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The Quick and the Dead (1987)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Western  |  28 February 1987 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,165 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 2 critic

A mysterious stranger rides into a homesteading family's life when they are attacked by a ruthless gang.

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Title: The Quick and the Dead (TV Movie 1987)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Con Vallian
...
Duncan McKaskel
...
Susanna McKaskel
Kenny Morrison ...
Tom McKaskel
...
Doc Shabitt
...
The Ute
Jerry Potter ...
Red Hayle
Billy Streater ...
Ike Mantle
...
Purdy Mantle
R.L. Tolbert ...
Johnny Dobbs
Jeffrey Meyer ...
Butcher McCloud (as Jeffrey M. Meyer)
...
Lenny Shabitt
...
Joy the Blacksmith
...
Running Wolf
Bill Stedman ...
Bartender
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Storyline

Duncan and Susanna McKaskel are a young married couple travelling to the West with their son, hoping to start a new life. Along the way, they stop in a small town where they meet a gang of bandits led by Doc Shabitt. After Duncan unintentionally angers the gang, he and Susanna flee the town, but Shabitt leads his men in pursuit of revenge. A mysterious stranger by the name of Con Vallian soon begins helping the family as they try to find a new home and protects them from Shabitt's gang. Written by John Hitchcock

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dziki i wolny  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Tom and Con are talking, Tom mentions his father being tough as a nail. Kate Capshaw's maiden name is Nail. See more »

Goofs

When Susanna McKaskel shows pictures to Con Vallian, she tells him that her brother and friends are building a house for them at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains just west of Fort Kearney. The mountains of the Bighorn National Forest near Sheridan, Wyoming are over 700 miles from where Fort Kearney was located in central Nebraska. Also, none of the peaks are as high as the snow-covered peak shown in the final scenes of the movie. See more »

Quotes

Con Vallian: You shoulda made sure, Injun.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hackneyed plot with mature insights and surprises
29 April 2014 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

"The Quick and the Dead" is a 1987 made-for-HBO Western starring Sam Elliott as Con Vallian, a mysterious stranger who helps a family heading West with their conflict with a group of ne'er-do-wells. Vallian's desire is piqued by the wife (Kate Capshaw) and the interest seems mutual. Will the family make it to the Bighorn Mountains alive-and-well or will violence and adultery destroy them?

If you don't remember Kate Capshaw, she was the blond in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and later married director Steven Spielberg.

In any event, I was impressed with this little-known Western. Although made for cable, it's based on a Louis L'Armour book and is actually better than some theatrically released Westerns, like 1995's "The Quick and the Dead" (same name, but a totally different story). There are some flaws, like the kid's questionable acting skills and the fact that the film was noticeably shot in Northern Arizona rather than Eastern Wyoming, but – all things considered – this is a solid Western in the tradition of "Shane" and "Will Penny."

Highlights include the breathtaking cinematography, a believable and mature tone, Kate's beauty, a hackneyed plot redeemed by quality characters (like Tom Conti as the settler husband/father), insightful drama & plot surprises and, of course, Sam Elliott as the quintessential Westerner. Really, Elliott is as good or – more likely – better than any Western icon you care to name (Wayne, Eastwood, Cooper, Scott, Stewart, Costner, etc.).

There are mature and insightful themes, like the undeniable connection of Vallian and Susanna. Most of us can relate: You stumble across someone of the opposite sex and instinctively sense a palpable connection, some kind of profound mutual fascination, yet—for whatever reason—pursuing an intimate relationship is not an option. In an entire lifetime you will only experience a handful such 'connections,' or less. These exchanges are permanent because they are so potent they are forever burned into one's psyche.

"The Quick and the Dead" may not be a top-notch Western like "Dances With Wolves" or "The Outlaw Josey Wales," but it's certainly a quality Western and well worth your time.

GRADE: B


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