“Live every second. Live right on to the end. Live Wyatt. Live for me.” -Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone
(Hat tip to my friend Ron for recommending this excellent documentary.)
I’ve always loved Val Kilmer as an actor. His performances as Jim Morrison in The Doors and Doc Holliday in Tombstone are in my pantheon. This dying scene has to be an all-time top five. (Not to mention “Iceman” in Top Gun and “Chris Knight” in an underrated 80’s gem, Real Genius.)
Here are three reasons you should watch VAL.
(1) Incredible Footage…Kilmer shot thousands and thousands of hours of footage throughout his life and career. The directors did a remarkable job of editing that footage down to tell this story. As a result, we the viewer get a fascinating and rare “inside baseball” look at the life of an artist.
(2) For Love Of the Art…Sandwiched between his success as a movie star, the film is bookended by footage of Val as a child making home movies with his brothers and then as an older actor, doing his one man show as Mark Twain. In those bookends, you see the absolute joy and love he has for the art.
(3) Commitment To The Craft…All throughout, we see his fierce commitment. Some of my favorite clips are the short films he makes as auditions for parts in movies he didn’t get. He set his ego aside and taped himself even though he wasn’t asked! After watching this, no actor should ever complain about having to audition for a role.
It’s also heartbreaking. Kilmer is in recovery from throat cancer and as part of the treatment, he needed a tracheostomy. At one point, Val admits: “I can’t speak without plugging this hole [in his throat].”
You can watch the movie on Amazon Prime. I look forward to hearing what you think!