Ellen, an unknown female gunslinger rides into a small, dingy and depressing prairie town with a secret as to her reason for showing up. Shortly after her arrival, a local preacher, Cort, is thrown through the saloon doors while townfolk are signing up for a gun competition. The pot is a huge sum of money and the only rule: that you follow the rules of the man that set up the contest, Herod. Herod is also the owner, leader, and "ruler" of the town. Seems he's arranged this little gun-show-off so that the preacher (who use to be an outlaw and rode with Herod) will have to fight again. Cort refuses to ever use a gun to kill again and Herod, acknowledging Cort as one of the best, is determined to alter this line of thinking ... even if it gets someone killed ... Written by
With The Quick and the Dead, Sam Raimi approaches the old west with a very new/contemporary style. With its brisk energy and competitive characters, the story often feels like a sports movie with lots of photography tricks. If you want a top western, this might not be your film, but if what you seek you is good old pistol-whippin' American fun, this might do the trick.
Thanks to James Cameron, since T2, there has been nothing sexier than a woman with a gun. Sharon Stone actually brings a fairly macho 'Sarah Conner' quality to her character. She plays Ellen, a young cowgirl who rides into a mysterious town for a very special event, a gunslinging competition. The mayor of the town is a dangerous fella and one of the most feared gunslingers around. It is this man who Ellen is after. The question is, why? In order to fight him, she must beat everyone else in the competition. There will be blood, for sure.
In order to make up for his superficial plot, Sam Raimi has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. One of his most recognizable through his career is going over the top in an amusing way, which he does here too, mostly at the climax. He doesn't make great movies, but he makes clever and entertaining ones, which this is.
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