Posse Member: Let's go, he ain't hittin' nothin'!
Posse Member: Well, they ain't out of our jurisdiction 'til they reach the flattop!Silverado
is a 1985 Western
film that's something of a Reconstruction
of the genre. Released in the theaters July of that year, it was directed by Lawrence Kasdan
and starred many well-known (or soon to be well-known) actors, including Kevin Kline
, Danny Glover
, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner
, Jeff Goldblum
, Brian Dennehy and John Cleese
The basic plot: In 1880, four men travel together to the city of Silverado. They come across many dangers before they finally engage the "bad guys" and bring peace and equality back to the city.
This film contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: Cobb.
- And Your Little Dog Too: Lampshaded when corrupt town sheriff Cobb indicates to Paden that he'll harm the dwarf female bartender if Paden moves against him, even though Cobb acknowledges she has nothing whatsoever to do with their dispute. He does however know Paden (whom he used to work with when they were robbers) got caught while protecting a wounded dog he'd previously claimed to despise, so figures the threat will make Paden back off. It works at first, but the bartender figures out what's happened and talks Paden into fighting Cobb anyway.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Cobb and McKendrick.
- Book Ends: The first and last words Paden and Cobb say to each other onscreen.
- Catch Phrase: Paden has "Bad luck." Mal has "That ain't right." Jake's half Catch Phrase half Running Gag "All I did was kiss a girl."
- Chase Scene: A horseback high-speed chase between Emmitt and the Big Bad during the climax.
- Demoted to Extra: Almost all of Rosanna Arquette's scenes now reside on the Columbia cuttingroom floor thus failing to explain how she goes from Emmitt to Paden in the course of the movie.
- Dirty Cop: Cobb as the sheriff.
- Clueless Deputy: See Smart People Play Chess for an example of how this is used.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The outlaw Dawson is a hard man to fool; if it weren't for the element of surprise, things could've gone very badly for Emmitt on The Infiltration.
Dawson: I think there's only a couple of guys up there, and this asshole's one of them!
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly Paden, Emmitt, and Stella, but everyone gets in a few.
Paden: They just jumped you out of the blue, huh?
Emmitt: I had to get up anyway.
- Determined Widow: When introduced, Hannah's a Determined Homesteader's Wife, but he's Too Dumb to Live. An early love interest for Paden, until he meets Stella in the eponymous town.
- She later gets ship teased with Emmitt. But she's with Paden in his final (and the movie's penultimate) scene.
- The Drifter: Paden
- Even Evil Has Standards: McKendrick won't let one of his men kill a boy, even though the boy saw their faces. They opt to kidnap him instead.
- Everything's Better with Cows: Yep, nothing like a stampede to disrupt the bad guys while you move in for the kill.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: As a posse is chasing the leads into some hills, several warning shots come from Danny Glover's character, who is hiding somewhere out of sight. As his shots ricochet off nearby rocks and cacti, a deputy says: "Let's go, he ain't hittin' nothin'". This prompts the sheriff, played brilliantly by John Cleese, to retort: "You idiot, he's hit everything he's aimed at". [Cue the sheriff's hat getting knocked off by the next shot.]
- Friendly Enemy: Paden and Cobb.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: In your standard bar fight.
- The Gunslinger: All the main characters are gunslingers:
- Paden (Type D) outdraws Cobb in the final battle
- Emmitt (Type A) shoot needles off cactuses
- Mal (Type B) hits everything he aims at with his rifles.
- Jake (Type D and Type A) shoots two different guys at the same time, in different directions.
- Guns Akimbo: The character of Jake (portrayed by Kevin Costner) is styled in broad strokes. Lightning draws, blind trick shots, horse riding skills and firing two guns at the same time.
- Horseback Heroism: A Big Damn Heroes moment combined with a horseback Power Walk towards the Big Bad's ranch at the climax.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Mal is astonishingly accurate with his Henry rifle. Also Emmitt, who picks off cactus needles at several yards.
