HomeEntertainmentSam Elliott Explained How Kurt Russell ‘Held’ ‘Tombstone’ Together Amid Production Issues

Sam Elliott Explained How Kurt Russell ‘Held’ ‘Tombstone’ Together Amid Production Issues

by Will Shepard
(Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)

Sam Elliott might have the most recognizable voice in Hollywood. His deep drawl accompanied by his mustache will always be one of the unforgettable staples in movies and television.

In 1993, he and Kurt Russell played the Earp brothers in Tombstone. Together they created an awesome western movie.

But, according to Sam Elliott, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the cast and crew. In fact, numerous issues came up while filming the movie. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in early 2019, he talked about the problems that arose.

Notably, though, it was Kurt Russell in his mind that held everything together. The actor was highly complimentary of his co-star’s character during the movie’s struggles.

When the movie was shooting, the original director, Kevin Jarre, was taken off the project. In his place, George R. Cosmatos was brought in. Even though directors are supposed to be running the show, Sam Elliott remembered it differently. He noted, as did other cast members, that Russell was basically in charge of the movie.

Sam Elliott Talked About How Important Kurt Russell Was to the Cast and Crew of “Tombstone”

During the interview, the mustached actor explained what Kurt Russell meant to the film. According to Elliott, Russell was irreplaceable, and the movie would have fallen apart without him. First, Elliott explained why Jarre was taken off the movie.

“[It was] brilliant and painful at the same time,” Sam Elliott recalled about the movie filming. “Kevin Jarre wrote a brilliant script for it. He directed the film for a month before he was taken off the picture because he just clearly wasn’t a director.”

Eventually, he delved into what it was like when Cosmatos came in as director. While he is complimentary of the director who came in, he talked about Russell holding everything together.

“I knew that first day I watched him work on the set when I got over there,” Sam Elliott said. “But because his buddy was a man named Jim Jacks (one of the film’s producers), who is now deceased as well as Kevin, Jim stuck with him, and he lasted a month, and then they replaced him with George Cosmatos. Kurt was right there on top of it. He was orchestrating a lot of it. He held it together after Kevin got taken off of it.”

When the movie hit theaters, it became a classic. Some people might say that it is a bit of a cult favorite. Nonetheless, Tombstone remains a classic film, and Sam Elliott is a big reason as to why.