movieThemes: Alan Rickman
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Quigley Down Under (1990)

Cast: Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman, Laura San Giacomo, Chris Haywood, Ron Haddrick
Director: Simon Wincer
Producers: Stanley O'Toole, Alexandra Rose
Screenplay: John Hill
Cinematography: David Eggby
Music: Basil Poledouris
Approximate Running Time: 119 minutes
Rating:

Alan Rickman as Elliot MarstonCategory: Western/Action/Comedy

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.

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