Watch The Long Riders
- 1 hr 39 min
In the 1980s, Walter Hill's The Long Riders was a daring, revisionist take on the classic Western film. With an ensemble cast at the top of their game and a story that embraced the grit and violence of the Old West, it's become a cult classic in the years since its release. The Long Riders is a Western that follows the adventures of the notorious James-Younger gang. The film covers their early days, their various crimes, and most significantly, their downfall. The James brothers are played by the Quaid brothers -- Randy and Dennis -- while Jesse and Frank James are portrayed by Stacy and James Keach. David Carradine stars as Cole Younger, the eldest of the Younger brothers who becomes the group's de facto leader after Jesse James's death. The rest of the "long riders" are portrayed by various well-known Western actors, including Harry Carey Jr., Christopher Guest, and Robert Carradine. The film begins with the gang's first bank robbery and follows them through a series of other heists and violent confrontations with the law. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles, both physical and psychological. The James-Younger gang is presented as a group of complex, flawed characters, rather than simple heroes or villains. They are motivated by a desire for revenge against the Union forces they feel have wronged them, as well as by greed and a desire for fame. They are also plagued by internal divisions and rivalries. Director Hill's approach to the film is unconventional, emphasizing the realism of the West and the scars that history has left on it. The Long Riders is a violent film, with shootouts and gunfights galore. But it's also a film with a sense of history and a desire to explore the motivation and psychology of its characters. The result is a film that's both thrilling and thought-provoking. The Long Riders doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of life in the Old West. The film is filled with scenes of brutality and bloodshed, and the violence is often shocking and unsettling. But it's also a film that respects its subjects and the world they inhabit. There's a sense of majesty and grandeur to the landscapes captured in the film, even as they're littered with the bodies of the dead and dying. The film is also notable for its use of music. The soundtrack is composed entirely of old-time songs and ballads, and the film uses these songs to great effect in setting the mood and tone of its scenes. There are moments of triumph and moments of despair, and the music perfectly captures the emotions of the characters and the time period they inhabit. The cast of The Long Riders is uniformly excellent. The Quaid brothers and the Keach brothers are particularly strong, with Randy Quaid turning in a memorable performance as the mentally unstable Ed Miller. Carradine is also great as Cole Younger, playing the role with a quiet intensity that makes him a compelling figure. The supporting cast is equally strong, with Christopher Guest standing out as the suave and stylish Charley Ford. Overall, The Long Riders is a classic Western that's well worth watching. It's a film that's violent and gritty, but also intelligent and sophisticated. The cast is excellent, the music is memorable, and the direction is top-notch. If you're a fan of Westerns or just looking for a great film to watch, The Long Riders is definitely worth checking out.