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The Quick and the Dead (1987)

TV Movie  -   -  Western  -  28 February 1987 (USA)
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A mysterious stranger rides into a homesteading family's life when they are attacked by a ruthless gang.



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

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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 ...


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




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dziki i wolny  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cast rehearsed for a week prior to the shooting of the movie. See more »


Wend Con kills the man in the red rock cliffs, he is still breathing when Doc Shabitt and his gang find him, he is still breathing. See more »


Con Vallian: You're going to have a choice. Them or me.
See more »

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User Reviews

Neither the Quick nor the Dead could entice(1987)
26 July 2014 | by (Alkmaar) – See all my reviews

With a title that was later reused for another movie, one would expect that this western would show at least one gun fight, you know like the one at the OK corral, but this movie hasn't one. What the title is referring to is a mystery and that is probably the key word for this western.

Now the first mystery is the mysterious stranger played by Sam Elliott. Sam Elliot? Yep, the same. I am probably like many other people who instantly respect a man like Sam Elliott without actually knowing why. Sam Eliott is known, but if you ask me to tell you what from I have a hard time to tell you. Sam Elliott is a decent actor, but apparently not considered to be able to carry a leading part in a major movie. Or at least.. I can't recall one. But never mind about that. Here Sam has a leading role.

Now the mysterious part about the mysterious stranger points to an overarching mystery. The question to ask is: why? Why does Sam Elliot help this family that is riding out, all alone, into the wilds? Why is this family braving the wilds on there own? The reason supplied is that they go to some place to breed cattle on the invitation of a family member, but still.. is traveling on your own such a good idea? Why are the bad guys sitting around in some forlorn village, consisting of 4 houses, lacking any inhabitants? Were they waiting for this single family to happen along so they could rob them, kill the men (a man and his son) and rape the woman? It remains a mystery.

Another mystery: there is an half breed Indian helping them.. why? He just happens along, gets a drink and he is the best of mates with these bad dudes. Again we don't know why.

So these bad dudes steal the horses of the family.. and thus the story kicks in. The husband of the family gets the horses back, covered by the mysterious stranger who shoots one of the bad dudes. And the bad guys then want revenge. While the family treks through the wild hoping to outrun the bad dudes, the bad dudes try to catch up with them. Several times they do catch up, which results in some fighting which whittles down the group of bad dudes.. who thus thirst even more for blood.

The story then follows a rather linear plot and ends in a predictable way. It is nothing to write home about. And again another mystery rises: the family went out in the wilds to do some cattle raising. Where is the cattle? They didn't bring any along.. and the hut they end up in seems to be in some valley in between mountains. Not the kind of country one would associate with cattle raising.

The whole story is like that: a mystery as to why people do what they do. But the greater mystery is just the failure to make more of this story. The mysterious stranger confesses himself to be a half breed, just like the half breed Indian who helps the bad guys. One would expect something to result from this. They could have been brothers. They could have been anything more than adversaries, but nothing develops. There is a potential conflict between the mysterious stranger and the husband in the family, but even that sizzles out to nothing.

The story is bland. It is not the acting that makes this movie mediocre on it's own. It is the lackluster plot that is pretty linear and shies away from anything interesting.

This movie is a forgettable movie.

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