Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Long Riders (1980)




















Very good western that has been forgotten about and notable for the casting of the Keach brothers, the Guest brothers, the Carradine brothers and the Quaid brothers in the main roles of the James-Younger gang.

Starts off with a bank raid which goes slightly wrong setting the scene for a 'Young Guns' type western only with a sensible stance but unfortunately does then become a little dull throughout the middle. There is a lot of dialog and family affairs between the gang members which is fine but you do loose a little interest, this does pick up as you head towards the last section of the film of course and very good it is too.

You can see where the 'Young Guns' notion came from I think, from the final big gun battle sequence of the ill-fated attempt to rob the Northfield First National Bank in Minnesota. The whole sequence is lovely with slow motion gun fire, slow motion bullet hits, horses tearing down the main street and finally leaping through a large glass window riders n all. I would say this film was an inspiration for many modern 'rock n roll' type westerns.

Despite that the film is completely serious and actually handled very well in terms of historical accuracy and artistic license. Yes a lot is fictional but at the same time believeable with lots of accounts that have been incorporated into the film which are spot on, mainly the deaths of gang members and of course Jesse James.

Not your typical Hill film but he sure made a good one here which deserves a place among the best in the genre. Its dirty, realistic, uses great locations and has a good bold cult cast line up, watch out for James Remar as Cherokee Indian Sam Starr in maybe the only bad choice of the film.

7/10