Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Kurt Russell‘s screen debut, when he played an uncredited role as Kevin in an episode of Dennis the Menace, and then followed it up with three outings in The Dick Powell Show. The fact that he’s still a world-renowned actor today is a testament to his enduring longevity and legacy boasting a string of smash hits, cult favorites and classics dating back decades.
From a critical and commercial standpoint, the 1980s and 90s were undoubtedly Russell’s Golden Age after he starred in Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Overboard, Tequila Sunrise, Tango & Cash, Backdraft, Stargate, Executive Decision and Breakdown across that period, but one of his best films from the era is also one of the most underrated, namely 1993’s Tombstone.
A famously troubled production, director Kevin Jarre was fired a month into shooting and replaced by George P. Cosmatos, who in turn found himself clashing with various cast members. Taking a hands-on role on either side of the camera, Russell worked with the producers to streamline the script, and he’s even admitted that he effectively directed Tombstone despite Cosmatos’ presence.
The stacked ensemble cast stars Russell, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott as Earp brothers Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil, with Val Kilmer delivering arguably the best work of his career as the eccentric Doc Holliday. Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston, Stephen Lang, Thomas Haden Church, Michael Rooker, Billy Bob Thornton and Billy Zane are just some of the names to lend support in a Western that has to be viewed as one of the genre’s best efforts of the last 30 years. Amazon subscribers clearly agree, seeing as Tombstone is one of the ten most-watched titles on the platform.