This next one I remember enjoying because my sister’s pseudo boyfriend (Varsity Quarterback, singer, 6 foot hunk–I wanted to be him) watched it with our family and he let us know ahead of time that it was a really good movie as he had already seen it.
So…did I like this movie because it was good, or because of the experience I had watching it?
Does it matter?
I like the damn movie.
It’s a movie that has a story that is completely based around a gimmick. It’s set in Australia and a very rich rancher, Sheriff of Nottingham (obviously I’m talking about the late great Alan Rickman-RIP), pays A-LOT-O-MONEY to a protagonist that has a very special set of skills…eat your heart out Liam.
Ok, really he has only one skill and that is that Matt has an 1874 Sharps rifle that can accurately murder “game” from 1200+ yards away.
The movie is a simple good vs. evil story with a really cool gimmick that the writers and directors were very good at showcasing. I feel like before they decided to write this movie, someone had gone to a gun show where they saw the Sharps in action and they were like, I’m going to make a movie about this and BOOM…”Quigley Down Under” was born.
We love Tom Selleck in our family. We watched “Magnum P. I.” We saw “High Road to China,” “Lassiter,” “Runaway,” “Three Men and a Baby,” (and it’s sequel) “Her Alibi,” and “An Innocent Man.” “Quigley Down Under” is easily my favorite.
A lot of it starts with the writing. Matt Quigley is true to character with a lot of interesting sayings and great “cowboy speak” lines:
“We already run the misfits outta our country. We sent ’em back to England.”
“I don’t know where we’re goin’, but there’s no sense bein’ late.”
“God created all men. Sam Colt made them equal.”
“I don’t eat things that are still movin’.”
Matt is a different man than all of the men he will be facing in opposition at the plantation when he finds out that the real reason he is there is to kill Aborigines.
He is beaten along with the “whore with a heart of gold” character, played by an underrated Laura San Giacomo, as Crazy Cora–they are to be left in the Outback to die.
Of course that doesn’t happen and of course we have a build up that leads Matt back to the plantation for the final show down.
Is it simple? Sure. It makes for a great adventure and has a sound climax and conclusion outside of your expectations the first time you see it.
I remember I had a theory about what would happen in the final showdown. The film is very good at making Matt look invincible when he is conscious and has his Sharps in his possession. He is vulnerable throughout the movie without it.
The night before the showdown, Rickman is seen emptying his six-shooter into the air–without purpose. I proposed that he’d be out of bullets during the shoot out, giving Matt an advantage with a weapon “he never had much use for.” I remember turning and looking at my sister’s pseudo boyfriend as he was sitting next to her with a HUGE grin on his face as he acknowledged what I had said.
Know that I was very wrong…and thankful that I was.