Wyatt Earp (1994)
Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid
(dvd) - This massive, in-depth study of the dark Western icon comes off with mixed results.
Trying to capture the whole life, (warts and all) of the lawman-criminal-brother-fortune hunter, director Lawrence Kasdan gains points for sheer scale, giving us a rich epic painted in dark colors with gritty settings.
But the visual poetry and extensive foreshadowing ruin the dramatic drive.
Some scenes have as much impact as stalker movies; you're just waiting for someone to get knocked off.
As Earp, Kevin Costner is not afraid to look rumpled and play colorlessly (as in The Bodyguard), but it saps the energy of this 3-hour-plus film.
The only relief is Dennis Quaid as a droll Doc Holiday, a much more engaging character.
New faces Linden Ashby and Joanna Going (as an Earp brother and a lover, respectively) are solid finds, though the remainder of the female cast is barely given anything to do.
Best is the first half, with Costner, as hip as he was in his Silverado days, going through a series of ups and downs until he accidentally finds his profession.
Great set design (Ida Random) utilizes dozens of similar settings that always look distinctive.
Recommended to fans of the star and the genre. Wyatt Earp
great westerns actors | A Fistful
of Dollars | Butch Cassidy and the
Dances with Wolves | For
a Few Dollars More | Good, the
Bad and the Ugly
High Noon | High
Plains Drifter | Magnificent
Rio Bravo | Rio
Grande | Shane
Three Amigos | Tombstone
| Unforgiven | Wyatt
(The Illustrated History of Movies Through Posters Series Vol. 2)
Bruce Hershenson Paperback
Western TV Classics
Western Actors | Big
Valley | Bonanza | Gunsmoke
Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp | Lone
Ranger | Wild, Wild West