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 revenge.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

Bill Bryden, Steven Smith (as Steven Phillip Smith) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,668 ( 6,541)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Cole Younger
Keith Carradine ... Jim Younger
Robert Carradine ... Bob Younger
James Keach ... Jesse James
Stacy Keach ... Frank James
Dennis Quaid ... Ed Miller
Randy Quaid ... Clell Miller
Kevin Brophy ... John Younger
Harry Carey Jr. ... George Arthur
Christopher Guest ... Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest ... Bob Ford
Shelby Leverington Shelby Leverington ... Annie Ralston
Felice Orlandi ... Mr. Reddick
Pamela Reed ... Belle Starr
James Remar ... Sam Starr
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Storyline

After the American Civil War, outlaw Jesse James forms a gang comprised of himself, his brother Frank James, Cole Younger and his two brothers, Jim Younger and Bob Younger as well as Ed Miller and his brother Clell Miller. The gang is led by Jesse James and Cole Younger. The gang starts by robbing small banks and stagecoaches in the Midwest and in their home state of Missouri. Later, the gang targets bigger prizes, such as larger banks and trains. This criminal activity attracts the attention of the railroad company owners who hire the Pinkerton Detective Agency to capture the gang. When the gang kills a few Pinkerton detectives, a war of sorts starts between the Pinkerton Agency and the James-Younger gang. Sometimes caught in the middle of it are innocent civilians. In 1876, the gang is running out of banks to rob in Missouri and decides to raid a supposedly fat bank, far up North, in the state of Minnesota. But the Pinkerton Detective Agency is setting up a trap there. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"All the world likes an outlaw. For some damn reason they remember 'em." - Jesse James See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although John Younger is portrayed as a cousin of the Youngers, he was a brother. See more »

Goofs

Electric lights used throughout, especially at Jesse James' house and on the train he and his gang rode to Minnesota. See more »

Quotes

Jacob Rixley: Mrs. James, we are going to search your house. I don't suppose it would do any good to ask nicely?
Zee Mimms/James: It won't do you any good to ask at all.
Jacob Rixley: You know, those men of yours are going to wind up dead or they're going to wind up worse.
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Alternate Versions

UK video and DVD versions were cut by 4 secs by the BBFC to edit a horse-fall. Although the BBFC's website states that the 1986 video version was cut by 1 minute 35 secs, this seems to be erroneous. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Road Games: Audio Interview with Stacy Keach (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold to God's Unchanging Hand
(uncredited)
Music traditional
Arranged by Ry Cooder
Original lyrics by Franklin L. Eiland
Sung a cappella by the minister at a funeral
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User Reviews

 
Hill almost elevates cinema violence into an art form...
8 April 2004 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

As Sam Peckinpah's 'The Getaway,' Walter Hill's 'The Long Riders' almost elevates cinema violence into an art form…

Visually, 'The Long Riders' contains much that is stunning, even mesmerizing: the green Missouri scenic landscapes; the train robbery sequence; the stagecoach heist; the crossing of a wild river; but there is no question that it is the scene of the gang's disastrous foray into Northfield, Minnesota - that highlight this film… These specific episodes give 'The Long Riders' its rhythm, power, spectacle, and excitement…

With his slow motion 'terror shootout,' Hill seems to impress his viewers by showing them an inventive montage of high-level gory violence… But Hill's most wonderful sequences are those that were the most reserved: the wonderful moment when Frank is cutting the hardest wood with a forest ax and his brother Jesse, walking with his fiancée, attempting to settle down and raise a family…

Hill may have a reputation for being a tough guy, but his best screen moments (in "Hard Times", "The Warriors", "Streets of Fire") are the ones in which he allows his romantic tendencies to slip through, when he gives his characters the dignity that means so much to them… Hill tries to debunk the American myth that Western gunfighters were "heroes," and to show these embittered guys for the 'rough men that they really were.'

Hill's real intention is to present us with a gang of four families of brothers, and get us to accept them on their own terms, in their own brutal world… The men of 'The Long Riders' are at their most dastardly at the beginning of the film when Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) indiscriminately shoots an innocent clerk, but for the rest of the film - one by one - Hill reveals their better, more 'human' sides… We further get to appreciate them as we compare them to the awful men around them; next to the Pinkertons killing a simple-minded 15 year old boy, they come out best, the 'good guys.'

To Hill, good and bad aren't on opposite sides of the coin; they share the edge


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

16 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bandit Kings See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,351,112, 18 May 1980

Gross USA:

$15,795,189

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,795,189
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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