The Quick and the Dead
Release Year: 1995
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Simon Moore
Starring: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobin Bell, Roberts Blossom, Kevin Conway, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Pat Hingle, Gary SiniseMark Boone Junior
A female gun fighter (Sharon Stone) rides into a frontier town controlled by the brutal Herod (Gene Hackman), who is arranging a gun fight in the town. She joins with the intent of avenging a gruesome event in her past, and finds an ally in the pacifist Cort (Russell Crowe).
Director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, 1981) built his career on horror comedies and this mid-199s Western pastiche was his first foray into another genre. The film obviously tries to reinvigorate the genre with putting a woman in the role of the gunfighter, (although that had already been done in the excellent Cat Ballou, 1965), but apart from that the plotline is a classic story of revenge. I called it a Western pastiche because it has a fake feel to it. Of course, classic Hollywood Western where filmed on sets as well, but there is no sense of the story or the characters existing outside of the time and place of the film and that is a weak spot. That being said, it is entertaining and when there isn’t a shootout we are in the company of good supporting character, especially a young DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby, 2013) and the always good Hackman (Unforgiven, 1992). It’s a weak cup of tea for aficionados of classic Westerns, but an entertaining flick and well-made.
All actors who appeared in the gunfights were taught to quick-draw by a stunt coordinator. Due to Gene Hackman’s limited screentime, he had the most time to practice and as a result had the fastest draw among all the actors.
Picture Copyright: Sony