Better Tombstone Readers know that I love film and visual art. One of my favorite Westerns is Tombstone (with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday). Tombstone tells the story of only one segment of Wyatt's illustrious life (a span of only a few years) but it includes the role of his two brothers and the infamous Doc Holliday, Wyatt's true-blue friend.

Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was an honest-to-goodness law man. He was also a farmer, buffalo-hunter, gambler, miner, saloon keeper and boxing referee. The Earp legend appears to be mostly real, at least in the broad strokes. Maybe this is why so many books and movies have been made about Wyatt.

Earp83 He is best known for the famous shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, where Doc Holliday and his brothers, Virgil and Morgan Earp, were also involved. To put it mildly his status in the American West is iconic, especially because of the incident(s) surrounding Tombstone, Arizona, and the O. K. Corral.

Tombstone (1993) is a superb movie, as I noted. In many ways it is the best Earp movie. The other modern film on Wyatt Earp, stars Kevin Costner as Wyatt Earp and Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday It is simply titled: Wyatt Earp (1994). I recently watched them both. (I had seen Tombstone back in the 1990s when it came out.) There are so many lines in the script of both films that are memorable that one could go on and on citing good ones. But in Wyatt Earp (1994) Doc Holliday has a line that I remember to this day. He says, when the guys face a real dilemma and a situation that has put them what appears to be a hook (dilemma): "There is no hook my friend, only what we do."

Too often people appeal to the difficulty of a situation and try to "get off the hook" in the process. Doc Holliday, at least as the script put it, got it right when he said there "is no hook, only what we do." We will be measured, and someday judged, for what we do, not for the hooks we get on or off in this life. Just remember, Doc Holliday said so!

Related Posts


  1. Scott May 14, 2009 at 6:37 am

    There’s no such thing as a normal life, Wyatt. There’s just life. Now get on with it. — Doc Holliday

  2. Andrew Rogers May 14, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I’m here, Huckleberry…
    -Doc Holliday

  3. Jen Whiting May 14, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Very quotable movie (Tombstone) and one of Rob’s all-time favorites! Thanks for drawing my attention to one line I had forgotten. (Rob often quotes entire scenes!)

  4. Dave Moorhead May 15, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Ah, John! You’ve finally hit on one of my favorites! Kilmer is a perfect Holliday! That old reprobate dentist! Andrew has already referred to my favorite scene when Doc rises from what appears to be his deathbed to fight Johnny Ringo on Wyatt’s behalf. He approaches Ringo with his great line, “I’m your huckleberry,” then explains to Wyatt that he “wasn’t as sick as he made out to be.” A moment later he says, “My hypocrisy only goes so far!” Yes, very quotable!

  5. Daniel Nathan Stoddart May 15, 2009 at 5:40 am

    “*I’m* your Huckleberry.”

  6. Ross May 15, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Obviously straying from the original subject of this post, this exchange always reminds me of Proverbs 17:17 –
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Why you doin’ this, Doc?
    Doc Holliday: Because Wyatt Earp is my friend.
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Friend? Hell, I got lots of friends.
    Doc Holliday: …I don’t.
    Friends are a wonderful blessing. The wisdom of Doc Holliday indeed.

  7. Nick Morgan May 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Yep! This is one of my favorite movies too! You all above took all the best quotes!! 🙂

Comments are closed.

My Latest Book!

Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!

Recent Articles