Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tombstone: Cast Roundup

I rewatched the movie Tombstone the other day and was reminded not only of how awesome it is, but also of how it has one of the best casts that has ever been assembled. Just for fun, let's talk about 'em:

Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp
Kurt Russell and Wyatt Earp need no introduction. One is a true legend of the silver screen while the other is a legend of the Wild West. The role of Wyatt Earp requires somebody to be charming, scary, laconic, effusive, romantic, and a stone cold bad ass, often intersecting each emotion multiple times in the same scene. In other words, Kurt Russell. Anyway, Wyatt Earp is arguably the most well known lawman in American history, so it was perfect casting since Kurt Russell is one of the coolest actors ever. He was also very good in Captain Ron.

Sam Elliot as Virgil Earp
Only slightly less well known and respected as Wyatt was his older brother Virgil Earp, played by the always charming Sam Elliot. Who doesn't love Sam Elliot? He's so perfect as a cowboy, that he even played one in the Big Lebowski, just because.

Bill Paxton as Morgan Earp
Any list of great movie casts has to include Bill Paxton. He's just awesome. You know it, I know it, and everybody else knows it.

Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday
This is one of the most famous scene-stealing performances in the history of film. Everybody loves Val Kilmer's performance in this movie, even the people who don't like this movie. Val Kilmer's performance as the legendary gunslinger Doc Holiday is nothing short of extraordinary. He is so good and so much fun to watch that he doesn't just steal every scene he's in, but even the ones he's not in, if only because you keep waiting for him to come back.

Powers Booth as Curly Bill Brocius
The film takes a lot of liberties with the character of Curly Bill Brocius, but it's the better for it, I think. No, the real Curly Bill probably wasn't a psychopathic killer with an army of thieves at his back, but Powers Booth makes the character so scary and so much fun to watch that it doesn't matter to me if it lacked fidelity to history. Great villain.

Michael Biehn as Johnny Ringo
Another stretch in terms of history, but all the better in terms of fun film making. After Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday, Michael Biehn's Johnny Ringo is my favorite character. He is totally bad ass, and yet tragic and melancholy at the same time. Kind of like me.

Stephen Lang as Ike Clanton
This was well before Stephen Lang was as famous as he should've been, and I can say that only because he still isn't as famous as he should be now. Lang is best known maybe as the bad guy from Avatar, but he is one of the best character actors I've ever seen, and he's never been better than he was in his small but memorable role as Ike Clanton in Tombstone. I love this guy and he nails every scene he has.

Michal Rooker as Sherman McMasters
Michael Rooker has appeared in such films as Cliffhangers, JFK, Mallrats, and about a hundred or so others. You've seen a few of them, I'm sure. He's cool.

Thomas Haden Church as Billy Clanton
Not a huge role, but not a small one either, considering how young of an actor he was at the time. I'm not sure if he made this film before, after, or during his run on Wings. Anyway, Thomas Haden Church, ladies and gentlemen.

Terry O'Quinn as John Clum
Terry O'Quinn went on to greater fame and fortune years later as John Locke on Lost, but he was very memorable in a small role as the mayor of Tombstone. He doesn't do much, but he's still cool.

Billy Zane as Mr Fabian
I have no idea why Billy Zane is in this movie, nor why there is this weird Shakespearean actor in Tombstone. But... Billy Zane. Who doesn't love him? He gets to deliver the Saint Crispins Day speech from Henry V, and he's pretty good.

Dana Delaney as Josie Marcus
The beautiful and charming woman who steals Wyatt Earp's heart is played by China Beach's Dana Delaney. She's ok, but not as cool as most of these other actors. But she does ok.

Billy Bob Thornton as Johnny Tyler
This wasn't Billy Bob Thornton's first movie, but this was maybe the first movie most people may have seen him in. He has one only, small scene, but it's one of the best in the entire movie, and he gets to have his ass kicked by Kurt Russell. Good stuff.

John Corbett as Barnes
You may know whom better as that guy from Northern Exposure, that guy from Sex and the City, or maybe just as the voice from those Applebees commercials. Anyway, that's John Corbett.

Frank Stallone as Ed Bailey
Yeah, that's Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank. He gets killed by Doc Holiday pretty early on in the movie. It's a good scene, and Frank does his brother proud.

Paula Malcomson as Allie Earp
Paula Malcomson is in this movie for about five seconds, but she went on to greater stardom as Trixie on Deadwood, and as... somebody on Lost. She got shot in the battle for the submarine, I believe. She plays Virgil Earp's wife Allie.

Jason Priestley as Billy Breckinridge
Priestly appears as the fey deputy of Tombstone. This small role didn't exactly propel his film career the way he probably hoped, but it's a fun little role.

Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Mattie Earp
Wyatt Earp's wife is played by Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, who also played Gail Stanwyk in Fletch. She has probably been in some other stuff, but who cares? She was in Fletch.

Harry Carey Jr. as Fred White
Tombstone's marshal is played by Harry Carey Jr., a legendary veteran of the Western genre. He's been in pretty much ever Western ever made since the 1940s on.

Charlton Heston as Henry Hooker
This was basically just a cameo near the end of the film, but it's a good one. What cast would be complete without Charlton Heston?

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