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Quigley Down Under (1990) Online

Quigley Down Under (1990) Online
Original Title :
Quigley Down Under
Genre :
Movie / Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance / Western
Year :
Directror :
Simon Wincer
Cast :
Tom Selleck,Laura San Giacomo,Alan Rickman
Writer :
John Hill
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 59min
Rating :
Quigley Down Under (1990) Online

Sharpshooter Matt Quigley is hired from America by an Australian rancher so he can shoot aborigines at a distance. Quigley takes exception to this and leaves. The rancher tries to kill him for refusing, and Quigley escapes into the brush with a woman he rescued from some of the rancher's men, and are helped by aborigines. Quigley returns the help, before going on to destroy all his enemies.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck Tom Selleck - Matthew Quigley
Laura San Giacomo Laura San Giacomo - Crazy Cora
Alan Rickman Alan Rickman - Elliott Marston
Chris Haywood Chris Haywood - Major Ashley-Pitt
Ron Haddrick Ron Haddrick - Grimmelman
Tony Bonner Tony Bonner - Dobkin
Jerome Ehlers Jerome Ehlers - Coogan
Conor McDermottroe Conor McDermottroe - Hobb
Roger Ward Roger Ward - Brophy
Ben Mendelsohn Ben Mendelsohn - O'Flynn
Steve Dodd Steve Dodd - Kunkurra
Karen Davitt Karen Davitt - Slattern
Kylie Foster Kylie Foster - Slattern
William Zappa William Zappa - Reilly
Jonathan Sweet Jonathan Sweet - Sergeant Thomas

Sharps Rifles are now so inseparably related to this film that they are commonly nicknamed "Quigley guns." Sales for such weapons increased by over 1000% following the film's release, especially in the United States and Australia, and continue through 2013.

Three Sharps rifles were built for the film: one for shooting, one as a club in the fight scenes, and a back-up weapon in case one was damaged. Tom Selleck requested to keep the 3 rifles built for the film. He had two of them reconditioned to remove scratches and straighten and tighten some of the moving parts. Years later, he signed and auctioned 2 of them as part of a fundraiser for the National Rifle Association, of which he is a national board member. Selleck donated the third rifle, with its fringed leather scabbard, and belt knife to the Brownell's Family Museum.

The film was to have been Steve McQueen's next film after The Hunter (1980), but he fell ill shortly after making that, so the project was scrapped. It was revived several times throughout the 1980s, with various stars in mind for the lead. Harrison Ford was offered the lead role, but turned it down because he considered it too visibly similar to Indiana Jones. The lead was first offered to Tom Selleck in 1985. He had to turn it down because of his commitment to Частный детектив Магнум (1980). When the series concluded in 1988, he quickly asked if the role was still available, and accepted it. The producers spent another year gathering a reasonable budget.

Quigley's ability to shoot accurately to over 1200 yards (1.09 kilometers), with iron sights, is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In 1874, during the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, in northern Texas, William Dixon used a .50-110 Sharps to shoot a Native American off his horse from 1,538 yards (1.4 kilometers). Such a heavy bullet propelled by black powder would have a trajectory similar to that of an arrow fired from 100 yards, striking its target at a 30-degree down angle. Dixon claimed his shot was pure luck.

Matthew Quigley's gun is a replica model 1874 Sharps Buffalo Rifle, built by Shiloh Rifles of Montana. They are chambered in .45-110, which is a .45 caliber bullet propelled by 110 grains of black powder. This round was the most accurate and powerful in the world until the advent of smokeless gunpowders.

While discussing the Colt army revolver during the dinner in Marston's house, Quigley quips that "God made all men. They say Sam Colt made them equal". This is a paraphrase of the post-civil war slogan "Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal".

Alan Rickman decided to take the part because filming was taking place in Australia. He always wanted to visit Australia.

One of a number of early career movie roles where English actor Alan Rickman portrayed a villain after his breakthrough movie role as one in Крепкий орешек (1988). Rickman's other villainous film rogues from this period include the pictures Quigley Down Under (1990) and Робин Гуд: Принц воров (1991).

The four words that Matthew Quigley used to answer the "long-distance shooting" newspaper wanted advertisement read, "M. Quigley 900 yards".

Screenwriter John Hill first began writing the film's screenplay in 1978.

The picture was produced by the then just newly formed Pathe Group under the control of Alan Ladd Jr. whose passion for the project assisted the picture to get financed and green-lit.

In the opening scene, the real name of the ship is the Alma Doepel which was launched in 1903. A three-masted topsail schooner and is one of the oldest such ships surviving.

