Bruce Campbell: What really went down on The Quick and the Dead?


Bruce Campbell is credited in Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead as “Wedding Shemp.” However, he is never seen in the film. We get to the bottom of the deleted scene.

Bruce Campbell is a fixture in virtually every Sam Raimi film. There are a few exceptions where he doesn’t appear like Drag Me to Hell and For the Love of the Game readily come to mind. However, there is one film that fans consistently have a question about and that is The Quick and the Dead.

I remember seeing this film in the theater in 1995. Looking back, Sam assembled a treasure trove of horror icons and future Oscar winners. Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Mick Garris, Scott Spiegel, John Cameron, Bruce, Tim Quill, Tobin Bell…simply mind boggling when you think of all that talent in one film. Not to mention the fact that this was Russell Crowe’s first American feature. Crowe won the Oscar 5 years later for Gladiator.

Leonardo DiCaprio would become the King of the World in 1997 on James Cameron’s Titanic. It would take him 2 decades to win his Academy Award for The Revenant. So, Campbell was in illustrious company.

Apparently, Sam utilized Bruce in various ways. The first being “Wedding Shemp” and the second being a “skid-row” character in several background shots. This is confirmed by the Quick and the Dead Net who describe in detail the partying town after Kid’s wedding and Bruce being the focal point of one shot. We don’t see this scene either.

On the other hand, “Wedding Shemp” was more like a spur of the moment decision on Raimi’s part. That’s right. Bruce was visiting Sam on the set when Raimi had a brilliant idea to placate one of his actors.

Pat Hingle, a familiar guest star on many 70’s and 80’s television shows (including the Six Million Dollar Man pilot with Lee Majors) played Horace the Bartender. His character had a daughter who was forced to be a “saloon girl” (prostitute). For whatever reason, Mr. Hingle felt that Horace should have done more to prevent her from that fate.

According to Campbell’s recollection, Sam introduced him to Pat as Bruce the stuntman. So, Raimi proceeds to explain the scene to the actor. Bruce was going to approach his daughter and say, “Hey, girlie girl, let’s do the devil’s dance!”

At this juncture, Bruce says that he gives Sam a confused look. This is when it gets fun. Raimi asks Pat what would he do if a man spoke like that to his daughter? So, Hingle proceeds to tell the director that he would, “kick his ass one side and down the other.”

Because Sam delights in “torturing” his pal of many years, he asks the actor how he would do that. Pat begins kicking Campbell. Of course, Raimi is encouraging him because after all, Bruce is a “stunt guy.”

After 10 takes, Hingle walks away unscathed and feeling empowered while Campbell is limping. Sam tells his friend he’s done a great job but “we’re not going to print that.” To hear Bruce retell the story, watch this video.

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Unfortunately, that footage isn’t available anywhere not even on the Companion Video or the Foreign Versions of the movie. And that is a shame.

Were you aware that Bruce Campbell was cut from The Quick and the Dead? Did you know why he was referred to as the “Wedding Shemp?” Let us know in the comments. We want to hear from you.