Today's inaugural Featured Movie will kick off with a Western-themed week, beginning with this gem of 90s Western films: Quigley Down Under.
Tom Selleck stars as frontier sharpshooter Matthew Quigley, who is hired by a well-to-do landowner in western Australia by the name of Eliot Marston, played by Alan Rickman, for one job and one job only: wholesale slaughter of Australian Aborigines.
Read more below the fold.
Marston reveals to Quigley that he had been plucked from the Wyoming country to the land Down Under to pacify any Aborigine which is found on Marston's land, which is quite a lot of real estate, due to a personal vendetta. Because the Aborigines have learned to stay out of range of conventional rifles, Marston is hoping that Quigley's long-range marksmanship skills will stop their raids against his station. Quigley doesn't take kindly to this news and escapes Marston's station, after a botched murder attempt strands him and his new friend, a woman known only as Crazy Cora (played by Laura San Giacomo) in the middle of the outback. Along the way, they befriend a tribe of the very same Aborigines that Marston had hired Quigley to kill, and encounter numerous skirmishes with Marston's minions. Eventually, Marston and Quigley have a classic Old West-style noontime duel, with Marston thinking he has the upper hand because of Quigley's apparent lack of pistol skills. He is proven wrong when Quigley uses the 1860 Army revolver provided him to gun down Marston and his two cronies in the blink of an eye.
Released in 1990, this Western was well-received, with Tom Selleck delivering another great performance. Alan Rickman keeps his villainous side, and Laura San Giacomo provides comic relief, as well as some interesting backstory as to how she came to be in Australia, and becoming Selleck's love interest. It's a traditional Western in a different continent, with characters you can believe and well-written dialogue. There is just enough gunplay to keep you in your seat, but not so overdone as to pull you out of the movie. And plus, the extreme long-range shots that Selleck pulls off are just friggin' sweet.
And if you know me, then you know what I'm going to segue into right now. Yes, gentle reader, it's all about the guns. Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing, of Big Timber, Montana, created the 1874 Sharps rifle that is Quigley's quintessential tool throughout most of the film. The specs of the rifle are as follows:
- 34" barrel
- Chambered in .45-110
- 1,200-yard Vernier tang sight
- Double set triggers
- Oil kit storage in the stock
And finally, some memorable quotes:
- "I said I never had much use for one. I didn't say I didn't know how to use one." -Matthew Quigley
- "I received letters from all over the world... you had a way with words." -Eliot Marston
- "If we get a log cabin, we can get glass windows." -Crazy Cora
Hopefully you guys liked this review. There will be two more Western movies this week for you, so just sit tight and check back every day.