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.