24 user 3 critic

The Quick and the Dead (1987)

Not Rated | | Western | TV Movie 28 February 1987
A mysterious stranger rides into a homesteading family's life when they are attacked by a ruthless gang.


Robert Day


Louis L'Amour (novel), James Lee Barrett (teleplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Conagher (TV Movie 1991)
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mrs. Evie Teale is struggling to stay alive while raising her two children alone on a remote homestead. Conn Conagher is an honest, hardworking cowboy. Their lives are intertwined as they ... See full summary »

Director: Reynaldo Villalobos
Stars: Sam Elliott, Katharine Ross, Barry Corbin
The Sacketts (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After the Civil War, Tennessee brothers Orrin and Tyrel Sackett are herding cattle out West while Tell Sackett is prospecting for gold in the hills.

Stars: Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, Jeff Osterhage
The Shadow Riders (TV Movie 1982)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the Civil War, two brothers demobilized from the army return home and must rescue certain relatives who have been kidnapped by a band of renegade Confederates.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Dominique Dunne
Monte Walsh (TV Movie 2003)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Selleck, Isabella Rossellini, Keith Carradine
Last Stand at Saber River (TV Movie 1997)
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the Civil War, a returning Confederate veteran must reclaim his Arizona land and homestead from the Yankee carpetbaggers who illegally occupy it.

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Tom Selleck, Suzy Amis, Rachel Duncan
Crossfire Trail (TV Movie 2001)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rafe Covington promises a dying friend that he'll watch over the man's wife and ranch after he's gone. When Rafe gets to his friend's ranch, he finds that Barkow, the local power in town, ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Selleck, Virginia Madsen, Wilford Brimley
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1944 a patrol of American soldiers, after having been driven off their observation post by German troops, tries to make it back through enemy-occupied territory to the safety of their own lines with a partisan girls, and with the Germans in hot pursuit.

Director: Robert Totten
Stars: Victor French, Majel Barrett, Louis Massad
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story of Robert Elliot Burns, the prisoner who, after being sentenced to a Georgia chain gang, attempted two daring escapes.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Val Kilmer, Charles Durning, Sônia Braga
You Know My Name (TV Movie 1999)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fact-based biography of early film Producer and Director Bill Tilghman (Sam Elliott). Tilghman was a real-life cowboy, who rode with the Earps and faced down countless bad guys. When he ... See full summary »

Director: John Kent Harrison
Stars: Sam Elliott, Arliss Howard, Carolyn McCormick
The Terry Fox Story (TV Movie 1983)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story about the Canadian cancer amputee hero who decided to run across Canada on only one leg to raise money for cancer research.

Director: Ralph L. Thomas
Stars: Eric Fryer, Robert Duvall, Chris Makepeace
The School for Vampires (TV Series 2006)
Animation | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Oskar, a young vampire who's afraid of blood and has a crush on a mortal girl, causes mischief with his friends at a school for vampires run by the mysterious Count Alarich.

Stars: Marianne Graffam, Harvey Friedman, Shaun Lawton
Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe


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


Duncan and Susanna McKaskel are a young married couple travelling to the West with their son, hoping to start a new life. Along the way, they stop in a small town where they meet a gang of bandits led by Doc Shabitt. After Duncan unintentionally angers the gang, he and Susanna flee the town, but Shabitt leads his men in pursuit of revenge. A mysterious stranger by the name of Con Vallian soon begins helping the family as they try to find a new home and protects them from Shabitt's gang. Written by John Hitchcock

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

28 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Quick and the Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Flagstaff, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shot in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona, where The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1977) was also filmed. See more »


When Susanna, showing pictures to Con and speaking in 1876, says her brother is at Fort Kearny in the Bighorn Mountains, that Fort, Phil Kearny in Wyoming, had been abandoned for eight years due to the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. Since her brother was under Custer, in the 7th Cavalry, he would have been stationed at Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory in 1876. See more »


Con Vallian: You shoulda made sure, Injun.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hackneyed plot with mature insights and surprises
29 April 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1987 and directed by Robert Day, "The Quick and the Dead" is a made-for-HBO Western starring Sam Elliott as Con Vallian, a mysterious stranger who helps a family heading West with their conflict with a group of ne'er-do-wells. Vallian's desire is piqued by the wife (Kate Capshaw) and the interest seems mutual. Will the family make it to the Bighorn Mountains alive-and-well or will violence and adultery destroy them?

If you don't remember Kate Capshaw, she was the blond in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and later married director Steven Spielberg.

In any event, I was impressed with this little-known Western. Although made for cable, it's based on a Louis L'Armour book and is actually better than some theatrically released Westerns. There are some flaws, like the kid's questionable acting skills and the fact that the film was noticeably shot in Northern Arizona rather than Eastern Wyoming, but -- all things considered -- this is a solid realistic Western in the tradition of "Shane" and "Will Penny." Don't expect the mythic spaghetti tone of 1995's big-budget Western of the same name.

Highlights include the breathtaking cinematography, a believable and mature tone, Kate's beauty, a hackneyed plot redeemed by quality characters (like Tom Conti as the settler husband/father), insightful drama & plot surprises and, of course, Sam Elliott as the quintessential Westerner. Really, Elliott is as good or – more likely – better than any Western icon you care to name (Wayne, Eastwood, Cooper, Scott, Stewart, Costner, etc.).

There are mature and insightful themes, like the undeniable connection of Vallian and Susanna. Most of us can relate: You stumble across someone of the opposite sex and instinctively sense a palpable connection, some kind of profound mutual fascination, yet—for whatever reason—pursuing an intimate relationship is not an option. In an entire lifetime you will only experience a handful such 'connections,' or less. These exchanges are permanent because they are so potent they are forever burned into one's psyche.

"The Quick and the Dead" may not be a top-notch Western like "Dances With Wolves" or "The Outlaw Josey Wales," but it's certainly a quality Western and well worth your time.

THE MOVIE RUNS 91 minutes.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed