Film: The Quick And The Dead
The Quick and the Dead
is a 1995 Western
revolving around a Quick Draw
shooting contest that attracts a variety of competitors, some of whom have personal reasons for taking a shot at the reigning champion.
The film is directed by Sam Raimi
and stars Sharon Stone
, Gene Hackman
, Russell Crowe
and Leonardo DiCaprio
This film provides examples of:
- The Ace: "Ace" Hanlon cultivates this image of himself. However, he's really a complete phony. Herod is the true "genuine article".
- Action Girl: Lady.
- All-Star Cast: Admittedly, this was before Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio became famous.
- Leo seems to subvert this trope here (and any other film released between 1993 and 1997). While he certainly wasn't in a state of prominence equivalent to his post-Titanic years, the fact that he earned an Oscar nomination for What's Eating Gilbert Grape? likely enhanced his clout somewhat.
- Apathetic Citizens: When they're not throwing rocks at a priest, they're pretending not to notice when a young girl gets raped.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: The bullets range from blowing a gory hole through a man's head large enough for a view of the other shooter, to a neat hole that lets a single ray of sunlight through.
- Arms Dealer: The Kid. The blind kid also has a collection of ammo for just about any gun. It's hinted that Herod makes most of his money this way.
- Arrow Cam: Well, bulletcam, but this is Sam Raimi...
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Herod is nigh unbeatable in a straight up gunfight and is only blindsided and killed by someone who he thought was already dead.
- Audible Sharpness: Lady's father's badge, whenever it is thrown.
- The Atoner: Cort, though he is fairly certain that his quest is in vain, due to the fact that he killed a priest at Herod's command.
- Badass Boast: Ace is fond of these. Too bad he can't back any of them up.
- Spotted Horse stands up on a table in the saloon and shows off the many scars from gunshots he has taken over the years. He's able to back it up too, as Cort isn't able to kill him with the first shot.
- Battle in the Rain: The Lady's showdown with Eugene Dred takes place during a downpour, with the Lady and Eugene charging at each other, guns blazing.
- Because I'm Jonesy: Ace brags about how he killed the Terrence brothers. Herod calls him out because he was the one who really killed them, and shoots Ace in the heart.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Herod always looks very dapper while he's gunning someone down.
- Badass Preacher: Cort
- Berserk Button:
- Lady despises Herod with the flaming passion of a thousand suns, and nearly draws down on him several times before she gets the chance to face him for real.
- She also goes for blood when she finds out that Katie, the teenage girl who idolized her, was raped by Eugene Dred.
- Dog Kelly really hates his nickname, and those who bring up how he got it.
- Best Served Cold
- Bling Bling Bang: Everybody in the tournament carries a customised gun of some description with nickle finishes and/or fancy engravings. Except for Cort, who is given an old, worn out pistol, described as the cheapest gun in the shop.
- A Bloody Mess
- Blown Across the Room
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Lady's entire motivation in entering the competition is to kill Herod, but Herod has no idea who she is despite her obvious discomfort—and later, loathing. His telling response to one of her barbs: "Do you have some particular problem with me?"
- Subverted when Lady throws her father's badge into the dirt before the final battle, and Herod appears to recognize it.
- Captain Ethnic: Spotted Horse and Sweden.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Lady is about to shoot Herod In the Back while he's drinking at the bar when a hand falls on her shoulder. She turns and sees the mad prospector from the teaser glaring at her.
"I challenge you."
- Children Forced To Kill: Had the main character, as a young girl, attempt to shoot a hanging rope in two to save her father, but she missed the rope and hit him square in the forehead instead.
- Corrupt Hick: Herod
- Costume Porn: The outfits were all vintage period attire, weathered to look appropriately beaten up for everyone except Herod.
- Crippling The Competition: Ratsy breaks Cort's right hand before his gunfight with Herod, forcing him to fight with his left hand.
- Death Seeker: Cort would rather have been hanged than be forced to return to his violent ways.
- Duel to the Death/There Can Be Only One: When Herod changes the rules of the competition, to weed out the gunfighter the townsfolk hired to take him down.
- Eat The Dog: Dog Kelly was forced to eat his beloved dog or die of starvation. As mentioned in Berserk Button above, it is not advisable to bring this up around him.
- Elite Mooks: Herod's nameless bodyguards have black hats, black dusters, and 15-round repeating rifles.
