Quigley Down Under (1990)
Selleck, Alan Rickman, Laura San Giacomo, Chris Haywood,
O'Toole, Alexandra Rose
The Plot: Elliott Marston (Alan Rickman) is an Australian
Rancher who wishes to 'clean up' the local population, so he hires
the best marksmen there is - Peter Quigley (Tom Selleck). After
journeying from America to Fremantle, Western Australia, and then
through the outback to Marston's station, Quigley doesn't like
the idea of killing the native people and doesn't hide it from
Marston. Ultimately, Marston dumps Quigley and Crazy Cora (Laura
San Giacomo) - a fellow traveler to Marston's station - in the
desert to die.
Comment: "Hey! I have an idea! Its a western! Wait!
It's got a great twist - its set in Australia!" And thus,
no doubt, began the idea for Quigley. Regrettably, not a lot of
research went into exactly what life in the outback is like (and
this reviewer is a well traveled person raised in Western Australia).
However, assuming most people have never been to Western Australia,
then you will have to endure this the ailing story without all
the distractions of flaw after flaw in the setting...(Check out
nitpicks for Quigley Down under at the nitpickers
website for a summary of the worst errors - the best one being
the sun rising in the west...).
The films premise, of the American Quigley teaming up with a
mad woman and befriending the aborigines while seeking to stop
Marston, gets lost in the spectacular scenery of the Australian
outback (even if nothing in this film is authentic Western Australia).
The deeply weathered and oxidized Australian rocks, contrast with
the deep blue sky and light green spinifex to make visual beauty.
Tom Selleck comes across as Magnum PI (his famous TV character
of the 1980's) transferred from Hawaii to the desert. Laura San
Giacomo's character, Crazy Cora is annoyingly inconsistent; usually
just loopy but occasionally intelligent. If she truly is 'Crazy
Cora'; then she should have just played a mad woman, and that
would have been fine. To that extent, San Giacomo probably gives
the best performance of anyone in the film. Unfortunately the
poorly thought-out story ruins this impression... Alan Rickman
is once again displays his fine acting abilities by portraying
the role of villain in yet another light. This time, Rickman's
Marston is a common man who only looks intelligent when placed
next to his hired uneducated thugs. But in reality, Marston is
just another racist commoner like the men he surrounds himself
with. It is a credit to Rickman that he effortlessly conveys this
throughout the film
I couldn't really get past the appalling storyline and flaws
in the backdrop. However, Quigley Down Under is a good little
film to watch if you are seeking mindless entertainment.