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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
2,963 ( 211)
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:

It doesn't get any wilder than this. 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

Will Smith said that he knew the movie wasn't any good and he was embarrassed when it earned almost fifty million dollars in its opening weekend. Years later, Smith apologized publicly to Robert Conrad (star of the original television series) and said now that he was older and more experienced, he understood Conrad's anger and criticism of the film version, as well as Conrad's refusal to make a cameo appearance in it. See more »

Goofs

When James West visits Washington, there is an establishing shot showing the partially constructed dome of the Capitol Building. The matte painting of the dome is clearly illuminated by the sun from the left of frame while the live action plate of the foreground, showing James West riding through town, is strongly lit by the sun, from the right of frame. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Arliss Loveless: The wrongs will be righted! The past made present! The United - divided!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Wild Wild West (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Arise
Written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Elmer Bernstein
Performed by Kevin Kline
See more »

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User Reviews

Lame bloated blockbuster
30 April 2000 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

`Wild Wild West' joins an increasingly long list of big bloated blockbusters, movies made for no possible reason beyond grabbing a quick summer buck yet which, ironically, by their very cynical and slapdash nature, utterly fail to connect with even the least demanding of audiences. The result is a multi-multi-million dollar debacle that leaves studios searching for answers and audiences shell-shocked into seeking out their entertainment along the more audacious pathway of off-Hollywood, independent filmmaking – the single positive outcome of these dull, empty enterprises.

`Wild Wild West,' like so many films before it, looks to the relics of television's bygone era for inspiration – as sad a comment as any on the dismal state of current movie creativity. As one not familiar with the original series, I cannot say what justice, or lack of justice, this homage does to its source. What is evident, judging from the results on screen, is that `Wild Wild West' is, as with most current blockbusters, top-heavy with special effects and as weak in the nether limbs as its legless villain. Straight Westerns being hopelessly out of fashion, especially for a special effects-driven summertime extravaganza, the filmmakers obviously felt that what was needed was a tongue-in-cheek approach to the material, resulting in a bizarre, but completely unfunny amalgam of fantasy and science-fiction gilded onto a Western format. The disparate styles simply fight against each other, leaving no one in the audience - neither Western nor science-fiction fans - satisfied.

The alleged plot involves the attempts by James West (Will Smith) and Artemis Gordon (Kevin Kline) to foil an evil Confederate inventor's plan to kidnap all the world's most brilliant scientists and, ultimately, terrorize the Union and President Grant into submission. This he attempts to do by creating a giant mechanized spider which is, obviously, a last ditch, desperate attempt on the part of the filmmakers to fulfill the seemingly insatiable demands of the modern audience to be dazzled by impressive special effects, no matter how inappropriate they appear in context. Here, though, the miscalculation is fatal because even the audience is wise enough to know when it is being had. Kline and Smith never achieve a palpable rapport despite the usual abundance of lame wise cracks and sarcastic asides designed to make them `hip' and `trendy' – two qualities incongruous to the setting, which again shows the lack of real commitment to the spirit of the project. There is exactly one clever moment in the film – an astonishingly creative homage to the old RCA logo – that hints at what might have been had the moviemakers been willing to really let loose their anarchic imaginations and aimed for something truly sophisticated rather than simply pasting together a series of confused, poorly written blackout sketches.

Incidentally, even some of the expensive special effects come across as surprisingly crude, especially many of the shots utilizing rear-screen projection. Hence, this film strikes out even in the one ballpark in which it might have stood a chance of emerging victorious.


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