- Ensemble Cast: Everyone gets roughly an equal amount of time in the limelight.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Herod sticks to the rules when he changes them. Upon requiring a kill in every duel to win, he warns the Kid multiple times to back out with no strings attached. While Herod shoots the Kid himself, he appears regretful.
- Herod also hates liars and cowards.
- Everybody Calls Him Barkeep: Lady
- Fastest Gun in the West: Herod
- Freudian Excuse
Herod: My father was a judge. That surprises you. He used to make my mother and me watch people being hanged. One day, he said there was too much bad in this world. He took a bullet, put it in his gun, and spun the chamber. Then he took it in turns, clicking it at each of us, until he blew the back of his head off with the final click. Understand this: There is nothing on this earth that frightens me now. Nothing.
- The Gambler: Ace
- Gentleman Adventurer: Cantrell claims to be one.
- Give Me a Sword: Cort has to call desperately for a bullet after his first shot fails to kill Spotted Horse. The blind kid finally tosses him one.
- The Gunfighter Wannabe: The Kid seems like this, but is actually quite competent. The real wannabe is Ace.
- The Gunslinger: Most of the cast.
- Gun Porn: One scene in particular, in the Kid's gun shop, where he shows off custom models of the Colt Single Action Army, the Remington 1875, and the Smith & Wesson Model 3. More info on the IMFDB
- Guns Akimbo
- Gun Twirling: In a rather nice touch, the main actors were all taught to do it themselves—which was probably easier to film, considering the massive amount of gunfights shown. Herod's minions do this with rifles quite a lot, in a way that should really eject an unused bullet every time.
- Hand Cannon: There are many on display, most are variations on the Single Action Army revolver.
- Hat Damage: Lady, in the beginning scene. She switches her damaged hat out for Kelly's.
- Hey, It's That Guy! Scars is Bobby 'Elvis' Munson in Sons Of Anarchy though with his hair and beard shaved, barely recognisable.
- I Have No Son: It's left ambiguous as to whether the Kid is actually Herod's son or not, given that no one else backs it up.
- Immune to Bullets: Spotted Horse claims he's this, He's not, but it takes several to kill him.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Cort, Herod, The Kid, The Lady, and a few others.
- I Own This Town: Herod
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Herod is more offended at Cort telling the Lady to back out of the tournament—rather than how, immediately after, that they argue over which one of them will kill him.
- Kirk Summation: The Kid is fond of these, sprinkled with a heavy dose of bragging, before each of his fights.
A gunfight is in the head. Not the hands. The only reason that he's invincible is because you all think he is. Now, he might have been the best five years ago, but time catches up with every man. He's just a little bit slower than he used to be. And as for me... would you believe it? I just reached my peak.
- Literary Allusion Title: The title comes from the King James version of The Bible (where "quick" was meant in the then-current sense of "alive").
- Made of Iron: Spotted Horse.
- Make an Example of Them: What Herod says he's going to do to Cantrell when it's their turn to duel.
- Meaningful Name: Herod is obviously evil. Cort eventually becomes the marshall of Redemption. The Lady's real name Ellen means "light".
- Miles Gloriosus: Ace Hanlon is a moderately skilled gunslinger who specialises in trick shots. Despite his constant boasting, he doesn't run from a fight. However this is due to his fatal mistake of thinking he won't encounter a gunfighter who is quicker on the draw than him. Nor does he expect to run into the man who really killed the Terrence brothers, for which Ace has been taking credit for. He quickly gets Feet of Clay when confronted by a true ace.
- Moment Of Silence: Though it's not immediately after the death of the Kid, a full minute goes by without background music, dialogue, or cheering, before the duel between Cort and the Lady.
- Ms. Fanservice: It wouldn't be a true Sharon Stone vehicle without being able to see her breasts (twice if you included the deleted sex scene).
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Herod.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Lady and Herod have a very civil dinner with each other. Lady's pointing a gun at Herod under the table. He's just faking her out with the lid of a metal matchbox.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now
- Not Just A Tournament: The gunfighting tournament is primarily a way for the Big Bad to eliminate any threats to himself and intimidate any of the locals who might try to oppose him. He knows that there is an assassin gunning for him and that the Kid is itching to take him on. The tournament is a trap for them to face him in the open where he can gun them down in a duel. It is implied that if anyone proves too much of a threat, his Mooks will gun that person down.
- Not So Different: Herod is dead-set on convincing Cort that they're cut from the same cloth.
