Wyatt Earp's Tombstone

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In many modern "period piece" movies, the screenwriters put extra effort in world building so that the film's story can seem more real. One example of this kind of movie is 1993's Tombstone. Tombstone follows Wyatt Earp and his family in their struggle to peacefully live alongside a violent gang called the Cowboys. Between periods of tense hostility and character growth, this film gives viewers a wide and varied scope of how life was in 1881 Arizona. Opening the movie is a newsreel style of narration which sets up how Arizona was in 1879. It began with the explanation that silver-based riches were being found and founded in the Arizona area through mining for the gem and providing goods and services. Promise of this paradise prompted "farmers,…show more content…
The lead woman in this movie comes into town with an acting troupe and says that her heaven is "room service" and traveling around the world. This is a typical draw for Easterners to come to the West as it was a wildly different place they did not need to cross an Ocean for. This woman, Josie Marcus, also is seen as "vile" for being with a man for looks but not love. Calamity Jane ran into similar issues with her persona as evidenced by this situation: "Her 'masculine' prowess, symbolized by her aggressive movements, conventional male clothing, and gun were acceptable in the ring, but not 'back stage' (Russel 30)." Even on the men's side where Wyatt Earp is seen as the quintessential frontiersman as stated by Fabian, "note the lean silhouette, eyes closed by the sun yet sharp as a hawk, he's got the look of both predator and prey," there are men who show different traits. Billy is a character who seems to be on the outskirts of society as he calls the Cowboys his friends yet "all they ever do is laugh at him." The reason for this may be revealed through later revelations as he shows homosexual feelings for Fabian. This is shown through his words and tone when speaking about him as well as how he reacts to Fabians death: quickly squeezing the dead hand and running from the Cowboys. Public perception of homosexuality at the time was that it was scientifically reviled. Peter Boag found in his report of this subject that, "precisely at this time so-called experts began to classify unusual sexualities as medical issues. They lumped together under the rubric sexual inversion a host of what they considered 'perversions,' including what later would be separately understood as homosexuality, transsexuality, and hermaphroditism." Together, these themes show great detail into what gender roles were in 1881 Arizona and how strictly they were

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