I’m Your Huckleberry: Life Lessons Movie Tombstone Taught Us

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“I like being Doc Holliday. It’s fun to be insightful and aristocratic, to stand up for your fellows and make sacrifices.” – Val Kilmer’s- American Actor. 

Watching movies, especially the old classics, is ideal for entertainment and stress relief. Those few hours when you are indulged in the movie, observing the characters, and reenacting the scenes and dialogues, you forget about real-life issues. 

That’s not all; movies are a great way to learn some valuable life lessons in an easy way. And that’s precisely what we are going to discuss in this article. 

Tombstone (1993)

If you are a cinephilia (movie enthusiast), you must have seen Tombstone, directed by George P. Cosmatos and written by Kevin Jarre. This is a highly underrated 1990s movie based on the real-life event of the 1880s in Tombstone, Arizona. However, at the time of its release, it was among the most popular Western films. 

The film critic Stephen Holden from The New York Times affirms this phenomenal work of Kevin Jarre: 

“Capacious Western with many modern touches, the Arizona boom town, and site of the legendary O.K. Corral has a seedy, vaudevillian grandeur that makes it a direct forerunner of Las Vegas.”

Even now, this box office hit doesn’t seize to captivate its viewers with its incredible cast and power-packed dialogues. Perhaps, after watching this movie, you have at least once said, “I’m your huckleberry.” Right?

However, the reason this movie is so special for many viewers is not merely due to spectacular acting and storytelling; instead, it’s the lessons it has taught us. 

What are these lessons in particular? Let’s shed some light on it. 

Life Lesson No. 1: “I’m in My Prime.”

Do you remember the scene where Johnny Ringo (Enacted by Michael Biehn) confronts Doc Holliday (Played by Val Kilmer)? During that scene, Doc is brutally injured and can barely lift his head. Then, Johnny asks if he’s retiring, and Holliday responds by standing up straight, giving Ringo his undivided attention, and saying: 

“Not me. I’m in my prime.”

Though Doc was not physically fit, his willpower was robust and untainted. This dialogue clearly depicts it. 

It teaches that no matter what the circumstances are, a person must have the ability to overcome challenges head-on. Simply put, you should be in your prime whenever life gets tough and face obstacles like a leader. 

Life Lesson No. 2: “Die With the Boots On”

Doc Holliday’s last words- ‘There’s No Normal Life There’s Just Life. Now Get On With It’ was amusing that he would die in bed with his boots off. In history and the movie as well, nobody anticipated him acting that way, given his lifestyle. This taught all the viewers a surprising fact. 

Life is about battling challenges to the end, not about going out in a blaze of triumph. Undoubtedly, you won’t always succeed in all the fights. Yet, it’s better to figuratively perish as a huckleberry than to watch from the sidelines.

In short, if you know how things will end, Die with the boots on! 

Life Lesson No. 3: “I’m Your Huckleberry”

You might agree that though this movie is based on Wyatt Earp, the character of Doc Holliday becomes everyone’s favorite. His one-liner throughout the film was nothing less than a perfect comic relief. 

During a famous scene, when Ringo announces a street fight with Wyatt. While he politely declines, Doc steps in to fight. And he says,

“I’m your Huckleberry, Ringo.” 

This powerful phrase got stuck with the audiences and was used by them outside of theaters in numerous ways. However, I’m your huckleberry meaning revolves around “if the situation is going to be like this, I’m all in!” Even though the challenge was not for Doc, he still stepped in for his pal. 

This scene and, of course, dialogue showed us that no matter the scenario, you must be up-front for the challenges that life throws at you and skillfully defeat them. It would also not be wrong to say that half the trouble is already resolved when you show courage. 

Life Lesson No. 4: “You’re a Daisy if You Have [Got Me]”

In the film, The Tombstone Nugget reported that Holliday actually told Frank McLaury to “Blaze away. You’re a daisy if you have [got me]” while facing him directly in the face with his revolver.

Even the prime example of a huckleberry with his boots on the ground doing what he does excellently might occasionally fail. When this occurs, recognize that the difficulty was a mere daisy, take the opportunity to learn, and move on to the next one.  

For instance, Thomas Edison claimed to have encountered at least 1,000 daisies in his lifetime. 

So, when you encounter a difficulty, instead of getting scared of it, learn from it as much as you can. It will help you in the years to come. 

Life Lesson No. 5: “I’ve Not Yet Begun To Defile Myself.”

Apart from the habit of poker and gunfighting, Doc Holliday also enjoyed drinking. As he grew older and diagnosis with tuberculosis worsened, Holliday turned to drinking even more frequently to ease his suffering. 

In one sequence, Doc makes fun of the cowboy, and Ike retaliates violently. Though the commotion is stopped by Wyatt, Doc says in his dialogue, “I’ve not yet begun to defile myself.” This implies that no one is more aware of their own limitations.  

This taught that everybody is well versed about their strengths and boost about it. However, very few know their limitations; that’s why they succeed in life. 

Let’s Take a Recap

Movies are a fun way to learn something new, provided you pay attention to the scriptwriting and actions. These life lessons from Tombstone can surely help you at various stages of life. Majorly, it can teach you to be huckleberry, which after watching the movies, you surely want to be. 

However, if you haven’t watched this movie, you should definitely get your viewing glasses on. Or, if you have already seen it, we suggest you rewatch it with the lessons described in this article.

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