Justin Bower

Justin Bower

Cigars in Cinema

TOMBSTONE (1993) By Justin Bower – Cigars in Cinema

Few movies impact such a wide range of people. Usually, fans of certain genres tend to stick within those genres, branching out periodically. Tombstone, in my opinion, is one of the few movies that appeals to several movie watchers, not just those that love the western genre. It could be the direction, the writing or even the star-studded cast, whatever it is Tombstone seems to be a favorite with everyone. Now I must admit, I am not the biggest western fan myself. There are a handful of them that I do enjoy, this being towards the top of the list if not THE top. For me, one of the biggest reasons is Kurt Russell in the lead role of Wyatt Earp. So many of my favorite movies have him including but not limited to Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Overboard and Tango and Cash. There are many more but those are some of my favorites. With his luscious stache’ he was perfect for the role of Wyatt Earp.


Tombstone follows the Earp family as Wyatt retires from an illustrious career as a famed lawman and the family goes to the budding town of Tombstone to settle down. Upon arriving, they run into the troublesome new gang “The Cowboys” and trouble is afoot. Wyatt is repeatedly asked to step in as the towns sheriff to which he keeps declining simply stating that he is retired. As tension escalates with threats being made to the town and the family, the Earp brothers decide to step in as the “law”. It looks incredible, has a great score and the acting is beautiful. Several popular actors are in here, even some early in their careers. Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Charlton Heston and Jason Priestley to name a few. Drinking, fighting, gunslinging and gambling with a budding romance story underline this classic western.

Throughout the movie there are cigars everywhere. Wyatt lights a cigar and blows smoke while dealing a poker game and several characters throughout the film are smoking them, chomping on unlit ones and you even see them in front pockets, saving them for later. Kurt Russell is pretty well known for his tobacco use in films and his personal life, smoking a pipe in the Hateful Eight and the several cigars he is seen smoking in his various roles in westerns and other genres as well. In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, when asked about cigars at celebrations he says “I like taking the time, it’s nice to stop and have a cigar with a drink. When someone offers, I usually say yes.” Now here is the thing. All of the cigars are unbanded so its hard to tell what they were smoking. I have done some digging and I can’t seem to find any info on them, I even watched the end credits to see if the company that supplied them were mentioned but I did not see anything. With that being said, grab your favorite stick, pour up some whiskey and throw this on! And remember, “I’m your huckleberry!”


Fun Facts

1) Doc Holiday’s wink to Billy Clanton just before the culmination of the O.K. Corral gun fight was completely improvised by Val Kilmer

2) George P. Cosmatos claimed that Stephen Lange was drunk for most of filming.

3) Mickey Rourke turned down the role of Johnny Ringo.

4) In 2020, Val Kilmer put an end to the longstanding hucklerberry/hucklebearer debate. He claims the line really was written as “I’m your huckleberry” in the script, meaning, ‘I’m your man. You’ve met your match.’ Kilmer set the record straight in his autobiography, entitled, aptly enough, I’m Your Huckleberry.

5) In an interview in the late 1990s, John Carpenter claimed he almost directed this film.