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Last night I watched "Frontier Marshall (1939) with Randolph Scott as the intrepid marshall and Ceaser Romero as Doc Halliday. A standard old black & white western.


That got me to wondering how many films were made about Wyatt Earp?






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I too watched this movie... well... tried to watch this movie.
Kids left before I did, but I have to admit, I didn't last long either.
As for my kids, "Tombstone" (1993) set the bar for any Wyatt Earp and/or Wyatt Earp related movie - a pretty strong precedence to match.
I tried to hold on as long as I could as I generally like Randolph Scott. However, as far off as this movie was, did make it difficult to watch. 
I fell off pretty quick.

Makes you wonder who Val ticked off?

  Mr.Kilmer has actually ticked off a succession of people-two directors,several actors and producers.He has strong feelings about artistic integrity and plausibility while others view him as difficult.I hope that he makes a strong comeback as he's really a very capable actor.I was rooting for Val when he and Tom Cruise got into it some years back.

Tom Cruise is a celebrity character, Val is the real deal. Worked with him on Tombstone and had a friend who worked with him on Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, very passionate, and capable,  but if he isn't given some artistic license he shuts down.

He does a little smirk when he is done listening to you, or realizes he isn't getting his way, saw it on set a couple times on Tombstone, and saw him do it on camera during Batman. I know him and that director got into it, and the director said he would never work with him again. He's temperamental, but he is a good actor, and can back up his cockiness if he is allowed to do so. 

Buck, There are damn few Val Kilmer roles/movies I haven't liked.  Goes all the way back to Top Gun, etc.  I think he is usually genius.  It's just in "Wyatt Earp's Revenge" it looks like he just had a small "narrator" part, and yes he was a little puffed up (aren't all us old guys), and he seemed disinterested. Even me, an amateur, thought the costuming and such in this movie was terrible - it was the story about the famous Posse going after the Dora Hand Killer in the Dodge City era.  The actors weren't much, and the script wasn't much either.  Just my opinion, but I watched it all the way through, and it just didn't stand up as a Western. Yep, it was the hats, especially on the "Spike Kenedy" character.

Haven't seen it but if he seemed disinterested, he was probably just going through the motions. The more you guys keep talking about it the less interested I am in seeing it.

Christian Slater did one here recently which was just terrible. Very low budget and a lot of terrible actors in the supporting cast. Most likely the fault of the director, but the budget may have tampered efforts to get some quality performers. Heck it may have been a group project that brought in a couple bigger names. Donald Sutherland was in it too, and he wasn't very impressive either. It's called Dawn Rider and I wouldn't recommend it.

Back to the topic, there really are not too many Wyatt Earp movies or TV shows that are what should be considered authentic, or reasonable facsimiles of reality. Wyatt was a sheister at least, or a confidence man at best, and somebody who tried to stay one step ahead of civilization, so he could use the law to his financial advantage.

For me painting him as a good guy, or a prominent member of law enforcement is a disservice to the good men, and the actual law enforcement officers with integrity. I don't think most of his admirers would appreciate a movie actually based on the "man" the way he really was. JMHO

Jim-   I know several who were involved with that film and it was amateur league.They also employed a number of re enactors in small speaking parts.Now I know quite a few who are involved in old west reenacting who've had previous acting training and experience but those are precious few compared to the vast majority out there who confuse doing a cowboy skit with acting ability.I know of quite a few reenactors who think that they are going to get discovered  because of some brief bit in a film.


    I've met Val twice and exchanged missives with him on a couple of occasions.I like the quality of his intelligence,sense of humor and sheer talent.

I thought he was very personable when i met him and worked with him.

There are not many but I know several folks who did some small parts, stunts, and wrangling on many a movie set.

Here are a few who started out doing gunfight shows/skits;

Brett Cullen did gunfights at Six Flags over Texas

Cole McKay worked at Legend City, Rawhide, Pinnacle Peaks, and Day in the West in Phoenix

Ed Adams learned acting/stunts at Old Tucson

I can think of a dozen more who did pretty good even if they never made it big, that learned acting by doing gunfights, but because there are so many amateur performers with little to no professional training or actual talent (don't mean to sound cruel just being real), admitting it could cost you an audition or even a job.

Even know a couple writer/directors, and one costume designer who won an Oscar and started out acting in gunfights.


    Yes it has happened but those are folks with natural artistic talent that will come out whether they have formal training or not.Most live reenactor shows and quite a few amateur films that some of them do are embarrassingly bad,and some I've known are downright stiff,wooden and oblivious about how they come across.I know one bunch of boys who do the Earps.A cigar store indian could out act any of them!I've tried to introduce a level of acting technique into some of these fellows and most are disinclined to listen.

With you all the way.

I see the same thing "A LOT". We go to comps all the time where there are individuals who cannot accept constructive criticism of any kind. The teams that want to improve will. The one's who don't actually do a disservice to the reenactment community. Every bodies goal should to be to improve, but in most situations the key is practice and if you can't or won't take it serious and "practice" odds are you will never really improve.

Movies are different than theater though. Most of the star talent are not really great actors but they are celebrities with the it factor. The "it" factor is a simple concept. If you walk in a room and people want to be near you, be like you, or have an odd almost irresistible attraction to you, you have "it". Think about the star athletes or the homecoming queen or cheerleaders. These are the types that most often become huge stars. The supporting cast for the most part are the actual people with talent, and acting abilities, but they are not as marketable, as those who stand out on their personalities or that natural pizazz.

Me personally I don't think Costner/Russel are as good of actors, as they are simply a personality who plays a persona of themselves really well. They have found their zone and they remain safely within that zone, because it works for them. You do see a steady stream of thespians who cross over into the movie industry, and they do very well for themselves but they rarely make the 'A' list.

JMO not trying to argue, just thinking out loud. ;-)

I've always liked Wyatt Earp (1994) with Kevin Costner. I know there are some Inadequacy's in it but aren't there always? I still like it though.

Costner made a much more realistic Wyatt than Russel did in TOMBSTONE.  However, I've always felt the Costner movie was either an hour too long or 3 hours too short.  It would have been better as a trilogy--2 hrs pre-Tombstone, 2 hrs Tombstone, 2 hrs post-Tombstone.


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