Tombstone

Visible crew/equipment: When Virgil goes outside on the night of the storm after seeing Wyatt and Morgan, the arm of a crane is visible in the background behind the roof of a building. It sticks vertically up in the air, probably for mounting lights.

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Visible crew/equipment: In the opening sequence where Curly Bill and gang are walking toward the church, a microphone with a furry wind sock can be seen in the lower left just before Ike Clanton passes.

Factual error: During the gunfight in the lot behind the OK Corral, Tom McLaury is firing a six shooter at Doc just before Doc fires his shotgun in the air to scare Tom's horse away. The mistake is that Tom McLaury wasn't armed during the actual gunfight. He was shot by Doc while he was reaching for the rifle he had stored in his saddle. (01:14:58)

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Suggested correction: The events have been intentionally adjusted by the filmmakers to create a coherent and entertaining movie. It's based on true events; it's not a day-to-day account of the events of 1880 through 1882. Artistic license does not constitute a movie mistake.

Brenda Elzin

Changing facts in historical material does constitute factual mistakes, whether anybody wants to call them that or not.

It really depends on the degree to which the film-maker alters the facts, and whether that alteration is glaring or changes the story line. For most, it doesn't. Tom got shot and Doc shot him. There is an implicit duty of the audience to "suspend disbelief" - an acknowledgment that it is impossible to get every small detail correct.

More mistakes in Tombstone

Johnny Ringo: I want your blood. And I want your souls. And I want them both right now!

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Trivia: Val Kilmer has been quoted as saying that screenwriter Kevin Jarre insisted the actors wear real wool costumes, in accordance with the time period. During the scene in the Birdcage Theater, Val Kilmer says, a thermometer was placed on the set, and it read 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Kilmer suggested jokingly that this was the reason Doc Holliday killed so many people: "It's just, like, he wore wool in the summer, in the Arizona territory, and that made him mad."

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Chosen answer: A reckoning is like a judgment day, exacting retribution for one's actions. Doc was very well educated and had a very large vocabulary. He was correctly pointing out the subtle difference between revenge (to make Wyatt feel better about losing Morgan and about Virgil's crippling injury) and the fact that Wyatt was bringing about a judgment day (or reckoning) for each of the men who hurt his family.

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Answer: I've spent a lot of time thinking about this very question, and here's what I've come up with. I think there are at least two differences between revenge and a reckoning. First, I think it has to do with the scale of the response to an offending action. Revenge, in my mind, is an eye for an eye, i.e, "You killed my brother and wounded another, so I will inflict the same action on your family (or group, gang, whatever). " A reckoning is less a measured response to an offending action and more of a full-scale punishment, i.e, "You killed my brother and wounded another, so I will now slaughter your entire family-including those who were not directly responsible for the offending action." Second, I think there is also a difference in motivation. Revenge tends to be a very personal response to something, whereas a reckoning tends to be more of a response fueled by a need for justice. In Wyatt's case, it was both. He was enraged by what happened to his family, but was also a lawman.

Franklin Vaughn

Thank you for this response! I've only seen Tombstone a million times and asked the same question every time. It's hard to separate the difference between the two but I believe you nailed it. Well done.

I'm thinking the opposite in terms. Revenge is "Reflexive" and is generally any means necessary (out of an abundance of pain or rage) to hurt the other party. "Revenge is a dish best served cold." If one is exacting justice there's no need to be cold hearted. Therefore, Reckoning is (to me) a fair balancing of the "scales" hence "an eye for an eye." Not only consequences of actions as it were but a corrective action to an incorrect circumstance. Just my understanding.

The problem with that theory is there is no difference in the end because the end result was the same...the killing. True reckoning could have only been achieved though the apprehension and punishment by trial and jury, anything other than that is simply revenge.

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