Wyatt Earp (DVD)

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Wyatt Earp (DVD)

Wyatt Earp is a 1994 American biographical Western drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Lawrence Kasdan, with Dan Gordon. The film covers the lawman of the same name s life, from an Iowa farmboy, to a feared marshal, to the feud in Tombstone, Arizona that led to the O.K. Corral gunfight. Starring Kevin Costner in the title role, it features an ensemble supporting cast that includes Gene Hackman, Mark Harmon, Michael Madsen, Bill Pullman, Dennis Quaid, Isabella Rossellini, Tom Sizemore, JoBeth Williams, Mare Winningham and Jim Caviezel in one of his earliest roles.

The film was released a mere six months after the similar Tombstone, and received mixed reviews, critical of the film s length and plot but praising its production values. Unlike Tombstone, it was a box office failure.


During the American Civil War, teenaged Wyatt Earp lives on his family farm in Pella, Iowa, while his older brothers Virgil and James serve with the Union Army. Wyatt attempts to run away, intending to lie about his age and join the war, but his father catches him. His brothers return home at the war s end, with James gravely wounded, and the family moves west. Wyatt sees a man killed during a gunfight, and vomits at the sight.

Years later, Wyatt works out west as a wagon driver, also serving as a referee for fights, and finds himself at odds with a bully. Wyatt and the bully come to the point of fighting, with the bully intending to shoot him, but Wyatt disarms and defeats him, taking his gun.

Returning home to Missouri, Wyatt marries his childhood sweetheart, Urilla Sutherland. They move into their own house, and he begins working as a policeman. Months later, his pregnant wife dies from typhoid fever. After staying by her side through the illness, Wyatt becomes deeply depressed. Burning their home and possessions, he begins drinking and drifts from town to town, landing in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He robs a man and steals his horse, but is captured. With Wyatt facing certain hanging, his father bails him out of jail, telling him to never return to Arkansas.

Working as a buffalo hunter, Wyatt befriends Bat Masterson and his brother Ed Masterson. Years pass, and Wyatt becomes a deputy marshal in Wichita, Kansas, building a reputation as a good lawman. He is recruited to work as a deputy in Dodge City, with a lower salary but earning extra money for every arrest. Wyatt becomes romantically involved with a prostitute, Mattie Blaylock, and the Mastersons join him as deputies. Wyatt believes Ed is too passive, but the Dodge City council fires Wyatt for his excessive force, appointing Ed to take his place. Wyatt begins working for the railroad, capturing outlaws.

Pursuing outlaw Dave Rudabaugh, Wyatt is introduced to gunman and gambler Doc Holliday in Fort Griffin, Texas, and the two become friends. Holliday assists Earp in locating Rudabaugh, whom he dislikes tremendously. Wyatt receives word that Ed has been killed, having shot and killed both his assailants before dying in the street. Wyatt returns to Dodge City to help bring law and order, during which time Wyatt kills his first man, witnessed by actress Josie Marcus. Despite his brothers wives’ and Mattie s protests, Wyatt moves the family to Tombstone, Arizona and immediately finds himself at odds with the outlaw Cowboy gang. He becomes romantically involved with Josie Marcus, angering her boyfriend Sheriff Behan and stressing his relationship with Mattie, and becomes the subject of rumor about town.

Wyatt and his brothers Morgan and Virgil arrest several Cowboys, and Virgil takes over as marshal following the murder of Fred White. Tension builds between the brothers and the gang as Wyatt breaks up several altercations involving the Cowboys, particularly Ike Clanton, and Holliday swears his loyalty to Wyatt, whom he considers his only real friend. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral makes the brothers very unpopular in town. Virgil is ambushed and wounded, and Morgan is killed. In the Vendetta Ride, Wyatt and his friends take revenge against the remaining Cowboys.

Many years later, Wyatt and Josie mine for gold in Alaska. A young man on the same boat recognizes Wyatt, and recounts a story in which Wyatt had saved the boy s uncle, Tommy Behind-The-Deuce . Wyatt says to Josie, Some people say it didn t happen that way , to which she responds, Never mind them, Wyatt. It happened that way.

An epilogue states that Holliday died six years later in a hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Members of the Clanton gang continued to die mysteriously for years after Morgan s murder. Josie and Wyatt s marriage lasted 47 years until Wyatt died at age 80 in Los Angeles.


