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This movie was great. Historically accurate with excellent actors cast for the parts. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and the only bad thing I can say is they were awfully hard on the horses in some scenes. You can't trip a horse and make him turn a somersault without risking serious injury to his back or legs. Jumping horses through glass and forcing them to swim in very deep and turbulent water obviously was traumatic and dangerous for the horses. To be fair, it looked like the actors got put through a physical beating as well. The fight scenes were impeccable. The expressions on Jesse James and his brother Frank's faces were stern and very believable. This movie is quality through and through. I plan to add the dvd to my collection to sit beside the likes of "Tombstone" and "Young Guns". One of those rare movies worth watching again and again!
I bet I've watched this at least 6 or 7 times but still see or learn something each time. The casting was amazing and the small details are more faithfully preserved than usual. I recommend this to any interested in the James/Younger gang legend.
This is from a different time in film making, perhaps, but I could not get past the first 10 minutes of this drivel. It felt like a retread of TV westerns from the 1960s -- but not the good bits. And I say that as a fan of the admittedly cheesy "Wild, Wild West" and "Kung Fu." We modern folk have experienced Western wonders such as "Unforgiven" and "Deadwood" -- and after that, there is simply no going back to tepid fare like this.
A highly underrated "Classic", this Western, delivers a well woven story of the James - Younger gang. The Northfield Minnesota bank robbery scene is one of the best action scenes in the entirety of American Western genre.
No digital images here, exceptional realistic stunt work done by humans and horses.
The Quaid, Carradine, and Keach "brothers" that star in this film have are "Kin Folk", and they put forth a superlative acting performance in their respective roles.
Millennials See This Movie!!!
It also is a reasonably accurate depiction of a piece of American history.
Didn't finish watching the movie yet... just pointing out that they use plastic / injected molded poker chips in the first 7 mins of the movie... "pretty sure" they weren't invented at the time of the civil war...
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017
Looking forward to the new 4k restoration and 5.1 soundtrack! This is one of my all time favorite westerns, second only to Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch". Now if they'd just get "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid" released on Blu ray, my western collection would be complete!
There were some big mistake in the casting room like not picking the Bridges brothers, choosing Randy to showcase rather than Dennis and not finding an attractive woman. The only parts that were worth it were the robbery scenes so sticking with that theme and dropping the biography idea might have helped get me over all that lame dull stuff between each heist. There are many westerns out there that have done it much better by sticking with the bad guys robber theme and avoid all the other boring stuff that made it The Long Boring.
I confess that I came to The Long Riders with modest expectations. The casting of 4 sets of brothers to play the Younger/James clans sounded interesting but gimmicky. And, while Stacy Keach and David Carradine (and their brothers) have been around a long time, you won't find them on anyone's list of great actors. Being on a bit of a Western kick, however, made me take the plunge. I am very glad I did. The Long Riders tells the tale of the Younger/James gang (or James/Younger gang---just whose gang it was is a point of contention throughout the film). Men who learned their craft riding with vigilantes during the Civil War, they became prolific train (and bank) robbers. So much so, that the Pinkerton Agency was hired to capture and/or eliminate them. The Long Riders adeptly shows us the brutality and violence of the gang, while also reminding us that even men like these have families, people they love, and even some rationale for their actions. It reveals the ruthlessness of the Pinkerton agents, while also making clear that they, too, were human beings fumbling to do what they believed was right. In short, The Long Riders is a nuanced and moving portrait of people and times too often painted in black and white. One is appalled by the actions of the gang, but is also drawn to rooting for them--not so much for their success as criminals, but for their well-being as humans. Lest that make The Long Riders sound agenda-driven and didactic, let me add that the film is a fast-paced, exciting western. The acting is very good across the board, as is the writing. It is beautifully shot, and it is highly entertaining. The Long Riders is worth both watching and purchasing.
4.0 out of 5 starsGgreat film - shame about the picture quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2016
This was an old favourite on DVD, which I somehow managed to lose. The story etc. is brilliant and deserves 6 stars at least. I have knocked one off, because I mistakenly thought the BR would give a better picture, but alas, no. HD it ain't, but still very watchable. Not a bad picture, but might as well have simply replaced the DVD for a couple of quid in a charity shop. (Played on PS3, which is normally sharp as a pin). If you want HD, get a different version, or simply watch the film with a bottle of Jim Beam, (other bourbons are available), then it will soon all go out of focus anyway.. Works for me. If you like westerns, don't miss this one.
5.0 out of 5 starsA classic western in it's own right.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2015
The long riders is a beautiful filmed western it's about Jesse James and his brother frank james and the cole younger gang directed by Walter hill I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that this was different than any other Jesse James films. The first thing it brought together three sets of acting brothers to play the outlaws the keachs carradines quaids and guests the second thing was this film was like no other Jesse James film in previous films Jesse James was portrayed as a romantic hero in this version he is what he was a ruthless angry mixed up young man. Overview. In post civil war America the legendary band of outlaws blaze a bloody trail across minnesota and the west robbing banks trains and stagecoaches culminating in the infamous Northfield Minnesota bank raid which cost Jesse James his gang with stunning cinematography a western that took inspiration from John ford to sam peckinpah Walter hills the long riders is one of the last great westerns of the 20th century.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2017
Good not Great. Strong points are historical accuracy. Not exact but it is better than most films based on true stories. The Minnesota raid that went wrong both in reality and in this film is the best part. Really good gunfight and the fact that the Younger who takes the least damage of those who are shot ends up dying while the other survives is a nicely observed view on the randomness of fate.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2019
Poor picture looked like a old worn vhs tape instead of a digital versatile disc and the sound was not up to much either. Apart from that nice to watch a film that doesn’t get airtime for some reasons. Last of all don’t like waiting so long for delivery if And it is a if I order any more dvd’s Delivery time will will have to be much better.
4.0 out of 5 stars"We played a rough game... and we lost."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2011
Walter Hill's The Long Riders was one of the few modern Westerns that managed to get the right mix between printing the legend and making it feel real. The umpteenth retelling of the Jesse James legend, though for once giving equal weight to the Younger and Miller Brothers, it may lack the brutal demythologising of Philip Kaufman's The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid or the poetry of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but it has enough strengths of its own to deserve a cult classic status that it hasn't quite achieved.
It was a difficult shoot, with Hill apparently rewriting much of the script on the cuff, which might explain its narrative economy, but the scars don't show. As you might expect from Hill, the action scenes are particularly well executed, but there's also a strong sense of place and community that gives the film an added weight. It's also particularly good at showing the way the Pinkerton detectives' heavy-handed ineptness had more to do with making them folk heroes than their own exploits. But while the film has a striking look that feels authentic without weighing the film down with trivial details, at heart there's not a great deal more substance than any of the preceding Jesse James films. The James-Younger gang may have got into the habit of robbing banks during the war and found they were good at it, but Cole Younger acknowledges they'd probably have ended up the same way if there hadn't been a war, and that's about as far as the film digs as far as motivation goes. At times this is more of a saga about families whose business just happens to be train and bank robbery, and the film's sibling casting - the Carradines, the Keachs, the Quaids and the Guests (as Bob and Charlie Ford) - works well in that context, though it's odd to see Dennis Quaid being surplus to requirements. James Keach's dark and brooding Jesse James isn't as well developed as you might expect, with David Carradine's Cole Younger and Stacy Keach's Frank James making the biggest impression. Pamela Reed is a Belle Starr well worth a knife fight ("What's the winner get?" "Nothin' you both ain't already had.") and Ry Cooder's score is superb (Cooder has an uncredited cameo as one of the musicians in the film).
It would have been interesting to see how the proposed sequel/prequel would have turned out - even though the film wasn't a big hit, it did well enough for United Artists to consider a followup with the same cast until Heaven's Gate put them off Westerns for good. But as this stands, it's more than good enough to stand on its own two feet and is easily one of the best of that last crop of 80s Westerns before the genre went into hibernation. MGM/UA's DVD is an acceptable widescreen transfer (though the UK DVD is missing a few seconds of illegal horse falls) but the only extra is a trailer - in an ideal world this would merit an audio commentary and an attempt to unearth John Carradine's deleted scene that would have added another generation to the mix.
Second Sight's Region B-locked Blu-ray release offers an excellent new one hour long German documentary. It's basically just talking heads with Walter Hill, James Keach and Robert Carradine, but although they're enthusiastic about the film it's not a gushing love-in and they talk at length about the creative reasons behind some of their decisions. Most of the meat is from Hill and Carradine, but it's choice stuff. There are also two featurettes from the same interview sessions that were obviously deemed too long for the documentary: one with Hill talking about his relationship with Sam Peckinpah and the different ways they used slow motion, the other a lengthy breakdown of shooting the Northfield Minnesota raid. The transfer of the feature isn't a huge upgrade from the DVD, though, and it's still missing four seconds of horse falls (ironic considering the discussion of avoiding hurting the horses in the supplements).
Kino Lorber's 2-disc Region A-locked US Bluray release is taken from a new and uncut 4K scan that's a little colder than the rich colours on the Second Sight release while the letterboxing favours a bit more of the top of the image, and it's hard to say which is the more accurate representation of how the film originally looked nearly four decades on (though if you want thericher colour you can tweak around with your TV's colour settings). There's no debate about the extras package, which is absolutely superb, carrying over the features Robert Fischer's Fiction Factory produced for the Second Sight disc (though the transfers of these is slightly less impressive than on the UK disc) while adding an extraordinary number of new and in-depth interviews - Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine, Stacy Keach and James Keach, Randy Quaid, Nicholas Guest, Walter Hill, composer Ry Cooder and producer Tim Zinnemann, as well as an audio commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson, the original theatrical trailer and trailers for other MGM/UA Westerns released by Kino Lorber (Death Rides a Horse, The Mercenary, Valdez is Coming and The Hunting Party). Needless to say, it's highly recommended.