Silverado (1985)

PG-13 | 133 mins | Adventure, Western | 10 July 1985

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan

Producer:

Lawrence Kasdan

Cinematographer:

John Bailey

Editor:

Carol Littleton

Production Designer:

Ida Random

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures
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HISTORY

       The 24 Sep 1984 DV announced that production would take place in New Mexico, and the state’s governor, Toney Anaya, estimated a $30-$40 million budget. Assistant director of the New Mexico Film Commission, James Sharkey, reported that actors Gene Hackman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline would be cast. However, the 25 Sep 1984 DV printed a “correction” stating that information provided by Anaya and Sharkey were given in error. The actual budget would be closer to $20 million, and only Scott Glenn and Kevin Kline were confirmed as cast members at the time. The 26 Sep 1984 LAT reported that Danny Glover and Kevin Costner would also join the cast.
       According to the 26 Sep 1984 LAT, Columbia Pictures commissioned the Silverado screenplay from director Lawrence Kasdan, but opted to pass on the picture when the budget estimate skyrocketed to $27 million. Kasdan reportedly approached other studios with the project, but returned to Columbia with a new $20 million budget when he could not secure backing from another studio.
       The 5 Oct 1984 DV production chart reported that production would begin 26 Nov 1984.
       According to the Jul 1985 AmCin, the $22.5 million picture had been planned for a summer production, but the starting date was delayed when the project went into turnaround. The result was a harsher winter shoot, resulting in a more “formidable look.” Cast and crew reportedly endured freezing temperatures and sudden snowstorms.
       The 29 Mar 1985 NYT announced that the fictional town ... More Less

