"The Quick and the Dead" (1995) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #53 Gem Mint 10.0
“The Quick and the Dead“ (1995)
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Simon Moore
Starring: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Conway, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Gary Sinise, Tobin Bell
Rated: R for western violence and some nudity
Runtime: 1h 47min
Genre: Action, Romance, Thriller, Western
“A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.”
You might like this if you like: Westerns, Action Movies, Female Action Movies, Sam Raimi (Director of "Evil Dead" 1981, "A Simple Plan" 1998, "For the Love of the Game" 1999, "Spider-Man" 2002), Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Conway, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Gary Sinise, Tobin Bell, R-rated westerns, female lead westerns, girls-with-guns movies, dramas, action-comedies
Sharon Stone in "The Quick and the Dead" (1995)
One of the greatest little treasures that I'm surprised more people aren't talking about. Sam Raimi is one of my biggest heroes of all time. One of the most revolutionary directors our time. Creating "Evil Dead" (1981) and sparking a new wave of filmmakers and bringing 'Spider-Man' to the silver screen and paving the way for all superheroes to come. Seeing him play in the Western genre is one of the funnest things you could do with your afternoon. It's got one of the best casts in the history of casts. DiCaprio and Crowe being the underrated stars at the time I think it's only aged with time like fine wine.
I heard about "The Quick and the Dead" (1995) originally by just consuming Sam Raimi's filmography and being a fan. I was so excited alone at the idea of him doing a Western that everything else was just extra icing on top for me. The first thing that stood out was the music. When I realized much later that Alan Silvestri ("Avengers: Endgame" 2019, "Back to the Future" 1985, "Forrest Gump" 1994) I almost sh*t my pants. It's so good. This one western soundtrack alone is up there with Morricone for me. I just kept going 'how the hell have I never seen this film'? Even though I saw it in high school which I consider early I'm still mad this wasn't in my life sooner.
Gene Hackman in "The Quick and the Dead" (1995)
Sharon Stone is kick-ass and brutal in a world of cruel and disgusting men. It feels so ahead of its time. It's by far my favorite female western film of all time. Gene Hackman is ferociously good as always and plays one of the most memorable characters in my cinema history. Keith David is a fun treat to have as a well Lance Henrickson. Such a fun 90s celebration of some of our favorite actors.
Leonardo DiCaprio in"The Quick and the Dead" (1995)
DiCaprio and Russell are in some of my favorite roles of mine they've ever played. Without spoiling it, one of my favorites of his, DiCaprio's takes a simply written scene towards the end and spins it into a beautiful, heartbreaking and memorable moment. Something I've seen a hundred times but was really great to watch DiCaprio's nineteen year old take on a traditional and almost cliche ending.
Russell Crowe (left) & Gene Hackman (right) in "The Quick and the Dead" (1995)
Russell is just a quiet badass in this. He's so fun to watch. I haven't seen in something so young before so I was looking forward to seeing him at his most athletic especially in an action Western by Sam Raimi that demands a high caliber of speed.
Leonardo DiCaprio (left), Gene Hackman (top, middle), Sharon Stone (bottom, middle), Russell Crowe (right) in "The Quick and the Dead" (1995)
Raimi's eye for the West is one I could stare through for a whole century. I want to see a whole season long show of anything he does. Each shot keeps my eye glued to the screen. His framing and camera movements are fascinating almost erotic in their unexpected angles and turns I'd never quite seen before. In an almost tired genre, he makes the West a feast to look at again.
Written by Sam Gall on 09/22/20
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
"Raimi's movie borrows heavily from classic spaghetti westerns, but Raimi has a style of his own, and plenty of it." - Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A deadpan black comedy, Sam Raimi's fast-paced movie looks and sounds like a Leone oater but more so." - Derek Adams, Time Out
"Raimi's gimmicky but endlessly inventive direction gives it plenty of gas, and the excellent cast takes it the rest of the way." - Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"This film is wonderfully directed by Sam Raimi, who makes every shot pop up. From the gripping opening scene to the weird finale, every scene is full of Raimi's great visual style." - Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal
"There should be a law that, if you're going to make a terribly clichd film, then you at least have to do something original in it. The Quick and the Dead exemplifies this." - James Brundage, Filmcritic.com
Available on various VOD platforms
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