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The Western as Modern Myth,
This review is from: The Quick and the Dead (DVD)
The Quick and the Dead has long been derided as a Sharon Stone star vehicle that flopped. However, there is much more to this film than meets the eye. Featuring an ensemble cast that includes, Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Sinise, Keith David, and Lance Henricksen, this film is a refreshing change from past takes on the western.
Stone plays a quiet and beautiful gunslinger, come out of the dusty plains to the town of Redemption, seeking revenge for the murder of her sheriff father years ago by the town dictator John Herrod, a dark and malevolent old gunfighter intent on maintaining his stranglehold on the frightened populace by staging a quick draw contest, the better to publically eliminate any opposition to his rule, and to squash any hope of salvation. Drawn into this dark contest are Herrod's former partner turned preacher Cort, a man whose tortured soul still seeks it's own salvation, and who Herrod seeks to pull back to Hell. Herrord's son, The Kid, enrolls in the contest as a way to seek fame and glory, and to prove himself to a aloof and uncaring father. Thrown into the mix are a number of colorful characters come to town to seek their own fortunes and the fireworks ensue. There is strong symbolism throughout this film, shades of death and rebirth, powerful archetypal figures in the charaters of Herrod, the powerful demonic ruler of the underworld, and Cort, the misguided but eventual redeemer and saviour.
This film boasts a strong and talented cast that give some wonderfully enjoyable performances. Sam Raimi does an incredible job once again of producing a stylishly directed tale of loss, redemtion, salvation, and revenge in this telling of the western as mdoern myth.