The famous “Gunfight at the OK Corral” only happened once, but has been tirelessly recreated in films, television, and western towns ever since. No one has a monopoly on truth, and in Tombstone Rashomon, the truth is seen from six conflicting perspectives. The latest film from groundbreaking indie director and AIFF2017 Rogue Award recipient Alex Cox is a prismatic retelling of the event that is a fixture of the American imagination. Filmed at the Old Tucson Studios—near the actual OK Corral—by a local crew that included recent University of Arizona film school graduates.
This story has been told several times, usually with Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday, the Deadly Dentist, as the heroes. Billy Clanton and the two brothers who died in the fight are depicted as degenerates and killers. The Rashomon frame gives us the opportunity to tell the story from multiple perspectives in the same film— we see Wyatt’s version and Ike Clanton’s version, but they are not the same. I’m particularly interested in the characters of Sheriff Johnny Behan and Kate Haroney who are usually marginalized in the films. Johnny’s account of implementing novel laws and dealing with a distrustful and potentially armed populace seems very contemporary as do Kate’s closing words. The Rashomon structure gives them equality with Earp and Holliday.
Director’s Statement: Alex Cox
The Rogue Award and Tombstone Rashomon are graciously supported by AIFF Board Emeritus members: Paul Adalian, Elaine Albrich, Anne Ashbey, Jerry Kenefick, Joanne Kliejunas, Pamela Leandro Notch, Linda Otto, Jeff Blum, darrel pearce, Sandi Risser, Karen Smith. Thank you!