“The Lady”, now that’s a cowgirl. I mean who has such presence that, when riding into a dusty little town, everyone stops to stare? And she hasn’t even done anything yet.
Sharon Stone takes on the role of this mysterious stranger who rides into the town of Redemption to enter the Quick Draw Contest. This tournament is held by ruthless and evil mayor Herod (Gene Hackman) who also takes 50c of every Dollar in town. In return “they gets to live”. The reasons for her being there unfold as quickly as the tournament progresses. A lady of few words, she wants to finish what she came for but things don’t happen as quickly and easily as she’d like them to. In a way, this is her saving as it gives her much needed time to plan. And gives us some insight into this woman. At times, she is hard yet very often we see her nurturing, kind side – she shows this with The Kid (a very young Leonardo di Caprio), Mattie Silk and Katie during various situations. She stands up to the men that need standing up to and is side-by-side with those who earn that of her. What most people don’t see in her is that she’s scared. But then, if she wasn’t, it wouldn’t be normal. Having these qualities brings admiration and support from the town. That says it all.
This Western, directed by Sam Raimi, is always great to watch. Yes, these are some “oh really?” moments, but come on…it’s a movie! Sharon Stone is perfect in her role and comes across as a realistic match to Herod. That said, Gene Hackman must be one of the meanest villains (and mostly verbally so). Leonardo di Caprio, 21 years old, already shows his great acting skills as The Kid who’s mouth is as fast as his gun. And then there’s Russell Crowe as former outlaw turned preacher (and hmmm…the only one who ever mentions The Lady’s real name).