I guess you’re thinking ‘What the heck was that?’ Because this version has absolutely nothing to do with the Russell Crowe movie we’re celebrating tomorrow (and getting a head-start on).
Okay, they’re both Westerns. They’re both called The Quick and the Dead. That’s about it.
The 1987 film was based on a novel by the immortal Louis L’Amour starred Sam Elliott (who has been in his fair share of Westerns), Kate Capshaw (better known as Mrs. Steven Spielberg and the screeching, whiny heroine of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), and Tom Conti (best known for the play Whose Life Is It Anyway), The Quick and the Dead is the story of a family moving West who find protection from a stranger.
But back to the subject at hand:
On the tenth of February 1995, with an estimated budget of $35 million, Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead was released in the United States. The opening was to lukewarm reviews and – going up against the likes of Billy Madison and The Brady Bunch Movie – went on to become a box office failure. This was even with the star power of Academy Award winner Gene Hackman and Basic Instinct‘s Sharon Stone.
The film also featured a young actor named Leonardo DiCaprio, who had received critical acclaim and a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Sony had been so skeptical of the budding actor – despite the praise he’d received – Sharon Stone paid DiCaprio’s salary out of her own pocket!
It was the last motion picture of the great African-American actor Woodrow “Woody” Strode, who had been directed by the likes of Cecil B. DeMille and John Ford. The movie is dedicated to his memory.
And then there was another actor who left Sony nervous: an Australian named Russell Crowe. Russell WHO?
More later, but here’s a trailer from the “real” The Quick and the Dead. Happy twelfth birthday!