In real life, Quigley would have picked up his spent bullet shells and saved them for reloading later, since replacing them would have been impossible.

Both Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood were considered for the lead role of Matthew Quigley which in the end was cast with Tom Selleck.

The name of the country outback station in Australia was "Marston Waters" named after the family surname of Elliott Marston (Alan Rickman).

The evil British officer in this movie is Major Ashley-Pitt. The first Ashley-Pitt to appear in the movies was David McCallum's character in The Great Escape. That Ashley-Pitt was a Royal Navy aviator, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. A major and Lt. Cmdr. are equivalent ranks.

First of three collaborations, all westerns, between Tom Selleck director Simon Wincer. The other two, Монти Уолш (2003) and Под перекрестным огнем (2001), were television productions.

This Australian movie western had three top-billed stars none of whom were Australian. Tom Selleck is from the USA, Alan Rickman is English, and Laura San Giacomo is American but of Italian origin.

The character Grimmelman is portrayed by actor Ron Haddrick whose real life wife's maiden name is Margaret Lorraine Quigley.

The movie's closing credits open with their first title card clearly stating: "No animals were killed or injured during the making of this film".

Harrison Ford was offered the lead role but turned it down. This is a reversal of fortunes as Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indiana Jones but had to turn it down due to filming Magnum P.I.

The name of the Australian outback pub in Fremantle, Western Australia was the "Black Swan Hotel".

The opening theme music is eerily similar to the opening theme music of The Sons of Katie Elder (1965).

The name of the clipper ship was the "Miss Liberty" of the Port of San Francisco.

In the scene where Quigley demonstrates the rifle, he mentions that the bullet is paper patched, which could sound like some Hollywood Mumbo Jumbo. But is an actual thing. A thin layer of paper is placed around the bullet to improve the precision.

According to show-business trade-paper 'Variety', the "script was written for 'Steve McQueen' in the 1970s, then developed in 1984, Rick Rosenthal to helm; project was reactivated in 1986 with Lewis Gilbert scheduled to direct". In the end, the movie starred Tom Selleck and was directed by Simon Wincer.

The opening title card reads, "Fremantle, Western Australia".

First of two 1990s Australian cinema movie westerns directed by Australian director Simon Wincer. The other movies were Джек - молния (1994) and Quigley Down Under (1990). Wincer had previously directed the American television western mini-series Одинокий голубь (1989) and later directed Под перекрестным огнем (2001) the latter which also starred Tom Selleck.

According to the Wikipedia website, during the mid-1980s [around 1986] "the film was almost set up at Warner Bros with Lewis Gilbert as director but it fell over during pre-production".

One of two movies from 1990 with "Down Under" in the title. The other was Rescuers Down Under (1990).

The movie "marks [the] debut film under the Pathe-MGM/UA banner" according to the TCMDb movie database website.

Snipers for the US Navy SEALs call a shot that takes out two people simultaneously a 'Quigley' after the similar occurrence in this movie.

The opening scene where Quigley disembarks was filmed at the pier in Portarlington and the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village which is located in Warrnambool, both in Victoria.

The nickname that Crazy Cora (Laura San Giacomo) had for Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) was "Roy" - the name of her estranged husband.

User reviews



Matthew Quigley, a stoic rifleman arrives in Australia in the 1860s a world far away from his home Wyoming… He is answering an ad from a British landowner who will use his talents as an expert marksman…

But things don't go according to plan and, at supper, and after we hear these words, "Nobody knocks me out of my own house," Elliott Marston becomes his arch enemy…

Quigley's arrival sets the tone of the motion picture perfectly, coming into a fight with an evil plantation owner before he has even set foot on Australian soil where some genuinely funny moments happened especially when he met Crazy Cora right off the ship…

After a showy display of his talents (continuously hitting a bucket at about a thousand yards) Quigley discovers to his horror that he has been hired for sniping Aborigines encouraged by the local authorities…

Tom Selleck is excellent in the role of a cowboy, exuding natural charm, cool spirit and dignity… He perfectly suited to the role of the finest sharp shooter hero with a moral… There is a moment when he teaches local Aborigines a secret, and it hits the correct note...

Alan Rickman is perfect as Marston, the arrogant, clever bad baron who thinks himself the fastest six-gun…

Laura San Giacomo believes Quigley to be a man she once loved and whose name is Roy… She has her own tragic past as obviously her romance between Quigley and herself… San Giacomo proves to be a lovable heroine…

Director Simon Wincer creates outstanding scenery with the desolate Australian landscapes...


