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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on April 16, 2002
Other than being a Sharon Stone vanity piece, this is okay. Stone's performance actually winds up being the worst thing about the movie. She plays Ellen (I don't know if she's actually named throughout the movie, but the box says Ellen), a drifter seeking revenge on the gang that killed her pappy.
She runs across a small western hamlet where the undertaker is the busiest man in town. Herrod (Gene Hackman) has the town in an iron grip. As a coincidence, Herrod is the leader of said gang. To top it all off there is a gunfighters tournament with a crazy assortment of characters dueling to the death. The supporting cast is a who's-who of before-they-were-stars. Gary Sinise, pre-Lt. Dan, as Ellen's father. Leonardo DiCaprio, pre-Titanic, as "The Kid". Russell Crowe, pre mug-shot, as the preacher (!).
I guess Stone's performance wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't directly ripped from Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name Trilogy. Also, Crowe seems to be playing the same stoic put-upon character and doing a better job of it. Lance Henrikson is the main standout as "Ace". He puts an ace in his deck for every man he kills. That's pretty cool. I was hoping for him to make the finals, but it was not to be.
If you like traditional westerns this probably isn't for you. If you like Sam Raimi's loopy direction (you can see through the bullet hole in someone's skull at one point) you'll want to pick this one up. If you're looking to see what a lot of these actors were doing before they "made it" you could do a lot worse.
Recommended for fans of quirky movies, but not for fans of traditional westerns.
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on January 19, 2003
Okay, so it's not the greatest movie ever made...or even a great western. What is is, however, is lots of fun, with lots of showy filmmaking. Sam Raimi shows off his craft very well here...and the actors get to really have fun playing archetypes...or maybe spoofs of archetypes.
Basically, the movie is about a famous "quick draw" contest in a dusty little western town with no other apparent reason for existing. There are LOTS of great contests.
Sharon Stone doesn't have to do anything but look cool (and sexy when she's under all those furs). Gene Hackman is virtually the same character he played in UNFORGIVEN, but more one-dimensional...on purpose. DiCaprio is a hoot (try to remember him before you saw TITANIC and he got overexposed...he was really a fun actor). An unknown Russell Crowe is moody and handsome, and one gets just a tiny glimpse of the full-fledged "quiet, tortured hero" he would become with GLADIATOR. Lance Henrickson is funny, and all the other characters are totally over the top. The plot is so simple and straightforward, yet the movie is a lot of fun. Don't see this movie as an example of a great western...see it if you want to enjoy some great actors having fun with a bit of good-looking fluff. I've seen the movie three times now over the past 6 years...and I enjoy my 95 minutes every time.
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on September 13, 2003
A fascinating, wickedly funny, violent, seedy and provocative exploitation of the western genre. Like 'The Unforgiven,' this movie stands traditional western values on end, and with Sam Raimi directing, it's an intensely odd and hilarious journey. This movie really grows on you too. I think this is Sharon Stone's best film--she perfectly illustrates the cynicism, simmering rage, and faux toughness of an adult with a traumatic history. It's interesting to see her grapple with her fears and the amorality of the old West. Russell Crowe, Gene Hackman, DiCaprio, Kevin Conway--everyone in this film is exceptionally good, including the extras. More than anything else, it's funny as hell. I'm especially fond of Spotted Horse, and Foy and his kids--they don't go to church too often!
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on December 4, 2008
If you like Westerns then you should enjoy this movie! The big difference in this movie is that it has a female lead (Stone). She is not the best actor, or character, of the group. The directing, visuals and acting are all very good in general. The characters are all archetypes of one sort or another. Very similar in style to Clint Eastwood's Spaghetti westerns. So if you like those, you should like this as well. The big difference is this movie is more "stylised" which makes it loose some of its grit. But it has stood up well over time!
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on November 18, 2003
Gunfighters test their skills against each other in a contest where the winner is the one left alive. Herod ( Gene Hackman) is the most dangerous outlaw that ever lived. He used his gunfighting skills to seize control of the town Redemption, where the story takes place. He is putting on the competition to see if he still has what it takes. "The Lady" ( Sharon Stone) has come to Redemption to seek revenge on Herod for a past injustice. "The Kid" ( Leonardo DiCaprio) is fast on the trigger, and even faster with his mouth. He is also Herod's son. He wants to stop living in his father's shadow, and prove that he is a better gunfighter. Cort ( Russell Crowe) used to run with Herod, and is the most skilled gunfighter around. But now he is a preacher, and has sworn off all forms of violence. He is tracked down, and forced to compete by Herod himself. Herod has always wanted to see who was better - him or Cort.
