What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that TOMBSTONE is a very violent modern-day Western about Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and his friend Doc Holliday. As it starts out, Earp and his brothers are retired lawmen, looking to relax and make some money. When a group of villains called the Cowboys starts to make trouble, the Earps make it clear that they do not want to get involved. Eventually, they decide to stand up and do the right thing, though not without a hint of vengeance. The movie is filled with guns, shooting, killing, and gushing blood, as well as some language, alcohol, and drugs (opium), and some mild sexual situations. This movie is much admired -- even by non-Western fans -- especially for its portrayal of the friendship between Earp (Kurt Russell) and Holliday (Val Kilmer). But for younger viewers, a better introduction to the Wyatt Earp legend is John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946).
- Families can talk about the intense violence in the film. Was it necessary to tell the story? Was any of it gratuitous?
- Why do you think the Western genre not as popular as it once was? Do you have a favorite Western?
- The legendary hero Wyatt Earp has many flaws in this film. Do the flaws make him more interesting? Do they make him less of a hero?