The Quick and the Dead movie quiz

By: Nathan Chandler

"The Quick and the Dead" is a Western that was released in 1995. Who's the star of the movie?

In a twist, the star of this particular Western is a woman -- Sharon Stone. Stone, of course, gained huge fame for her role in the psychothriller "Basic Instinct."

Gene Hackman also appears in the movie. What character does he play?

Hackman plays the role of John Herod, a man who uses force and intimidation to stay in power in a small Western town.

Stone plays a woman named Ellen, who is mostly known simply as what?

Stone is Ellen, "The Lady," and although her good looks may be disarming, she's definitely packing heat, and she'll hurt you if necessary.

The movie blends Western action and suspense. Who directed the film?

Sam Raimi directed the movie, which had a number of big stars in its cast. Raimi also directed Hollywood projects like "Spider-Man" and "The Gift."

The story unfolds in a small Western town in the 1880s. What's the name of the town?

No one really found redemption in the Old West, they just dried up and blew away. But in Redemption, The Lady is looking for some sort of new path in life.

Which actor plays the role of "The Kid"?

Leonardo DiCaprio, still just a kid at this point of his career, plays the role of "The Kid," who believes that he's the son of the evil-minded John Herod.

John Herod isn't just a gunslinger. What other role does he have in the small town?

Herod is the town's vicious mayor. His mean spirit means that he uses the threat of violence to control the townspeople.

The move was made in the middle of the '90s. What was its budget?

This was no cheap, throwaway Western. It had the big stars and a big budget (about $32 million) that meant the studio was taking a gamble on its investment.

True or false: The movie was a box-office bomb.

Well, it was only $32 million, right? We'll get 'em next time. The movie tanked at the box office, earning back only about half of its budget.

The Lady rides into Redemption and almost immediately saves someone's life. Whose life did she save?

Cort is being hanged by Herod and his men. She uses her pistol to shoot the rope, dropping Cort safely to the ground.

Ellen has an ulterior motive for her arrival in Redemption. Why is she there?

As it turns out, John Herod killed her father. The Lady has no intention of letting this unjust action stand.

What role did Simon Moore have in the making of the film?

Simon Moore was the film's writer, and he knew from the outset that he wanted the lead character to be a female. Moore is a British screenplay writer and producer who also worked on "Traffic."

Stone wasn't just the lead actor. She also performed what job?

Stone also had a minor role as producer, a fact that gave her more than a little leverage in terms of casting. She was taken with Russell Crowe and also badly wanted Leonardo DiCaprio in the cast.

John Herod is the town's evil mayor. He decides to hold what sort of contest?

Herod decides that it would be a swell time to have a quick-draw gunslinging contest in Redemption. If you're too slow -- you're either wounded or you die.

True or false: The cast trained extensively with a gun handling coach before production started.

For months before shooting started, the cast learned to handle guns like real gunslingers. A highly-paid shooter named Thell Reed helped each cast member hone their technique.

Simon Moore was fired from his job as writer. Then what happened?

Sony Pictures fired Moore, hoping that his replacement would cobble together a more standard Western. Then they fired him, too… and rehired Moore to finish the job.

Real-life Old West gunfights were exceedingly rare. How many gunfights are there in the movie?

Compared with real life, the movie is practically a war zone. There are 11 total gunfights, and some of them are long, drawn-out affairs.

How was Sam Raimi picked to direct the movie?

Stone had a ton of influence in the making of this film. She wanted Raimi to direct, in large part because she liked his work with "Army of Darkness."

Cort is a prominent resident of Redemption. What occupation does he have?

Cort is the local preacher. He's decided to live a better life after being a lackey for John Herod.

Why did Stone have to pay DiCaprio's salary out of her own pocket?

Sony Pictures wasn’t too keen on DiCaprio in the role. But Stone insisted and said she'd simply pay his salary herself.

The movie has an authentic Western setting. Where did most of the shooting take place?

Most of the shooting occurred at Old Tucson Studios in Arizona. The studio has been used for numerous other Western films.

Why does Ellen kill a local man named Eugene Dred?

Dred is indeed dreadful -- he sexually assaulted a young girl. With tears in her eyes, The Lady shoots Dred between the legs, and eventually puts him down like a rabid dog.

Originally, the movie was supposed to include a love scene with Ellen and which character?

Stone and Crowe shot a sex scene for the movie. Later, it didn't really seem to fit with the rest of the story, so the scene was cut from the film.

As the gunfighting contest drags on, only two fighters are left, including Ellen and who else?

Only two fighters remain -- Ellen and Cort -- the two characters who are clearly drawn to each other. They refuse to fight and Herod threatens to have both of them killed.

Leonardo DiCaprio has a large role in this film. He'd just become famous for a role in which movie?

In 1995, DiCaprio's career was new and bright. He'd just earned an Oscar nod for his role as Arnie Grape in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," starring Johnny Depp.

How did Alan Silvestri contribute to the film?

Alan Silvestri created the movie's music. He's famous for his top-notch work on films such as "Back to the Future," "Forrest Gump," and "The Avengers."

For the movie, Stone wore which very authentic piece of Western clothing?

The leather jacket she wore was completely authentic -- it was more than a century old and on loan from an Old West museum.

Why did the production crew struggle to get enough period clothing for the cast?

There was a huge boom in Westerns in the '90s, and studios were already using many of the period items in circulation. So the crew had to scramble to find enough clothes for the actors and extras.

True or false: Actor Bruce Campbell makes several cameo appearances in the movie.

Campbell, who was a childhood friend of director Sam Raimi, did make a couple of quick cameo appearances. However, these were cut from the final film.

In the end, The Lady kills John Herod. How does she finish him?

Ellen shoots Herod in the chest, but he doesn't quite die. So, for good measure, she puts a bit of lead through one of his eyes, too.

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Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

It's rare for women to take the lead role in Western-themed movies, but in "The Quick and the Dead" it's Sharon Stone who rides into town, brandishing a rusty old pistol. How much do you know about this sleek homage to spaghetti Westerns?

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