Mistakes In The Movie Tombstone

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that had a part in Tombstone, AZ history
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About Doc Holiday
About Wyatt Earp

About Virgil Earp

About Morgan Earp

About James Earp

About Warren Earp

About Newton Earp

About William "Curley Bill" Brocius (outlaw)

About Billy Claiborne (outlaw)

About Pete Spence (outlaw)

About Ike Clanton (outlaw)

About Phin Clanton (outlaw)

About Johnny Ringo (outlaw)

About "Old Man" Clanton" (outlaw)

Frank Stillwell (outlaw)

About Frank McLaury (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)
About Tom McLaury (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)

About Billy Clanton (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)

About Johnny Behan (Sheriff)

William Breckinridge (Deputy Sheriff)

About Fred White (Marshal)
About George Parson

About Wells Spicer (Judge)

About George Goodfellow MD

About Nellie Cashman (Angel Of Mercy)

About Big Nose Kate (prostitute & Doc Holiday's girlfriend)

About Ed Schieffelin

About John Clum (editor/publisher of Tombstone Epitaph)

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Morgan Earps Death In The Tombstone Epitaph
Tombstone Epitaph Story The Day After The OK Corral Shootout

Tombstone Pioneers Burial Place
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Mistakes In The Movie Tombstone

For fallacies in the movie Tombstone please visit this web site: http://www.ferncanyonpress.com/tombston/movie.shtml

 

01. When Curly Bill is shooting up the town stoned he shoots almost 10 more shots than the gun holds without loading. Plus he has one left over to shoot the marshal.

02. In one scene when Wyatt Earp is crying out in the middle of town and it's raining, I guess the sprinklers are only so big, because it seems to only be raining in his immediate vicinity - about 20 square feet.

03. In the beginning, when Doc Holiday is playing poker with Ed Bailey, they tell Doc to drop his cards. He does so, and reveals a poker of queens. In a fury, Ed Bailey stands up pushing the table. When he does this, you see Doc's cup with liquor in it fall and roll off the table. Doc even watches it fall off the table onto the floor. When they show Doc again, the cup is right there where it was before, in perfect stance. Doc even drinks the rest of the liquor inside it, a little bit later on in the scene.

04. When Wyatt Earp and the actress, whom he marries later in the movie, meet on horseback, they go on a fast paced ride that concludes after going down a steep hill. If you look at the actress' feet, you will see she is riding side-saddle - a very difficult feat considering the riding they do. If you look closely you can see her real leg, safely on the other side of the horse. The side-saddle leg must be fake. Note: The actress admits it was a fake leg.

05. In the scene just before the fight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt is talking to his brothers and Doc on the porch of the sherrif's office. There is an American flag flying behind him with 50 stars on it when in fact there were only 38 stars on the flag in 1881.

06. In the scene where Curly Bill is outside shooting in the air, marshal Fred White goes outside to try to disarm him. Immediately after Curly Bill shoots Fred White, the wire triggering the blood to spurt out of his shirt is quite obvious coming out the lower portion of his left leg (you can see the wire and the pant leg stand out from his body).

07. When Curly Bill is shooting in the street at night, he shoots a window, which is about 10 feet away from him. The window shatters about a second or two after he shoots.

08. Just prior to the actual gunfight scene as both sides have their hands on their guns waiting for something to happen, Frank McLaury is first shown wearing his hat. A few moments later he is shown by himself, looking to his right, without the hat. Then again, moments later, the hat reappears.

09. Fred White, the town marshal, is portrayed as an old man with white beard. In reality, he was only 31 years old when Curly Bill shot him.

10. After the shootout at the OK Corral, there's a shot of a bell tolling. But the sound of the tolls is out of sync with the movement of the bell.

11. During the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ike Clanton is seen running into a store, grabbing the sheriff's gun, and then breaking the window and window frame so he could shoot at the Earp's and Doc Holliday. When the camera angle changes you see the window frame intact and when the camera angle changes again the frame is broken again.

12. When Wyatt's younger brother tells Doc that they have a stake in the Oriental, he is seen putting his cigar in his mouth. The camera angle changes and the cigar is now seen back in his hands.

13. The movie shows Frank McLaury being the last one killed during the gunfight. Actually, Billy Clanton was the last one to die. After Frank was killed, Billy got off his last shot, the one that caught Morgan in the shoulder.

14. When the Earps arrive in Tombstone, they are greeted by Sheriff Johnny Behan. The actual date of Wyatt's arrival is December 1, 1879. Johnny Behan didn't move to Tombstone until September of 1880 and wasn't elected Sheriff until the latter part of 1880 or early part of 1881.

15. In the first scene when the priest, bride, and groom, etc. come out of the church you can see the priest putting on his hat in two different angles.

16. After Wyatt obtains his 25% stake from the Oriental, he is seen walking over to his brothers and putting his cigar in his mouth. The camera angle changes and he is now seen putting his arms around his brothers shoulder's and the cigar is now in his left hand.

17. In the scene where the Earps are playing pool and the mayor is trying to get them involved, Virgil is wearing a sidearm. The following scene when he exits the billiard hall and cowboys are shooting up the street, he reaches to his hip for his gun but it's not there.

18. During the scene in which the boy pretends to shoot the Earps and Doc Holiday as they walk to the OK Corral, the first camera shot shows that the ground is completely dry. The shot changes and there is a large puddle of water close to Wyatt.

19. 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.

20. During the end credits, we are shown the Earps and Holliday walking down the streets of Tombstone. They are all wearing coats in the long shot, but in the first close-up of Virgil his coat is missing. You can see the tip of his shoulder and he is wearing just a white shirt and a vest.

21. In the scene where Ringo (Michael Beihn) and Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) are insulting each other at the casino. We see a shot of Wyatt's right hand under the card table reaching for a gun conveniently hidden ready to shoot Ringo in the balls. In the next shot we see Wyatt still has his right hand as well as his left on the table holding cards.

22. In the scene where McMasters is looking through his eyeglass and telling Wyatt how many cowboys there are, there's a shot of Doc coughing with a bloody rag up to his mouth. The camera goes back to Wyatt, and when it goes back to Doc, there is blood dripping out of his mouth and all over his bottom lip and chin. In the very next shot when Doc falls off his horse, about two seconds later, his mouth and chin are completely clean.

23. At the very beginning of the OK Corral gunfight when the Cowboys are positioning themselves as the Earps and Holliday approach, they show one additional Cowboy to Billy Claiborne's right who is not shown again for the remainder of the gunfight.

24. After the O.K. Corral shootout, the Cowboys get revenge on the Earps by shooting Virgil and Morgan Earp on the same night. In reality, though, Virgil was shot in December of 1881, while Morgan was shot in March of 1882, a span of a few months.

25. Curly Bill Brocius is shown as the leader of the "cowboys" prior to the arrival of the Earps. In truth, the "cowboy" band was under the control of "Old Man" Clanton until his death, during a rustling expedition into Mexico, about 1-1/2 years after the Earps arrived.

26. The 3 Earp brothers, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan are shown arriving in Tombstone. In truth, Wyatt, Virgil, and James Earp arrived together. At the time, Morgan was already en route, and Warren Earp would soon follow.

27. At the time of the Earp's arrival, Tombstone is portrayed as a prototypical (i.e. studio backlot) rowdy cowtown, with lots of new wooden buildings. It was, in fact, a mining boom town in the early stages of development. The few wooden buildings were outnumbered by adobe ones, which were in turn outnumbered by tents.

28. Upon arrival, the Earps are greeted by Johnny Behan, the sheriff of Cochise Country. When the Earps really arrived (1879), there was no Cochise County. Tombstone was still in Pima County and Charles Shibbell was sheriff. Cochise County was gerrymandered out of Pima County in 1881, when Democrat Behan was appointed sheriff by the Democrat governor. Much of the history involved the conflicts between Republicans (miners, townspeople, the Earps) and Democrats (Behan, ranchers, the "cowboys").

29. The amount of damage to the window panes after Ike Clanton breaks the window to shoot at the Earps during the OK Corral scene

30. The amount of chips and money on the poker table after Doc and Kate make a quick escape from the bar approximately 12 minutes into the movie.

31. Marshall Fred White is shown being killed after the Earps visit the Bird Cage Theatre. White was actually shot on an empty lot where the Bird Cage Theatre was later built.

32.  In the gun fight between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo, you can clearly see Ringo cock the hammer on his gun as he draws it from his holster. However, as he is stumbling forward, after being shot, his gun fires without the hammer moving forward.

33. Virgil and Morgan Earp were not ambushed during the same evening. Virgil was shot in December, 1881, Morgan was killed in March, 1882.

34. After Morgan dies from the gunshot wound, Wyatt goes outside into the rain, which is localized to 20 feet around him.

35. The delay between Curly Bill shooting his pistol and the smashing of the window and lamp is too long.

36. The pool balls on the table.

37. When Morgan is shot and being worked on by the doctor with Wyatt's help, the blood on Wyatt's hands changes from shot to shot from totally drenched in blood to just enough to add some color to his skin.

38. When Morgan dies, Wyatt is rubbing his forehead with a hand that looks very wet with blood, but none of the blood rubs off onto Morgan's forehead.

39. The Earps did not shoot at Ike Clanton in Fly's Photography studio.

40. Mattie Earp didn't die shortly after leaving Tombstone, but met up with Big Nose Kate and lived for another 8 years.

41. As Marshall White steps up to Curly Bill, prior to Curly Bill shooting him, a wire is clearly visible emerging from his pant leg and trailing off camera. Presumably this is for the upcoming "shot in the chest" special effects.

42. During the OK Corral gunfight, Doc Holiday fires three shots from the same shotgun without reloading. While the second and third shots do in fact produce the same injury to the cowboy, they are completely different shots. With the first shot we see Doc point the shotgun to the air and fire, making the horse rear up. In the second shot Doc shoulders the shotgun, aims down the barrel and fires. While the last shot shows Doc running sideways while holding the shotgun almost at his hip.

43. When Curly Bill shoots up the town, he fires more than 20 shots. There is a pause during the cut to the dialog interior scene but it is not nearly long enough to reload 12 rounds by someone who is intoxicated.

44.  In the gun fight at the O.K. Corral, gun shots are being fired from all participants and yet the horse still rears at a blast from Doc Holliday's shotgun later in the battle. That gun was louder than the others, and possibly closer to the horse.

45. At the start of the fight at the O.K. Corral, Doc Holliday fires three shots from his double barreled shotgun.

46. Before Marshall White is shot you can see the bulge under his shirt where the blood packet is.

47. When Wyatt and the others leave two cowboys hanging in front of the Dragoon Saloon, you can see clearly that neither man actually has a rope on his neck. As the one man swings around, on his jacket you can see the outline of the rope going straight down into the harness that's holding him.

48. When Josephine is supposedly riding side-saddle with Wyatt, we see, when it turns, that she is actually straddling the horse.

49.  In Tombstone a 50-star US flag is flying from a building (it should have had 38 stars).

50. After the gunfight at the OK Corral, there is a funeral procession at sunset. In the long shots, Ike's hand carrying the flowers is at his side, but in the close-ups he is holding the flowers up.

51. In the opening scene, we see a Winchester Model 1873 being loaded. A round is then levered onto the chamber. The sound is that of a different rifle as the model '73 has a very distinctive "clank" caused by the heavy brass cartridge lifter.

52. In the gun fight at the O K Corral, Frank McLaury's hat is on/off /on.

53. When Virgil gets surgery on his arm, Wyatt slams the door as he leaves, but it bounces back open. In the shot just following that, when Wyatt is on the street outside the house, the door is closed.

54. When Doc Holiday keels over and falls from his horse, there's a substantial amount of blood coming from his mouth as he spits up. Once on the ground and before he's assisted, there is barely any blood present.

55. When Wyatt first arrives in Tombstone, the Bird Cage Theatre is in the background. Wyatt's arrival was in 1879, the Bird Cage was not built until 1881.

56. When Morgan dies his eyes are wide open. As Wyatt lays him down rolling his head to the side Morgan's eyes continue to focus at the ceiling instead of turning with the motion of his head as dead eyes would do.

57. During the shootout at OK Corall, Frank McLaury (Robert John Burke) is wearing his hat, but during his close-up it's off of his head, then when the shooting starts it's back on.

58. Wyatt holds off a small mob wanting to lynch Curly Bill for shooting Sheriff White. One must assume they witnessed the shooting since they came up so quickly. Later, Wyatt complains that Judge Spicer dismissed the case due to lack of witnesses. It is possible, however, that the witnesses refused to testify for fear of Cowboy retaliation.

59. During the barroom scene showcasing Johnny Ringo's gun handling skills, Wyatt's hand alternates between being on the shotgun under the table and then again on top of the table all while he is conveying the impression of covering the Cowboys.

 

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