Western fans - how accurate is Tombstone - Doc Holliday

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Bartlet, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I did a search first, but didn't find the info I'm looking for. Tombstone is billed as one of the most accurate depictions of how it happened by some reviews I've read on it. I really love Val Kilmor's potral of "Doc Holliday", I never tire of seeing it.
    I found this site on Doc and while it gives great info on him and Tombstone, it does not mention him killing John Ringo.
    Two questions, did he kinda get the gunfight started (by winking at the one guy), and did he meet with John Ringo and kill him one on one ?.
     
  2. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    I'm not sure on the accuracy of Doc Holliday in the rest of the movie, but it is believed that
    Johnny Ringo was not near the bad ass he had the reputation of, not as educated, and that
    he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
    http://www.thehighchaparral.com/historical6.htm
     
  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Tim, don't tell me that. No, I just don't beleive it. Doc put the bullett in Johnny Ringo's head. And to answer your question Paul, from what I have read, it really is a very accurate telling of the events. I absolutely love this film and will never tire of mulitiple viewings of it. I have seen it almost 20 times now.
     
  4. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    Sorry Jeff.... I guess I'm no daisy.

    If you're more apt to believe what Wyatt says, it was he and

    Doc that killed him and then staged it to look like a suicide.
     
  5. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Okay Tim, I'll take that answer. A combination attack by both Wyatt and Doc is acceptable.
     
  6. Patrick Mirza

    Patrick Mirza Supporting Actor

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    "Are we cross..?"

    Man, Kilmer ran away with this film! He has TONS of cool lines!!
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    My friends' uncle did a lot of research on this film after it hit theaters. From what he found out, it is very accurate, even the shooting of Curly Bill in the lake.
    If true, pretty amazing stuff.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    By far, Kilmer's best performance! Amazing performance put in by him. But along with everybody else, they all played a key role in the film. Even Jason Priestley was good. "Does this mean we are not friends anymore?"
     
  9. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I can't say I'm an expert on this subject, but I do know something about it, and the simple answer is that, as films go, Tombstone was extremely accurate.

    I haven't found anything in the film that can be called downright false, only exaggerations and things that didn't happen at the exact time they were portrayed in the film. For example, the incident with Earp calming down the lynch mob did actually happen, but it was in Dodge City, I believe, before he came to Tombstone. Another example is when Josie is being photographed in Fly's studio. While she was photographed there and in a similar outfit (the picture is rather famous and in many Old West books), she was not there during the gunfight. I personally don't mind a little time manipulation if it helps the film.

    The scene where Wyatt goes out in the open to face Curly Bill actually happened, although I think it was on dry land and not in a stream.

    Regarding Ringo, nobody knows exactly what happened to him, but he was found dead under an oak tree with a bullet in his head. That Doc killed him is probably not true, but one can't say it's false, because we just don't know.

    Regarding characters, most were quite accurate, altough Wyatt was a bit darker in real life (he literally was a pimp), but I thought the film hinted at this enough without making him out to be an unlikable character. Also, I don't think Ringo was quite so intelligent and well-educated as they made him out to be, and Ike Clanton wasn't quite so dumb. Still, it's, by far, the most accurate "Wyatt Earp" film we have.
     
  10. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    Eh, I'm pretty skeptical about any Wyatt Earp films. That doesn't mean I dislike them, because I don't, it's just that I'm skeptical. What *I've* read in various places is that while the shootout at the OK Corral is very accurate in Tombstone, and some of the build-up and aftermath is very accurate, a lot of the other stuff isn't. For example, I have read that Curly Bill was not killed by Wyatt Earp at all. The sources I've read actually said that what happened was that Earp had BRAGGED about killing Bill but that Bill had simply left town, only to be shot in the back while leaving a saloon in another state a few years later. A lot of Wyatt's Earp's history seems to have things like this occurring, where there's a lot of dispute between historians over what actually happened and what was just Earp trying to pump up his own reputation.
    But that's part of why I think the West is so fascinating - for such a relatively recent period of history it's astonishing how little we actually know about it, and that helps lend it its mythic quality I think [​IMG]
     
  11. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    I think one of my High School history teachers best summed up the American West when he said,

    "There were no white hats or black hats, just various shades of gray."

    He also had one of the best lecture titles when we studied dueling and western gunfights. He called the lecture, "Pistols for two, coffee for one".

    A lot of folks died on both sides in the post OK corral days, although most were shot in the dark and alone was my understanding.

    Cheers,

    Kenneth
     
  12. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    Justin, thank you [​IMG]
     
  13. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    Funny thread - believe it or not my wife and I laughed coming to work at the "I'm your Huckleberry" line.

    What the heck did that mean anyway LOL. I get the general meaning but you look at the words and they really don't make sense.

    Awesome film.
     
  14. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    Most of the history I have read about is syas what alot of you have echoed. however, Curly Bill was not the leader of the Cowboys, Ike Clanton was the leader and heck of a lot smarter than they portrayed him to be. He was killed years later in a botched robbery.

    Johnny Ringo was uneducated, could not read or write and most likely killed himself while high on opium.

    Doc Holliday was educated, stricken with TB and lived life with a deathwish. A couple lines that have more meaning than the film implies, right before the OK Corral. Wyatt tells Doc to stay out of it, "This doesn't involve you." Doc, "Well that's a hell of a thing for you to say!" Doc was a very, very close friend of Wyatts, ever since Wyatt saved him from being killed by upwards of 3 people in an alley in Dodge City. Doc swore himself to Wyatt that night and that was why he was offended by Wyatt telling him it didn't involve him.

    As for the movie, I have seen it more times than I could count on all the fingers and toes in my 3 person home. What can I say? I love the movie.
     
  15. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  16. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    "I'm your huckleberry" loosely means "I'm your man"...

    the term huckleberry used to be used as a term for the

    right man for the job.
     
  17. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    "I have two guns, one for each of you." I think thats how it goes. Great line anyhoo. I wish Val would do a movie soon. Hes really great.
     

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