Movie Review: Quigley Down Under (1990)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1990 Australian western starring Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley.

Synopsis: A rancher lures Wyoming sharpshooter Matthew Quigley to Australia by offering him a large sum of money to work for him. Quigley believes he was hired to shoot dingoes but, instead, he learns the rancher wants him to use his talents to kill native Aborigines. When the offended Quigley refuses the immoral job offer, the angry rancher wants him killed.


I was up a little earlier than normal this morning and, because of that, had time to watch a movie before my wife and daughters were up. This was showing on one of our movie channels and, remembering bits and pieces of it from when I watched it years ago, I took advantage of the opportunity.

Even though I couldn’t remember a whole lot about this film from the first time I watched it, I did remember it was a movie I enjoyed. And, as I watched it again this morning, it turned out to be as good as I remembered.

I’m actually not a huge Tom Selleck fan. But, his Quigley character is fun to watch. He is exactly what I would expect from a hero in a western film, rough around the edges but willing to stand up and risk his life for a just cause. The fact he carries a pretty cool rifle with him doesn’t hurt either.

One thing that really won me over when it came to this movie was Rickman’s role as the rancher Elliott Marston. Rickman, in my opinion, is an underrated actor. He has an amazing ability to play a bad guy and be so good at it; you remember the character but don’t necessarily remember who played him. In fact, up until watching the movie again this morning, I completely forgot he was in it.

The fight scene at the end of this movie was a little predictable. However, despite that, it was still entertaining to watch, especially when Quigley ultimately finds himself facing British soldiers with apparent hope of escaping. Even though the movie ended roughly the way I expected it to, it did keep me on the edge of my seat temporarily as a result.

Quigley Down Under

Tom Selleck gives the boldest performance of his career in this "new style, revisionist western with the panoramic scope of a movie epic" (Los Angeles Times). Fierce gunfights, ...

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Final Opinion

This is a sometimes forgotten and underrated movie that I seem to enjoy whenever I take the time to watch it. If you like westerns and haven’t seen this film, I do recommend taking the time to put it on your must-watch list.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 06/02/2015, StevenHelmer
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