Whenever someone asks what my favorite movie is, the answer is easy! It’s Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer (1993 – how is it that old?!). It’s easily the best movie I have ever seen, and the best movie ever made. You can disagree, but it’s probably because you didn’t spend your childhood wearing out your parents’ VHS copy. The characters and friendships that are so poignantly painted under the guise of a simple Western are not only classic, they are immortal. Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp are not men, but legends. Here are the 10 best lines from this masterpiece of a film.
1. “I’m your Huckleberry.”
Most people have heard this line from Doc Holliday, but it’s misquoted so often that I feel the need to put it first. Doc is getting a shave when Johnny Ringo is raging drunk and looking to play for blood. The most fearless man in the West, Doc answers. “Is there a more dangerous man than one who knows he’s bound for death sooner rather than later?” Arguably Val Kilmer’s greatest role, Doc Holliday may not err on the side of the law, but his unwavering loyalty to Wyatt Earp is what makes this movie. (*For history buffs, there are many scholars who would tell you that in real life, Doc and Wyatt were not best friends… but it’s a movie, not a documentary.)
2. “I have two guns, one for each of you.”
So goes Doc’s famous reply to Billy (Thomas Hayden Church) when he says Doc’s so drunk that he’s probably seeing double. Doc’s consistent wit and humor are what make him my favorite character of all time. Another great line from just before this scene; “Frederick Fucking Chopin?”
3. “You called down the thunder, well now you’ve got it.”
When Wyatt surprises Ike and the other Cowboys at the train station, the anger and hatred in Kurt Russell’s voice makes for one of the most captivating scenes in movie history. Which leads me to the rest of that line…
4. “Tell em the law’s coming. You tell em I’m coming, and hell’s coming with me!”
Do I really need to say anything about this one? Kurt, you are one of the greats.
5. “Alright, lunger. Let’s do it.”
The fear in Johnny Ringo’s voice as he faces Doc, the embodiment of death itself, is palpable. The emotion in this scene, knowing that Doc went to face Johnny in Wyatt’s place, is the highest throughout the film.
6. “He’s down by the creek, walkin’ on water.”
Doc about Wyatt, after an incredible shootout in which Wyatt crossed a river to shoot Curly Bill.
7. “Johnny, I apologize. I forgot you were there. You may go now.”
Doc to Johnny Tyler (Billy Bob Thornton) in a hilarious moment when an almost unrecognizable Thornton comes hauling ass with a shotgun in the middle of Tombstone, presumably to shoot Wyatt after Wyatt kicked him out of a saloon. Thornton timidly sets down the shotgun, says “Thank you,” and walks away.
8. “I told you we weren’t getting involved.”
Wyatt fumes at his brothers for resuming positions as lawmen in Tombstone. Sam Elliott absolutely shines as Virgil, who quips that Wyatt “got us involved with you brought us here. I walk around this town and it’s like someone’s slapping me in the face.” The relationship between brothers Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt is second best in the film only to the relationship between Doc and Wyatt.
9. “You’re a daisy if you do.”
After the famous OK Corral shootout, one of the Cowboys is about to shoot Doc, but Doc’s too quick. Opening himself up to the possibility of death, Morgan fears for Doc and shoots first. This scene is superb because it highlights Doc’s ever-present need to test limits.
10. “Maybe Poker’s just not your game, Ike. I know – let’s have a spelling contest!”
It’s incredible that Doc makes it to that bed with his boots off, thinking back on his love of taunting idiots with firearms.