  • Kevin Costner as Wyatt Earp Ian Bohen as teenage Wyatt
  • Ian Bohen as teenage Wyatt
  • Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday
  • Gene Hackman as Nicholas Porter Earp
  • David Andrews as James Earp
  • Linden Ashby as Morgan Earp
  • Jim Caviezel as Warren Earp
  • John Doe as Tommy Behind-The-Deuce O Rourke
  • Jeff Fahey as Ike Clanton
  • Joanna Going as Josie Marcus
  • Mark Harmon as Johnny Behan
  • Michael Madsen as Virgil Earp
  • Catherine O Hara as Allie Earp
  • Bill Pullman as Ed Masterson
  • Isabella Rossellini as Big Nose Kate
  • Tom Sizemore as Bat Masterson
  • JoBeth Williams as Bessie Earp
  • Mare Winningham as Mattie Blaylock
  • James Gammon as Mr. Sutherland
  • Karen Grassle as Mrs. Sutherland
  • Rex Linn as Frank McLaury
  • Gabriel Folse as Billy Clanton
  • Mackenzie Astin as Francis O Rourke
  • Randle Mell as John Clum
  • Adam Baldwin as Tom McLaury
  • Annabeth Gish as Urilla Sutherland
  • Lewis Smith as Curly Bill Brocius
  • Betty Buckley as Virginia Earp
  • Alison Elliott as Lou Earp
  • Téa Leoni as Sally
  • Martin Kove as Ed Ross


Costner was originally involved with the film Tombstone, another film about Wyatt Earp, written by Kevin Jarre of Glory. However, Costner disagreed with Jarre over the focus of the film (he believed that the emphasis should have been on Wyatt Earp rather than the many characters in Jarre s script) and left the project, eventually teaming up with Kasdan to produce his own Wyatt Earp project. The film was also originally meant to be a six-hour miniseries until Kevin Costner joined the cast. Costner proceeded to use his then-considerable clout to convince most of the major studios to refuse to distribute the competing film, which affected casting on the rival project.


Wyatt Earp
Soundtrack album by
James Newton Howard
LabelWarner Bros. Records

The score was composed by James Newton Howard, conducted by Marty Paich with The Hollywood Recording Musicians Orchestra and released by Warner Bros. Records in 1994. It was later re-released in 2013 in an expanded edition by La-La Land.


Box office

Wyatt Earp, released six months after Tombstone, grossed $56 million on a $63 million budget, compared to Tombstone s $73 million gross on a $25 million budget. The film opened at number 4 at the US box office, grossing $7.5 million in its first week. It grossed $25 million in the United States and Canada, compared to Tombstone s $56 milion. Internationally, Wyatt Earp was more successful grossing $31 million, compared to Tombstone s $17 million, but this was not enough to recoup its budget, making it a box office bomb.

Critical reception

Wyatt Earp received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively gives the film a rotten score of 32%, based on 78 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site s consensus states: Easy to admire yet difficult to love, Wyatt Earp buries eye-catching direction and an impressive cast in an undisciplined and overlong story. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100 based on 20 reviews, indicating “mixed or average reviews.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, saying Wyatt Earp plays as if they took Tombstone and pumped it full of hot air. It involves many of the same characters and much of the same story, but little of the tension and drama. It s a rambling, unfocused biography of Wyatt Earp (Kevin Costner), starting when he s a kid and following his development from an awkward would-be lawyer into a slick gunslinger. This is a long journey, in a three-hour film that needs better pacing.

Todd McCarthy of Variety praised the cast and production values, but remarked, If you re going to ask an audience to sit through a three-hour, nine-minute rendition of an oft-told story, it would help to have a strong point of view on your material and an urgent reason to relate it. Such is not the case with Wyatt Earp. Similarly, Caryn James of The New York Times complimented the film s ambition and effort to portray a more human Wyatt, but still felt that the film s literal-minded approach to the hero s dark soul is one of its terrible problems. Wyatt Earp labors to turn this mythic figure into a complex man; instead it makes him a cardboard cutout and his story a creepingly slow one.

Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F.

Year-end worst-of lists

  • 2nd – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  • 2nd – Dan Craft, The Pantagraph
  • 4th – Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
  • 7th – Robert Denerstein, Rocky Mountain News
  • 8th – John Hurley, Staten Island Advance
  • Top 12 (Alphabetically ordered, not ranked) – David Elliott, The San Diego Union-Tribune


Academy AwardsBest CinematographyOwen RoizmanNominated
American Society of Cinematographers AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical ReleasesNominated
Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst PictureKevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan, and Jim WilsonNominated
Worst DirectorLawrence KasdanNominated
Worst ActorKevin CostnerWon
Worst Screen ComboKevin Costner and any of his three wives
(Annabeth Gish, Joanna Going, and Mare Winningham)
Worst Remake or SequelKevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan and Jim WilsonWon
International Film Music Critics Association AwardsBest Archival Release of an Existing Score – Re-Release or Re-RecordingJames Newton Howard, Dan Goldwasser, and Tim GrievingNominated
Spur AwardsBest Drama ScriptDan Gordon and Lawrence KasdanWon
Turkish Film Critics Association AwardsBest Foreign Film18th Place





