Emmett (Scott Glenn) is ambushed by three men while he sleeps in an isolated shack. In a brief gunfight, he kills all of the assailants. As he sets out for the town of Silverado, Emmett finds a man, Paden (Kevin Kline), lying in the desert, having been robbed and left to die.
Emmett and Paden stop in the town of Turley, where it turns out that Emmett’s brother, Jake (Kevin Costner), is locked up and awaiting hanging for killing a man in self-defense. Paden is thrown in the same cell after he encounters and kills one of the men who robbed him. Emmett aids them in a breakout with the help of Mal (Danny Glover), a cowboy run out of town by sheriff John Langston (John Cleese).
After helping a wagon train of settlers recover stolen money from thieves, then leading them to Silverado, the four men part ways. Emmett and Jake visit their sister, whose husband, the land agent for the area, informs them that rancher Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) is attempting to maintain the open range, which he will dominate with his enormous herds of cattle, by driving all lawful claimants off the land. Emmett had killed McKendrick’s father years earlier in a gunfight. Emmett also learns that McKendrick hired the men who attempted to kill him upon his release from prison.
Mal finds his father Ezra (Joe Seneca) left destitute after his home had been burned down and his land overrun by cattle. Mal has a sister, Rae (Lynn Whitfield), who has gone off on her own, taking up with Calvin “Slick” Stanhope, a shifty gambler (Jeff Goldblum) who works for McKendrick.
A ruthless sheriff named Cobb (Brian Dennehy), an old acquaintance of Paden’s, is now on McKendrick’s payroll. Cobb arranges for Paden to supervise the gambling in a saloon owned by Cobb and managed by Stella (Linda Hunt), an honest woman who despises Cobb and welcomes Paden’s presence. Hannah (Rosanna Arquette), a young widow from the wagon train, has also caught Paden’s eye.
McKendrick’s men murder Ezra, burn the land office, and kidnap Emmett’s young nephew Augie (Thomas Wilson Brown), so once again, Paden, Mal, Emmett, and Jake join forces to set things right. They stampede McKendrick’s cattle to provide cover for a raid on his ranch, in which most of the bandits are killed and the kidnapped boy is rescued.
Silverado is a 1985 American western film produced and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, written by Kasdan and his brother Mark. It stars Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner. The supporting cast features Brian Dennehy, Rosanna Arquette, John Cleese, Jeff Goldblum and Linda Hunt.
The film was produced by Columbia Pictures and Delphi III Productions, and distributed to theatres by Columbia, and by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for home media. The original soundtrack, with a score composed by Bruce Broughton, was released by Geffen Records. On November 12, 2005, an expanded two-disc version of the score was released by the Intrada Records label.
Silverado premiered in the United States on July 12, 1985. It grossed $32,192,570 at the box office, recouping its $23 million production budget. Through an 11-week run, the film was shown at 1,190 theaters at its widest release. Generally met with positive critical reviews, it was nominated for Best Sound and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards.
Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Rosanna Arquette, John Cleese, Kevin Costner, Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt
Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Kasdan
Production Design by: Ida Random
Cinematography by: John Bailey
Film Editing by: Carol Littleton
Costume Design by: Kristi Zea
Set Decoration by: Anne D. McCulley, Arthur Jeph Parker
Art Direction by: William A. Elliott
Music by: Bruce Broughton
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: July 12, 1985