The camera work is outstanding in this film. Every element of each gunfight is captured effectively. The film can also be extremely funny at times, because all of the actors use modern slang, despite the story taking place in the 1800's. The setting to this film is outstanding. The town of Redemption is the typical Western town, with the saloons, gunfighters, etc. It is very authentic. All of the actors are outstanding in their roles. There is constant tension and emotion that all of them bring to the movie - Hackman wanting to see if he still has what it takes, Stone with her desire for revenge, Crowe with his unwillingness to kill, and DiCaprio wanting to prove that he is better than his dad. The film overall is outstanding, because you end up rooting for all of the characters, and want none of them to lose. This makes the film extremely suspenseful.
Sam Raimi steps outside the horror genre, and into the wild west, with the highly entertaining and action packed "Quick and the Dead"! The film offers a well rounded cast, and an extertaining, fast paced, and authentic western story. If you love Westerns, or any of the actors involved, pick this one up!
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on September 19, 2003
I will first agree with the negative aspects. This is not a western. As much as it looks like one, it really isn't. The dialogue could be easily placed in a new york gang atmosphere and flow fine. The way the characters act and their mannerisms doesn't fit the time period either. This I agree with.
But lay off it a bit guys. I can understand if you're fully gung-ho on westerns, and if theres one film thats masked as a western but actually contains more satire, you blow your top and dub the film a fake and a horrible act of God. True, there is a style of the great Sergio Leone's "The Good The Bad, And The Ugly", but that wasn't a western either. Spaghetti westerns were films that took place in the wild wild west, but were actually filmed in Italy, where they really had no clue what the west was like. So most of those westerns had a "light-heartedness" to them. Sergio Leone was famous for making a western seem comical. And I believe, Mr. Raimi just took that idea and did it again. Only this time with his directing flair, which is so fun to watch, I wet myself everytime I watch it (lets flash to the fight scene between spiderman and green goblin, supposed to be serious, but actually very light-hearted). During a showdown, Raimi would do an excessive amount of fast zooms on everything! The two guys fighting, the people watching, an inanimate object. I was laughing so hard! And of course, who can forget when the bad guy finally gets what he deserves via Raimi's trademark. POV of bullet! BAM! right in the face, followed by an "Army of Darkness" flip for a finale. My point is, this film is not meant to be taken seriously. But the plot was horribly serious, and Gene Hackman plays an evil man very well, nothing like his cowardly Lex Luthor role (bad analogy, my friend). So the mixture of the serious plot with the directing didn't quite fit. But thanks to Raimi, this film is filled with whacky camera angles, and comic uber spaghetti western themes. Thicker than spaghetti, linguine. Enjoy it!
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on July 15, 2003
Although released in early 1995, this was one of the last westerns to come out at the height of the western craze of 1993 & 1994>>(Tombstone, Maverick ETC.) After baring all for "Basic Instinct" & The Specialist", Sharon Stone decided to do somthing that not only kept her clothes on, but was different, In this she is a modern day man-with-no-name type who rides into town on a secret agenda to take revenge against the town's owner & sherriff(Gene Hackman, who almost plays the same character here that he played in "Unforgiven") who murdered her widowed father when she was a child, & as she puts it, stole her life, she soon signes up for a gunfight contest as a possible way to get him, which has some of the most funniest & most memorable characters, with Leonardo DiCaprio as the cocky son of Hackman, with Lance Henrickson(The Terminator) as an ace shooter, with Keith David(Armageddon) as a secret assasin, & Kevin Conway("Streets of Laredo") as a dirty old man who likes to fondle teenage girls, to a whacked out Indian who can't be killed by one bullet to Russell Crowe in his screen debut as a preacher that has renounched violence & is constantly harassed & intimidated by Hackman who wants to bring out the killer that Crowe once was, every whacked out character is here, as they compete in the gunfight one after the other, in scenes that are somewhat comical in their approach, Directed by Sam Raimi(Spiderman), this is a crowd pleaser for western fans!!!
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on February 16, 2003
The Quick and the Dead is an old time favorite of mine that is of course if you can count an eight year old movie as an "old time" favorite. One thing is for sure, it couldn't go wrong with this phenomenal cast; Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Sinise and a Sci-Fi favorite of mine, Lance Henriksen. This wonderful western is also quite blessed with the original idea of having a heroine in Sharon Stone, given the rarity of a female lead in a western. Given her exceptional beauty and her extraordinary acting skills, she melds into this role with perfection.
