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: Tombstone (1993)  ( 17473 )
dave jenkins
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"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."

« #45 : April 16, 2010, 05:40:27 AM »

Bill Hunt, over at thedigitalbits, continues his rant:
Every great once in a while, you learn something that just blows your mind. You know, changes your perspective. Shifts the landscape. Rocks the ground beneath you. Lifts the veil and reveals Truth. Well... something like that happened to me yesterday. You see, I'm a Tombstone  fan (coming to Blu-ray in on 4/27 in what is essentially a movie-only edition). It's one of my all-time favorite films. But somehow - maybe because those involved worked hard to keep it secret for many years, and the secret was "kept" by Disney's Vista Series  DVD release a few years back... I don't know - somehow, I had no idea that it was Kurt Russell who essentially directed the film, not George P. Cosmatos as credited.

Now, a few of you are probably going, "Yeah, dude... where have you been?" And a few of you may not care about the film to begin with. But I suspect that the rest of you, who ARE fans of Tombstone, might be as stunned as I was. All I can say is, now that I know, all these dominoes have suddenly fallen into place in my mind... and the shock of it has rendered me pretty much incapable of getting any work done today. I'm not kidding: My head is spinning with this revelation. I am in dire need of, and will shortly join my old pal Matt Rowe at the local pub to have, a beer or two to commiserate on the subject.

Upon learning the truth of this film's production late yesterday, I've discovered some interesting reading (with the help of readers) that hints at the film's fascinating behind-the-scenes story - a story that has yet to be properly told on disc. First, Entertainment Weekly magazine published a piece (back in December 1993) about the film's production just prior to its initial theatrical release, which reveals some of the shooting difficulties and battles on the set. (Thanks to Bits reader Ian C. for the link.) Several months later, EW published a second story (in July 1994) on how poorly Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp film did in the wake of Tombstone's earlier release. Reading the first story, you do learn that Russell stepped in as director for a time, but the full extent of his efforts aren't fully revealed. Both stories hint at Costner's efforts to kill Tombstone, but also don't fully illuminate the situation. Then in late 2006, Henry Cabot Beck (who had visited the set of Tombstone briefly) wrote a surprising piece on the film's production for True West Magazine (the October issue), based on an interview he'd conducted several months earlier (during the shooting of Poseidon) with actor Kurt Russell. Keep in mind that Cosmatos - the credited director of Tombstone - had recently passed away (in April 2005). So in the new True West piece, Russell essentially revealed for the first time in public that yes, he had in fact essentially been the real director of Tombstone, but he'd promised Cosmatos that he wouldn't say anything about it while Cosmatos was still alive. The True West article was also referenced in an online story by Hollywood Elsewhere in September, in which a little background on the interview itself was revealed. Now let me tell you... if you love Tombstone as I do, I strongly encourage you all to check out these articles. They're absolutely fascinating. I should also note that these articles refer to Kevin Jarre's original script for the film. You can read that here at The Daily Script if you're interested. You gotta love the Internet!

Now, here's the thing... there is clearly an amazing and as-yet-untold story behind the making of this film. And these articles suggest that Russell has a ton of outtake and deleted footage from the film, so there's the potential for him to create a whole new and longer cut of the film - a TRUE Director's Cut. In my review of the new Blu-ray, I observed that 2013 is the film's 20th Anniversary. Of course, you know what this means. There absolutely MUST be created, for the anniversary, a new Tombstone: Ultimate Collector's Edition box set on DVD and Blu-ray, with Russell himself directly involved. I'm talking an all-out, balls-out, in-depth, Blade Runner-style special edition. Call it the O.K. Coral edition, package it with a replica of Russell's U.S. Marshal's badge from the film... what have you. But it's gotta have Russell's involvement and commentary, maybe his new cut or at least deleted scenes, and especially an elaborate behind-the-scenes documentary on the true story behind the film's production.

That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
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This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!

« #46 : April 30, 2010, 05:26:54 PM »

Powers Boothe weighs in on the director controversy:

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« #47 : December 31, 2012, 01:36:19 PM »

Here's Russell's take. Interesting read. Everything points to him directing the movie.

Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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