The Long Riders
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|The Long Riders|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Walter Hill|
|Produced by||Tim Zinnemann
|Written by||Bill Bryden
Steven Phillip Smith
Savannah Smith Boucher
|Music by||Ry Cooder|
|Editing by||Freeman A. Davies
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release dates||May 16, 1980|
|Running time||99 minutes|
The Long Riders is a 1980 western film directed by Walter Hill. It was produced by James Keach, Stacy Keach and Tim Zinnemann and featured an original soundtrack by Ry Cooder. Cooder won the Best Music award in 1980 from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for this soundtrack. The film was entered into the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
During the years following the Civil War, banks and trains become the targets of the James-Younger gang, outlaws who terrorize the American Midwest. The band of robbers is led by Jesse James and Cole Younger, along with several of their brothers.
A detective named Rixley from the Pinkerton's agency remains on their trail. By the time the James-Younger gang rides far north in September 1876 to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, word is out about them and the town has been warned.
The holdup goes wrong in every way. The bank's vault has been set on a timer and cannot be opened. A cashier and another citizen are shot and killed. While trying to escape, the gang is fired upon by the townspeople, who have barricaded both ends of the main street. Two outlaws are killed and all of the Youngers are badly wounded.
Jesse and Frank James are forced to leave the Youngers behind when they return home to Missouri. An attempt is made by Rixley to make the Youngers reveal where the Jameses can be found by offering them a more lenient sentence, but the Youngers remain loyal. Former gang members Bob and Charlie Ford, however, go to Jesse James' home and shoot him in the back. Frank James turns himself in to Rixley, but only on the condition that he can first attend his brother's funeral.
The Long Riders is a notable film in part due to Hill's decision to cast four sets of actor brothers as the real-life sets of brothers:
- The Keaches: Jesse James (James Keach) and Frank James (Stacy Keach)
- The Carradines: Cole Younger (David Carradine), Jim Younger (Keith Carradine) and Bob Younger (Robert Carradine)
- The Quaids: Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) and Clell Miller (Randy Quaid)
- The Guests: Charley Ford (Christopher Guest) and Robert Ford (Nicholas Guest)
It also features an uncredited appearance by Ever Carradine, daughter of Robert Carradine and niece to David and Keith Carradine. Additionally James Keach's son, Kalen Keach, is cast as Jesse James's son Jesse E. James. Savannah Smith Boucher played Zee, or Jesse James' wife, Zerelda Mimms.
- James Whitmore, Jr. as Rixley
- Kevin Brophy as John Younger
- Harry Carey, Jr. as George Arthur
- Shelby Leverington as Annie Ralston
- Felice Orlandi as Mr. Reddick
- Pamela Reed as Belle Starr
- Lin Shaye as Kate
- James Remar as Sam Starr
Some of the movie, especially the Northfield scene was shot in Parrott, Georgia.
The film currently has a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The Long Riders at the Internet Movie Database
- The Long Riders at allmovie
- The Long Riders at the TCM Movie Database
- Koller, Michael. "The Long Riders and Wild Bill", Sense of Cinema.
- Film review