The premise:
Welcome to Redemption, your typical old west town. Herod, played by Gene Hackman, is in the villain role, which befits his talents well, since he's at his best as the villain. Herod is a long time criminal who controls Redemption from the ground up. He's arranged for a "Quick Draw" contest for gunslingers. Ellen, played superbly by the ever beautiful Sharon Stone comes to town with more than just a quick draw competition on her mind. Cort, played by the then burgeoning superstar, Russell Crowe is a former outlaw and friend of Herods, who has found the lord. Kid, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, prior to his huge break in "Titanic" does an acceptable job as the Herod's son and competitor. Let the competition begin! Also mentionable along with these outstanding actors are several others, and a number of actors that always to seem to find their small parts in westerns, with an outstanding script, a traditional "western" score and here we have a fantastic western.
I highly recommend this exceptional film to any and all fans of the western genre or to those that rarely allow themselves to be taken back to the wild, wild west, for it is indeed a wonderful trip and just a plain old fun western.
Special features: If you're a special features hound, this one will leave more than disappointed, as its one and only special feature is a theatrical trailer. For me, as far as this movie is concerned, who cares because this one is just about the escapism of the movie itself! {ssintrepid}
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on January 15, 2003
The Quick and the Dead is a often silly and sometimes even cartoonish western about a women gunslinger (Sharon Stone) seeking revenge on the evil town tyrant (Gene Hackman). He took her father away from her when she was a little girl and now she has her chance for revenge when there's a gunslinger tournerment that he just happens to be enteredd in. Russel Crowe (Gladiator) co-stars as a preacher that reminds Stone of her dad. He's Hackman's prisinor who he loves to be-little and humiliate. I saw Crowe's talent in this film as he's fantastic and steals the show and it's great to see that he's a big star now. The cast is just great, besides there being Hackman, Stone and Russel Crowe. You also got Leonardo DiCaprio as Hackman's son. Lance Henrikson (Aliens) and Keith David (The Thing) as gunslingers, Pat Hingle (Batman) as a bartender and Gary Sinise (Forest Gump) in small flashbacks as Stone's father. Sam Raimi the director of Spiderman's direction is always lively and hardly ever boring and his direction here is very lively and always keeps you interested. The film's biggest flaw is the cartoonish big holes you see in a gunslinger when they get shot. Other than that I think this film is a lot of fun, especially for Sam Raimi fans.
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on September 30, 2002
In Gladiator, the first movie I saw with the powerful Russell Crowe, I was struck. With what exactly I don't know, I knew only that I had this uncontrollable inpulse to see every one of his movies. So, to be honest, because Russell was in it, I rented The Quick and the Dead. I sat through the first minutes, rather impatiently, wondering when the 'man of the hour' would make his entrance.(Little did I know 'his entrance' was going to be in chains rolling across a saloon floor.)
I didn't expect it to be good; my hopes weren't high, so I didn't feel disappointed or let down as I watched it. Don't come in expecting a knock 'em out, amazing, thrilling, 10 star western because really, it isn't what you are going to get.
Ellen(Sharon Stone) is a gunfighter who comes to the town of Redemption to compete in a quick-draw contest for everyone is led to believe. What she really wants is to take on Herod(Gene Hackman), the merciless 'ruler' of Redemption, and kill him. Reason: he killed her father and ruined her young life. So, for a way to get close enough to him, she enters the competion along with a rather unwilling Cort(Russell Crowe), a gunslinger turned preacher.
The rest is well..the rest. The contest begins, people are eliminated-either by serious injuries or getting appendages blown off- and, as time goes on, we learn more about Ellen's tormented past and Cort's with Herod.
Good performances are given by all. The plot can be confusing at times. Sharon Stone was good for her part, but sometimes seemed to give to much into her role. I have to give a great big applause to Russell. The Australian hunk brought a lot of emotion and action to the screen of his first American made movie. Gene Hackman was good as this hard, power-hungry ruler. And for the first time I actually liked Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as Herod's son, who only wants his father's respect.
I wanted to give it five stars but it just didn't do a five-star all-in-all for me. It is an odd film yet I did enjoy it so I gave it four star rating(which, again I must confess, was mostly for Russell Crowe). A good film for those of you who like westerns such as this and for we Russell Crowe fans. So...
If you think you're 'quick' enough, go rent this movie.
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