In the last chapter, after explaining the Vendetta Ride after the gunfight, Guinn explained how the gunfight at Tombstone became the legendary gunfight it became known as, mostly through 1930's-era books and the 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Guinn's The Last Gunfight was an entertaining and surprisingly fast read that was also enlightening. Rating: 4/5 stars
Tombstone has its moments of camp, but it has some of the best one-liners of any film, especially from Kilmer's Doc Holliday, arguably the star of the movie. Lines like "looks like somebody just walked over your grave," "I've got two guns, one for each of you," and "I'm your huckleberry" are instantly quotable. Russell also delivers his fair share of great lines as well. The cast gives solid performances and the cinematography is good, but there are some moments that are obvious 20th century thinking out of 19th century characters. Were it not for the fact that the filmmakers stressed accuracy in their story, I would be more willing to overlook it. There are some moments that left me thinking "Would someone really say that in the 1880's?" A slight nitpick here, but the music can be a bit overkill at times. Overall, I'd grade Tombstone a very solid B. It's a fun movie to watch and I own it on Blu-ray if that's any indication.
As for differences between history, the book and the film, I'll simply say the film gets the essence of the gunfight, but does leave out a lot of details and tweaks Earp's real life a bit. There is no indication in the film of the political or social undertones between the Earps and the cowboys. The film sets up the gunfight a bit differently than what actually happened. The essence of the characters is mostly true to history, especially Behan.
Have you seen Tombstone or read The Last Gunfight? What did you think?