Underseen western which , after a few theatrical misfires (though I also enjoyed him in High Road to China), gave Tom Selleck a role which suited him perfectly. A role which, as a previous comment stated, John Wayne would have been right at home in. It can be argued that this is just a politically correct revisionist western wherein the American witnesses injustices on aborginals in a foreign land and is outraged to action despite the utter mistreatment of native Indians during this same period back home. Some may say it is so, but I prefer to think of Quigley as a man who came to Australia BECAUSE of the injustices he's known back home and is looking perhaps for something better. Selleck represents, as did John Wayne, the decent and noble side of America, and there is no doubt that this is a man given to stand up and do the right thing no matter where he is, Wyoming or Fremantle.

This aside, Quigley succeeds most as a light romance amidst the traditional shoot em up scenario. In fact, the love story is what drives it along most and provides it's most special moments. During a heartfelt speech beside the campfire, Cora relates how heartbreaking it was for her to have her Husband Roy, who blamed her for the death of their child, put her on a ship to Australia and walk away from her life not looking back. This is what matters to her most, as it matters to Quigley that she call him by his right name or he won't share his bed. When presented with their first parting, Quigley leaves Cora and the Aborigine baby in the cave and though assuring her he will return for her he rides away, without stopping to look back.

This is mere oversight on his part and it leads to the most moving scene in the film, one which never fails to bring a tear to my eye - when they are again about to be parted she asks him "I'll never see you again, Will I". He can't say because of what's ahead for him, but he puts his hand on her cheek and says "You sure look pretty in the morning sun". As he mounts his horse and rides off Cora watches after him wondering, as we are wondering, if he'll stop and look back. And then he does. It's one of the most thoughtful and emotionally fleeting moments in movie history. Too bad it hasn't been seen and appreciated by more people.

The musical score, by Basil Poledouris, is also a treat and it hits all the right notes. His score for Conan the Barbarian is an acknowledged classic but here I think he goes a step better. It truly is a nice piece of music to hear amid the action and quieter moments.

Quigley is a very good modern day western. It won't fail to entertain and it must surely be a film which both men and women can enjoy together. If they made more of these kinds of movies I definitely wouldn't complain.


This movie isn't the best Western ever made, but it's a solid creative effort that brings out many of that genre's most appealing aspects. It has romance, gunplay, wonderful scenery, and, most importantly, a solid hero and a solid villain. Westerns are, by nature, a morality tale. There's a Good Guy and a Bad Guy, and in the end, the hero prevails through a combination of courage, fair play, and ingenuity. And that's exactly what happens here.

The three principal characters are Quigley, an American sharpshooter hired by an Australian rancher, Marsden, and Crazy Cora, a woman shipped off to Australia by her ex-husband after accidentally suffocating her baby to keep him quiet while hiding from raiding Comanches. Quigley (Tom Selleck) is an expert long range marksman who has been recruited ostensibly to shoot dingoes, but, as he finds out after his first night with Mr. Marsden (Alan Rickman), his real targets are to be local Aboriginies. This leads to a rather violent falling out between the two men, which sets up the basic conflict in the movie. Marsden wants Quigley dead, and has numerous ranchhands to get the job done. Quigley has the shooting skills that allow him to pick off Marden's men pretty much at will. An uncredited "star" of the film is Quigley's Sharp's .45 calibre rifle, a gun so accurate it can kill a man from nearly a mile away.

Anyway, the movie proceeds in a more or less conventional fashion. After a big fistfight at Marsden's ranchhouse, Quigley and Cora are left for dead in the Australian outback. They are rescued by a band of Aboriginies, then quickly return the favor by picking off Marsden's men as they try to massacre more Aboriginies. Along the way, Quigley slowly falls for Cora. She may be nuts, but she's also charming, resourceful, brave, and beautiful.

In the end, Marsden gets what he deserves. Cora regains her sanity. And Quigley gets both the villain and the girl. Like I said, it's a Western in the classic tradition - well told and with great visuals.



Unlike most "modern" westerns, this one is unburdened by the usual Hollywood flaws: overproduction, overacting and a massive cast of big names demanding their share of "face time." Selleck & San Giacomo do a masterful job of creating honest, three-dimensional characters facing a truly evil antagonist -- a part played with fiendish perfection by the superb Alan Rickman. Even the minor characters on both sides are well-cast and well-acted. Two other "stars" of this exceptionally fine film are Quigley's Sharps rifle and the musical score. The unusual, catchy theme will stick in your mind, and some of the dialogue will pass into screen legend, such as Quigley's remark about the Colt revolvers: "I said I didn't have much use for them. I never said I didn't know how to use one." To be sure, the writers take a few necessary liberties with the plot to make everything work, as in any movie, but it does work well. My wife, who is a gun enthusiast but not a big fan of westerns, has watched "Quigley" 7 or 8 times and never tires of it. There are a few films that will bear watching that often: The Usual Suspects, All About Eve, High Noon, Casablanca -- to name a few. Quigley is one of these.


