Directed by Walter Hill. 100 mins.
Worth my time? Yes. (Watched on DVD)
Also known as The Assassination of James Keach by the Coward Nicholas Guest. Walter Hill’s first Western isn’t a game-changer (The legend of Jesse James has been retold countless times prior and since), but the film sets itself apart by giving more screen time to the outlaws’ personal and family lives. Think The Wild Bunch meets Heat.
After getting off to a slow start, the movies inner Hill kicks in with plenty of squibs and slow motion. Interestingly, the movie balances out its stylized violence with a more realistic portrayal of its aftermath. Most of the characters who are shot are later shown in the hospital, and those who die are shown in the morgue or funeral home, usually surrounded by grieving friends and family.
The Long Riders is for genre fans (or Carradine/Keach/Quaid/Guest fans) only, but it’s a solid film. There’s really not much more to write on the matter. Next up in the Hillmography: Southern Comfort.
– Shout-out to Ry Cooder for providing the score.
– I had no idea that Stacy Keach had a brother until I saw The Long Riders.
– Keith Carradine looks a lot like a young Klause Kinski in this movie.
– The David Carradine knife-fight was particularly epic.
– Four films into the Hillmography, and I have yet to encounter one positive, fleshed out woman. It’s enough to make Aaron Sorkin look like a feminist.
(Seen and originally written on 2013-01- 26)