Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Perhaps The Only Time A Screenwriter Actually Listened to A Historian

 August 8, 2023

    As the years go by, this photo keeps gaining in gravitas and irony. Here's the ironic part.

A Screenwriter Actually Listened to A Historian

Jeff Morey and Kevin Jarre, June, 1993

   This is a very prescient photograph of Jeff Morey and Kevin Jarre just before the end. It is significant for two reasons. The first is, the screenwriter Kevin Jarre actually listened to someone who loves the real history of Tombstone and Wyatt Earp and that person is Jeff Morey. The idea that the boomtown was brand new is from Jeff (see below). The concept that the cowboys should look like land-locked pirates, colorful and not draped in dusty browns, that's Jeff. The clever lines, that is mostly Kevin being brilliant, but the bad news is, his vision for directing did not fly and he was fired less than 48 hours after this photo was taken. Out of solidarity with Jarre, Morey had his name taken off the movie credits. We thank them both for their service to our cause. Someday, someone is going to dust off their collaboration and make their brilliant vision whole, said the historian who took the photo.

Dusty Cowtowns Meet The Boomtown Ethos

   One of the strange trends in Western movie town sets that developed in the latter half of the Twentieth Century is the idea that the towns needed to be old and weatherbeaten. But in the case of 1880 Tombstone, it was brand new and booming with new buildings and new construction everywhere. It was a boomtown for crying out loud. Here's what the producer said of this phenom.

New Town vs. A Dusty Concept

   "Mescal was a dusty, weather beaten set when we got there.  Our script called for a NEW TOWN, bustling, buildings going up.  Fresh paint.  Businesses working out of tents whilst more permanent structures were going up. So we basically repaired and painted every building. Then, of course, before we were finished, QUICK AND THE DEAD came in and started to age the entire set, building by building.  Took it from freshly painted to aged Western town.  Ironic, no?"

—Bob Misiorowski, Producer "Tombstone" 

The Teeth Pickers

   An unidentified extra, Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell and Bob Misiorowski on the Babacomari Ranch during the filming of the wagon train sequence with a cameo by Hugh O'Brian that never made it into the movie.

  In the end, everything in this world is a joke. That is why Doc Holliday's alleged last words ring so loud and so true:

"This is funny."

"No, it’s not the greatest western. But it is great. The greatest western would have been Tombstone following the original script that Kevin Jarre wrote. But that wouldn’t be a movie, it would have been a mini-series."

—Allen Barra

How to Redeem Kevin Jarre's Masterful Script

   This is not a prediction. This is a mandate. The remake of "Tombstone" will be a limited series of ten episodes and in the final episodes (or as bookends) it will feature Kurt Russell as an old Wyatt Earp and Dana Delaney as his longtime partner, Sadie, trying, in vain, to cash in on his story in the final boomer-outlaw town, Hollywood.

Happy Days Camp

Wyatt and Sadie at their Happy Days Mine camp between Parker, Arizona and Vidal, California. They spent a delightful 22 winters at, or near, this primitive camp (Wyatt spent a mere 27 months in Tombstone). The dog's name is Earpie. This is where the series should begin and end.

   The final word.

"The real Earp was not likable. But he was to be admired."

—Mark Warren

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't some western artist (the type that has a number of illustrated books) do a graphic novel of the original script? Who knows, a man could strike his fortune.


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