23 April 2006 | padutchland-1
Both Men and Women will like this western, and for one reason.
Yep, the reason is the man who wrote it - Louis L'Amour. Most of his stories, although about tough men, always had women in them - and they were strong women. Women with common sense who knew how to get things done. In the Quick and the Dead it was Susanna McKaskel played by Kate Capshaw. Sam Elliott had it right when he said she was a handsome woman. Kate Capshaw was indeed beautiful in this film. She reminded me of a clean-scrubbed, Debbie Boone type "real" woman! At least in this movie, who knows what is in anyone's home life. In the story, she is traveling by covered wagon with her husband and son to a new log cabin home in the wilderness. They had set off alone due to disease sweeping the wagon train. They are beset by a group of "bad guys" who follow them relentlessly, thinking they can steal their horses, goods and one of the outlaws wants Kate. Of course they never figured on Sam Elliott as Con Vallian mixing in to help the pilgrims. I'm not going to give the details of the story away, except to say it was well done and one of those movies that you "know", that's the way it really was in the old West - not fancy dressed gunslingers parading up and down the town street. The western landscape was beautifully photographed. This is a Conagher type movie that is down to earth with hard living and real drama. As for the actors of course Sam Elliott is always great, with his smartest move marrying that pretty Katharine Ross in real life. He fits in somewhere between John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in the resourceful, tough guy roles. And he has that deep voice that allows no argument. He has so many great movies to his name like Gettysburg, We Were Soldiers, Conagher, Road House and Shadow Riders. He's a top hand at acting. Tom Conti as Duncan the husband was a bit of a disappointment for me. Not that there was anything wrong with his acting, he is good. I just think he was miscast and looked too much like a soft modern man instead of a disillusioned ex soldier from the Civil War taking on the extremely dangerous trek to the West. Then again that was the part he was playing, and if it hadn't been for that lean, mean mountain man helping, he and his family would have been dead. Kate Capshaw whose real last name is Nail, got her name from first husband Robert Capshaw. Then she married Steven Spielberg, her director in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Spielberg may be way out in left field politically, but he sure knows how to choose a good woman for a wife. Unfortunately, Kate's career has been up and down but don't think she has to worry with the Spielberg bucks. I like Kate's style and wish hubby Steven would get her more work back into the movies. The McKaskel's young son in the movie is played by Kenny Morrison. He was no Brandon De Wilde in Shane, but did fairly well for the part given him. He continues to work in film including some CSI TV work. He is just coming into his prime so who knows. The actor playing the half-breed Indian tracker was Patrick Kilpatrick is certainly a good actor. However, I'd have liked to see a real American Indian play the part, but I guess they couldn't find a Graham Greene. I have to mention the leader of the outlaws, Matt Clark. This guy has been in so many movies and TV shows his face is like a member of the family. I've never seen him do a bad acting job - he's a professional. I especially remember his great supporting acting in Emperor of the North Pole as the yard worker bullied by Earnest Borgnine, a part in The Outlaw Josey Wales and a host of others. I have no idea why another movie in 1995, took the same title as this The Quick and the Dead. It's a silly excuse for a Western fantasy starring Sharon Stone, and who knows why a good actor like Gene Hackman would associate himself with it. Stone doesn't surprise me as she uses her sexuality to get roles then pretends she is morally superior in real life. Be sure not to confuse the two movies - the Louis L'Amour/Sam Elliott 1987 version is the real Western. If you like westerns with a truer to life flavor, and if you like Louis L'Amour, this movie will appeal to you. It is well worth watching.