The Quick and the Dead


The Quick and the Dead

Critics Consensus

The Quick and the Dead isn't quite the draw that its intriguing premise and pedigree suggest, but fans of nontraditional Westerns should have some rootin' tootin' fun.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 65,321
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Movie Info

Director Sam Raimi brings his trademark comic book-influenced visual panache to this post-modern Western. Sharon Stone stars as Ellen, a mysterious female gunslinger who arrives in the frontier hamlet of Redemption for a contest pitting quick-draw artists against each other. The event is the brainchild of Redemption's evil, corrupt mayor, Herod (Gene Hackman), a criminal who has taken over the town and charges a 50% tax on local businesses. The pot for Herod's deadly game has swollen, attracting numerous colorful gunfighters from around the territory. As each battle thins the ranks of players, the pasts of several participants are revealed. Ellen is seeking revenge on Herod for a heinous past injustice. The fast-talking braggart known as "The Kid" (Leonardo DiCaprio) may in fact be Herod's son. The pacifist Reverend Cort (Russell Crowe), who refuses to participate in the bloodshed, is the fastest draw in the West and a former colleague of Herod's. After several spectacular slayings, Ellen and Herod stage a final showdown, but not before he has made her an unexpected proposal. The Quick and the Dead (1995) is dedicated to veteran Western actor Woody Strode, who appears in a cameo as Redemption's coffin maker, his final performance. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi


Tobin Bell
as Dog Kelly
Roberts Blossom
as Doc Wallace
Kevin Conway
as Eugene Dred
Keith David
as Sgt. Cantrell
Lance Henriksen
as Ace Hanlon
Pat Hingle
as Horace the Bartender
Gary Sinise
as Marshal
Fay Masterson
as Mattie Silk
Woody Strode
as Charles Moonlight
Jerry Swindall
as Blind Boy
Scott Spiegel
as Gold Teeth Man
Jonothon Gill
as Spotted Horse
Lennie Loftin
as Flat Nose Foy
Matthew Gold
as Foy's Boy
Arturo Gastelum
as Carlos Montoya
David Cornell
as Simp Dixon
Mike Stone
as Counselor
Josef Rainer
as Virgil Sparks
Scott Ryder
as Gunfighter
Greg Goossen
as Young Herod's Man
Solomon Abrams
as Man on Veranda
John Cameron
as Bordello Swell
Bruce Campbell
as Wedding Shemp
Michael Stone
as Counselor
Butch Molina
as Saloon Patron
Gergory Goossen
as Young Herod's Man
Mick Garris
as Young Herod's Man
Oliver Dear
as Young Herod's Man
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Critic Reviews for The Quick and the Dead

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (17)

  • The plot of this low-camp revenge thriller is little more than an excuse to line up one badass cowboy (or girl) opposite another and let the eyeball-to-eyeball fireworks fly.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • A deadpan black comedy, Sam Raimi's fast-paced movie looks and sounds like a Leone oater but more so.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Raimi is limited by a sketch mentality, which means his jokes tend to be over long before his films end. But his tastes for visual mischief and crazy, ill-advised homage can still make for sly, sporadic fun.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
  • What Raimi can't find is a center. He hankers for us to giggle at the brutal archetypes he's parodying and to warm to them, too. It won't wash, pardner.

    May 12, 2001
  • The whole film has tremendous visual style, and the frequent bursts of violence are delivered with a clever and often hilarious use of special effects.

    Apr 17, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Matt Ford
    Top Critic
  • Rarely dull, it is not noticeably compelling either, and as the derivative offshoot of a derivative genre, it inevitably runs out of energy well before any of its hotshots runs out of bullets.

    Feb 13, 2001 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Quick and the Dead

