For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – Western Crossover Movies, here’s a review of Silverado (1985) by Jeanette of The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl
Thanks again to Kira of Film and TV 101 for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Ashleigh of The Movie Oracle and it is Spoof/Parody Movies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of November by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Ashleigh!
Let’s see what Jeanette thought of this movie:
Westerns are an odd genre for me, there are a couple I really love (Posse, Young Guns), but honestly, I find the majority of them boring. For some reason, there is a soft spot in my heart for 1985’s Silverado. I think the main reason is the outstanding cast. Although the movie was a box office dud, everyone I’ve talked to who knows the movie, likes the movie. It was written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who is mostly known as a writer in the Lucas/Spielberg camp, having written parts of Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, and the Force Awakens. However, he has directed some fairly big-name movies in The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, Wyatt Earp and Mumford.
Silverado tells a very straightforward western-style tale of a town in trouble with a villain who has essentially an army at his command, and a group of heroes who come together to stand up to him and win freedom for the town. The story starts on Emmet who is ambushed in the desert – after killing all the bad guys, he sets out for the town of Silverado, and finds Paden, a man left laying the desert after being robbed. Together, they stop in Turley where Emmett’s brother Jake is locked up and will be hanged for killing a man in self-defense. Paden gets into a gunfight with one of the men that robbed him, so ends up in jail as well. Meanwhile, Emmett meets Mal, a man who was run out of town by the corrupt sheriff, and together they break out Jake and Paden.
This establishes our four heroes and solidifies them as the assist a wagon train. They then part ways temporarily at Silverado as Mal meets up with his father, Emmett and Jake meet up with their family, and Paden encounters an old frenemy, Cobb, who is now the corrupt sheriff here. According to movies, the old west was filled with corrupt sheriffs.
Emmett and Jake’s sister and her husband are struggling with local evil rancher McKendrick (the west was also filled with evil ranchers). Mal’s father is basically penniless and homeless after being run out of town and his sister is ‘working’ in the local saloon that Cobb owns and is run by the kindly Stella – who hates Cobb. Paden accidentally gets put in charge of the saloon, and starts trying to set some things right. This is made more complicated with McKendrick’s men, and the arrival of ‘Slick’ a gambler from ‘the city’.
Eventually, things come to a head as McKendrick and Cobb team up to cause all kinds of chaos and the four heroes have team up to do what’s right. There’s an epic gunfight, and in the end, the good guys win. As I said, a standard western, but entertaining nonetheless, due mainly to the amazing cast!
- Kevin Kline plays Paden, a gambler and sarcastic straight shooter who does his best to stay on the straight and narrow.
- Scott Glenn plays Emmett who is every bit the gruff and grizzly old west hero.
- Kevin Costner in his first major role plays Jake, the young hothead (yes, at one point, Kevin Costner was young).
- Danny Glover plays Mal, and he was too old for the evil rancher sh*t and has a tough storyline, to the point that his final justice is really wonderful.
- Brian Dennehy plays Sheriff Cobb in all his charming evil-ness.
- Jeff Goldblum plays ‘Slick’, and has quite possibly one of the best entrances of any character into any movie ever.
- Rosanna Arquette plays local lovely Hannah who catches Paden’s eye for a bit.
- John Cleese plays corrupt sheriff John Langston, as inept as he is corrupt.
- Linda Hunt plays Stella, the sassy saloon manager who knows everything about everyone in town.
- Ray Baker plays the evil McKendrick – out to steal everyone’s land and control the town through Cobb.
- Jeff Fahey has his first onscreen role as McKendrick Henchman Tyree.
- Lynn Whitfield plays Mal’s sister Rae, who has fallen in with some bad characters, but will be redeemed eventually.
- Richard Jenkins has a small role as Kelly.
Overall, the movie is probably way too long, but is certainly entertaining if you are looking for a Western that unashamedly covers all the standard Western tropes.
8 out of 10 – Watch it again on a long lazy Saturday afternoon!