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The Quick and the Dead

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Even though theater audiences barely nibbled at The Quick and the Dead, director Sam Raimi’s tasty homage to spaghetti-Western maestro Sergio Leone — spiced with Raimi’s offbeat humor — goes down pretty easily. Trading glamour for grit, Sharon Stone plays a six-shooter gladiator competing with the West’s deadliest guns in a contest sponsored by the ruthless Gene Hackman, her father’s murderer. The story line is thin, the characters are one-dimensional, and everybody involved has done better work elsewhere, but Raimi’s stylistic flourishes and talented supporting players carry this slickly made send-up over the rough spots with relative ease. B-

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