161207: I have an absolute love hate relationship with this made for television, HBO film. It's good in so many ways but bad in so many others. The villains are the highlight. All but The Ute (Patrick Kilpatrick) are done decently, if not done well. Patrick was just not the best choice for the portrayal of a First Nations warrior and his costume made it worse. As for the other baddies, all are pretty cool in their own way. They feature intriguing and varied attire highlighting their unique natures. Doc Shabitt (Matt Clark) was an excellent choice as a demented leader and sports his bowler hat well. Johnny aka "I wonder why men who plead for mercy, never give any?" Dobs (LL Tobert) looks the part of a cowboy, skilled with his revolver, though he's a bit underused (watch the film). And Red Hayle (Jerry Potter) is the nastiest of the group, intimidating even his own. Red has a taste for women and takes one hell of a beating from one. He survives with some commendable scars and you just love to hate him. As for the good guys, Con Vallian (Sam Elliott) twists me up. His motivations are hard to understand, his behavior is even harder. Is the viewer to believe that such an obviously principled man, in the old west, would jokingly take advantage of a married woman in front of her husband? There must be some explanation missing in the film that I imagine is revealed more clearly in Louis L'Amour's book. The Quick and the Dead (1987) can also be seen as a statement on Democratic vs Republican values; or perhaps how the reality of life can change ones position from rose-coloured to realistic. The annoyingly weak Duncan McKaskel (Tom Conti) is an ex-soldier who promised never to kill again after fighting in the civil war. He's married to Susana McKaskel (Kate Capshaw) an almost too beautiful, and well-endowed, woman who learns at a quicker pace than her husband that the West is not populated only by "nice, well-mannered people". It was funny to hear Susana's dialogue including her reference to the fact that "back east we had laws to restrain them." True Liberal mentality that made me smile. Whether intentional or not, this film provides commentary on the 2nd amendment. Finally, Duncan McKaskel is a character that demands disdain...or is it Tom Conti that demands disdain? From his voice, to his mannerism, to his dress, he made me cringe. But, perhaps, that was the whole intent of Louis L'Amour and the creators of this film? They produced characters that inspired passion; unfortunately too strong a passion. Regardless, I still enjoy coming back to this film from time to time.