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Quigley Down Under (1990)

Westerns movie directed by Simon Wincer

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One Of The Best Modern Westerns

  • Feb 12, 2005
Although Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner are probably considered the top modern Western moviemakers, Tom Selleck can't be ignored as perhaps the most active of the bunch. He has taken a film genre that many consider a has-been and made it a staple of cable television. Just turn on TNT or TBS on the weekend and you're guaranteed to see at least one Western on with Selleck in it. He has become a staple of the genre, as well as a top spokesman for the cowboy way(not to mention the NRA, huh Rosie O'Donnell?)

Selleck made this gem for the big screen about fifteen years earlier than this writing. It stands as one of the last major Westerns released on the big screen that actually found some success. It isn't as realistic as "Open Range," isn't as funny like "Silverado," and doesn't stand up to greats like "Tombstone" and "Unforgiven." What it does manage to do is give the viewer a great tale of the really wild, waaaay southwest(at least of Texas)about a sharpshooting Wyoming cowboy hired to hunt dingos on a ranch in Australia. When he arrives down under, he finds out the dingos are actually Aborigines who seem to be in the way of Alan Rickman's progress on his ranch. Rickman plays the wicked ranch baron to a tee. He is supported by a wonderful cast of bad guys who range from Irish to Scotch in background. Selleck's character, Matthew Quigley, decides that he has to help the Aborigines gain their freedom from Rickman. Along the way he picks up a "not all there" prostitute(Laura San Giacomo) who eventually becomes his love interest. The tale is quite captivating, and the acting is superb.

The action in the film is wonderful to watch. Quigley's first interaction with his co-workers at the dock is rather John Wayne-like, but that only adds to the film. The scenery is both beautiful and dangerous.

In all, this western will fit in perfectly with any other title in the genre. Although I think Selleck has made better Westerns, "Monte Walsh" comes to mind, this film is very good and I promise that it won't let you down. If you're in the mood for a good Western set in the wilds of Australia, "Quigley Down Under" is the best choice.

Highly recommended.

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April 07, 2011
I haven't seen this yet but I know it's popular. I may have to see it since I know of a lot of the actors in it.
More Quigley Down Under (1990) reviews
review by . June 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Alan Rickman's Rabbit Proof Fence won't keep out Tom Selleck
Quigley Down Under could have easily turned into nothing more then a macho, gung ho exercise in violence and masculinity.  Don't worry it has that but with some good casting choices and great story it does rise above that a bit.      Taking place in the late 19th Century, Matthew Quigley a Wyoming cowboy answers an ad to travel to Western Australia for a rich land owner, Elliot Marston who needs a sharp shooter.  Quigley is more then ready for the job with his modified …
Quick Tip by . June 01, 2011
American sharpshooter travels to Australia to take a job for a wealthy land owner only to realize he's been hired to kill off the Aborigines on the land. Fun, adventerous and a great cast.
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #5
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


Tom Selleck plays Matthew Quigley, the cowboy hero in this traditional Western, set very untraditionally in Australia. After some macho silliness in the opening minutes, the story settles into a surprisingly evocative tale of Quigley, a sharpshooter who had come to the country to work for a land baron (Alan Rickman) and who is on the mend after a brutal attack. In the company of a woman (Laura San Giacomo) abused by that same baron, Quigley gets his strength and his shooting skills back while healing in the midst of aboriginal people as well as some stunning Australian settings. Director Simon Wincer (Phar Lap) brings a lot of integrity to this rare horse opera from contemporary Hollywood.--Tom Keogh
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Director: Simon Wincer
Screen Writer: John Hill
DVD Release Date: September 4, 2001
Runtime: 119 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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