In 1876, the Missouri legislature issues a pardon and amnesty to the James and Younger gangs despite many people considering them outlaws. The pardon is because they protected the homesteaders of Clay County against the marauding railroaders, who wouldn't let anyone or anything get in their way of building the railroad where they wanted. However, the railroad companies and banks still consider them outlaws and will take matters into their own hands if they come across the gangs. Prior to the pardon, Cole Younger had contemplated robbing the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota - what is considered the largest bank west of the Mississippi - but has now decided against it. Circumstances, including learning that Jesse James and his gang are going ahead with the robbery behind his back, and that the railroaders issuing a war against them which also includes bribing the legislature to revoke the pardon, make Cole change his mind. But right from the start - even during the planning ... Written by
One of the prostitutes is Valda Hanson who appeared in several Ed Wood, Jr movies. See more »
When the Younger gang arrives in Northfield, there are automobile tire tracks clearly visible in the muddy street. See more »
Even before the wounds of the Civil War had healed in Missouri, the railroads came swarming in to steal the land. Everywhere, men from the railroads were driving poor, defenseless families from their homes. And that's when a fresh wind suddenly began to blow. It was other Clay County farmers, the James and Younger boys, coming to the rescue. They tarred and feathered the railroad men and drove them from the land. From that moment onward, they were outlaws. But the people of ...
See more »
There are a few western staples in 'The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid': the last mission, the friendly whorehouse; but compared with most films of this type, it's a plausible and honest portrait of the life of a criminal gang, and set in the relatively lush lands of the near west instead of the dry high plains further west. In fact, it's based on the story of a real gang, one that featured the legendary Jesse James, and it's refreshing to see this character demystified: he doesn't even take top billing. However, the plot never quite comes to life, and perhaps more could have been made of the gang's origins in the aftermath of the civil war. But like Altman's superior 'McCabe and Mrs. Miller', made at around the same time, the film deserves credit for telling its own tale, instead of merely re-hashing the clichés of the genre.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?