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The Long Riders (1980)

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.


Walter Hill


Bill Bryden, Steven Smith (as Steven Phillip Smith) | 2 more credits »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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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 Kevin Brophy ... John Younger
Harry Carey Jr. ... George Arthur
Christopher Guest ... Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest ... Bob Ford
Shelby Leverington ... Annie Ralston
Felice Orlandi ... Mr. Carl Reddick
Pamela Reed ... Belle Shirley Starr
James Remar ... Sam Starr


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Swedish

Release Date:

16 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabalgata infernal See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,000,000, 30 June 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the train-ride north, Bob Younger is playing the "Jew's harp", (also known as "jaw harp", "mouth harp", "Ozark harp", "trump", or "juice harp". He is playing a song called "The Wayward Boy", of which Jim Younger is heard singing a few verses. See more »


As Cole Younger takes a gun shot hit while on his horse in Northfield, duct tape from the special effects team is clearly visible on his shirt as his duster flies back. See more »


Jacob Rixley: What do you and your brothers think about a life sentence? I mean, you're lucky they don't allow hanging in this state. Come on, Cole, tell me what you think about this?
Cole Younger: Ah, hell. We played a rough game... and we lost.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure an 'X' rating. Cuts were made in 1986 when the film was granted an '18' certificate for home video, and most of these cuts were waived with the exception of 4 seconds when released on DVD in 2001 and again on Blu-Ray in 2013. See more »


Referenced in Speaking Parts (1989) See more »


Hold to God's Unchanging Hand
Music traditional
Arranged by Ry Cooder
Original lyrics by Franklin L. Eiland
Sung a cappella by the minister at a funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

An unsentimental and violent Western emphasising mythical conventions , starred by real-life brothers as the members of the band
7 July 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Yet another recounting of the infamous James (Jesse: James Keach , Frank: Stacy Keach, this performance fraternity acquits itself well and both of whom were writers and producers) , who the public regarded them as heroes , from Missouri to Minnesota , including the fateful Northfield raid . The origins , exploits and the ultimate fate of the Jesse James gang is told in an enticing portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of vendetta ; these are the following brothers : the James , Frank and Jesse , Cole Younger (David Carradine) , Jim Younger (Keith Carradine) , Bob Younger (Robert Carradine) and the Miller , Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) and Clell Miller (Randy Quaid). As soon as railroad agents kill their youngest brother and hurt their mother , Jesse James (James Keach) and Frank (Stacy Keach) take up robbing banks and trains and seek revenge . Then , the Pinkerton Agency is engaged to bring the James-Younger gang in . At the end James is betrayed by the treacherous Ford brothers : Charlie Ford (Christopher Guest) and Bob Ford (Nicholas Guest) . As Jesse retires his erstwhile friend Robert Ford shoots him in the back to get the reward .

This is a gorgeous , laconic , deliberate and agreeable Western movie . There is a concentration on familiar rituals as the funeral , family reunion and wives relationships ; but also on common Western rituals as the brothel , the saloon and the robbing . It displays splendid actors giving an awesome tour de force , attempting not to make heroes of the boys , with a casting of four sets . The studio bought the rights to the James Brothers but changed some facts for psychological and family motivations , instead serving up a potted commentary on the conventions of the genre itself . The trump card here is the impressive Northfield raid , shot in slow-moving and violently realized. It packs an atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Ric Waite . And the enjoyable soundtrack by Ry Cooder , Hill' regular , fits magnificently to the flick . The motion picture was stunningly directed by Walter Hill who pays tribute to such filmmakers as Howard Hawks , John Ford , Nicholas Ray and , especially , Sam Peckinpah . Here Hill focuses on the subjects of brotherhood , kinship , friendship and about the territories taken wrongly by railway ; refusing to bother too much about historic events .

This James retelling has been adapted several times , ¨The long riders¨ has a distinguished company of movies , each version gutsier and bloodier than the last , such as : 1939 recounting ¨Jesse James¨ by Henry King with Tyrone Power , Henry Fonda , John Carradine , Brian Donlevy , Donald Meek ; ¨The return of Frank James¨ (1940) by Fritz Lang with Henry Fonda , Gene Tierney , Jackie Cooper , Henry Hull , John Carradine , J. Edward Bromberg ; ¨I shot Jesse James¨(1949) by Samuel Fuller with Preston Foster , Barbara Britton , John Ireland , J. Edward Bromberg ; ¨The true story of Jesse James¨ by Nicholas Ray with Robert Wagner , Jeffrey Hunter , Hope Lange , Agnes Moorehead , Alan Hale Jr , Alan Baxter , John Carradine ; ¨Frank and Jesse¨ (1995) by Robert Boris with Rob Lowe , Bill Paxton , Randy Travis , Dana Wheeler-Nicholson , Maria Pitillo , Luke Askew and Sean Patrick Flanery . And has been portrayed most recently in ¨American Outlaws¨ (2001) by Les Mayfield with Colin Farrell , Ali Larter , Gabriel Macht , Terry O'Quinn and ¨The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford¨ (2007) with Brad Pitt , Casey Affleck , Sam Shepard .

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