6.3/10
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31 user 13 critic

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)

PG | | Western | 12 May 1972 (Finland)
The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces for a bungled robbery of the bank in Northfield, MN.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Allen
...
Manning
John Pearce ...
...
Wayne Sutherlin ...
...
Wilcox
Jack Manning ...
Heywood
...
Bunker (as Elisha Cook)
...
Gustavson
Mary-Robin Redd ...
Kate
...
Calliopist (as Bill Calloway)
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The West the way it really was! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 May 1972 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Minnesota Überfall  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production crew built several false front building facades which are still in Jacksonville, lending a 19th Century flavor to the town. See more »

Goofs

The character of Jim Younger played by Luke Askew is shown prior to the Northfield raid with a mouth deformity that he attempts to hide or disguise throughout the movie. He obtained the injury (gun shot) to his mouth during the raid. The error may have been caused by most of the historical photos of Jim Younger are from after the raid and his arrest showing the injured upper lip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Discussing the Pod (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hodie Christus - Natus Est
Music by Jan Sweelinck (uncredited)
Performed by St. Olaf's College Choir
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User Reviews

 
Good performances in an uneven film
23 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First the bad: sudden, jarring changes in tone. It veers abruptly from grim, bitter drama to clever caper movie to unfunny comedy. These shifts are badly exacerbated by the messy, eclectic, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink score, which all too often comments on scenes in ways I found ill-fitting and inappropriate. A couple of examples: an early scene in which Jesse riles up the boys by going into a feverish Southern preacher mode, to get them fired up for the titular bank job, is turned from creepy and compelling into light-hearted comedy by the wacky music behind it; similarly, late in the film, a citizen posse chasing the gang commits an atrocity on four innocent men, and the music again makes light of it, with an ironic silly 'wah wah wah'. Just awful. What were they thinking? Also bad, an interminable scene of a raucous baseball game comes out of nowhere and drags on and on with utterly unfunny slapstick. The subplot with the Pinkertons adds next to nothing. The cinematography is too often flat and TV-like.

Now the good, and the reasons I gave this a 7 anyway: excellent performances from Robertson and Duvall and the supporting cast, and a very strong screenplay, well-paced, with believable characters whose individual traits are clearly delineated. Cole Younger is a crafty pragmatist, keenly interested in modernity as represented by machinery, ready to leave criminality behind and change with the times; Jesse James is shown as his opposite, an embittered true believer in the Confederate cause, who uses that belief as justification for continued criminal violence. In this theme of men unable to change with the times, the film is akin to some of Peckinpah's work.

Also good are fundamentals like art direction, locations, costuming, and set design. This is all handled with grubby veracity, in the same vein as other films from around the same time like "McCabe and Mrs. Miller". It really excels here.

On the whole, the character-driven, group-dynamic elements of the story are so fully realized that they make the movie compelling and worth watching in spite of its tonal flaws.


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