  • Mar 12, 2013
    At the height of Sharon Stone's popularity, she was featured in a woman led western with a stellar cast - Hackman, Crowe and DiCaprio. Unfortunately none could save a sinking ship. Now just a movie to watch on AMC when you have nothing else better to do.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2012
    I first saw Raimi's western on it's initial cinema release. It was one of those glorious summer nights in between college terms when two of my fellow geeks and I headed into town to catch the movie before a night of drunken revelry. I was giggling like a girl throughout but anytime I looked across at my friend Dermot, seated to my right, his face was expressionless. "How can he not be enjoying this?" I wondered. When the lights went up and we departed the theater I questioned his enjoyment. "So you weren't impressed?" I asked. "Are you kidding me?" he replied, "It was hilarious!". My other friend Ruairi, who had been sat the other side of Dermot looked at me in bewilderment and asked "Did you not see him laughing his ass off?" You see, I had completely forgotten something about Dermot. At that time he was in the middle of a bout of the obscure medical condition known as "Bell's Palsy", a bizarre ailment which renders one half of it's victim's face numb. While the left side of Dermot's face maintained a stony expression, his right side was laughing maniacally. The plot of "The Quick and the Dead" is borrowed from Anthony Mann's great Jimmy Stewart starring western "Winchester 73". The small town of Redemption is hosting a tournament for sharpshooters. Stone arrives in town looking for revenge on Hackman, the evil patriarch of the town and the man responsible for the death of her father. He's basically playing a more tongue in cheek riff on his "Unforgiven" character and seems to be having a great time in the role. Stone enters the competition and defeats various unshaven ruffians before meeting Hackman in the grand finale. The movie didn't fare too well at the time, neither critically nor commercially, but, as is want with cult movies, seems to have gained more respect over the years. Part of it's failure may be the casting of Stone. Coming off the back of performances in movies like "The Specialist" and "Sliver" she was the laughing stock of Hollywood. She may be the weak link here but there are plenty of great performances to make up for her seeming disinterest. Henriksen's part as a showboating gunfighter steals the show and there's a pre-Titanic DiCaprio playing a cocky Billy the Kid archetype. Crowe also stars in one of his first American appearances. If you attempted to assemble this cast now you'd be seriously out of pocket. As well as these star names there's a rogues gallery of great character actors like Pat Hingle, Mark Boone Junior and Tobin Bell. Now Raimi is just another Hollywood journeyman but back when this came along he was still known as the man behind the "Evil Dead" series. His camera has all the wild energy of those movies here and I remember this being a complaint from viewers who couldn't get on board with his visual style. At the end of the day this, like most westerns, won't appeal to the mainstream but fans of Raimi from before his dabbling in comic book adaptations and Kevin Costner baseball movies will eat it up.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2011
    Remember when Sharon Stone was big? remember that? seems along time ago doesn't it, also seems odd to think it too with her rather bland boring 80's look. Bit of a cult this one with a fantastic line up of character actors and stars including DiCaprio, Hackman, Keith David, Henriksen, Tobin Bell, Pat Hingle, Gary Sinise, Russell Crowe and Bruce Campbell in deleted scenes!! how do ya like dem apples Tex? The whole film is kinda like a videogame concept really or like some modern flicks which bring together a bunch of stars in a kind of 'beat em up'/'shoot em up' style tournament with silly corny characters having individual skills that set them apart from each other, this is the western version. Its a pretty fun flick to be sure but its also pretty corny at times with some dubious acting namely from Stone who really can't act, her blonde hair somehow gets her work. The characters are all quite unoriginal being a western, not much choice but the obvious, but admittedly your not sure who will die next. Hackman as usual is brilliant as the evil 'Herod' and you really wanna see him get his comeuppance haha he gives the film allot of edge which it badly needs as at times it does tend to feel a bit like a TV movie. Raimi does well to inject fuel into the western genre with this (for the time) and the colourful characters are fun to watch despite being cliched, homage to Sergio Leone? sort of, a good try but maybe a touch too glossy and not enough blood.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2011
    Anyone else notice that in the trailer, when Hackman's character Herod tells the towns people "If you live to see the dawn, it's because I allow it", they cut to a blind kid? Well, while that coincidence is not in the movie, there are still plenty of chuckle-worthy mistakes in the film itself to make up for it. The film suffers from some improvable dialogue, overdrawn points, overemphasized character roles, some overly exaggerated violence, some disturbances. Of course, the film's biggest flaw is its being inconsistent, especially when it comes to character focus. Still, the film is supported by sharp sound, fine production designs, solid effects towards the end, a deal of good lines and some compelling elements. Some of the greatest strengths include great action sequences, excellent cinematography, as well as notably solid performances by Hackman and Crowe. Of course, you know that we've got to give it up to my main man. Another extreme power behind this film is Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, I know it sounds like I'm just going out of my way to praise my all-time favorite actor, but I'm not. He is worth mentioning for his subtle accent change and charismatic atmosphere, as well as his ability to play on the many layers and subtle struggles of his character very believably. To top it all off, by the end of the film, he gets to do some of that jaw-droppingly masterful emotional work that he's couldn't possibly get enough fame for. Not to mention that when he's given a bad line, he's so quick, so sharp and so charming that it makes it more-often-than-not feel like a real knee-slapper. Seriously, if his ability to make the taunt "Do I hear clucking? Did somebody bring a chicken in here?" sound cool doesn't show that he's the definitive actor, then I can't figure out what will. Ultimately, Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead" lacks a consistent storyline, but still has enough dazzle, entertainment value and compellingness to serve as a thoroughly entertaining western action experience.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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