Mathew Quigley gets a new position on a ranch but the distance to his new job is nothing compared to what the job really entails which Quigley is just not willing to do.
Film making 20/25
Bonus Features 2/25
I remember watching Quigley Down Under years ago and enjoying the western like movie and the fun that Tom Selleck brought to the role. The film may use an over drawn story that is revisited time and again in movies like Dances With Wolves but the movie is also funny.
Tom Selleck brings a different slant to the western hero with a tough air but with a humorous side that adds a lot to the character. Quigley Down Under is a fun movie and even taking the serious theme of killing off the natives the film has all the makings of a classic western.
Elliot Marston sends out an advertisement to the United States asking for the best sharpshooters to work on his ranch and he will pay just for anyone showing up. In the ad he just happens to not mention what the real work will be, getting rid of the aborigines that are living on the land he owns.
Mathew Quigley responds to the ad in his own unique way, simply shooting the ad several times and writing the distance then signing the paper and sending it back to Marston. Marston offers gold for just going to Australia and Quigley packs up his saddle and infamous Sharp’s rifle and heads down under.
Quigley Down Under also jumps right into the action after a very short introduction sequence with Quigley traveling to 1880’s Australia just to show the long distances involved. Mathew no sooner steps off the ship than his gentlemanly behavior of allowing an older couple off first riles other less courteous passengers.
This is where the fun begins with Mathew being the rough and tough cowboy of the Wild West and giving a lessen to those around him that are less than civilized. Mathew quickly finds another scene by the docks where he gets into more trouble but the trouble is with a group of prostitutes and one they call Crazy Cora.
Mathew roughs up the cowboys who are accosting the obviously unbalanced woman to the cheers of onlookers and the fellow prostitutes who are cheering Mathew and Cora on. The men turn out to be workers for Marston and after dusting themselves off they head to Marston’s ranch which is several days ride out into the outback.
At dinner Quigley finds out the real details of the work and stands his ground against Marston and all his men but the aborigine working for Marston knocks him on the head to save him. After beating up Quigley they take him and the prostitute Crazy Cora into the outback two days ride from the ranch to leave them to the Dingo’s.
Quigley shows off some more of his rifle sharpshooting skill after killing one man when he tries to take the gold Marston gave Quigley and shoots the other as he drives the wagon away at breakneck speeds. Quigley and Crazy Cora wander the outback looking for water and the aborigines find them, heal them up and leave them without so much as a goodbye.
When Quigley and Cora are walking back toward civilization they encounter more of Marston’s men who are hunting down the aborigines and driving them off a cliff. Quigley shoots several men but not before they drive most of the aborigines off the cliff, Crazy Cora runs to the cliff bottom to find a baby still alive.
They take the baby and using one of the horses they were able to capture work out a plan to go get food for the baby by Mathew riding to a settlement several days away. Cora stays in a cave with the baby and protects it from wild Dingo’s, much like a previous episode she had in the states when Indians attacked her home.
After more mayhem created by Marston they both end up in a standard Wild West gunfight with both men facing off each other but with Marston having two other men at his side. Quigley wins the fight and gets the girl, now that Cora has confronted the event that made her unbalanced she is much better.
Quigley Down Under is a standard western taken to some unusual locations and with the flair that Tom Selleck brought to his other greater roles. The scenery is epic in scale and beautiful while the acting is all very good for a well-rounded and fun film.
The story may be a bit standard but with Quigley’s expertise with his modified Sharp’s rifle and the acting behind the role the film does take on a life of its own. The rifle is also a legend and a shooting contest has rose up from the films popularity along with a company selling a copy of the Sharp’s rifle used in the film.
Quigley Down Under is a very good looking film on Blu-ray with clear video and fantastic color along with just the right touch of grain to bring everything together. The audio also sounds very good but the audio is only a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix without surround sound so some of the epic scale is a bit low key due to the audio.
The audio is alright but a surround sound could have delivered more punch and appeal to the films wide open spaces in the many scenes in the great outback. Overall the film on Blu-ray is well done and is well worth the purchase for a fantastic looking and sounding movie that is funny and enjoyable.
Bonus content is far too short with a seven minute making of feature and two half minute TV spots along with the theatrical trailer. Quigley Down Under on Blu-ray is a great way to enjoy a western that includes a more modern take on the genre with some great acting all around.
I highly recommend Quigley Down Under as another great MGM Blu-ray release starring Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman and Laura San Giacomo.