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The origins, exploits and the ultimate fate of the Jesse James gang is told in a sympathetic portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of of revenge. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
'The Long Riders' is a strong contender for the most underrated western of all time.
Walter Hill is surely one of the most underrated American directors of all time. His output since the popular success of '48 Hours' has been variable to say the least, but his run of 'The Driver', 'The Warriors', 'The Long Riders' and 'Southern Comfort' is difficult to beat. Each of those four movies is an overlooked classic, especially 'The Long Riders', which is a strong contender for the most underrated western of all time. The idea of casting real life brothers David, Keith and Robert Carradine and Stacy and James Keach (as well as Randy and Dennis Quaid and Christopher and Nicholas Guest) was an inspired one and really helps make this something special. Stacy Keach (as Frank James) and David Carradine (as Cole Younger) give the two stand out performances. Both of them are superb. David Carradine is finally getting some attention since working with Tarantino on 'Kill Bill'. His career has spanned forty years, and over 120 movies, working with everyone from Martin Scorsese to Ingmar Bergman to Hal Ashby to Robert Altman to (yes) Fred Olen Ray. He has made many (too many) lousy movies but also several very good ones. This could well be his very best role. Stacy Keach is another actor who has made some dubious career choices over the years (eg 'Mountain Of The Cannibal God', 'Class Of 1999') but when he's good he's not only really good, he's GREAT. Just watch him here and in 'Fat City' and 'The Ninth Configuration' and tell me I'm lying. Keach's brother James plays Jessie James and almost steals the movie. I also enjoyed both the Quaid brothers, and the memorable cameo by James Remar, one of the stars of Hill's cult classic 'The Warriors'. The real surprise for me here was Pamela Reed who plays Belle Starr. She's very sexy and tough and acts well, and she and David Carradine display some genuine chemistry. Their scenes together were my favourite moments in the movie. Why Reed never became a big star is difficult to fathom. I highly recommend 'The Long Riders'. It's a great movie and every Western fan should see it.
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