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Wyatt Earp  (DVD)


Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Jeff Fahey, Mark Harmon, Michael Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Bill Pullman, Tom Sizemore, Mare Winningham, JoBeth Williams, Catherine O'Hara, Joanna Going, Annabeth Gish, Alison Elliott, Martin Kove, Tea Leoni

Director: Lawrence Kasdan

This is a serious (very serious) western, with a very 1990s' treatment of the Old West, seen mostly in varying shades of brown. Bone-achingly overlong, it will have you reaching for your watches rather than your six-guns when things seem to be coming to some kind of head and then you realise there's still 90 minutes to go.

The early scenes have promise: Wyatt (Costner) grows up on a grain ranch and marries the girl he always fancied, played by Gish with possibly the best performance in the film.

Of course, she dies young and, after long spells as a drunkard, buffalo hunter and croupier, Wyatt ends up, as do most of his brothers, as a lawman.

There follows much unnecessary fiddling around in Tombstone, as the brothers try to settle down to prospecting, the famed gunfight at the OK Corral is little more than a skirmish, and the film then drifts on and on, as the Earps and their adversaries the Clantons try to exact mutual revenge.

The film is surely no classic, and signalled the beginning of the downswing to Costner's star career.

David Quinlan

USA 1994. UK Distributor: Trinity Creative Partnership (Warner Brothers) . Technicolor.
183 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 19 May 2020