A rare screening of one of America’s last folk tales, on Wyatt Earp’s role in the events surrounding the shootout at the O.K. Corral.
A must for any 90s culture completist, the film contains the enduringly controversial Val Kilmer’s definitive portrayal of a louche Doc Holliday, emerging from shadows to deliver oblique lines like “I’m your Huckleberry”; a challenge to anyone that comes for his friend, Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell). Doc has nothing to lose, he’s dying from TB and yet he enlivens every moment with such playfulness and swagger, he makes death look good. He lives on in 2017 as a meme of choice to represent indulgence and defiance.
Despite an impossibly incredible cast (Sam Elliott, Powers Boothe, Bill Paxton and Thomas Haden Church), this movie “never got the recognition it deserved” according to Roger Ebert - in addition to an Oscars snub, in part due to Kevin Costner’s attempt to divert attention and resources onto his own Wyatt Earp project after his prior attachment to this picture ended.
Not entirely because of Kilmer – whose on-set disruptions were by the mid-90s the stuff of legend, this was a troubled production leading to an early change of director from Kevin Jarre (son of Maurice), to George P. Cosmatos and then Kurt Russell unofficially took over, which may add to your appreciation of his generosity in giving away many of the best lines. This is a tale of friendship that seems to have been imitated in life.
A western through a 90s lens, brimming with philosophies, frequent, dalliant masculine displays and “opulent” (The New York Times) looks, a refreshing change from the genre’s conventional sepia drenched vistas - the production design is worth the price of admission, alone.
Starring: KURT RUSSELL, VAL KILMER, BILL PAXTON, POWERS BOOTHE, SAM ELLIOTT, MICHAEL BIEHN, THOMAS HADEN CHURCH, CHARLTON HESTON, BILLY ZANE, DANA DELANY, BILLY BOB THORNTON, JASON PRIESTLY
£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)
Doors 19:00 - Film 19:30
- dir. GEORGE P. COSMATOS / KURT RUSSELL
- year 1993
- country USA
- run-time 2h 4min
- rated 15