as Morgan Earpas Morgan Earp

as Morgan Earpas Morgan Earp

“My great great great great great great grandparents on my father’s side had a son and a daughter. I’m a great descendant of the son. The daughter — she grew to be Sam Houston’s mother — which makes Sam Houston my first cousin five generations removed.”

Bill Paxton

Wyatt Earp, played by Kurt Russell, and his brothers Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill), move to Tombstone with their wives, hoping to settle down and live a quiet life. But Tombstone is terrorized by a gang of outlaws known as the Cowboys, and many gunfights, including the famous shootout at the OK Corral ensue. It’s your basic Western, with lots of typical Western settings: the saloon, the card game, the hotel, and the bad guys riding into town to shoot everything up. What makes it work are the performances and the relationships between the characters.

With his Texan roots, Bill slides pretty easily into a Western role. He’s got the twang in his voice and the swagger in his walk. As the youngest Earp brother, he’s brash and cocky, but without the experience to back it up. It’s not a huge role, but a solid one.

The movie really belongs to Val Kilmer, who steals the show in a standout performance as Doc Holliday, drawling any number of classic lines (“I’m your huckleberry”), shooting bad guys with deadly precision, all the while sweating and coughing and dying of tuberculosis. I could watch him all day.

He gets to show off his pretty blue eyes in a couple of closeups, and wear a cool black duster and wide-brimmed hat, and play some pool and shoot some guns.

Four stars, ’cause it’s a good movie, Val Kilmer’s great, and you got added bonus Bill.

Dead or Alive?