- Inthe Back: Averted when, after Jake hid in the bar when the bad guys were after him, he sneaks out behind them as they are walking down the two sides while he standing on the corner. He yells, "Hey" and they both spin around on him, just in time for him to plug both of them at the same time.
- The Infiltration: Part of a hastily-concocted plan to retrieve a stolen chest of settlers' valuables from some bandits who had themselves posed as wagon train guides during the trip to the eponymous town. If it weren't for Mal, it would have ended... badly:
Dawson: You bring a posse to my best hideout, and you ask me if I mind?! Mister, I don't know any of those names. You're about to die.
- It Has Been an Honor: Emmitt's "see you around" right before the climactic charge into Silverado.
- Just Got Out of Jail: Emmitt just served five years in prison for killing a man in self defense.
- Miss Kitty: Stella, "The 'Midnight Star' herself."
- Nice Hat: When Paden is introduced, he is lamenting the loss of his black hat with a pretty silver band on it.
- Noodle Incident: When Cobb tells the story of how Paden's reaction to Tyree's Kick the Dog moment (actually, he shot the dog, but that's another trope) got him arrested, Paden's reply has to be a joke. Either way, how did he get out of jail?
Paden: It evened out in the end, though. They locked me up. The dog sprung me.
- No One Could Survive That: Three times. To wit:
- When Paden is introduced, he has been left to die of exposure in the middle of the desert by a group of bandits. None of them are happy to see him.
- Immediately prior to the climax, some mooks get between Emmitt and any chance of a reload while he's practicing his sharpshooting, and trample him repeatedly with horses. Mal treats him for his injuries.
- Oh, Crap: When Paden encounters the bandits from his backstory, he points out whatever it is of his that they currently have on them. None of them say "so what?" presumably because they left him to die of exposure in the desert.
Paden: You're wearing my hat.
[Bandit slowly reaches for his holster]
Paden: Your fingers better not be ticklin' my ivory-handled Colt.
- Professional Gambler: Slick. "Scuse me, Sheriff, I'm a gambler, lookin' to run an honest game. Who would I talk to about that?" Paden also talks in gambling metaphors and mutters about bad luck.
- Ramp Jump: Emmitt does one on horseback towards the end of the Chase Scene, and knocks the Big Bad from his horse.
- Rancher: The Big Bad is a Corrupt Corporate Executive version, leading to conflict between him and Mal's dad.
- Retired Gunfighter: Emmitt
- Retired Outlaw: Paden
Emmitt: [after Cobb shoots a man for embezzling] You used to ride with that guy?
- There are hints at the other three having been less than law abiding in the past.
- Emmitt and Jake both seem fairly well versed in jail-breaks.
- Some of the things Mal says about his time in Chicago (not the nicest of places in the 1880's) suggest that he might have been involved in some dubious activities.
- All four are quite skilled at gunplay and show little hesitation towards killing, although they tend to avoid killing the mostly innocent (compare the jail-break to the rest of the movie).
- The Sheriff: Langston as the (mostly) honest variety, Cobb as the Corrupt Hick variety.
- Langston is honest, but extremely strict; and not above changing the law to save his own skin, "Today my jurisdiction ends here."
- Showdown at High Noon: Cobb and Paden, although the time of day is never mentioned.
- Stock British Characters: John Cleese plays a British Bobby Sheriff in a small frontier town.
- Smart People Play Chess: Sheriff Langston plays chess with himself, showing that he is intelligent and Surrounded by Idiots. He plays with a deputy sitting across the board from him, but turns the board around after each move to play both sides.
- Smug Snake: "Slick," played by Jeff Goldblum.
- What Happened To The
Mouse Dog? Paden is asked repeatedly by his old riding buddies what became of the injured dog that drove him out of banditry. When Stella asks, he says simply, "She left me," jokingly making it sound like the end of a romance, and continuing to evade the question.
- The Wild West: A reconstruction of classic frontier America during the Wild West era.
- Young Gun: Jake