5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Underrated
This movie was not released to much fan-fare that I can remember. I came across it on late night TV by accident and it interested me enough to buy the VHS. And what a great investment it was, bringing me many hours of enjoyment. While this is a story that has been told again and again it was interesting to see "brothers playing brothers" as the casting...
Published on May 5 2002 by TheHighlander
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Riders Is Long On Music, But Not On Plot
I saw this movie for the first time a couple of days ago. What hit me about the movie was the amount of music played in the movie. The movie is fair. Not a movie you would want to repeat several times in your lifetime. Maybe watch once and then move on. The cinematography is fine. It seemed to lack grit. I found it difficult to believe David Carradine as Cole Younger...
Published on June 2 2004
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Riders Is Long On Music, But Not On Plot,
By A Customer
I saw this movie for the first time a couple of days ago. What hit me about the movie was the amount of music played in the movie. The movie is fair. Not a movie you would want to repeat several times in your lifetime. Maybe watch once and then move on. The cinematography is fine. It seemed to lack grit. I found it difficult to believe David Carradine as Cole Younger. Frank Keach was good as Jesse James, but brother Stacy Keach was passable as Frank James. I think a better rendition of the story of Jesse James and the Younger brothers was in the movie "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" made in 1972 as a television film (I believe). Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger and Robert Duvall as Jesse James seemed to be better renditions. The Long Riders is well made, but it seems to be missing something. Just rent it.....and if you really like the movie.....definitely buy it. Investigate the 1972 version with Duvall. Passable to good acting in the Long Riders.
4.0 out of 5 stars above average western with some great gun battles (3.5/5),
this is a movie about the James/Younger Gang of the old west and their
exploits.the gang is known for robbing banks and they also rob
trains.it's sort of told from a sympathetic view of the gang.the movie
doesn't really show them as bad men,but rather men who are a product of
their time.David Carradine plays Cole Younger,Keith Carradine plays Jim
Younger and Robert Carradine plays Bob Younger.Stacy Keach plays Frank
James,while James Keach plays Jesse James.Dennis Quaid plays Ed Miller
and Randy Quaid Plays Clell Miller,who also ride with the gang.for
me,this western is above average.there's lots of action and some
intense and(in my opinion)spectacular gunfights.this movie may have the
distinction of being the 1st movie to have real life brothers playing
brothers on screen.i thought the acting was pretty convincing,and the
filmmakers did a good job in making me feel some empathy for the
gang.if you like westerns,you should like this movie.for me,"The Long
Riders" is a 3.5/5
3.0 out of 5 stars MANY OF THESE REVIEWS ARE OVER-RATING THIS MOVIE,
Based on the reviews here at this amazon site, I felt it sounded like a movie that I could buy and watch again and again. So I went out and paid the money. When I saw the movie, I returned it to the shop and asked if I could swap it for something else. I think the reviews here are over-rating this movie. Some how it paints the picture of brotherly love and how one brother backs another brother. Well that is trashed very early on, as Quaid junior is left on a limb by all including his older brother for messing up the first hit, not much look out for your brother there then. And what about the Guest brothers, they hardly did anything and their names make the cover of the dvd.
The final hit that the gang undertakes was a good bit of action, but the one thing that I detest is when the gang fire one shot and kill someone, but when other people fire at the gang it takes about 10 bullets hitting different parts of the body and they still don't die - I hate this, I hate this a lot. It seemed the whole village of about 150 people were firing at our gang of about 7 and in the process took about 150 bullets without dieing - what was going on? After the final hit, half turn them selves in and Cole Younger is sitting there in hospital and he looked like nothing happened, when infact he took 11 bullets - what the hell is going on man. A similar thing happened in the Return of the Magnificent Seven, about half a dozen take on a whole army (it also happened in the first of the Magnificent Seven movies, but that was stylish and I liked it), it just looked absolutely ridiculous, not even a 5 year old would buy that.
The score was probably not that good either as I have forgotten it. One of the reviewers reffered to it as one of the top 5 westerns of all time - eh eh, how wrong can you be, it would not even make my top 10 best westerns.
If you want to watch a western or buy one and you do not have or seen any of Clint Eastwoods dollar movies then forget the Long Riders.
PS: When I returned the Long Riders I swapped it for Once Upon a Time in the West, which was nearly 3 times the price but much much much better.
4.0 out of 5 stars STYLISH WESTERN,
I SAW THIS MOVIE AT THE AGE OF 15 ON THE BIG SCREEN WITH STEREO SOUND AND IT WAS TRULY AN EXPERIENCE.
