While in Colorado over Christmas break in 1993, I was one of the opening weekend box office goers who saw Kurt Russell put a sexy spin on late 1800’s gunslinger, Wyatt Earp, in the movie Tombstone. Add the smoky voiced Sam Elliott as crusty Virgil Earp and Val Kilmer’s irreverent personification of Doc Holliday and you have the perfect movie!
Critically, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 73% “Certified Fresh” review, but the public loved it even more with a whopping 94% giving it “two thumbs up!”
Financially, Tombstone did eventually double it’s production budget of roughly $25,000,000 (largely financed personally by Russell) earning $56,505,065 in the United States before it was released to Video (which was still a money maker in the 1990’s) in November of 1994 where it earned an additional $22,000,000+, but in terms of today’s blockbusters that bring in that amount in a weekend, was it really a financial success?
With adjustments for the financial times, it can be said that yes, it was a success:
- It is the 14th highest grossing film back to 1979; and
- True West Magazine called it, “One of the 5 best westerns ever made”
For Tombstone virgins, although, after the many times it’s been on broadcast and pay television (even in it’s edited form) it’s hard to believe that there are any who haven’t seen the classic, there is a 10 minute compilation of classic scenes from the movie that is sure to whet your appetite to see the whole thing.
One viewing of this classic isn’t nearly enough. You’ll love the whole thing: Robert Mitchum’s smoothly delivered narration that keeps the story moving, the detailed back stories, the humor, and for us ladies, the romance between Josie (played perfectly by the sultry “Guy’s Girl” Dana Delaney) and Wyatt that is wound throughout the film and comes t0 a satisfying conclusion. You’ll want to watch it again and again, if for no other reason than to hear the memorable lines that are frequently heard in conversations and seen in print/online 22 years later. Hmmm
Among My Favorites:
- “I’m Your Huckleberry”
- “Why Johnny Ringo…Looks like someone just walked all over your grave!”
- “Nonsense. I have not yet begun to defile myself”
- “I like men. If that means I’m not ‘lady-like’, then I guess I’m just not a lady!”
- “It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.”
- “You tell ‘em I’m coming … and Hell’s coming with me, you hear? HELL’S COMING WITH ME!”
- “Your Spanish is as bad as your English! He’s quoting the bible, Revelations: Behold the pale horse The man who sat on him was death and Hell followed with him”
I have lost count of the number of times I have seen Tombstone, but I can tell you that, no matter how much of the movie I’ve missed, I generally watch anytime I come across it on my TV. Watch it an you’ll see: Tombstone is an addiction!
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