Montreal Film Journal

THE QUICK AND THE DEAD

Sharon Stone stars in this very original western. She plays a sexy cowgirl looking for revenge in a small town named Redemption. Stone arrives there on her horse. Trouble is in every corner of this town. She goes to the saloon where she registers to participate in a duel tournament. This tournament is for money, but many people have other motivations to participate. This is a perfect plot for a western. It's original enough, while staying familiar. The script involves many stories of revenge, family problems and rivalry between the participants. The characters are all full of attitude. Stone's character is like Clint Eastwood with breasts, she's really cool! Then you have all those arrogant cow-boys, and some weird Indian.

This film is wonderfully directed by Sam Raimi, who makes every shot pop up. From the gripping opening scene to the weird finale, every scene is full of Raimi's great visual style. It's like a Sergio Leone movie on speed. You've got all the great camerawork, but also a lot of humor and more action. The cast is great: Gene Hackman is good as usual as the mean Sheriff, pretty much the character he played in "Unforgiven", Leonardo DiCaprio plays a cocky young gunslinger and Russel Crowe is a brooding priest/gunslinger. This is one exciting and totally satisfying movie. Sam Raimi strikes again! I'm really eager to see his next movie. Hey, it has been a while since he last directed, hasn't it? He's truly one of America's hidden gems