       The 24 Sep 1984 DV announced that production would take place in New Mexico, and the state’s governor, Toney Anaya, estimated a $30-$40 million budget. Assistant director of the New Mexico Film Commission, James Sharkey, reported that actors Gene Hackman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline would be cast. However, the 25 Sep 1984 DV printed a “correction” stating that information provided by Anaya and Sharkey were given in error. The actual budget would be closer to $20 million, and only Scott Glenn and Kevin Kline were confirmed as cast members at the time. The 26 Sep 1984 LAT reported that Danny Glover and Kevin Costner would also join the cast.
       According to the 26 Sep 1984 LAT, Columbia Pictures commissioned the Silverado screenplay from director Lawrence Kasdan, but opted to pass on the picture when the budget estimate skyrocketed to $27 million. Kasdan reportedly approached other studios with the project, but returned to Columbia with a new $20 million budget when he could not secure backing from another studio.
       The 5 Oct 1984 DV production chart reported that production would begin 26 Nov 1984.
       According to the Jul 1985 AmCin, the $22.5 million picture had been planned for a summer production, but the starting date was delayed when the project went into turnaround. The result was a harsher winter shoot, resulting in a more “formidable look.” Cast and crew reportedly endured freezing temperatures and sudden snowstorms.
       The 29 Mar 1985 NYT announced that the fictional town of "Silverado" was built from scratch near Santa Fe, NM, and announced a 26 Jul 1985 release date. However, the 17 Jun 1985 HR noted that the national release would be moved up to 10 Jul 1985.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files and the 15 Mar 1984 DV, principal photography was completed on 14 Mar 1984, after ninety-two days of production. Post-production moved from Santa Fe to the Warner Hollywood Studios.
       The 4 Jun 1985 DV announced a world premiere would be held on 11 Jul 1985 at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA, to benefit AFI. However, the 17 Jun 1985 HR reported that the gala event would be changed to 8 Jul 1985 to accommodate for the rescheduling of the film’s national release.
       The HR film review from 1 Jul 1985 listed the budget as $35 million, but the statement was retracted in the 2 Jul 1985 HR, which reported the film’s actual production cost as $22 million.
       Box-office totals after the first five days of release were $4.5 million from 1,168 screens, according to the Sep 1985 Box.
       Silverado was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Sound and Music (Original Score).
      End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special Thanks to our Santa Fe production personnel: Susan Addy, Bradford Booth, Charles Carlson, Gordon DeVore, Carol Fleming, Colleen Gallett, Isidro Guerrero, Mike Hanrahan, Brian Hauck, Terry Hawn, Sally Jackson, Gavyn Keith, Robin Laughlin, George LeBow, Marcel Lucero, Timothy McDonald, Jeff Meyer, Dennis A. Potter, David Powell, Billy Don Riley, Tracy Weisert.” Also noted: “Filmed entirely on location in New Mexico; The Producers wish to thank: The New Mexico Film Commission and the people of New Mexico for their help in the making of this film.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jul 1985
pp. 50-58.
Box Office
Sep 1985
Section R, p. 104.
Daily Variety
24 Sep 1984
p. 1, 23.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1984.
---
Daily Variety
5 Oct 1984.
---
Daily Variety
15 Mar 1985.
---
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1985
p. 3, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Sep 1984
p. 1, 6.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1985
p. 1, 5.
New York Times
29 Mar 1985.
---
New York Times
10 Jul 1985
p. 21.
Variety
3 Jul 1985
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Presents
A Lawrence Kasdan Film
From Columbia - Delphi IV Productions
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
D.G.A. trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam person
1st asst cam person
1st asst cam person
2d asst cam person
Terra-Flite® op
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Generator op
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
2d film ed
1st asst film ed
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Illustrator
Leadperson
Swing gang
Drapery person
Gang boss
Cost coord
Gen const foreman
Gen const foreman
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Painter
Painter
Standby painter
Greensman
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's costumer
Men`s ward
Men`s ward
Women's costumer
Women's ward
Tailor
MUSIC
Mus scoring mixer
Mus ed
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Post-prod dial
ADR asst
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Post-prod asst
Tech gun coach
Livestock ramrod
Craft service
First aid
First aid
Loc prod contact
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Loc casting
Loc casting
Loc casting asst
Unit pub/Project mgr
Prod coord
Prod coord
Asst to Lawrence Kasdan
Prod asst
Prod office asst
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Casting asst
Projectionist
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Technicolor contact
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 July 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles world premiere: 8 July 1985
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 July 1985
Production Date:
26 November 1984--14 March 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 August 1985
Copyright Number:
PA260595
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Lenses
Super Techniscope; Lenses and Panaflex® Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
133
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27781
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A cowboy named Emmett is attacked in his shelter by a band of strangers, and a shoot-out ensues. Emmett kills his attackers, and rides away on his horse, taking one of his assailant’s horses with him. Days later, he stumbles upon an unconscious man and revives him with some water. The man, Paden, shares his own tale of being attacked and having his horse and supplies stolen. Emmett lends his spare steed to Paden, and they travel to a nearby cavalry outpost. When Paden sees the man who stole his horse, he buys a gun from a local shop, shoots the thief, and reclaims his horse. A cavalry sergeant investigates, and a cowboy named Cobb vouches for Paden. The sergeant lets Paden go free after finding his name carved into the saddle. Cobb offers his old friend Paden a job, but Paden turns him down, and rejoins Emmett. They travel toward Silverado, stopping off in a town called Turley. At a saloon, Emmett and Paden witness a black man named Malachi Johnson be denied service, then engage in a brawl with the locals. “Mal” expertly defends himself, and Sheriff John Langston orders him to leave town, despite Emmett and Paden pleading Mal’s innocence. Sheriff Langston asks why they are in Turley, and Emmett offers the explanation that he is looking for his friend, Jake. After hearing Emmett’s description, the sheriff escorts them to the jail where Jake is locked up. Emmett and Jake embrace through the bars. Jake has been sentenced to a public hanging the next day, after being found guilty of murder. ... +


