Friday, June 16, 2006

Overlooked Movie: The Long Riders


"I tend not to look back. It’s confusing, you as an audience can look at these things as films, but I remember them as social experiences. Some we’re great experiences, some we’rent. I guess I never had a better experience than working on “The Long Riders" -Long Riders Director, Walter Hill

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.

Click here to view the trailer.

"All the world likes an outlaw. For some damn reason they remember 'em." - Jesse James

Fun Trivia:
The film stars four sets of actual brothers: the Carradines, the Keachs, the Quaids and the Guests.

Ry Cooder has a cameo as the saloon singer he also composed the soundtrack.

Originally Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges were going to play the Ford brothers but they could not fit it in their schedules.

The revolver Frank James threatens Rixley with and carries throughout the movie is a Smith-Wesson Schofield. In reality, Jesse carried a pair of Schofields while Frank preferred the heavier Remington New Army (the type of pistol shown carried by Cole Younger). After leaving prison, Frank James did a print testimonial for Remington referring to the Remington as 'the finest hand gun I ever carried'.

Modern day power lines visible in the scenes shot in Georgia.

Horses were galloped and tripped in the making of this movie causing pain and suffering to the animals, because of this some scenes were cut from the British release.


Fun Quotes:
Frank James: Mr. Rixley?
Jacob Rixley: That's right.
Frank James: My name is Frank James. I came here to turn myself in. Here's my gun. I want something in return. I want to be able to bury my brother.
Jacob Rixley: Suppose I don't agree to your terms?
Frank James: I'll kill you.

 Cole Younger: When this is all over, I'm goin' to write a book; make myself more famous than I already am.
Frank James: I trust you'll give me a copy.
Cole Younger: Nope. You gotta pay, Frank; you gotta pay.

Belle Starr: Coleman Younger! Seems like you folks are havin' a real nice party in there. Why didn't you invite me?
Cole Younger: 'Cause you're a whore, Belle.
Belle Starr: I might be; but at least I ain't a cheap one.

Frank James: [gazing at Wilhelmina across a crowded dance floor] I got a question for you.
Clell Miller: Fire away, Frank. Fire away and fall back.
Frank James: You ever been in love?
Clell Miller: Oh God, yes. It was terrible. An affliction. Really miserable. Nothing but trouble. Drove me crazy.
Frank James: That bad? Really?
Clell Miller: Yes. She was wonderful.

Jacob Rixley: What do you and your brothers think about a life sentence? I mean, you're lucky they don't allow hanging in this state. Come on, Cole, tell me what you think about this?
Cole Younger: Ah, hell. We played a rough game... and we lost.

A really enjoyable western with one heck of a novelty. Great movie! ~Becca

and as a bonus enjoy some singing David Carradine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cole Younger: "Four years in the army and eleven years trying to get out of it."