THIS REALLY ISNT A MOVIE SUITED TO THE SMALL SCREEN AS ITS EXPLOSIVE IMPACT IS CERTINELY COMPROMISED BY WATCHING IT ON THE TUBE. BUT SHORT OF A RE RELEASE I GUESS VIDEO WILL HAVE TO DO.
THE FIRST THING THAT STRIKES THE VIEWER IS THE RUSTIC, WINING ALMOST EERY SOUNTRACK BEAUTFULLY DONE.
THE FACT THAT VARIOUS ACTING BROTHERS PLAY VARIOUS OUTLAW BROTHERS IS AN EXTREMLY UNIQUE AND REALISTICLY NOVEL APPROACH.
BROTHERS LOOK LIKE BROTHERS, SOUND LIKE BROTHERS. I DISAGREE WITH ANOTHER REVIEW OF THIS FILM. I THINK THE CASTING WAS PERFECT AND VERY EFFECTIVE.
AS AN AMETEUR HISTORIAN OF THE OLD WEST, I THINK THE STORYLINE FOLLOWS FACT ABOUT AS WELL AS ANY DRAMATIC REENACTMENT IS GOING TOO.
AND THEN THE DIRECTION IS EXPERTLY DONE BY WALTER HILL WHO MUST BE A PECKINPAH APPRENTICE. THE CLIMACTIC FINALLY OF THE FILM IS THE GANGS BOTCHED BANK ROBBERY IN NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA WHERE YANKEE SQUAREHEADS SHOOT THE GROUP TO RIBBONS. THE SLOW MOTION WAS NOTHING NEW BUT SLOW SOUND WAS. YOU CAN HERE THE ZIPPING OF THE MISSILES JUST PRIOR TO THEIR SPLATTERING IMPACT INTO FLESH.
IF YOU READ THE ACTUAL ACCOUNTING YOU WILL FIND THE MOVIE PLAYS TRUE RIGHT DOWN TO ONE OF THE YOUNGERS GETTING SHOT THROUGH THE JAW.
THE STUNT WORK WAS NOTHING SHORT OF EXCEPTIONAL AND THE EDITOR DESERVES RAVES TOO.
THERE IS A LITTLE BRIEF NUDITY THAT COULD HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT AS IT DOESNT WORK IN A WESTERN, BUT THATS ABOUT MY ONLY COMPLAINT.
THE MUSIC IS WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION BY ITSELF.
TURN THE LIGHTS OFF, LIMIT DISTRACTIONS AND CRANK THE VOLUME. THATS THE ONLY WAY TO WATCH THIS SHOW.
OVERALL IT IS ONE STYLISH WESTERN DESTINED TO BE A TRUE CULT CLASSIC.
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed but beautiful western,
The script is a cliched mess, filled with lines that are forced retro-mythological and obvious, not to mention monosyllabic. Jesse's marriage proposal is a lumbering embarrasment.
Several of the performers appear to sleepwalk through their roles. Although this isn't the case with the wry performance of David Carradine who delivers his finest peformance and the spicey Pamela Reed as an iron tough and manipulative Belle Starr.
And yet this film by director Walter Hill somehow works. The photography by Ric Waite is absolutely dreamlike in its frail beauty. The costume design is romantic without being frilly. The cutting is tight. Hill's framing is carefull and rich and most of all, Ry Cooder's magnificent score breathes poetry.
All of these technical elements add up to make a flawed, but rich western film well deserving of a bigger following. Personally, if I could walk out of real life and into the imagined world of a film, this film, along with "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "A Hard Day's Night", "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "Lonesome Dove" would be one that would be ideal.
The technical achievements of this film all work together to overcome its other limitations. It is a film that truly creates a unique atmosphere of a time and place that really didn't exist in history but rather in folk tales and American Legendary Dreams.
This DVD, although devoid of any extras (I would love to have Walter Hill's commentary!)gloriously transfers Waite's photography.
My advice is to buy Ry Cooder's soundtrack on CD, put in the DVD, turn down the sound and enjoy.
