January 3, 2013
Quick and the Dead (1995)
Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Crowe
In 1995, Sharon
Stone starred in a movie called The Quick and the Dead. It
the story of a female gunfighter in the Old West. And, well,
you can probably imagine, it flopped just about as hard as you expect
that a western starring Sharon Stone would flop. After all,
nobody likes Sharon Stone. And nobody likes westerns.
the combination of the two of them was pretty much the opposite of the
Keymaster meeting the Gatekeeper. It was just a pointless
combination for everyone.
But here is the thing. The Quick and the Dead isn't just
good, it is fucking amazing. It is by far one of my favorite
movies of the past twenty years. And every time I watch it I
myself liking it more and more. And I actually kick myself
it took me so long to finally give in to my anti Sharon Stone western
prejudice and actually give it a chance.
Oh yeah, Mary's stepfather from There's Something About Mary is in it
So what makes The Quick and the Dead so good? What turns it
from being "some dumb western starring Sharon Stone that flopped at the
box office" to "one of Mario's all time favorite movies"?
Well, for starters, it was mostly the director.
Quick and the Dead was directed by Sam Raimi, who along with James
Cameron is one of my two favorite directors of all time. And
reason I say that is because anything that Raimi directs is immediately
identifiable. There is no way you can watch a Sam Raimi movie
think it was directed by anyone but him. From The Evil Dead
movies, to Army of Darkness, to the first two Spider Man movies, to
Drag Me to Hell, Raimi has this quirky inimitable style that nobody
else in Hollywood could ever pull off. For lack of a better
his movies are just Sam Raimi movies. And The Quick and the
might be the Sam Raimiest Sam Raimi movie of them all.
Want an example of what a Sam Raimi movie looks like? Check out
the camera angles and the zoom cuts
in this scene from the Quick and the Dead. It is basically
Sam playing around with a camera and seeing what weird cartoony angles
and shots he can come up with. And this movie is chock full
weird little Sam Raimi jump cuts and spin zooms like that.
Or shots like this, where Sam Raimi shoots a scene through a
bullet hole in the back of a guy's head
I would recommend the Quick and the Dead just for the Sam Raimi
factor alone, because honestly I would recommend any Sam Raimi movie to
you. His stuff is just always that interesting.
But what REALLY kicks the Quick and the Dead up in the awesomeness
factor is the cast.
yeah, I know. Sharon Stone is the star. And Sharon
sucks. Look, I hear you. And I get it.
But let me
point out that this movie also stars Gene Hackman as one of the
scummiest movie villains of all time. And it also stars
DiCaprio about two years before he hit it big with Titanic.
it also stars Russell Crowe a few years before anyone knew who he was
in America. Oh and it also stars Gary Sinise. And
Blossom (the shovel slayer from Home Alone). Oh yeah, and it
stars Jigsaw from the Saw movies. Basically this movie is
chock full of big name stars and quirky little character actors.
And yes, of course it also stars Sharon Stone. Who
like to point out is not even all that bad in this.
Russell Crowe, about a year before anyone knew who he was
By the way, in defense of Sharon Stone, I should point out that the
only reason Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe were even in this movie
was because Stone knew they were going to be big stars in America and
she begged the producers to cast them. In fact I
heard that she personally paid DiCaprio's salary out
own pocket, just because she was that sure that he was going
an enormous movie star one day. Which just goes to prove the
theory that Sharon Stone might not be that great an actress,
she is way smarter than you. Seriously, look it up.
Stone has a reported IQ of 154.
stay away from that Rose DeWitt Bukater girl. She's too fat
you both won't be able to fit on that piece of wood in the ocean.
I'm warning you!"
Take a movie with a ton of big name stars, add the quirkiest and most
unique director you can think of, throw in a storyline that would fight
right in with a Quentin Tarantino revenge cartoon, and voila.
have the Quick and the Dead. A movie that flopped big time at
box office in 1995, but has since amassed a small but very
cult fan following. Seriously, I watch this movie at least
year and I am always amazed by it. It is the perfect mixture
parody and seriousness. Sam Raimi takes a genre that a lot of
people are very bored with (the western), and he completely mocks it
while at the same time creating a loving homage to it. It is
of those movies that you just have to see to believe.
Oh, did I
mention that the whole movie is basically one big gunfighter tournament
between over the top cartoon characters? Did I not actually
mention that before?
John Herod, one of the greatest movie villains ever
In short, there are very few movies that I can recommend as highly as I
recommend The Quick and the Dead. It is one of my all time
favorites, it was made by one of my all time favorite directors, and it
stars one of my all time favorite casts. Oh yeah, and it also
one of the very best movie scores I have ever heard in my life.
Seriously, if you only watch The Quick and the Dead for one
reason, watch it for the
music. It is one of those rare times where the
music just fits the movie PERFECTLY.
My Favorite Quick and the Dead Trivia from IMDB:
- All of the actors on the set in the gunfight scenes were instructed
in the art of the quick draw by a stunt coordinator. Due to his limited
screen time, Gene Hackman had the most opportunity to prepare his quick
draw and as a result was the fastest actor on the set.
