All the best birthdays are in February, you know, Washington, Lincoln and Kirkham. Richard got to select the options for the MOTM Poll but the LAMB in it’s collective wisdom got to choose which film would be the final subject. This month we get a Sharon Stone western from 1995. While Stone is the featured star, the movie has a few other actors in it that really become the focus of the discussion.
“The Quick and the Dead” is an homage to the Spaghetti Western genre, particularly the films of Sergio Leone, and as a bonus, it’s directed by the guy who brought us the “Evil Dead” films as well as the original “Spider-man” trilogy, Sam Rami. Like many of the gunfights that take place in the movie, the film is filled with trick shots, the kind of visual legerdemain you might expect from a guy who gave us a fish eye POV of evil in the woods. There is also a good dose of visual humor in the film as well.
The real acting attraction in the film is Gene Hackman, as the villainous John Herod, basically the king of the town of Redemption and the target of Stone’s vengeance plot. Todd Liebenow, Jess Manzo, Howard Casner and Nick Rehak, do their best to contain Richard’s fan adoration of Hackman, and they usually accomplish that with a diversionary discussion of one of the other actors in the film.
Twelve year old Leonardo DiCaprio shows up in the movie (actually he was twenty when it was made, he just looks 12), as the potential bastard son of Hackman, and he want to shoot Herod for completely different reason. The story revolves around a quickdraw contest, run by the evil Herod in the town that he holds under his thumb. Sixteen gunfighters show up to enter the brackets and compete for a big cash reward if they win, losers get a hole in the ground. Mysterious strangers and well known shootists line up to take a crack at the prize and knock Hackman off his perch.
Making his American Film debut as a reluctant participant in the contest is future Gladiator star Russell Crowe, who performs as well in this arena as he did in the ancient Coliseum. Jess finds that she has to reassess Mr. Crowe as a result of visiting his 90s film roles, and we talk a little bit about how Leo went from Tiger Beat to Oscar bait.
You’d have to have a hole in your head not to want to listen to our Rants about the Oscar show or our raves about “Archive 81”, “Flee”, or “Death on the Nile”. There is also a thrilling game featuring the man with no name, to finish off this episode. Are you Quick Enough?
Fistful of Spaghetti 1:27:45
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