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File:600full-the-quick-and-the-dead-poster 9689.jpg

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 was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio.


The film provides examples of:

  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Because I'm Jonesy: Ace claims the kill of Herod, bragging 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 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.
    • Lady sets aside her beef with Herod to challenge and kill a child molester.
    • Dog Kelly really hates his nickname, and those who bring up how he got it.
  • Best Served Cold
  • 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.
  • 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
    • Also an example of Asskicking Equals Authority, since Herod is nigh unbeatable in a straight up fight and is only blindsided and killed by someone who he thought was already dead.
  • Costume Porn: The outfits were all vintage period attire, weathered to look appropriately beaten up for everyone except Herod.
  • Death Seeker: Cort would rather have been hanged than be forced to return to his violent ways.
  • Duel to the Death: 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. 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
  • Foe Yay: Herod invites Lady over for a romantic candlelit dinner and offers to make her his mistress if she'll drop out of the dueling contest. Later, as he's about to fight Cort, he leans in really close and says, "I've always wanted to fight you, Cort. Ever since I first laid eyes on you. It was just this itch I had to scratch." Fighting, eh?
    • In the deleted scene, Lady and Cort before they duel each other.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Hair of Gold: The Kid.
  • Hat Damage: Lady, in the beginning scene. She switches her damaged hat out for Kelly's.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Noun and the Noun
  • 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 Headshots: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The Kid to Herod.
  • 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
  • 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.
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