Long Riders [1980]

This terrific Walter Hill Western follows the careers of the James and Younger brothers--and uses the nifty idea of casting actual clans of acting siblings in the roles. Thus, the James brothers are played by James and Stacy Keach; the Youngers by David, Keith, and Robert Carradine; the Millers by Randy and Dennis Quaid; and the Fords by Christopher and Nicholas Guest. Hill, working with an evocative Ry Cooder score, creates a film that is at once breathtakingly exciting and elegiac in its treatment of these post-Civil War outlaws. The Keaches in particular bring a surprising dignity to the roles of Frank and Jesse James, while David Carradine is a hoot as Cole Younger--and the Quaids mimic real life (as it was for them then) in their battles as the Miller brothers. Bloody, to be sure, but also bloody good. --Marshall Fine

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