I've been watching Westerns for some 60 years and Quigley Down Under rates in my top 5 along with Unforgiven, The Wild Bunch, The Outlaw Jose Wales and Once Upon a Time in the West. I've watched it 6 times and haven't tired of it yet. The musical score is superb, great story line and beautiful cinematography. Excellent performances by Selleck, Giacomo and Rickman.

Insofar as Quigley's marksmanship goes, there is nothing in the movie rifle shots that are not realistic as far as I'm concerned. During the Civil War, a Whitworth rifle with a telescopic sight had an effective range of 1800 yards and the exploits of Truman "California Joe" Head with his Sharps were lengendary in his own time. Even the Civil War Enfield was fairly accurate to 1100 yards. Given a Sharps with a custom load to match the rifle, it's a matter of familiarity, eyesight (preferably 20/10 or better), practice and reading the wind, the latter of which was shown prior to Quigley's demonstration to Marston and is by far the biggest variable in long range rifle shots. In short, anyone who is an excellent rifle or pistol shot is unbelievable. Check out Bob Munden's .45 Colt demonstrations. Blink and you've missed some of single or double shot feats. Literally!

That's not to say that Quigley is not a mythical character in the movie but no more so than Wild Bill Hickcok, Wyatt Earp or Bat Masterson came to be, usually for only one incident in their lives.

This is a 5 star Western if there ever was one. Can't recommend it too highly.


I'm not really sure if this falls in the "Western" genre, but I think it's pretty much the closest genre it would fit into. I've never really been into westerns, but there is something about this one. It's a really good movie!

Tom Selleck does a great job as Matthew Quigley. There really isn't enough I can say about Alan Rickman! He always plays the perfect antagonist! Maybe it's his voice, maybe it's the way he acts, I'm not sure, but all I know is that he is a great actor! Laura San Giacomo does a good job in the film too. Her character was a very strange one put in the film, but there is a reason for her strangeness. She does a fine job in the film too.

The story in this film is really quite simple and nothing terribly complicated, but it's really good and has a good moral to it. If you're the type of person that likes Westerns, then I would hope you would like this one too. Not only is it a western, but it's got a good amount of comedy in it too. Anyhow, I would definitely recommend seeing this film if you haven't already. I hope that you like the film as much as I do. Thanks for reading,



Those who haven't grown up with Wayne or Eastwood should take a fair glance at QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER, an excellent recreation of vintage cowboy movies with brilliant qualities that make a traditional standard among others. With modern styling, this will grow on you if Westerns haven't been your brand. It deserves high merits for top-notch costuming, make-up, and scenery that gets all dusty and brown. Acting is extremely well done, considering the late stage it's in. "Crazy Cora" is a cheerful rendition to lady-pokes everywhere in Western cinema, and one who keeps calling "Roy" all the time, plus Tom Selleck shows us what a true cowboy should be like. The orchestrated music will stick to your mind in years to come. One familiar old problem that Westerns would normally have is being more like the rest of them, but then again, this film provides testimony that there is great need of reviving the Western genre, which would still be hard to appease today. Highly recommended!


It will surprise many Americans but Australia had a "wild west" like America. One can read up on Ned Kelly, for example. And they had a gold rush at Ballarat, in the state of Victoria (near Melbourne, I believe).

Their Outback, which starts just a few miles in from the coast, is the most desolate and hostile terrain one can encounter. And I have been to some deserts around the world. Kudos to the Aborigines for actually knowing how to survive in such a place.

So, add this with a hero (Selleck) who comes from Wyoming answering a somewhat vague ad from our urbane villain (Alan Rickman) who is a station (ranch) owner in the outback. Rickman wants a sharpshooter for a job unspecified. When Selleck learns the true purpose for his hiring he decides to right some wrongs.

It's a classic western of the solitary hero who stands up to evil and defeats it. The Sharps rifle is one of the stars, too.

And to some of our reviewers who think this shooting is a bit unbelievable, there are a handful of people who can shoot some long distances with just iron sights.

I have seen them.

If you like westerns you will like Quigley.


