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Wild Wild West (1999)

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The two best hired guns in the West must save President Grant from the clutches of a nineteenth-century inventor-villain.

Director:

Barry Sonnenfeld

Writers:

Jim Thomas (story), John Thomas (story) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
2,664 ( 404)
15 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... James West
Kevin Kline ... Artemus Gordon / President Grant
Kenneth Branagh ... Dr. Arliss Loveless
Salma Hayek ... Rita Escobar
M. Emmet Walsh ... Coleman
Ted Levine ... General McGrath
Frederique Van Der Wal ... Amazonia (as Frederique van der Wal)
Musetta Vander ... Munitia
Sofia Eng ... Miss Lippenrieder
Bai Ling ... Miss East
Garcelle Beauvais ... Girl In Water Tower
Mike H. McGaughy Mike H. McGaughy ... Big Reb (as Mike McGaughy)
Jerry Wills Jerry Wills ... Other Reb
Rodney A. Grant ... Hudson
Buck Taylor ... Eye-Crossed Reb
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Storyline

Jim West is a guns-a-blazing former Civil War hero. Artemus Gordon is an inventive U.S. Marshal who excels in disguise. When the United States is threatened by psychotic Confederate Arliss Loveless, President Ulysses Grant teams the duo up to bring him to justice. On a hazard-packed train journey from Washington D.C. to Utah, West and Gordon must combine their skills to best Loveless and his diabolical machines. Written by Chris Turner <theaten@earthlink.net> and J. Kyle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On July 2nd, it's a whole new west. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence, sex references and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Loucas Aventuras de James West See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,705,055, 4 July 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$113,805,681

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$222,105,681
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ted Levine grew up watching the original television series. Levine said he enjoyed working on the film, but because there were so many writers revising the script, there was no center, causing the story to be all over the place. He attributed that to the film's failure, as well as Will Smith's miscasting. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Loveless claims he lost 35 feet of small intestine. The large and small intestine combined are less than 30 feet long. See more »

Quotes

Capt. James West: Loveless has kidnapped metallurgists, so whatever he's building is going to have armor. He's kidnapped chemists, so it'll have explosives. And you've said that Rita's father is the biggest expert on hydraulics in the world, so it's going to move. What could he be building that will make the president surrender the U.S. Goverment?
Artemus Gordon: A bedside heater.
Capt. James West: What?
Artemus Gordon: Rita. She could use a bedside heater. It gets rather cold back there.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Wedlock (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Mississippi Mud
Written by James Cavanaugh and Harry Barris
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't the people making these movies LIKE the original shows?
13 July 2008 | by schmigrexSee all my reviews

I won't add more insults -- others here have done that well enough. This movie is godawful. But I will point out two areas that seem to be staples of bad movie remakes of beloved old TV shows. First, how about getting someone to write/direct that actually liked and understood the original? That person would understand that the West-Gordon relationship was the core. In a sense, West and Gordon complimented each other to make a slick, functional crime-fighting machine: West handled the action and romance, and Gordon took care of the thinking, deception, and humor (disguises). This was a well-used TV convention -- think the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad in Star Trek, or the great contrasty chemistry between Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in I Spy. Add a lovable villain to the mix (not an offensive atrocity like the film-Loveless) and you've got a crazy, tongue-in-cheek action classic. The filmmakers here seemingly did not know or care about the fundamentals of the original show. Not that this is necessarily a problem, but then why bother resurrecting the premise in the first place? Why not just make Will Smith a different wild west troubleshooter? The Mission Impossible franchise has the same problem.

Second, why all the emphasis on showing the principals getting to know each other? I know -- because it eats up 30% of the script, and creates conflict. But the conflict should be between West and the villain. Jim and Artie should just BE. The TV show didn't bother explaining how West met and knew Gordon, any more than Barney Miller, Mission Impossible, or 24 found it necessary to have all the main characters meet and learn to work together. They were a team with a job to do. Audiences understand this concept; having a trumped-up plot about how the heroes meet and overcome their differences is a hackneyed device that only exposes the script weaknesses present. See the film version of Dragnet (a better film, though) for another example of this unfortunate trend.

Finally, a comment on the "race" issue. Inserting content that justifies Smith-West's skin color is no more necessary than explaining Henry V's skin color when Laurence Fishburne or Andre Braugher play him on stage. Indeed, ignoring Smith's race in a movie like this one would help us all look past such issues. If a blond actor had portrayed West, nobody would have suggested a plot that explains his Norwegian background! He just would have been West, and that would be that. But color-blind casting requires courage, and could conceivably cut into the film's bottom line. So, not in this spineless script.

I seldom get mad at movies I don't like. Even The Avengers didn't anger me, though it was possibly even worse than this one. This one ticked me off REAL good. Buy the original series on DVD instead, and see how it's done right.


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