Quigley Down Under is an exquisitely crafted, rousing western made in Oz.
Script was written for Steve McQueen in the 1970s, then developed in 1984, Rick Rosenthal to helm; project was reactivated in 1986 with Lewis Gilbert scheduled to direct.
Tom Selleck is in the title role as a sharp-shooter from the American West who answers villain Alan Rickman’s ad and heads to Fremantle in Western Australia. Quigley is informed that he’s been hired to kill aborigines with his long-range, custom-made rifle as part of Rickman’s campaign of genocide, encouraged by the local authorities.
Selleck’s violent response to the request begins a vendetta is which Rickman has him left for dead in the middle of nowhere. Along for the ensuing survival trek is Laura San Giacomo, a fellow American haunted by the death of her child in a Comanche raid.
Selleck has his best bigscreen casting so far here (not counting the missed opportunity to be Indiana Jones). He’s thoroughly convincing with his custom-made rifle and low-key manner. San Giacomo comes into her own as the feisty heroine. Rickman is a perfectly cast hissable villain.