6.0/10
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165 user 43 critic

American Outlaws (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Western | 17 August 2001 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Les Mayfield

Writers:

Roderick Taylor (story), Roderick Taylor (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Jesse James
Scott Caan ... Cole Younger
Ali Larter ... Zerelda 'Zee' Mimms
Gabriel Macht ... Frank James
Gregory Smith ... Jim Younger
Harris Yulin ... Thaddeus Rains, President Rock Northern Rail Road
Kathy Bates ... Ma James
Timothy Dalton ... Allan Pinkerton
Will McCormack ... Bob Younger
Ronny Cox ... Doc Mimms, Zee's Dad
Terry O'Quinn ... Rollin H. Parker - Rains' Gopher
Nathaniel Arcand ... Comanche Tom
Ty O'Neal ... Clell Miller
Joe Stevens ... Loni Packwood
Barry Tubb ... Captain Malcolm
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Storyline

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 <gsm1224@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bad Is Good Again. See more »

Genres:

Action | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jesse James See more »

Filming Locations:

Dripping Springs, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,855,475, 19 August 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,264,986, 21 October 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,601,109, 31 December 2001
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Farrell did as many of his own stunts as Les Mayfield would let him do. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse first exits the train cart through the door, a shot is fired at him, shattering the adjacent door's window. In the next shot, the window only has a single bullet hole in it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cole: Gatling! They got a Gatling gun!
Bob: Goddamn it Cole, this stopped bein' fun about two years ago!
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the American release DVD there are 2 scenes that were cut from the original movie. One is a fight between Jesse and Frank at a bar. The other is Jesse "paying" for a girl for Jim Younger. See more »


Soundtracks

Find My Baby
Performed by Moby
Written by Richard Hall (Moby), Joe Lee and Alan Lomax
Used by permission of Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
obo itself, The Little Idiot Music & Unichappell Music Inc.
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc./Mute Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Rousing, mythmaking account of the James-Younger Gang with Colin Farrell & Scott Caan
12 March 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 2001, "American Outlaws" is yet another rendition of Jesse James, Cole Younger and their Gang. This one focuses on the end of the Civil War and the first few years of the gang's activities,which lasted a whole decade in reality, from 1866-76, ending with the foiled Northfield, Minnesota, bank robbery on September 7, 1876. Jesse & Frank escaped while the others were captured or died. While Frank tried to settle down to a normal life in Virginia Jesse restarted the gang in 1879, but was shot by Robert Ford, one of his trusted gang members on April 3, 1882.

"American Outlaws" is highlighted by a great cast with palpable chemistry, including Colin Farrell as Jesse, Scott Caan (aka 'Danno') as Cole, the beautiful Ali Larter as Zee, Jesse's girlfriend/wife, and Timothy Dalton as the lead Pinkerton. Gabriel Macht, Will McCormack, Nathaniel Arcand and Gregory Smith are also on hand as notable members of the gang. The film plays it fairly serious accented by a fun, joie de vivre spirit, sorta like Indiana Jones in the wild West. You can tell the cast had a blast during filming. This is the exact opposite of the grim "The Long Riders" from 1980, which is arguably the best and most accurate film about the James-Younger Gang.

As far as historical accuracy goes with "American Outlaws," well, there was a group of outlaws in Missouri called the James-Younger Gang and they did rob banks, trains, and stagecoaches in Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, West Virginia and Minnesota (whereas Jesse's later group continued the gangs' criminal legacy in Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana and Mississippi), other than this the historicity is pretty butchered for the sake of rousing Western entertainment. See "The Long Riders" for a more austere and accurate version of the tale.

BOTTOM LINE: Even though "American Outlaws" loses points for inaccuracies and implausibilities, it scores high in overall entertainment value. It's a turn-off-your-brain-and-have-a-blast kind of Western. The movie performed poorly at the box office in 2001 and Roger Ebert gave it a scathing review. Ebert compared it to 1972's "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid," which he praised. This was strange because that film wasn't exactly realistic either; in fact, it's a veritable parody or black comedy. These movies shouldn't be compared in the first place since "American Outlaws" details the gang's first year in action and "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" the gang's final bank robbery, a whole decade later. Furthermore, the two films are expressly opposite in tone: "American Outlaws" makes the wild West larger-than-life and ALMOST fun while the other film de-glamorizes it, making it profane, ugly and idiotic. In any event, "American Outlaws" is seriously rollicking Western lore worthy of one's video library.

The film was shot in Central-East Texas (great locations, by the way) and runs a short-but-sweet 94 minutes.

GRADE: B


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