The first western I ever saw, QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER is my favorite. It's a great homage to the classic westerns of the past, with all the best elements combined in a fun movie about one man's fight against an evil land baron who (unknown to the hero) wanted to hire him to kill the local Aborigines, not the dingos as the hero originally thought. Tom Selleck ads another top-notch western to his resume, long with THE SACKETTS, THE SHADOW RIDERS, and the more-recent CROSSFIRE TRAIL. Alan Rickman is great as the bad guy, one of those characters you love to hate, and the beautiful Laura San Giacomo is a perfect western girl, whose (thankfully) is not the kind who becomes kidnapped and must be rescued. In fact, she spends a good deal of the film away from the action, caring for an Aborigine baby who was the only survivor of a tribe massacre earlier in the film. Director Simon Wincer proves what a genius he is at making westerns. He gets the most from everything, from the costumes to the performances, from the sweeping panoramic shots of the Australian outback to Basil Poledouris's lush score. And of course, no review of QUIGLEY would be complete without mentioning that awesome Sharps rifle. I cringe every time that wonderful rifle is thrown to the ground by Rickman. Glad to see that a DVD release is on the way, though it appears to be sorely lacking in the bonus features department. Anybody who likes westerns should check this film out. It's pretty family-friendly, too, with no harsh swearing and violence that never gets bloody or glorified.


I was weaned on westerns and so after a while you get numb by the vast amount of bad ones done over the years.I always thought a `twist'gives a western something more,a `hook'if you will.This IS such a flick.It is also fair to say I am NOT a huge Tom Selleck fan.That being said I think this has become one of my top 5 favorite westerns ever and top 10 movies of all time.The hook is the Outback and this twist is right on target.The Aborigine are the Indians and we have the evil land owner in Alan Rickman and the `Lady'in Laura San Giacomo.In Lieu of the Mexican Army we have the English.A interesting Rifle to rival a artillery piece or Gattling gun for interest. The basic story is again,good vs evil and redemption via true love.Tried and true western themes,but this Outback setting is the new hook that makes it well done. Fine vast action theme music and a down hill chase via horseback that is a classic.It had to be well shoot and filmed and it was.The ending had a `mystical'setting not seen in westerns but a staple of the Aborigine mystique if you will. The movie also serves to bring light to the shameful treating of the Aborigine in Australia that climaxed only in the last 20 years.A dirty secret only hinted at of the policy in force until the late 1960s of removing Aboriginal children from their families.A touching scene with Laura San Giacomo and a small Aborigine child hammer this home on no uncertain terms.This film works on so many levels it should be recognized as a Aborigine in Australia `message' film set to western theme.I cannot say enough and recommend this film to everyone.You will not be sorry.


I loved this movie!

Ex-Confederate officer Matthew Quigley immigrates to Australia to forget the horrors he has recently witnessed. He was hired in advance by the owner of the Marsten Waters Ranch. When he arrives, things are definitely not what he expected due to the fawning treatment he receives from Marsten that comes with the request that he carry out a program of racial purity...

Selleck's performance as Quigley is first rate. I easily believed that although Quigley had watched more than his share of Man's Inhumanity, yet he managed to hang onto his integrity. The character finds himself in a situation where his own actions can transform the circumstances for better. He did not go looking for a fight, but by God, he will finish this one.

Even so, the character of Crazy Cora is my favorite. She is the victim of cruelty also but did not fare as well as Quigley. She is damaged goods, unable to take care of herself in any significant way when the story opens. In the course of the story, she is the one who recovers her Humanity. It is really her story as much as Quigley's.

An excellent movie. Simon Sez check it out.


This is a bit a twist: a western in which the setting is Australia, not the United States. Yet, the film features two American characters, played by Tom Selleck and Laura San Giacomo. It's a simple, well-done revenge story with a nice slow-developing romance as the subplot. Meanhile, Alan Rickman, who was good at this sort of thing, plays the hated, despicable villain.

The movie is appealing because it has a good mixture of action (and that is mixed, too, not just the same kind of fistfights or gun battles), romance, nice scenery and a little comedy thrown in. There's also a little PC thrown in as the good guys help out the downtrodden Aborigines, victims of racism by Rickman and his henchmen.

Warning: this a rough film in parts with a couple of harrowing scenes, such as people being pushed off cliffs, Selleck brutally beaten several times and wild vicious dingoes threatening San Giacamo and a little baby, but the action never goes on too long.

All in all, I found it one of the more memorable westerns I've watched. If for nothing else, the awesome sound of Selleck's Sharp Calibre .44 rifle makes this film hard to forget.