2.0 out of 5 stars Was this thing made for TV?,
Got to be a reason I managed to avoid seeing this thing the past 20 years. I would expect more from Walter Hill but this movie falls way short of it's overrated status as "one of the best." As far as the James/Younger sagas goes this is one of the worst IMO. The Keach boys with their 'dead eyes' bring absolutely no energy whatsoever to the part of Jesse and Frank James. The movie suffers from terrible casting more than anything else, but the Keach brothers did own the script. Sort of like buying your own baseball team and inserting yourself in the lineup at shortstop. It's a decent story but it just fails to deliver and you'll have a hard time mustering any sympathy for the 'heroes' of this turkey. However, David Carradine is standout as Cole Younger. His knifefight with James Remar is the clear highlight of the film, followed only by the hilarious dialogue with his 'consort' Belle Starr. Pretty funny stuff. A little too reminiscent of the highly overrated Wild Bunch where the focus on graphic violence and airborne blood wins out over content. Two bullets, one for each of the Keach boys.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Underrated,
This review is from: Long Riders, the (VHS Tape)
This movie was not released to much fan-fare that I can remember. I came across it on late night TV by accident and it interested me enough to buy the VHS. And what a great investment it was, bringing me many hours of enjoyment. While this is a story that has been told again and again it was interesting to see "brothers playing brothers" as the casting director filled the characters of the movie with blood ties with present day actor brothers,the Carradine's, the Keach's and the Quaid's.
The movie shows how the outlaws received constant help from their kin and neighbors in the region to avoid capture. Of particular interest to me was David Carradine's performance of Cole Younger and the offshoot of his love for the "woman of ill-repute" Bell Starr.
Packed with riveting action scenes and an enjoyable soundtrack this movie is bound to go down in the history of western movies as a very highly ranked movie. But unfortunately this is a mostly unseen classic.
Buy this movie and you will not be sorry.
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall, Underwhelming,
This film was, when all is said and done, a great deal more style than substance. Because the James/Younger stories are reasonably well known, the director may have felt comfortable leaving a number of loose threads at each end of the cloth. He shouldn't have. Also, by distributing the focus around on 6 or 7 characters, he spreads himself far too thin. In a number of instances involving peripheral characters, I had the strong suspicion that a full director's cut might have created a sufficient context to explain something, but someone else got slap happy in the cutting room. As a result, the release version wound up seeming something like a mere series of tableaux with little character development from beginning to end. The main in depth portion involved the Northfield shootout at the end, which seemed to be a Wild Bunch redux and that was already a bit old by 1980. Other aspects such as the cinemetography and casting were quite good, but only served to allow The Long Riders to climb up to mediocrity overall.
5.0 out of 5 stars Walter Hill's best film -- an unsung classic,
Just as the 80s were beginning and the Western was about to take a sad, decade long sleep, Walter Hill, fresh from his unexpected success with the gang film "The Warriors," turned out this unique and utterly remarkable Western about the James-Younger gang. Using real-life brothers to play the outlaw kin (two Keaches, three Carradines, two Quaids, two Guests), Hill crafts an intense character study that plays like a collaboration between Western great John Ford ("Stagecoach") and Japanese master Akira Kurosawa ("Yojimbo", a film Walter Hill later remade as "Last Man Standing").
"The Long Riders" is close to plotless, but it paints a fascinating picture of the gang and the family and community ties that keep them together (the Ford influence right there...community was his great theme) while delving into the nuances of each character (this is where the fraternal casting really helps out). And Hill acheives all this depth in only 100 minutes! The action sequences are the best in a Western since Sam Peckinpah; the Northfield robbery is particularly striking and brutal.
Aside from Hill and all the great actors, cinematography Ric Waite and composer Ry Cooder deserve special mention for the film's success. Waite creates an authentic "period" look with his deep, glowing photography; the DVD transfer captures this perfectly for the first time. Cooder's score is completely against the grain for the time: small, intimate, and filled with forgotten folk tunes that help paint a picture of a united, family-built community. It is almost a companion piece for David Mansfield's equally intimate score for "Heaven's Gate," released the same year as "The Long Riders."
The DVD has no extras except for a trailer, but the film is so wonderful and so rewards repeat viewings that you should grab a copy of it right away. Believe me, you'll be stunned by this piece of film art.
"I ain't aiming to do nothing...I'm doing it!"
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic western with modern day cinemetography,
By A Customer
This review is from: Long Riders, the (VHS Tape)
The Long Riders is probably my favorite movie of all time. So much happens in the movie, it is almost impossible to catch everything and the meaning behind it in less than five viewings. The more you begin to understand, the better the movie becomes.
Each scene is well done, and each is significant to the development of the story.
While the artistic license stretches the historic accuracy of the James/Younger gang, many events are depicted as accurately as most history books describe them.
The cinemetography is fabulous, unexpectedly inserting an air of magic into scenes and leaving the viewer saying "whoa!" An example is the boys on horseback appearing out of a fog bank to sneak up behind some men who accidentaly killed Jesse James' younger brother. The best work is done in the escape scene from Northfield where Cole Younger (David Carradine) is hit by at least four bullets. The slow-motion video and slowed-down sound allow the viewer to feel each strike.
There is not a rating high enough for this movie.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Long Riders [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import] (Blu-ray - 2011)
CDN$ 22.32 CDN$ 16.99