Published Date


Rating MPA

PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

Recording Length


Recording Studio






Amazon ASIN











3h 11min


Nominated for 1 Oscar, 3 wins & 7 nominations total


Lawrence Kasdan


Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan


Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman

Produced by

Kevin Costner, Dan Gordon, Michael Grillo, Lawrence Kasdan, Charles Okun, Jon Slan, Jim Wilson

Music by

James Newton Howard

Cinematography by

Owen Roizman

Film Editing by

Carol Littleton

Casting By

Jennifer Shull

Production Design by

Ida Random

Art Direction by

Gary Wissner

Set Decoration by

Cheryl Carasik

Costume Design by

Colleen Atwood

Makeup Department

Bonita DeHaven, Elle Elliott, Dorothy D. Fox, Sharon McVey, Michael Mills, Suzanne Patterson, Francisco X. Pérez, Gerald Quist, Marlene D. Williams, Katie Douthit

Production Management

Steph Benseman, Michael Grillo, Charles Okun, Danis Regal-O Connell, Sara Spring

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Stephen P. Dunn, Peter E. Hirsch, Jeff Rafner, L. David Silva, Christina Stauffer

Art Department

Peter Alvarez, Robert Anderson, Steven Lee Baer, Sam Brinson, Greg John Callas, Andy Carter, Barry Chusid, Art Clever, Denis Cordova, Charlie Daboub, Giovanni Ferrara, Andrew P. Flores, John Forwalter, Kevin M. Gannon, Michael R. Gannon, Hank Giardina, Eric Giese, Gershon Ginsburg, Jeff Goldberg, Val Harris, John O. Hartman, Chris Herrington, Mark Hitchler, Richard Hoffenberg, Mark Hollis, Kelly Hudson, Scott Lewis, David Manhan, Anthony J. Martin, Rick Martin, Robert S. McDonald, Henry Mendoza, Ed Mirassou, David J. Negron Jr., Bob Nickloff, Vic Petrotta Jr., William A. Petrotta, Eugenio Quintero, Billy W. Ray, Tom Reta, Paul Roberts, Ernest M. Sanchez, Peter Schlanser, Vikki Spracklen, Steve Thayer, Adrian Valdes, Wendy Weaver, Christopher Windisch, Craig Zimmerman, Lou Boggs, Phillip A. Henry, Steven Hintz, Jeff Lomaglio, Patriq Luo, Gary Petersen, Christopher Windisch, Quinn Yarbrough

Sound Department

David A. Arnold, John H. Arrufat, James Ashwill, Stu Bernstein, John Brilhante, Desmond Cannon, Athonia Cappelli, Jim Cody, Joe Dorn, Michael Dressel, Alison Fisher, Jessica Gallavan, Nerses Gezalyan, John Glaeser, Lewis Goldstein, Robert Grieve, Stephen Janisz, Ken J. Johnson, Rick Kline, Stephanie Lowry, Bobby Mackston, Steve Mann, James Matheny, John Murray, Dan O Connell, Kevin O Connell, Jennifer Portman, John Pritchett, Roy Seeger, Dan Sharp, Joel Shryack, Frank Smathers, Dan Yale

Special Effects by

Rodney M. Byrd, Burt Dalton, Dale Ettema, Joe Heffernan, Dick Hogle, Donald Myers, Sol Rivera

Visual Effects by

Heather Davis Baker, Karen deJong, Robert Stadd, Mark Sullivan, Mimi Abers, Derrick Mitchell, Olivier Sarda


William H. Burton Jr., Will Cascio, Stacy Courtney, David Efron, H.P. Evetts, Greg Goossen, Beau Holden, Kanin Howell, Norman Howell, Shawn Howell, Tricia Howell, Gary McLarty, William Ray, L. David Silva

Camera and Electrical Department

Ulli Bonnekamp, Richard Bowen, David A. Brown, Philip L. Brown, Shaw Hawkins Burrows, Tom DeWitt, Alan R. Disler, Moose Enright, Chris Espeset, Richard Fezzey, Ian Fox, Rusty Geller, Jeff Gershman, Ben Glass, Khan Griffith, Mark Hadland, Ian Kincaid, Kim Kono, Mitchell Lookabaugh, Michael Martinez, David L. Merrill, Dan Moore, Richard Mosier, Thomas Nead, Michael Raspa, Tony Rivetti, Bill Roe, Eric Roizman, Tim Ryan, Victor Svimonoff, Christopher Duskin, Harland Espeset, Tim Forrest, Myke Groves, Casey Jones, Rose Kuo, Kyle T. MacDowell, Stephen Mullen, Ray Ortega, Chad Rivetti