Lately I've come to the conclusion that the role Tom Selleck was born to play he was born too late in the world to play: the noble cowboy.

Tom plays the title character, Matthew Quigley, an American cowboy come to the land down under at Alan Rickman's invitation. Rickman (under used here)intends to use Quigley's abilities as a long distance sharpshooter to kill the Aborigines and keep them off his lands. Tom refuses and a battle of wills ensue as the two men try to kill each other and cause a lot of havoc in the process.

Despite a first rate performance by Tom, possibly his best, and critical praise, the film was ignored at the box office. I imagine that had it starred the likes of Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise it would have been a hit, but Tom serves the film well and he looks good in cowboy garb. Besides, it's an interesting idea of taking the cowboy out of his natural environment and placing him in a variation of his natural environment: the outback.


I'm looking at director Simon Wincer's biography-- he happens to be Australian, which is an excellent fit with this film. However, project-wise, I don't see anything else impressive on it, with the possible exception of "D.A.R.Y.L." So this film, 'Quigley,' is one of those rare great pairings of actors, directors and screenplay that just makes for a fun time at the movies, and one that holds up for future generations (which, alas, "D.A.R.Y.L" does not).

Great locations, cinematography, acting (somebody give Lara San Giacomo a job, please)... it's just a great "yarn" as Gary Sinise would say.

The Western isn't dead, it's just moved a bit farther west. A necessity in your DVD collection. Great music, too.



Quigley Down Under is directed by Simon Wincer and written by John Hill. It stars Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo and Alan Rickman. Music is by Basil Poledouris and cinematography by David Eggby. Plot sees Selleck as Matthew Quigley, a Wyoming cowboy and sharp shooting rifleman who answers an advertisement to go to Western Australia as a hired sharp shooter. If proving his worth, he's to work for Elliot Marston (Rickman), but when Marston outlines his sick reasons for hiring Quigley, the pair quickly become on a collision course that can only see one of them survive.

It was written in the 1970s by John Hill, where it was hoped that Steve McQueen would take on the lead role, but with McQueen falling ill and Clint Eastwood allegedly passed over, the project sat on ice until 1990. In came Selleck and the film finally got made. Just about making back its money at the box office, Wincer's movie deserved far better than that. It's competition in the Western stakes in 1990 were Costner's beautiful and elegiac Dances With Wolves and the Brat Pack bravado of Young Guns II, both vastly different films from each other, and both considerably different from Quigley Down Under. If those two films contributed to the average response to the Selleck picture? I'm not completely sure, but viewing it now one tends to think that the 1990 audience just wasn't ready for such a delightfully old fashioned Oater, one that features a straight and simple narrative to tell its tale.

It's safe to say that anyone after deep psychological aspects will not get that here. There's some serious themes in the story, such as the horrid genocide towards Aborigines, while the deft kicks at the British are fair enough even to a British guy such as myself. But in the main this is old time Western fare, where it may be as predictable as a horse doing toilet where it pleases, but it's fun, brisk, gorgeous to look at, and there's never a dull moment within. Wincer (Lonesome Dove) directs with assuredness and the trio of cast leads are great value. Selleck cuts an impressive figure of a tough guy high on principals and with a comedy glint in his eye, Rickman is suitably attired all in black and bang on form for sneering, cocksure, villainy, while Giacomo is pretty and works neatly alongside Selleck as a spunky, lively, sidekick type who carries along some sad emotional baggage.

There appears to be quite some division amongst fans and critics as regards Poledouris' (Conan the Barbarian) score. Whilst I agree that it does at time veer close to being too boisterous, it sits well within the type of film the makers are going for. It carries with it a sort of Magnificent Seven flavouring, imbuing the story with a rightful sense of adventure. It also flows freely with Eggby's classical capturing of the Western Australian locations. Eggby (Mad Max/The Man From Snowy River) utilises the scope format on offer to deliver some truly gorgeous back drops, while the brown and yellow hues are most appealing to the eyes. Costuming and sets are spot on for period detail, and Quigley's Sharps Rifle is an absolute beast of a weapon. The simple structure and telegraphed nature of the story stops it from being a true classic of the genre. But it's got so much going for it and is high on rewatchability factor, to make Quigley Down Under (not the best of titles either) essential viewing for fans of old fashioned Westerns. 8.5/10
Уou ll never walk alone

Уou ll never walk alone

The sad thing about Quigley Down Under is that had this been done thirty years earlier the film would have warranted a major release the way a John Wayne or a James Stewart western would have had. Personally when I look at Tom Selleck and the way he plays the title character, I think James Garner. Selleck plays Matthew Quigley in the same dry, laconic manner that Garner patented.

