Quigley Down Under (1990)
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as Matthew Quigley
as Crazy Cora
as Elliott Marston
as Mayor Ashley Pitt
as Klaus Grimmelman
as Ticket Seller
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Tom Selleck's best Western has him fighting a racist landowner (Rickman) in Australia. There's loads of horseback riding, and shooting, and fighting and showdowns, the stuff and fabric of Westerns, sure, but what makes this work is the wonderful Laura San Giacomo as a woman traumatized by her past. And she steals a Western, that muy macho domain of lore, right in front of everyone.
The idea to take the typical Western plot (stranger gets hired by sadistic land owner and turns against him) and move it to Australia is quite good. Of course, the majority of the film does still feel like a Western, but still the Australian Outback and especially the Aboriginals do make for a very unique atmosphere throughout the film, even if the rest is taken from the pile of usual ingredients. Tom Selleck makes for a likable and charming leading man and we already know Alan Rickman can play wonderfully mean bad guys. It is the female lead with the tragic back story that sometimes feels a bit over the top, and some of the dialogs could have been a bit spicier. But the beautiful scenery, great shootouts and enthralling plot that does not shy away from maiming the innocent brings this film home. An entertaining and visually very pleasing adventure.
Quigley is an American sharpshooter moved to Australia. As in all Westerns, there is the good guy (Quigley) and the bad guy -- in this movie played by Alan Rickman. Their differences of opinion comes with the way Alan's character treats the local aborigines. As someone raised on Westerns featuring the American wild West, it is quite interesting to see a movie set in the Australian wilderness.
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