A cowboy named Emmett is attacked in his shelter by a band of strangers, and a shoot-out ensues. Emmett kills his attackers, and rides away on his horse, taking one of his assailant’s horses with him. Days later, he stumbles upon an unconscious man and revives him with some water. The man, Paden, shares his own tale of being attacked and having his horse and supplies stolen. Emmett lends his spare steed to Paden, and they travel to a nearby cavalry outpost. When Paden sees the man who stole his horse, he buys a gun from a local shop, shoots the thief, and reclaims his horse. A cavalry sergeant investigates, and a cowboy named Cobb vouches for Paden. The sergeant lets Paden go free after finding his name carved into the saddle. Cobb offers his old friend Paden a job, but Paden turns him down, and rejoins Emmett. They travel toward Silverado, stopping off in a town called Turley. At a saloon, Emmett and Paden witness a black man named Malachi Johnson be denied service, then engage in a brawl with the locals. “Mal” expertly defends himself, and Sheriff John Langston orders him to leave town, despite Emmett and Paden pleading Mal’s innocence. Sheriff Langston asks why they are in Turley, and Emmett offers the explanation that he is looking for his friend, Jake. After hearing Emmett’s description, the sheriff escorts them to the jail where Jake is locked up. Emmett and Jake embrace through the bars. Jake has been sentenced to a public hanging the next day, after being found guilty of murder. Emmett reveals that Jake is his brother, and they are moving to California together after visiting their sister, Kate House, in Silverado. Emmett plans to free his brother, but Paden refuses to get involved. However, the men share a farewell drink before parting, and Paden sees a man wearing his stolen hat. When the man reaches for his holster, Paden shoots and kills him. He is arrested and locked in the cell with Jake. Paden vows his innocence, refusing to break out of jail with Jake, but changes his mind, and helps secure their getaway by tricking a deputy to open the cell door. As they flee, Sheriff Langston pursues, shooting at them. Emmett arrives with three horses, and the shoot-out continues in the desert. Help comes from Mal, who joins their fight and causes Sheriff Langston to end his pursuit. The grateful men welcome Mal into their pack, and ride together toward Silverado. In the desert, they come upon a wagon train full of Turley residents heading to make a new life in Silverado, and learn they were robbed by their hired drivers. While Jake escorts the group, Emmett, Mal, and Paden, pursue the thieves. Paden catches the eye of a pretty woman named Hannah, whose husband does not trust that the men will return with their money. The thieves are found at their hideout, where they have rejoined a large band of outlaws. Severely outnumbered, Emmett comes up with a ruse to infiltrate the group, while Paden retrieves the stolen money and releases the outlaws’ horses so they cannot pursue. Once at a safe distance, they celebrate their victory, and Hannah’s husband appears. As he accuses them of not planning to return the money, he is shot and killed by an outlaw gunman hiding in the cliffs. The men rejoin the wagon train convoy, and stop to rest for the night. Mal tells his new friends about the unhappy time he spent in Chicago, Illinois, and explains that he is returning to his parents’ farm. Outside Silverado, Mal parts ways to continue his journey. Paden also leaves to escort Hannah to her new parcel of land. He agrees to join Emmett and Jake later in town. Hannah tells Paden that she has had many suitors, but what she desires is a partner willing to work a farm with her. Emmett and Jake visit their sister Kate, her husband, J.T., and their nephew, Augie. Mal arrives at his parents‘ farm, and discovers the house has been burned to the ground. His father, Ezra Johnson, emerges from a herd of cattle, and is surprised to see him. He tells Mal his mother died after a long illness, and that locals burned down their home, leaving him with only his land. A rancher named Ethan McKendrick is trying to claim the farm, and has overrun his land with cattle. Mal asks about his sister, Rae, and learns that she has moved to town. Meanwhile, J.T. tells Emmett that the locals of Silverado do not welcome homesteaders who have come to claim land. Emmett invites them to California, but they decline. Kate worries that McKendrick will retaliate against Emmett, who killed McKendrick’s father five years earlier when he was about to murder Jake. Ezra and Mal encounter McKendrick’s men on their land, and Mal threatens them for trespassing. Sometime later, Paden befriends saloon manager, Stella, and asks her for a job running the gambling business. Paden is surprised to learn that his old friend, Cobb, owns the establishment. Cobb arrives, happy to see Paden, and offers him a room. Paden learns that Cobb is also the town sheriff, but is hesitant to trust him. While Mal sleeps in a cave, Ezra is shot and killed by McKendrick’s men. Mal awakens, sees the men riding away, and finds his father lying dead in the river. Paden gives Emmett his blessing to pursue Hannah, as he is uninterested in becoming a farmer, but Emmett demurs because he is bound for California. Paden introduces Emmett to Cobb, and watch him dismiss his current gambling manager, Kelly, for stealing. When Kelly protests, Cobb punches him in the stomach, and offers the position to Paden. Moments later, Kelly returns with a gun, aiming at Cobb. Stella warns Kelly not to shoot. Cobb kills his would-be assailant, thanking Stella for warning him. In the midst of the chaos, a man named Calvin “Slick” Stanhope arrives