All of the actors on the set in the gunfight scenes were instructed in the art of the quick draw by a stunt coordinator. Due to his limited screen time, Gene Hackman had the most opportunity to prepare his quick draw and as a result was the fastest actor on the set.
Bruce Campbell had a cameo appearance during a wedding scene, but the scene was cut. Campbell says Sam Raimi created that scene for the specific reason of giving Pat Hingle something more substantial to do and was never intended to be in the movie in the first place. Campbell was also visiting the set on his day off when Raimi drafted him to play a skid-row character in several background shots. Although all of Campbell's appearances ended up on the cutting room floor, he is still listed high up in the credits.
According to the "Evil Dead Companion", Sharon Stone was given a lengthy list of directors that had been approved to direct this film, so that she could choose the directors she thought would work. She sent back a list with a single name... Sam Raimi. When asked why she chose Raimi, she said it was because she liked Army of Darkness (1992), among Raimi's other works.
For obvious reasons, this is the only Sam Raimi film to date (2002) where his trademark beige 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 doesn't appear in its original form. However, according to Bruce Campbell, the car makes an appearance in the form of a wagon's chassis. He claims the car was disassembled and the chassis was used for the wagon.
A sex scene between Ellen and Cort was shot, but Sharon Stone and director Sam Raimi decided that it wasn't a necessary part of the story. The scene was not included in the American release of the film, but the international version does.
During the scene where the gunfighters are signing up for the Quick Draw Competition in the saloon, The Lady is sitting under a wanted poster listing "Rape" and "Murder." A few moments later when the camera angle shifts you can see the drawing on the poster and the name of the wanted man: It's Virgil Sparks, one of the shooters who has just joined the competition.
The badly dilapidated pistol that Herod buys from Fee Herod for Cort to use in the contest is a model 1851 Colt Navy cap and ball revolver that has been converted to use metallic cartridges. Such converted cap and ball pistols were common in the Wild West era and were popular as they could be purchased for about a third of the price of the newer cartridge pistols like the Colt Peacemaker, Remington New Army or Smith and Wesson Schofield.
The title "The Quick and the Dead" comes from the King James translation of the Bible, I Peter 4:5, which admonishes the believer from behaving like pagans, "who shall give account to him [Christ] that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." The phrase became better known in English as part of the Apostle's Creed, a Christian doctrine which appears to date back (at least in partial form) to the second century. The Creed, as translated in the Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England, states that Christ "...ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." In both cases, the word "quick" is a more archaic use meaning "living" (in modern parlance, the "quick of the fingernails" is a rare instance of the older meaning); however, the movie title clearly plays off the double-meaning, in that there are two kinds of gunslingers: quick (meaning both fast and alive) and dead.
According to Bruce Campbell, Gene Hackman initially refused to do the scene where Herod leans to his aide and asks, "What are the odds on The Kid?" It was only when Sam Raimi explained his character's motivation that he agreed to do the scene as planned.
When Horace gives his speech on the competition rules before Kid's first fight, he mentions not to draw until they hear the sound of the first chime of the Town Clock. The chime was never heard, only the sound when the minute arm moved to the 12th position.
Horace the Bartender points to a chest full of money announcing that it is the prize for the contest and the amount is $130,000.00. The U.S. dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.3% per year between 1880 and 2016. $130,000.00 in the year 1880 is worth $2,897,746.88 in 2016.
When Ellen is unpacking at her hotel room, there is a mate gourd on the table (she said something earlier about having been in South America). Sharon Stone went to Argentina in 1993 and had an interview with then-president Carlos Menem. He claimed later that the mate was a gift from him.
Director Sam Raimi has said over the years that the film was an homage to the late Sergio Leone and the Spaghetti Westerns he directed both visually and production wise but still containing Raimi's own visual and eclectic style.
The film features five Oscar Winners: Gene Hackman (Unforgiven), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Patrizia Von Brandenstein (Amadeus) and Editor Pietro Scalia (Black Hawk Down) and four Oscar Nominees: Sharon Stone (Casino, which was released at the end of 1995), Composer Alan Silvestri (Forrest Gump), and Cinematographer Dante Spinotti (L.A.Confidential, The Insider). DiCaprio had just come off an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for What's Eating Gilbert Grape? which came out months prior to the beginning of production on this film.
Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio would work together again in the film Body of Lies, 13 years after they co-starred in this film and after Crowe had won his Oscar for Gladiator and secured a Oscar Nomination for A Beautiful Mind and DiCaprio would be Nominated for The Aviator, and Blood Diamond.
One several Westerns that had come out between 1992 and the year this film was released, 1995 that started with the Oscar Winner Unforgiven three years earlier which helped a relaunch of the genre after the success of that film. The other films released in this period include the hit Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, Bad Girls, Frank & Jessie, and Wild Bill, which would be released late in 1995 after this film was released.
This was the tenth action-adventure film prior to Judge Dredd which would be released five months after this film that Oscar Nominee Alan Silvestri would score in five years. The other films include Back To The Future Part 3, Young Guns 2, Predator 2, Ricochet, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, The Bodyguard, Super Mario Bros., Sidekicks, Judgment Night, and Blown Away.
The bullet-holes that appear after a person was shot during the contest or after were Director Sam Raimi's idea. He wanted to do something different and unique with the film and felt that this idea had never been done before and followed through with it.