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 James Lee Barrett
Based on The Quick and the Dead
1973 novel
by Louis L'Amour
Starring Sam Elliott
Tom Conti
Kate Capshaw
Kenny Morrison
Matt Clark
Music by Steven Dorff
Cinematography Dick Bush
Edited by Jay Freund
Production
company
Distributed by HBO
Release date
  • February 28, 1987 (1987-02-28)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Quick and the Dead is a 1987 television film, 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.

Plot[edit]

Duncan McKaskel (Tom Conti) and his wife, Susanna (Kate Capshaw), a married couple who, along with their 12-year-old son, Tom (Kenny Morrison), are travelling West hoping to start a new life. They have left a cholera-stricken wagon train and, alone, arrive in a small dilapidated town. Here, they meet no-good Doc Shabbitt (Matt Clark) and ask for directions. He suggests they stay in a deserted local building, but McKaskel senses danger and they leave. Shabbit decides to steal two of their horses.

Con Vallian (Sam Elliott) is chasing a mixed-race Indian, the latest recruit to Shabbit's gang who, it transpires, Vallian has tracked for hundreds of miles for personal reasons. Vallian witnesses the homesteader's encounter with Shabbit and turns up at the McKaskel's wagon during supper. He advises them 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, who has secretly followed him, shoots some of the Shabbit gang. When Doc Shabbitt finds that his son, who was about to shoot McKaskel in the back, has been killed, he vows to pursue the family and seek revenge.

Susanna, Duncan, and Tom flee in their covered wagon, trying to keep ahead of their pursuers. Vallian keeps arriving to help protect them from Shabbitt and his gang. As time passes, Vallian manages to kill the bandits one by one. The remaining four keep up their pursuit. Vallian is obviously attracted to Susanna, and she to him. Following a moment of high drama, she succumbs to his advances and they share a passionate kiss. McKaskel never learns of the kiss, but tells Vallian, who is critical of his apparent pacifism, to back off several times. In an encounter with Indians, Susanna learns that her brother, an army officer, has likely been killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Out hunting, Vallian is ambushed and shot by the Indian. McKaskel removes the bullet, but Vallian runs a high fever and falls on the trail. He is rescued and nursed back to health by Susanna.

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, but Shabbitt and his roughriders show up for their revenge. A showdown ensues in which Vallian and the McKaskels manage to kill the gang. Vallian then bids farewell to the family and leaves to resume his solitary life.

Cast[edit]

  • 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 son[1] and is in his Gang)
  • Larry Sellers as Running Wolf
  • Bill Stedman as Bartender
  • Hardy Rawls as Joy the Blacksmith

Production[edit]

Filming locations include Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Wupatki National Monument and Sedona, Arizona.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]