The Quick and the Dead (1987 film)

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The Quick and the Dead
The Quick and the Dead VideoCover.jpeg
DVD cover
Directed by Robert Day
Produced by Phillip Cates
Written by Louis L'Amour (novel)
James Lee Barrett
Starring Sam Elliott
Tom Conti
Kate Capshaw
Kenny Morrison
Matt Clark
Music by Steven Dorff
Cinematography Dick Bush
Edited by Jay Freund
Distributed by HBO
Release dates
  • February 28, 1987 (1987-02-28)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Quick and the Dead is a 1987 television movie, based on the 1973 novel by Louis L'Amour, directed by Robert Day and starring Sam Elliott, Tom Conti, Kate Capshaw, Kenny Morrison and Matt Clark.


Duncan McKaskel (Tom Conti) and his wife, Susanna (Kate Capshaw), a young married couple who, along with their son, Tom (Kenny Morrison), are travelling West hoping to start a new life, arrive in this town. They meet Doc Shabbitt and ask for directions. He politely suggests a place for them to stay, but when they leave, he decides to steal two of their horses.

Con Vallian suddenly arrives in the camp set up by Duncan and Susanna, telling them that their horses have been stolen. Against Susanna's advice, Duncan rides into town and tries to reclaim the horses. An intense gunfight ensues when Vallian secretly shoots some of the bandits. When Doc Shabbitt finds that his son was killed, he decides to pursue the family and seek revenge.

Susanna, Duncan, and Tom flee in their covered wagon, trying to keep ahead of the bandits. Vallian keeps arriving to help protect them from Shabbitt and his gang.

Vallian is obviously attracted to Susanna, and she to him. Eventually she succumbs to his crude advances and they have a passionate kiss together. McKaskel is never told his wife kissed him but tells Vallian to back off several times.

Eventually, they arrive at the small cabin which Susanna's brother had built for them on the spread where they intended to raise cattle. The family begins settling in the house before Shabbitt arrives once again. A showdown ensues in which all three manage to kill the gang. Vallian then bids farewell to the family and leaves.


  • Sam Elliott as Con Vallian
  • Tom Conti as Duncan McKaskel
  • Kate Capshaw as Susanna McKaskel
  • Kenny Morrison as Tom McKaskel
  • Matt Clark as Doc Shabbitt
  • Jerry Potter as Red Hayle (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • Patrick Kilpatrick as The Ute (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • Billy Streater as Ike Mantle (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • Del Shores as Purdy Mantle (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • Jeffrey Meyer as Butcher McCloud (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • R.L. Tolbert as Johnny Dobbs (Doc Shabbitt's Gang)
  • Kurt D. Lott as Lenny Shabitt (Doc Shabbitt's Brother and is in his Gang)
  • Larry Sellers as Running Wolf
  • Bill Stedman as Bartender
  • Hardy Rawls as Joy the Blacksmith


Filming locations include Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Wupatki National Monument and Sedona, Arizona.

External links[edit]