in town and asks Cobb where he can set up a legal gambling business. Cobb refers him to Paden. In time, Mal visits his sister Rae and reports their father’s murder. She chastises him for abandoning their family, and wants nothing to do with him. Rae introduces her brother to Slick, and Mal is disappointed to discover she is working as a prostitute. Emmett visits Hannah at a homesteader’s party, and tells her goodbye. She asks why he made the effort to see her before leaving, and they acknowledge their interest in each other. During the party, McKendrick’s posse arrives, shooting guns in the air and killing livestock. They try to set fire to the house, and shoot an innocent man. Jake and Emmett return gunfire and chase the men off. In the saloon sometime later, Jake causes a fight with a man named Tyree, after he kisses a saloon girl named Phoebe. Paden attempts to break up the fight, and confronts his old nemesis, Tyree. Tyree threatens to kill Paden and holds a gun to his chin, before changing his mind and leaving. Elsewhere, McKendrick comes face to face with Emmett, unaware that he has returned to town. However, he claims that he holds no grudges against Emmett, who served five years in prison for killing McKendrick’s father. Emmett recognizes that the horse he inherited from his previous attackers bears the McKendrick brand, and it occurs to him that McKendrick was behind that attack. McKendrick visits Cobb, and asks for help getting rid of Emmett and Jake. Cobb brings up Ezra Johnson’s death, and McKendrick tells Cobb he is about to start earning his sheriff’s pay. Sometime later, Cobb tells Stella about his history with Paden, and reveals that they rode together in a posse with Tyree. After they committed an unnamed crime, Tyree shot Paden’s dog when his horse tripped over the animal. Paden chose to stay behind with the injured dog, and was apprehended and sent to jail. Cobb compliments Paden for doing a good job running the gambling business, and tells him that, as town sheriff, he will be going after Emmett and Jake for causing trouble. Paden asserts that Cobb should be worried about gunslinger Emmett. While Emmett fires his last bullet, practicing in the desert, McKendrick’s men attack and tie him up. Tyree rides over him with his horse, and they prepare to kill him, but Mal arrives and shoots the men. Mal retrieves his father’s stolen gun from the men who murdered him, and takes Emmett to his hideout to recover. While Emmett lies injured, Mal goes to warn Jake, and sees McKendrick’s men hiding outside Jake’s sister’s home. He asks his own sister, Rae, for help. She recruits Slick to get word to Jake, but Slick double-crosses Mal and sends him into an ambush. McKendrick’s men beat Mal, and Cobb puts him in jail, promising to release him if he divulges Emmett’s whereabouts. Paden visits Mal in jail and asks where Emmett is, but Mal remains distrustful. Jake returns from frolicking with Phoebe, and discovers that Kate and her family are being held hostage in their home. Elsewhere, Phoebe tells Rae and Paden that she was with Jake all evening, and Slick never arrived to warn Jake. Jake is captured by McKendrick’s men, and watch the outlaws set fire to Kate’s home. J.T. fights back, and is shot, and Kate is knocked unconscious. The men prepare to kill Augie but decide to kidnap the boy instead. The outlaws flee with Jake and Augie, and Paden enters the burning house to rescue Kate and J.T. Elsewhere, Rae pretends not to know that Slick double-crossed Mal, and sitting next to him at the saloon, she steals his knife. The townsfolk furiously work to put out the fire, but Cobb tells Paden it is a lost cause. Paden protests that Augie was kidnapped, and Cobb threatens Paden’s friend Stella, warning him not to interfere. Rae visits the jail and stabs a deputy as he searches her. He shoots her in retaliation, but Mal chokes the deputy when he comes near his cell. Stella learns that she is preventing Paden from retaliating against Cobb, and tells him that Cobb needs to die. Phoebe brings the injured Rae to Stella and Paden and tells them that Mal escaped. Mal reports to Emmett the events that have transpired, and the two go after Jake and Augie. Paden joins the men as they ride to McKendrick’s ranch. They arrive behind a cattle stampede, and a gunfight ensues. Emmett rescues Augie, who reports that Jake is dead after falling from his horse. Emmett smiles, knowing better, and comforts Augie. The battle continues, and Jake appears, joining the fight. In town, Cobb sends Slick to look for Stella, and he follows her to a shed where he finds the injured Rae, and waits there for Stella’s return. The foursome return to town, leaving Augie safely in the desert. Mal enters the shed, and finds Slick, pretending to look after Rae. He attacks Mal, who stabs him with his own knife. Emmett is shot in the leg by McKendrick, drops his gun, and rides into a barn to escape. However, when he races out the other side, he collides with McKendrick, and knocks him from his horse, killing him. Paden challenges Cobb to a duel. Paden shoots first, killing Cobb. The comrades reconvene at the saloon, where they toast to California. Sometime later, Augie arrives in town with his recovered parents, Kate and J.T. Mal says goodbye to his friends, and leaves town with Rae by his side. Jake kisses Phoebe, and Hannah bids farewell to Emmett. Emmett jokes that Paden may end up a farmer, but Paden reveals his sheriff’s badge, and says he already has a job. Jake and Emmett ride toward California, promising to return. +

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Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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