Made at a time when
Westerns were out of favour, Silverado took a traditional narrative and brought in an Eighties sensibility (the decade in which it was made). Kevin
Kline as a gunslinger and John Cleese as a Sheriff were just two of the oddball
elements in the mix.
The plot focused on a band
of stetson-donning yet sensitive guys who came up against a ruthless rancher
(Ray Baker) in the turbulent town of the title. Along the way the viewer took
in enough subplots to fill the Grand Canyon. The eclectic cast included Jeff
Goldblum and Linda Hunt, so this wasn’t your typical array of grizzled faces.
From the outside the
project looked like a classic tale of men doing what they had to do, in a
society where bullets were the deciding factor.
However the Kasdan brothers'
eloquent script and emphasis on character motivation as much as grit resulted
in a strangely soapy diversion to the West rather than a full-blooded cowboy
saga. It did good business, but not enough to rescue the Western - it took co-star Kevin Costner another few years to do that via Dances With Wolves.
I am a journalist and comedian who enjoys American movies of the 70s, Amicus horror compendiums, Doctor Who, Twin Peaks, Naomi Watts and sitting down. My short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.