This western is about as southwest as you can get without dealing with penguins and icebergs. Selleck has come to western Australia in answer to an advertisement by a local rancher requiring a skilled marksman with a rifle. He takes the three month voyage from San Francisco and arrives at Alan Rickman's local Ponderosa.

Remember this is Australia, a place settled by convict labor. On Rickman's spread it's mostly Scotch and Irish. But Rickman's problem isn't with them, it's with the aborigines.

Which brings us to why he wants Selleck's services with a long rifle. Essentially he wants Selleck to hunt them down and kill them at a distance, a bit of ethnic cleansing.

Fighting Indians was up close and personal at times. But just shooting people down like game, rubs Selleck the wrong way. He tells Rickman no with vigor. And that vigorous no gets Selleck and Laura San Giacomo a woman not playing with a full deck beaten up and thrown out in the outback with no means of survival.

Of course they survive and we learn a lot about San Giacomo. The reason for her insanity, it's more of a defense mechanism to keep out the world, because she's done something terrible that her conscience won't leave alone. It's a beautiful performance, probably the acting highlight of Quigley Down Under.

Of course there's plenty of action to satisfy any western fan on any continent. Alan Rickman is an especially loathsome villain, he makes his Sheriff of Nottingham in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood film look like a Girl Scout.

And the aborigines do learn to appreciate Selleck and the payback he exacts. They come through for him at critical times in the film.

Tom Selleck is a perfectly cast western hero, the kind I used to spend Saturday afternoon's watching.


As an Australian I was a little reticent before watching this movie. Hollywood often goes overboard when it comes Down Under and tries to capture our old west. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the whole movie... the characters were believeable and Sellick was just right. Of course our magnificent outback scenery almost stole the show. The only uncomfortable thing was the portrayal of the treatment of Aboriginals, something none of us can be proud of, but it was a different age and different people. But the movie showed it like it was, and for that alone this movie should be compulsory viewing for Australians. Sellick was spot on when he told the British Major that his country (the US) had thrown the undesirables out... all the way back to England. Not only a great western but a good history lesson as well. Well worth the effort.


Mainstream media will tell you that they don't really make westerns anymore but this is not true. Sometimes they make em look like something else. For example, Joss Whedon's Serendipity, an astonishing sci-fi film, and considered a true "space western." And then there is this wonderful little delicacy of a film, a western that takes place in, who would believe, Australia, and somehow pits a real down-on-his-luck American cowboy against a wannabee station (ranch) owner with the moral code of a junkyard dog. When a film is really really really superb, a one of a kind, I am reluctant to give too much away (spoilers or no) for fear of depriving a future viewer just one moment of pleasure from the experience. So I will say this -- acting is awesome. Selleck was just beginning the transition from the boisterous TV character he was known for, to the quieter thoughtful type he would later portray in TV movies. Brilliant, engaging, fun. Rickman practically invented playing bad guys (see Die Hard) and San Giacomo, no spring chicken here, has to provide the romantic interest but, because of the story, is given only a few lines of dialogue at most to work with. And whatta tale. In my other reviews I have emphasized the importance of staging these stories the way you would build a wedding cake, one layer at a time. And the story is perfection. It builds and builds and builds. In the best Jimmy Stewart tradition, Selleck keeps trying to avoid trouble, and only gets in deeper. The ending, the showdown, is superb and also dripping in irony. A vastly under-rated film, and a must see.


Amazing, I usually hate westerns but this one really changed my mind. A movie that is a must see for all ages. My whole family really enjoyed watching it together. We might go out and buy it, because it was that remarkable. My brother thinks that it was interesting by the way they make it look real. My father comments that it was a western comedy, and good as it gets. My dogs even enjoyed it, so I would give it 5 stars, and willingly watch it again. Thanks to everyone who helped produce it. Crazy coral, was remarkable and had a story that was sad but true, and gave an outlook on life that many fail to realize. All in all it was amazing. And yes, no animals were hurt in the making of this movie, one would hope we could say the same for people.


Tom Selleck was born to be in westerns. He just fits perfectly as a cowboy. He is the backbone of this movie, making the PC nature a little more palatable. A less actor would come off as preachy or dull. His antagonist is none other than Alan Rickman who always brings depth to villains. His character is underwritten, but Alan matches Tom in presence. Laura San Giacomo receives good reviews for this movie, but she annoys me. There is something fake about her smile to me. She is a convincing wacko though. The score soars thanks to Basil Poledouris who should be more famous. His work brings the movie to life such as after Quigley is dumped in the desert for dead. I love the piece of music that plays as Quigley prepares to fire on his dwindling target. The simple story may bore more elaborate or action minded audiences, but this is a rare western in these days and a keeper in any time.

