So for today’s viewing, I decided to do a compare and contrast with John Ford’s My Darling Clementine and George Cosmatos’ 1993 Kurt Russell-Val Kilmer masterpiece Tombstone, since they both center around the story of Wyatt Earp.
Henry Fonda vs. Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp – Fonda plays Earp really straight, dark and serious. There’s not a funny bone in his body. Sure, he has a couple of one-liners (most notably after the barber sprays honeysuckle aftershave on him and his brothers and Clementine mention that they can smell the desert flowers) but for the most part, it’s a very serious performance. Russell on the other hand has a nicer range of emotion and by the end when one of his brothers is killed (I’m not gonna say who for those who haven’t seen the movie) you really feel sorry for Earp. In the end, you could say that Russell gives a more complete performance, but honestly, we’re debating Henry Fonda and Kurt Russell here. Let’s call this one a draw, pun fully intended.
Victor Mature vs. Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday – While I commend Mature on his performance, Kilmer absolutely OWNS the role of Doc Holiday. I dare say he delivers the best performance in the entire movie. Yes, better than Russell and he delievers THEE best one-liner from eiher movie: “I’m your huckleberry.”
Walter Brennan vs. Powers Boothe as Lead Bad Guy – I’m sorry, but Brennan just doesn’t come across as evil to me. He just too damn adorable with that Southern twang and old-man charm. Boothe on the other hand is just sheer evil. Even though Brennan cracks the whip and does his best to be a meanie, Boothe is the better bad guy.
Tim Holt and Ward Bond vs. Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton as Virgil and Morgan Earp – No contest here. Elliott and Paxton are superb supporting actors to Russell’s Wyatt. And besides Holt and Bond are barely in this movie until the shoot-out.
John Ford vs. George Cosmatos – This one’s tough. Cosmatos has the most prolific cast. Along with the names above, the rest of his cast included Michael Biehn, Stephen Lang, Dana Delany, Thomas Haden Church and Charlton Heston. Ford, though, is a prolific and legendary director and you does a nice job with the pieces he has to work with. I guess you could say that Tombstone is a more epic version of My Darling Clementine. I’m going to call this one a draw as well.
And as a final fun fact, the production designer for Tombstone was none other than Catherine Hardwicke, best known as the director of the first in a string of horridly bad Twilight movies. OK, New Moon was not too bad, but Eclipse/em>? Gag.