Casting Department

Sally Jackson, Phil Poulos, Elizabeth Shull, Karen Wood

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Jennifer Alexander, Cynthia Black, Cha Blevins, Le Dawson, Barry Francis Delaney, James M. George, Marci R. Johnson, Adrienne Manhan, Ruby K. Manis, Adrienne Wait, Lois DeArmond, Melissa E. Hollingsworth

Editorial Department

Justin Bourret, Raúl Dávalos, Bob Kaiser, Mark Nakamine, Suzanne Spangler, Ofe Yi

Location Management

Michael Dellheim, Paul Hargrave, Bill Hill, Tim Wilson, David Manzanares

Music Department

Chris Boardman, Brad Dechter, James Newton Howard, Michael Mason, Shawn Murphy, David Olson, Marty Paich, James Walker, Jim Weidman, Philip Ayling, Tom Boyd, Tom Brown, Alasdair Fraser, Dan Goldwasser, Artie Kane, Frank Marocco, Malcolm McNab, Dean Parks, Emil Richards, James Thatcher

Script and Continuity Department

Anne Rapp

Transportation Department

Dave Amberik, Suzi Battaglia, Ray Brooks, Chris Cannon, Stanford Davis, Vince De Amicis, Vashti Desire, Rose Echeverria, Wayne Elliott, Robert Elsey, Robert Fish, Bill Hauer, Sonny Hodge, Brian Maguire, Bill Masten, Ken Merritt, Larry Ropa, Jonathan A. Rosenfeld, Tim Rote, David Siegel, Bob Smart, Mike Stevens, David Teasley, Norm Walke, Dwight Wood, Shawn Coulter, Lewis Meador

Additional Crew

Todd J. Adelman, Christopher Alfieri, Bill Althouse, Gregory Avellone, Lindsay Beamish, Matt Beck, Roxana Benseman, Donna Blau, Kirk Borcherding, Cindy Burroughs, John Campbell, Jerry Crespin, Shad Davis, Kyle DeVriendt, Joe Downey, Chandos Erwin, Anne C. Ford, Zaki Gordon, Rose Hansen, Rusty Hendrickson, Tom Hoeck, Beau Holden, Ruth Irvine, Jason Johnson, J. David Jones, Karim Jundi, Shannon Kane, Jake Kasdan, Tony Kerum, Kent Kubena, Ernest H. Lauterio, Stevie Lazo, Mary B. Love, Justin Lundin, Maria M. Machado, Benny Manning, Oscar Mazzola, Moira McLaughlin, Darwin Mitchell, Larry Motes, Jennifer Owensby, Charlie Parrish, Noel Phillips, Don Pope, Liz Probst, Hugh Ross, Katie Santore, Gary K. Shaw, Hawkeye Sheene, Jimmy Sherwood, Sharyn Shimada-Huggins, Christopher Sliney, B.J. Smith, Sharla Snell, Spooky Stevens, Heidi Strickler, Monty Stuart, Mark Thomason, Anne Ward, Mona Weisberg, Donna Wells, Maurice Williams, Branko Wohlfahrt, Rick Wyant, Jeff Coopwood, Bill Daly, Wayne Fitzgerald, Tom Lent, Shereen Noon, Marienne O Brien, Sean O Kane, Billy Pittard, Matthew Shields, Melissa Smith, Veronica J. Valentini


John Bailey, Tom Stern


Action, Adventure, Biography


Warner Bros., Tig Productions, Kasdan Pictures




English, Spanish





ImDb Rating Votes


Metacritic Rating


Short Description

Wyatt Earp is a 1994 American biographical Western drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Lawrence Kasdan, with Dan Gordon. The film covers the lawman of the same name s life, from an Iowa farmboy, to a feared marshal, to the feud in Tombstone, Arizona that led to the O.K. Corral gunfight. Starring Kevin Costner in the title role, it features an ensemble supporting cast that includes Gene Hackman, Mark Harmon, Michael Madsen, Bill Pullman, Dennis Quaid, Isabella Rossellini, Tom Sizemore, JoBeth Williams, Mare Winningham and Jim Caviezel in one of his earliest roles.

The film was released a mere six months after the similar Tombstone, and received mixed reviews, critical of the film s length and plot but praising its production values. Unlike Tombstone, it was a box office failure.

Box Office Budget

$63,000,000 (estimated)

Box Office Opening Weekend USA


Box Office Gross USA


Box Office Cumulative Worldwide Gross



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