The Long Riders is an American Western film of 1980 and was directed by Walter Hill. It was produced by James Keach, Stacy Keach, and Tim Zinnemann. It featured an original soundtrack by Ry Cooder. Cooder won the Best Music award in 1980 from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for this soundtrack. The film was entered into the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
What will happen in The Long Riders?
Years after the Civil War, banks and trains become the targets of the James-Younger gang, who terrorize the Midwestern United States. The group of robbers is led by Jesse James and Cole Younger, along with many of their brothers. After getting antsy during a bank robbery, Ed Miller opens fire, killing the clerk and resulting in a shootout where Jesse is wounded. Jesse dismisses Ed from the gang; his brother Clell remains.
A detective, Mr. Rixley remains on their trails. Due to his errors, the Pinkertons back off. Clell Miller suggests the James-Younger Gang ride north in September 1876 to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota.
The bank’s vault has been set on a timer and cannot be opened. A cashier and another citizen are shot and killed. While trying to escape, the gang is fired upon by the townspeople. Two outlaws are killed, Clell is fatally shot, Frank is hit in the arm, and all of the Youngers are badly wounded.
The surviving gang members temporarily make camp in the woods. Though reluctant and threatened by Cole, Frank joins Jesse and they ride off. The James brothers return home to Missouri and the Youngers are captured.
Bob and Charlie Ford offer to give up Jesse. Rixley recruits them to assassinate Jesse for $15,000. They have dinner at Jesse’s house and, while he adjusts a hanging picture, Bob kills him. Rixley complies with Frank in custody.
What are the characters in The Long Riders?
- The Keaches: Jesse James (James Keach) and Frank James (Stacy Keach)
- The Carradine’s: Cole Younger (David Carradine), Jim Younger (Keith Carradine) and Bob Younger (Robert Carradine)
- The Quaids: Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) and Clell Miller (Randy Quaid)
- The Guests: Charley Ford (Christopher Guest) and Robert Ford (Nicholas Guest)
- James Whitmore Jr. as Mr. Rixley
- Kevin Brophy as John Younger
- Harry Carey Jr. as George Arthur
- Shelby Leverington as Annie Ralston
- Felice Orlandi as Mr. Reddick
- Pamela Reed as Belle Starr
- Lin Shaye as Kate
- James Remar as Sam Star