- In an aversion, Herod is also dead-set on convincing the Kid that they're nothing alike, possibly because he's loathe to acknowledge that he's The Kid's father.
- The Noun and the Noun: Well, more like "The Adjective and the Adjective."
- Oh Crap: Ace gets an enormous one.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Lady whose real name is Ellen, and the Kid whose name is Fee, but only mentioned once.
- Pet the Dog: Upon adding a rule which outright requires shooting to kill, Herod warns the Kid to back out of the contest, without any dishonor whatsoever, multiple times. And, while the Kid dies by Herod's own gun, Herod does appear to regret it.
- Pocket Protector: The Lady keeps her father's badge on her chest, which—along with a bottle of red ink for fake blood—keeps her from dying when Cort shoots her in their duel.
- Preacher Man: Cort
- Pretty Little Head Shots: MASSIVELY averted with Cantrell's death. Herod's demise is something of a variation of the trope played straight.
- Production Posse: It's tradition that Bruce Campbell has a cameo in a Raimi movie. In this case, he shows up in a deleted scene involving a pimp literally having his ass kicked out of town.
- Prospector: The opening scene has the Lady being shot off her horse by a mad prospector thinking she's after his gold. He just hits her hat, and the Lady chains him to a cartwheel instead of killing him. The prospector drags the cartwheel all the way into town to challenge her to a duel.
- Rasputinian Death: Spotted Horse.
- Rape as Drama: Lady wants to back out of the tournament when the rules were changed to require a kill in order to win—until her opponent in the second round raped a young girl who idolized her.
- Recycled In Space: A Spaghetti Western Martial-Arts Tournament.
- Reformed Criminal: Cort. Unfortunately, he is forced into the gunfighting tournament after Herod burns down his mission.
- Retired Gunfighter: Cort, again.
- Right in Front of Me: When Lady first arrives in town, she goes to the saloon to look for a place to stay. Since she's standing right behind the bartender while he's fetching things from a high shelf, he makes the mistake of thinking that she wants to work at the local brothel. Unlike others in this film whose words put them into a bad situation, he gets knocked down, but is otherwise not harmed.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lady's reaction to her young friend's rape.
- Quick Draw: All over the place. Justified in that it is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Sacrificial Lion: The Kid gets a lot of face time, but in the end he's gut-shot and left to die in the street, simply to show that Herod's so evil he would do anything to finish a gunfight including kill his own son.
- Sadistic Choice: Herod is fond of giving people these.
- Sexy Priest: Cort.
- Shaky POV Cam: Goes without saying.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: When the Kid dies, everything becomes that much more dramatic.
- Shoot the Rope: Done twice. Lady does it to save Cort when Herod's men try to hang him in the saloon. Later, in a flashback, Herod is about to hang Lady's father, but says he'll let him go if Lady (a little girl at the time) can shoot the rope. She hits her father instead.
- Showdown at High Noon: And every hour there after. Subverted in that the best gunfighters actually listen for the click that happens just before the clock strikes, to begin their draw.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: The Kid and Herod engage in one.
Herod: The reverend here needs a gun.
The Kid:There's plenty of other places in town to buy a gun.
Herod: Nowhere as cheap.
The Kid: I wouldn't know a place that's cheap enough for you.
Herod: You know your mouth gets faster every day. Pity your hands are so slow.
- Spaghetti Western: Made by Americans, yes. But its corrupt, wind-swept and decaying wasteland punctuated with a mournful Ennio Morricone inspired soundtrack hits the genre's nail right on the head.
- Statuesque Stunner: Lady is much taller than the other women, and doesn't even wear heels.
- The Trope Kid: The Kid, naturally.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback
- Undertaker: The town has an undertaker who can tell the height of newcomers just by looking at them. While they're on horseback.
- Unkempt Beauty: Lady.
- Unorthodox Reload: Herod's guards have a habit of spin-cocking their Winchesters.
- “Well Done Son” Guy: The Kid to Herod, because Herod suspects him of being the bastard son of his unfaithful wife.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Cort plays this straight when a mob of children gang up on him and start beating him with planks, but the Lady subverts this and sends them all running to their dad.
- The Western
- X Meets Y: Enter the Dragon meets A Fistful of Dollars
- You Have Failed Me: Poor Ratsy...
- You Killed My Father: Although, technically, Herod forced the Lady to kill her own father. He also forced Cort to kill a priest.
- Young Gun: The Kid.