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Quigley Down Under (1990) WS R2 Retail DVD
Western, Adventure, Drama
Matthew Quigley is an American sharpshooter hired by an Australian cattle baron, Marston, to help him get rid of an infestation. Quigley, with his custom-made, experimental rifle and ammunition, and an uncanny ability to hit whatever he aims at, no matter how far away, goes to western Australia and finds out that the task he is hired to do is not killing dingoes, as he had believed, but something much more sinister. Quigley is repulsed by his task, and turns against Marston. The feud between the two takes several twists before culminating in a showdown. Along the way, Quigley becomes the protectormore… and companion of an American woman deranged by guilt over her tragic past. The two get thrown into the desert, hunted by Marston's men, hunted by dingoes, rescued by Aborigines, and sponsored by a nearby (as Australians measure it) town. The viewer also gets an interesting look at Aborigine culture along the way.Tom Selleck plays Matthew Quigley. This might be Selleck's best performance. He is stoic, soft-spoken, gentlemanly, and as stubbornly strong in his beliefs and values as John Wayne ever was. Laura San Giacomo gives a wonderful performance as the semi-deranged woman, who is simultaneously fleeing her past and unable to escape it. This is probably her best acting performance as well. Alan Rickman (Severus Snape of the Harry Potter films) is exquisitely evil and, at the same time, almost pathetic, as the snide, sneering, and domineering land/cattle baron, Marston, who idolizes and idealizes the American West and is so insecure that he cannot handle anyone disagreeing with him. The scenery is stunning, and the cinematography reminds me of "True Grit" where the struggles between men are juxtaposed against the vast, harsh, and stunning beauty of the Australian Outback. The music is truly stirring, and also reminds me of "True Grit". There are no slow spots in the story, although there are quieter interludes.Warning: There is considerable violence and brutality in this film. It pulls no punches in showing the evil of Marston and the extremes that Quigley must use to oppose Marston. This is an excellent (very) Western for adults, with some complexity and thinking thrown in. It gives Americans a chance to look at racism from a different perspective. I'm surprised sequels were not made (e.g., "Quigley in China", "Quigley in Brazil"), and hope that happens someday soon.
|Laura San Giacomo|
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- Quigley Down Under (1990) WS R2 Retail DVD
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