Tombstone: Director’s Cut on DVD

Starring Kurt Russell (Escape from New York, Poseidon), Val Kilmer (Saint, Batman Forever), and Sam Elliot (The Hulk, Gettysburg), released in theaters in 1993, Tombstone: Director’s Cut is exactly the way this wonderful western should be experienced.

Lawlessness is corrupting officials, tearing down the moral fiber, and burying the citizens of Tombstone. These crimes against society come in the form of the “cowboys”, men calling themselves law-enforcers but are actually a large group of criminals only out for themselves. The one person that can bring justice to these men, Wyatt Earp (Russell) comes to Tombstone by train and meets up with his brothers, Virgil (Elliot) and Morgan (Bill Paxton).

Earp brings along his wife, Mattie (Dana-Wheeler Nicholson). He brings and enforcers his strong morals on the people of Tombstone, but Wyatt insists that he’s finished as a lawman. His best friend, renowned poker player and known for his questionable disposition, Doc Holiday (Kilmer) knows him better than that. The dying and sickly man knows that people just can’t change, and tests Wyatt on the limits of his new-found resolve.

The cowboys’ Curly Bill Brocious (Powers Boothe) murders the local sheriff. Wyatt with the help of his brothers arrests Curly Bill, bringing down on themselves bad blood. They defend their honor and kill a handful of cowboys behind the O.K. Corral. The cowboys retaliate and bring some really bad blood down on themselves.

Strong performances, authentic western imagery and memorabilia and a fine script makes Tombtone one of the all-time great westerns, and the best representation of Wyatt Earp’s historic tale. When it came out, Tombstone was quickly followed by the less popular Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner. And now, we can enjoy this wonderful film the way it should’ve been released in theaters – with some essential deleted scenes put back into it.

The DVD release comes with a brilliant and sharp DVD transfer. You can quite literally see the dust flying up behind those horses in great detail. A making-of-Tombstone featerette is included in three parts: “An Ensemble Cast”, “Making An Authentic Western”, and “The Gunfight At The O.K. Corral”. Audio features include a crystal clear DTS 5.1 digital surround sound and a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound transfer, and audio commentary by director George P. Cosmatos. The DVD offers an insight into the vision of the director with his original storyboards of the O.K. Corral sequence. Other special features include the Tombstone epitaph – an actual newspaper account of events in the film, a DVD-ROM feature: “Faro At The Oriental: Game Of Chance”, and an interactive Tombstone timeline.

If you want to see a great western, if you want an authentic and thrilling film about Wyatt Earp, this is the DVD for you.

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