Walter Hill later said his "code" for the film was to keep "the jokes funny and the bullets real. It is about moral choices. I think people who object to violence shouldn't go to the movies." See more »
When making their escape after Northfield Bank robbery, a rider slams into a tree limb. The cable used to snap the actor back off his horse is visible. See more »
[before the Northfield Raid]
Maybe we need to send a couple of people down there and look things over before we just ride in there.
Clell's already scouted it out. What's wrong with you, Jim? Talkin' soft is something I'd expect from Cole or Frank.
I gave up tryin' to talk sense to you a long time ago, Jesse.
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I know, calling it "the true story" is a bit much for any film, but I have my reasons. There have been dozens of films about Jesse James, before this one and since, but as a history buff I choose this one as my favorite. Most movies on the subject either make Jesse a misunderstood hero or the villainous target of some (usually fictional) lawman. This movie was called "revisionist" by some critics when it was released, but the great thing about it is that it just tells the story. It uses a series of lovely little vignettes, each one of them historically verifiable. There are failings, to my mind the slow-motion shootout being the biggest, but on the whole it captures the feel of the period, the dress, the idioms ("I would toss the shotgun away!"), pretty much everything. It doesn't make them good guys, far from it, but it does take pains to show why their neighbors loved them and hated the pinkertons.
Not the best western ever, by a long shot, but almost certainly the best movie on the subject.
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