*Quigley: I said I didn't have much use for one, didn't say I didn't know how to use it.*


I am a lover of westerns and "Quigley" is one of the best. I am easily tired of the baby faced westerns such as "Young Riders", and "Texas Rangers" where the stars are so young and clean looking without so much as even a small blemish that the characters just do not seem real . Tom Selleck looks the part but above all he acts the part. Alan Rickman is excellent, and Laura San Giacomo plays Crazy Cora superbly. The cast playing the hands at Marstons ranch is also an above average match of actors.

This is excellent entertainment and is funny, but at the same time sad. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves the whole western genre.


I'm watching this movie for like the 10 thousandth time, and it only gets better. Seriously, the people who thought of this movie all had the right ideas at the right time. An amazing vehicle for Tom Selleck, "Quigley" is a movie that will last for generations. It has all the finesse of a romance, the tension of a drama, and the big laughs of a comedy. This is on the list of my top movies of the 90's. A definite must see for anyone.


It is not every day I give a movie a 10, but this one deserves it. The acting, the cinematography, the script, the music, all are impeccable. But what ultimately gets it a top rating is that it is creative, with an original story line and some great, creative music.

From the opening scene of Selleck packing, the movie gets your interest and keeps it.

The acting is very genuine, and the relationships are believable. And, as a nice touch, there is an old-fashioned morality underlying the movie. This movie is suitable for family viewing, without being Disney dreck. (However, there is some violence, of course. We're not talking Dumbo, here.)

The bottom line is this is an interesting, fun movie.

As to the commentary on the ballistics, the movie makes clear that this is a custom gun with unusual sights. That's enough to make it believable.


A most curious film to have emerged in the 1990s, Quigley Down Under is an interestingly relocated western which passes a couple of hours harmlessly enough. While the setting is rather unusual for the genre, the story itself sticks generally to formula. In fact, rumours abound that the script had been in existence for the best part of 20 years - originally the film was planned as a Steve McQueen vehicle in the early '70s but for one reason or another never got made. One suspects that the script was hardly changed when the project got the green light in 1990.

In the 1860s sharpshooter Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) leaves his home in Wyoming and makes the long voyage to Australia. He is in search of a job and makes the journey in response to an advert placed by a sheep rancher and land baron in the Outback. Upon arriving at the remote home of his new employer Elliot Marston (Alan Rickman), Quigley is shocked to discover that he has been hired to use his long range rifle to wipe out Aborigines in the area. Viewing the work as nothing more than genocide, Quigley refuses to have any part in Marston's dirty scheme. Enraged, Marston has Quigley tied to a crazy woman, "Crazy" Cora (Laura San Giacomo), and exiles the pair of them in the wilderness where they are left to die. Quigley and Cora begin a long and arduous trek through the wilderness, attempting to survive against the hostile environment and its many hazards. After various adventures they make it back to civilisation, where Quigley quickly sets about having his revenge against the ruthless Marston.

Despite the agreeable freshness of the locale, Quigley Down Under remains a very routine western with all the usual elements present and correct. The plot is a barely disguised revenge story of a type seen many times before (Blood On The Moon? The Bravados? Hang 'Em High?) Selleck plays the hero quite well, handling danger with the sort of laid-back resourcefulness that Hollywood demands of its traditional good guys. But the film mainly belongs to Rickman, delivering the bad guy routine with lip-smacking relish while acting his co-stars off the screen. Basil Poledouris adds another rousing score to his oeuvre, and David Eggby's excellent photography captures the vast empty landscapes very effectively. But there's nothing in the story to set it apart from a thousand other genre potboilers, and it's this lack of invention that ultimately hurts the film. Watching Quigley Down Under is not in any way an onerous challenge, but once you've seen it it's hard to think of many reasons that make it worth watching again.


Possibly one of the best westerns (or should I say "southerns") made in the last 25 years. In my opinion, only Silverado and Open Range are in the same class. Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman and Laura San Giacomo all give outstanding performances and the story and directing are top flight, making this a movie that has lasting appeal. Besides, as we all learned in Die Hard, Alan Rickman is just an incredible bad guy. What an actor!...... The sound and camera work are deserving of award recognition as well as the afore mentioned actors. Definitely one of Tom Selleck's finest movies. If you like westerns give this one a try, I doubt you'll be disappointed.