1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Long Riders [DVD] (DVD)
This is a marvellous film from director Water Hill, made in 1980. It tells the story of the Jessie James gang, with their compatriots the Younger brothers, Miller brothers, and the Ford brothers. This is familiar stuff, well-trodden in film history. What makes this one different, is an unusual casting decision. They chose real acting brothers, to play the parts of brothers on screen. Stacy and James Keach play the James boys, with all three Carradines as the Youngers, and Randy Quaid and his brother Dennis, are the Millers. The Guest brothers, Christopher and Nicholas, complete the set, as the Fords.
This idea works so well, with the interplay between the characters completely believable, as well as some physical similarities adding to authenticity. There is obvious sympathy for the gang. Treated unfairly after being on the losing side during the Civil War, they seem to have little option other than to embark on a life of crime. The disastrous bank raid at Northfield Minnesota, contributing to the demise of the gang, is a brilliantly staged set piece. This is a hugely enjoyable, `modern' western, with a feel for the characters that goes beyond the normal `man with a gun' storyline.