The Quick and the Dead

One of the things we’ve done lately is subscribe to Netflix through our Wii. While the latest movies aren’t usually listed, it has definitely paid for itself in tv series and older movies. We’ve watched the first season of Justified with Timothy Olyphant and there are a number of western movies waiting to be watched.

I watched The Quick and The Dead over the Christmas break – the Sharon Stone/Gene Hackman movie and not the Sam Elliot one from the eighties. (Though to be honest – I’ll watch just about anything with Sam Elliot.)

Anyway, I liked the idea of a woman being the “hero” of this story. Ellen is out to avenge her father’s death, and enters a shooting contest to face the man who killed her father when she was a girl – and a man who rules the entire town by fear. Ellen’s a fantastic shooter – which really resonates later in the movie as certain details of her childhood are revealed.

Rotten Tomatoes terms the film “stylish but empty” and I’d agree with that to some extent. It’s dusty, dirty, whiskey swilling and predictable. Russell Crowe is fine as the preacher, Cort. Sharon Stone is beautiful and tough, but she made the same facial expression over and over that I think was supposed to express anger and fear at once. It was this kind of flat-foreheaded, wild-eyed look that was a bit weird. Leonardo Di Caprio was just as annoying as The Kid as he was as Jack Dawson in Titanic – the whole exuberant youth thing gets old quickly. No, the one true thing that saves this movie is Gene Hackman.

As the movie began, I kept thinking “What this needs is Gene Hackman as the villian” and lo and behold he appeared on cue. He is an easy man to hate and you quickly realize he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants. He is a man without a heart.  In fact, what kept me watching throughout this movie was hating him so much and wondering how many people were going to die before he finally got what he deserved.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the movie, but I did. Not something I’d rave about, but I did enjoy watching it. I think I’ll watch ALL THE PRETTY HORSES next – have you seen it?

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10 thoughts on “The Quick and the Dead”

  1. I watched THE QUICK AND THE DEAd on TV a couple of months ago, Donna (had forgotten all about it till I read your blog). Agree, Gene Hackman was the best thing in it.
    There’s a Sam Elliot version? Heck, I don’t even have to watch him, I could just listen to that voice.
    Haven’t seen All the Pretty Horses, but I did read the book, pretty grim but could be a good film. I have netflix, too. I’ll check it out.
    Thanks for a fun blog to start the week.

  2. Donna,
    I saw this one a long while back. To me, it’s one of those movies I would watch one time and think, OK, that was a good one. But I wouldn’t watch it again, most likely, unless it had been several years. Of course, anything with Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in it is worth watching again. I haven’t seen All the Pretty Horses either. Isn’t that the one with Jane Fonda in it? Might be why I didn’t watch it. I don’t watch anything with her in it. I haven’t seen a good western movie in a long time–that’s why I’m looking forward to TRUE GRIT so much! LOL
    Cheryl P.

  3. Hi Donna, I enjoyed this movie when it came out, but haven’t seen it lately, but like you, i believe Sam Elliott can do no wrong. I enjoyed the Hallmark holiday movie he had out this year.

    My favorite Western from recent past has been Open Range. Robert Duvall is another who is practically perfect in the Old West, and Annette Bening was wonderful.

    I haven’t seen All the Pretty Horses, but am eager to learn your take on it. oxoxox

  4. Donna, I saw this movie and while I can’t say that it was the best western I’ve ever seen I enjoyed it. I liked seeing how young Russell Crowe and Leonardo were. Sharon Stone did an okay job too in her character, but I thought the acting was a little overdone. It was probably good for that time though. Acting has really evolved over the years. And Gene Hackman played a thoroughly despicable character. I liked this movie enough to see it twice.

    I’ve seen All the Pretty Horses and that was a very strange movie. Hope you enjoy it though.

  5. I’ve never seen Gene Hackmen and not just loved his part, whatever the movie was. I think he’s a fantastic comedian, villain, hero, dork. You name it, he brings it to life.

  6. Hi Donna, Is “All the Pretty Horses” based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy? I’d like to see it. Let us know what you think. I haven’t seen “The Quick and the Dead,” but I’m up for anything western.

  7. Hi Donna, You are lucky to watch any Western movie with your family. My family is all Cowboy–authentic ones–and they pick apart the equipment that is used and how the guy rides his horse. Even the extras are looked upon as gunsils. My family can really ruin any western I ever wanted to watch with the exception of Lonesome Dove! Now, that one was way over the top in authentic. Lee Marvin in Monte Walsh–Not the newer version–is another one.

  8. I remember seeing the adds for both movies, but haven’t seen either. We just tend not to go to the movies often and never rent. I have movies I bought a year ago we haven’t seen yet. However, when my husband gets home from work in the afternoon, he often turns the TV on and watches movies. He may have seen them already.
    I agree with your assessment of the actors. You can’t beat the “oldies and goodies.” They have true acting talent and can handle such a wide range of roles. They can be the good guy, but when they are bad, they do it so well. The rest of the movie may not be all that good, but their performance can stand on its own.

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