The Long Riders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Long Riders Reviews

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August 4, 2017
Interesting if flawed Walter Hill retelling of the James/Younger Gang saga focuses more on their families than their outlaw exploits. This film notably has the gimmick, and it's a pretty good one, of casting real-life siblings to play the James brother (Stacey and James Keach), the Youngers (David, Keith, and Robert Carradine), the Millers (Dennis and Randy Quaid), and the Fords (Christoper and Nicholas Guest). Even without that gimmick, this would still be a unique retelling of the oft told tale. The film starts out with the gang already outlaws and nearing the end of their run. Iconic events such as the Northfield Raid and the straightening of the picture frame are all present, but the film is really about familial loyalty with action sequences interspersed. The main problem with the film is the meandering and rather unfocused scrip, which is interesting because director Hill's films that he writes (The Keach brothers wrote this one), are typically lean, mean, and incredibly efficient in their storytelling, but Hill is not one of the credited writers on this film at it suffers for it. But on the plus side, besides the non-typical angle for telling this story, Hill does bring his usual gusto to the action sequences and that does inject a significant amount of life into what otherwise seems too talky of a western. I'm not sure if they were going for something like John Ford's "My Darling Clementine," which was an unusually quiet and arguably meandering retelling of the Wyatt Earp Tombstone episode, but that film is an undeniable American Film Classic and "The Long Riders" is not. Still, this film is certainly worth watching. There's a terrific supporting cast that includes western veteran Harry Carey Jr., Hill regular James Remar (who has a great knife fight sequence), Pamela Reed, Chris Mulkey, Peter Jason, and Edward Bunker. This film was also the first collaboration between hill and composer Ry Cooder. Generally speaking, this film is an absolute must see for western and Hill fans, but just go into it knowing that it's a flawed film.
½ April 26, 2017
With a cast consisting of four sets of brothers (who do a good enough job), well made action, a decent score, a solid setting and a good script this is a better than average Western however the pacing and the editing made the whole affair seem a little off to me and Walter Hill has done far better.
½ April 24, 2017
Poor film that could've been a lot better given the cast!
October 26, 2016
Hail to the Confederacy ! Always nice to be in the company of Rebels against the Big Gov't Machine, even if it is just a movie. The robbing of Federal property makes the James Gang Confederate heroes to Rebels, and criminals to Federalists.
Outstanding cast & Cinematics.
½ August 22, 2016
I'm not sure how I've gone 34 years without seeing this, or really even hearing of it. The characters are all brothers, played be real life brothers. This gives it an incredibly unique chemistry between the leads. And Walter Hill is one of the truly underrated directors of genre films. This is a Western that deserves much more appreciation than it gets.
½ August 8, 2016
I wasn't a huge fan of "The Wild Bunch" in the first place, and this feels like more of the same with a quadruple clan of brothers gimmick, but it's still an entertaining enough popcorn western. The best parts are taken from the best parts of "The Wild Bunch," so I can't give it too much credit. I feel like the idea that this movie was going for was done much better over a decade later in "Tombstone."
August 6, 2016
120816: As a result of True West magazine's Sept 2012 issue articles "The Great Northfield Raid Revisited" & "Northfield Revelations", I just had to watch this movie again. Never fails to entertain and the Northfield robbery scenes are a pleasure to watch over and over again. Just love how they did those slow motion parts. Intense movie and it is great to see brothers portraying brothers. Amazing piece of wild west history this incident. Wish I could've seen it play out in real life but will have to live with the movie versions, this one being particularly good. Still five stars in my books.
June 21, 2016
The Long Riders (1980) C-99m. ??? 1/2 D: Walter Hill. David, Keith, Robert Carradine, Randy and Dennis Quaid, James and Stacy Keach, Christopher and Nicholas Guest. Extremely bloody but stylish take on Jesse James gang, told in an almost sympathetic portrayal. Good direction, intense action sequences, memorable bloodbath finale; worth seeing for that cast alone. Striking score by Ry Cooder.
May 30, 2016
Four collections of brothers makes the casting interesting, but the movie is simply average. There is a stark bleakness to the story, as well as a great knife fight. But other than that its a standard version of the Jesse James story.
May 9, 2016
A Western was just what the Doctor ordered for today... The past few days have been a whirlwind...
March 27, 2016
Good film, but it was shallow in places and I didn't feel I knew them very well. That said it just becomes a show, not a story.
½ January 8, 2016
Walter Hill's Western.
½ December 13, 2015
Good guy flick. Good cast.
February 4, 2015
Solid story, stunning gunfight action sequences that I found riveting, and real life brothers portray the brothers of the story. These actors are in top form here, so break out the western boots and ten gallon hat - you're in for a tense, sweet ride.

4 out of 5 yeehaws
February 19, 2014
Doesn't start too well, with lots of clichés and a scattered script, but the third act really kicks ass, especially that beautifully put together shootout.You can see where Milch found the inspiration for the mood of Deadwood. James Keach is no good.
½ September 23, 2013
Long Riders is a bit of a mixed bag, with plenty to admire but also some decidedly mediocre phases to the film. The cinematography is fantastic, and the gun fights spectacular, especially the final shoot out after the failed bank robbery. The use of real life brothers to play on screen siblings was also an interesting departure, but this in itself actually became a distracting curiosity as it was not clear who was who, and it took me most of the film's run time to work out all the relationships. James Stacey who does play Jesse James was also a miserable choice for the lead, being as wooden and stiff as a railway sleeper and comprehensively out-acted by David Carradine, playing the bowie knife wielding Cole Younger, the only other discernible character. It is a reasonable film, but lacks the depth and character development of the more recent Assassination of Jesse James with Brad Pitt.
July 27, 2013
This movie was not good. I don't know where these ratings came from. Don't bother.
July 5, 2013
Walter Hill's James gang is made up three Carradine's, two Keach's and a couple of Quaid's but there is only one Edward Bunker. Great cinematography and action covers up a weak storyline. Good score from Ry Cooder. One thing I couldn't get me head round was a cowboy Nigel Tufnel.
June 6, 2013
This is an excellent western. The locations were filmed at places that looked like Missouri. The clothing was right for the times. The guns were correct. The movie covers several years in the life of the James and Younger brothers. They started out with cap and ball revolvers but as the movie went on they transitioned to cartridge revolvers. The best part was the music. They used authentic music from the 19th century. I got the sound track album before I ever saw the movie because I read in a magazine that it was the best Blue Grass album of 1980. I didn't see the movie until I bought the laserdisc. The movie uses actual brothers to play brothers in the movie. The gunfight at the end of the movie is one of the best gunfights in western movie history. My only hang up with the movie was when Cole Younger goes to Texas to see Belle Starr. When Belle Starr was married to Sam Starr she was living in Oklahoma not Texas. They left out the Oklahoma connection to the James/Younger gang. Many of their hideouts were in Indian Territory. Frank James spent his old age living in Lawton, Oklahoma. Randy Quaid has the funniest character in the movie. David Carradine plays Cole Younger and it is one of his better roles.
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