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WYATT EARP – James Newton Howard

January 1, 2014 2 comments

wyattearpMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Kevin Costner’s original vision for a biopic on Wyatt Earp was a six-part TV mini series. Director Lawrence Kasdan, who had previously directed Costner in Silverado, convinced him that his story was best presented on the big screen. Costner trusted Kasdan and so gave him the reigns to bring forth his vision. Kasdan rewrote much of the Dan Gordon’s original screenplay and fashioned it into an epic American journey of a complex man, an anti-hero whose love of family and kin defined his life and kept him true as he struggled to find his destiny. Set in the years following the Civil War through the Alaskan gold rush, we see Earp in many guises; as a family man, outlaw, U.S. Marshall and finally a prospector. Western folklore reveals Earp to be one of the most iconic men of the old American West, a man who fully embodied its fierce independence and nobility, but also its cruelty, violence and brutality. For the film Kasdan assembled a stellar cast, which included Costner in the title role, Dennis Quaid (Doc Holliday) and Gene Hackman (Nicholas Earp). Regretfully an earlier release of “Tombstone”, a very similar film, diminished “Wyatt Earp’s” impact. The overly long and plodding pace of the film failed to resonate with the public, which viewed it as a bloated “copy cat”, that resulted in both a much-derided critical and commercial failure. Read more…