- For obvious reasons, this is the only Sam Raimi film to date (2002)
where his trademark beige 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 doesn't appear in
its original form. However, according to Bruce Campbell, the car makes
an appearance in the form of a wagon's chassis. He claims the car was
disassembled and the chassis was used for the wagon.
- According to the "Evil Dead Companion", Sharon Stone was given a
lengthy list of directors that had been approved to direct this film,
so that she could choose the directors she thought would work. She sent
back a list with a single name... Sam Raimi. When asked why she chose
Raimi, she said it was because she liked Army of Darkness, among
Raimi's other works.
favorite IMDB user reviews about The Quick and the Dead
Completely misunderstood classic!
- 20 December 2004
really don't get, or care about, the criticism this movie receives. I
found it to be infinitely cool. I love the characters. The direction is
confident and unique. The cinematography (by the always superb Dante
Spinotti) and art direction are wonderful.
Sam Raimi caught a
lot of heat for this one. I guess it was too stylish for the bland,
vanilla, popcorn crowd. And, in ways, it gave him a sense of timidness
in his following few pictures. But, with Spiderman, people finally
wised up to the fact that this guy is fantastic.
I highly recommend this film, and other Raimi classics, such as:
Darkman and Army of Darkness.
Raimi shoots again - 27 April 2004
I've never been a western fan, but this film really got me.
It has a lot of good features: A great casting, good duel scenes and
Raimi behind the camera:
actors play their characters very good, with Stone, Hackman and Crowe
in the lead. The fight scenes are great, short but intense at the same
time. Sometimes besides you can imagine who's gonna be the winner you
can't figure how the fight is going to end. And Raimi proves again to
be an excellent director. There are some shots that make you recognize
him, and a lot of scenes that will make you say "Wow!!" (Don't forget
that hole in the head... the first time I saw the movie, I had to
rewind to watch it again!).
If you like westerns, you will probably like this film. If you don't,
you may like it too, like I did.
Exaggerated, intense, beautiful, silly - 6 July 2000
of Sam Raimi's movies, this flick was a cartoon. That's not an insult-
his works with the Coen brothers on movies like The Hudsucker Proxy are
some of my favorites, with their insanely "zoomed-in" quality. This
movie was a spaghetti western, it was ABOUT spaghetti westerns, and it
was also a weird, wonderful nightmare where your options are limited,
you're a superhero, and your enemy is all-powerful. That's adolescent,
silly, and totally compelling.
Raimi has always done brilliant
visuals; I don't know his history, but I suspect he read a lot of pulp
comics as a kid. The early scene where Stone gets up (after playing
dead) and you see her shadow putting her hat back on, with the obvious
bullet hole in the brim, is sheer visual brilliance.
Hackman is, of course, great. Sharon Stone has gotten a lot of static
for doing what Clint Eastwood built a legend on: bad acting, done
intensely. (And in Stone's case in this flick, I think, purposefully.)
Leonardo D. is well-cast as a cocky, yet needy, "bad-a** in his own
mind" type. Russell Crowe (who nobody knew at the time, especially me)
is great in his role as a survivor of a 12-step program to help fight a
dependence on violence, complete with backsliding moments.
not look to this movie expecting anything like realism, believability,
or moderation. This is pulp fiction, eye candy, nightmare surrealism,
wanton entertainment. It's trash culture saluting trash culture, and if
you can appreciate that, it's a hell of a great ride.
underrated... - 20 March 2002
infuriates me to think of how damn underrated Sam Raimi's terrific "The
Quick and the Dead" is. Of course 90's wasn't the greatest western
decade considering the whole genre was practically dead at the time.
There's still couple of marvelous exceptions. "The Quick and the Dead"
is one of the finest and after a moment Geoff Murphy's stylish "The
Last Outlaw" starring Mickey Rourke comes to mind too. I loved it,
critics didn't. Both of these films are mostly a hidden parodies of old
(spaghetti) westerns but when it works, it works. Some of the best
camera-angles of "The Quick and the Dead" are just excellent. Script is
witty, acting is enjoyable.
Sharon Stone is incredibly good in
her leading role of a "female Eastwood" Ellen. Leo DiCaprio offers
pretty nice performance as Kid and other actors hardly disappoint
either. It's obvious we wouldn't have this movie without Clint
Eastwood's awarded masterpiece, spectacular "Unforgiven" - classic that
resurrected westerns for a while. When I look at "The Quick and the
Dead" I can't help of thinking that even legendary Gene Hackman is back
in the role that's actually very similar to what he had in
"Unforgiven". If you're a diehard-western fan who also understands
something about parody I'm sure you'll find "The Quick and the Dead" an
excellent movie. It basically circles around one good idea and I
enjoyed every minute of it. Highly entertaining stuff.
Favorite Scene in The Quick and the Dead:
could name about 20 different scenes that I love in The Quick and the
Dead, but the first one that comes to mind is that Spotted Horse cannot
be killed by a bullet. You'll know it when you see it.
and the Dead
at the IMDB
Quick and the Dead at Wikipedia
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