Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration – The Long Riders (1980)


This is my first of 7 entries in the Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration being hosted by Hamlette of Hamlette’s Soliloquy, Heidi of Along the Brandywine, and Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell

Tnx for letting me partake Ladies!

“First getting shot, then getting married – bad habits. ” – Cole Younger

Number of Times Seen – Twice (22 Dec 2001 and 21 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Retelling of the hunt for three groups of brothers who worked together as outlaws robbing trains and banks in Missouri.

My Take on it – This is a western that I saw years ago and it always stuck in my head due to the very unique casting of the characters that is usually not done in films.

They do a great job showing us the various exploits of the group of brothers that made up the gang of Jesse James.

The fact that this gang was made up of groups of brothers adds a very intriguing dynamic to the story and this film makes it even more impressive because the actors playing each of the various brothers are real life brothersץ

Three Carradine Brothers – David, Keith and Robert; Two Quaid brothers – Dennis and Randy; Two Keach Brothers – Stacy and James and Two Guest Brothers – Christopher and Nicholas all portray the various brothers.

Unfortunately, this film doesn’t have enough time to properly develop all of the characters in a way that would help make us care more about them.

Each of the characters are slightly developed, but they all feel too stereotypical and superficial instead of unique like they should be.

This hurts things as the story moves along because it’s so much harder to root for these characters or for those pursuing them because none feel like real people, just caricatures.

The film shows the violence of these robberies quite explicitly which helps make things feel even more realistic.

This also allows us to believe that events occurred in these kind of ways despite the obvious sensationalism of it all.

Bottom Line – Really interesting portrayal of the gang of Jesse James and how it was made up of groups of brothers.  This adds an intriguing dynamic to the story especially given the fact that the characters are portrayed by real life brother actors. The characters are unfortunately not developed well enough and that probably has to do with the relatively short run time of the film.  Each of the characters are slightly developed but that actually hurts things because we aren’t given enough to care about as the story moves along.  The violence is shown in a pretty realistic way that helps make us believe that the events perhaps happened this way even though this film sensationalizes things a bit. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Originally Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges were going to play the Ford brothers but they could not fit it in their schedules. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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4 thoughts on “Legends of Western Cinema Week Blog Celebration – The Long Riders (1980)

  1. One case of stunt casting that adds to the interest of the movie. It helps that the actors know their job and do their best with the roles. One could probably guess correctly that they were having fun as well.

    – Caftan Woman

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  2. I do love that they cast real-life brothers as all the brother groups, but I agree that it feels short and stunted — this is one where a 3-hour runtime would have been nice. I have been very fond of Stacy Keach since I was a little girl — I had a big crush on his character in The Blue in the Grey when I was like 9. So I really enjoyed seeing him work with his brother AND be in a western, but the film just… didn’t live up to the potential of its cast, you could say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1980 | MovieRob

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