Sunday, September 19, 2004

September19, 2004
Big storm blew in during the night. Hurricane Javier, someone said. Rained and rained. all day. Can’t remember the last time it rained this much on the desert. Power went out twice, the second time for about an hour. No water. No electricity. A fighter jet flew over the Seven Sisters at about five hundred feet, big sound wave behind it. Of course I imagined that Hoover Dam had been car bombed and that’s the reason our power was out. Catastrophe everywhere. Imagined the worst.

At four the power came back on and went back to work. Need to get the shooting script for Tombstone for the killing of Marshal White by Curly Bill for this month’s Classic Gunfights. We are going to need extra pages because the November-December issue is going to be so big, so I’m thinking of adding a page or two for this. Here’s my take (if you have the script to Tombstone and I’m miss-hearing something please let me know:

Did Hollywood Ever Get It Right?
Scene 11 (on DVD) “Law Dog”

Scene opens inside a Tombstone opium den (actually a tent). Curly Bill (Powers Booth) staggers to his feet as he says:
“Oh yeah.” [he’s obviously stoned]
Slowly stumbling out into the nighttime street, Curly Bill exclaims:
“Oh, I feel great.” [beat] “I feel Capital!”
Curly looks at his hands and sees hallucinating traces of shadows and is mesmerized for a moment or two until he looks across the street and sees something that makes him very unhappy. Pulling both his revolvers he shoots into the shadows. Laughing he turns and shoots out a window. A woman screams. He shoots a street lamp, bursting the glass, then takes aim at a horseman riding by and at a pedestrian. He begins laughing demonically.

Sherif Behan (actor’s name?) with Josephine Marcus (Dana Delany) behind him, walks into the Oriental Saloon:

Behan: “What’s going on in the street? Somebody’s got to do something.”
John Clum (actor’s name?): “Well, I believe you’re the sheriff.”
Behan: “No. No, this is not the county. This is a town matter, marshal.”
Behan looks at Marshal White (Harry Carey, Jr.) and White looks down sheepishly.

Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) is dealing faro and takes a sip of coffee: “Why don’t you just leave it alone?”
Marshal Fred White: “No. No, I gotta do something.”
Wyatt goes back to dealing faro: “Here’s your down card.”

Out in the deserted street, Curly Bill continues firing [just for fun, I counted the number of shots Curly fires in this entire sequence and although he has two pistols he fires somewhere between 21 and 24 shots without reloading). Now Curly sees the moon and begins to howl. He aims up at the celestial body and begins firing at it.

Marshal White: “Curly Bill! Come on now.”

Curly Bill turns with both pistols at full cock. White steps out in the street with his own pistol drawn, pointing it at the cow-boy captain:
Curly Bill: “Well, hello Fred.”
Marshal White: “Hand those over, Curly. Hand ‘em over.”
Curly Bill: “Why sure, dad. I’m only funnin’. [he steps forward with both pistols in front of him, butt first].” Here you go.”

Just as White grabs ahold of the pistol in Curly Bill’s left hand, Brocius pulls a border roll and shoots the marshal in the heart with the pistol in his right hand. Stunned and dying, smoke billowing off him, White collapses in the street. Curly Bill steps around the prone marshal:

Curly Bill: “Fred! Oh, Fred!”

Wyatt Earp comes up from behind and cold cocks Curly Bill with the butt of his pistol. A townsperson can be heard in the background: “He got Fred White!” Other voices join in: “He shot the marshal!” “They killed him!”

Wyatt: “Better get him off the street.” [meaning White]

Another townsperson: “Git a rope! String him up!”

Wyatt: “Nobody’s hangin’ anybody.”

“He just killed a man!”

Wyatt: “Move!” [Wyatt continues to hold Curly Bill by the scruff of his neck.]

Coming up the street we see a group of cowboys: “Turn ‘im loose!”

It’s Ike Clanton, his brother Billy and others: “He said turn loose of him.”

Wyatt: “I’ll not! So go home!”

Ike Clanton [stepping up close[: “I swear to God Lawdog, if you don’t step aside we’ll tear you apart.”

Wyatt cocks his pistol and aims it a Ike’s forehead: “You die first, get it? Your friends may get me first, but not before I make your head into a canoe. You understand me?”

One of the cowboys: “He’s bluffin’. Let’s rush him!”

Ike [petrified]: “No! He’s not!”

Wyatt: “Now tell ‘em to get back.”

Ike: “Go on., Git back! Go on Billy! He’ll kill me!”

Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) swaggers off the boardwalk and enters the fray holding a pistol: “And you Music Man [aiming at Billy Clanton], you’re next.”
Billy Clanton (actor’s name): “It’s the drunk piano player. You’re so drunk you can’t hit nothin’. In fact, you’re probably seein’ double.”

Pulling a second pistol, Doc says: “I have two guns. One for each of you.”

A shotgun is fired and we see Virgil (Sam Elliott) running to the scene: “Break it up. Go home!”

With the tables turned, the cowboys begin a slow retreat. Wyatt pushes Ike off with the barrel of his gun. Ike backs away snarling: “I’ll see you soon. I’ll see you soon. We’ll meet again.”

Cut to: Johnny Behan and Josie watching from the sidewalk. Behan smiles and says to his lover: “Well as you see, never a dull moment.”

"The only way to succeed is to make people hate you."
—Old Navajo sayingr

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