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The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Sam Raimi



The Quick and the Dead

105 minutes

Joshua Donen
Allen Shapiro
Patrick Markey
Simon Moore

Cast includes:

Ellen Sharon Stone
Herod Gene Hackman
Cort Russell Crowe
Kid Leonardo DiCaprio
Dog Kelly Tobin Bell
Doc Wallace Roberts Blossom
Euguene Dred Kevin Conway -
Sgt. Cantrell Keith David
Ace Hanlon Lance Henriksen
Horace the Bartender Pat Hingle -
Marshall Gary Sinise -
Scars Mark Boone Junior -
Katie Olivia Burnette
Mattie Silk Fay Masterson -
Ratsy Raynor Scheine
Charlie Moonlight Woody Strode -



Sam Raimi rounded up a bunch of Western genre archetypes for a big, emblematic last-man-standing quick-draw competition in The Quick and the Dead. Or rather, they were rounded up by star and co-producer Sharon Stone, who insisted on giving Russell Crowe his first American starring role and Leonardo DiCaprio his first love scene of sorts. The film starts out as an homage to the revisionist sub-genre before gradually turning into a spoof in the mould of Raimi's Evil Dead films. Predictably, the larger-than-life characters clash in various ways, but there's an unappealing disconnect between the actors' approach: some play their parts straight, others go for excess and then there is Stone, who doesn't quite seem to have the mettle to do either. There's little doubt that Raimi's vision here is towards more excess, but his buffoonic antics kill of the film. He tries to parody the parodic, which is hard to do. The Spaghetti Western genre is already a revisionist comment on life in the west; there was no need for him to make a live-action cartoon about it. At least not one with as little inventiveness as this. A young and beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio gives the film its only strain of vitality. And Gene Hackman's bad-guy could have been effective in another movie. The same can be said of the basic premise, which is what gives the film its occasional sprinkles of fun.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 16.04.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 05.08.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang