The Long Riders 1980

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The stunning images of a bang-robbing gang on horseback smashing through the plate-glass windows of an Old West Street is just one of the visual high-points of Walter Hill’s overlooked Western. Co-written with Bill Bryden amongst others, The Long Riders de-mythologizes The Jesse James gang, and cleverly uses acting clans to depict the brothers. Three Carradines (David, Keith and Robert), two Quaids (Dennis and Randy), two Guests (Christopher and Nicholas) and two Keaches (James and Stacey) are the gangs, with the latter two as James and Frank James, who become outlaws as an act of revenge. It’s a shame Beau and Jess Bridges weren’t able to schedule The Long Riders in, but Western fans should make an effort; Hill’s dark, brooding epic is a classic slice of revisionism.

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