When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is ...
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When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is rightfully theirs. In the course of their vendetta, they will become the object of the biggest manhunt in the history of the Old West and, as their fame grows, so will the legend of their leader, a young outlaw by the name of Jesse James. Written by
This film was held up for release more than once and now it's apparent why. Dreck!!! This dressed up "B" oater is a sobering reminder of how really well done films used to be. Even the bad ones were better than this. While it aspires to something profound and "hip", the overwrought and corny dialogue, the bombardment of cliches, and the horrid soundtrack and use of current music (Moby in 1865? Puh-lease!!!) make it anything but. The script smacks of something that might have been written for Audie Murphy or Jeffrey Hunter in 1964 and soundly rejected. By comparison "Young Guns" looks like "The Wild Bunch" (Yikes!!!). The filmmakers were apparently trying the "outlaw as rock star" motif but Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" set a high water mark that handily drowns these guys. But, like "Billy" in the earlier work, everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, loves Jesse. It's sometimes hard to tell who wants to sleep with him more; his brother Frank, partner Cole Younger, or Zee Mimms, the purty gal he aims tuh marry. But fear not, bible thumpers, ain't no sinnin' goin' on here. Just good old-fashion killin'. The only people sleeping together would be the audience. The bad guys love him, too. They must, because whether it be at point blank range with a pistol, or with a Gatling gun during a Civil War battle , they just can seem to want to hurt this guy. Either that, or they're close to being the worst shots in film history. And woe be to those that do shoot at him 'cause all Jesses's got to do is smile. See him smile and it's a guarantee that these hombres ain't long for this world, by cracky. Remember the smile, folks, it's integral to our hero's save-the-day and "this one's fer Ma" antics. Les is a usually competent director and a nice guy to boot (old classmate o' mine). I hope he can recover from the savaging that the paid critics will give him. If you want to see the James gang saga told in a good movie save your money, stay at home, and checkout "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" or "The Long Riders".
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