HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Not Getting Any Younger
Year: 1972
Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Cliff Robertson, Robert Duval, Luke Askew, R.G. Armstrong, Dana Elcar, Donald Moffat, John Pearce, Matt Clark, Wayne Sutherlin, Robert H. Harris, Jack Manning, Elisha Cook Jr, Royal Dano, Mary-Robin Redd, William Callaway, Arthur Peterson, Craig Curtis
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: 1876, and the outlaws known as the James Younger Gang, criminal refugees from the American Civil War a decade earlier, like to think of themselves as folk heroes, Wild West Robin Hoods, if you will. Some of the populace like that idea too, given the gang targets the authorities who won the war, but the powers that be have decided to grant them an amnesty because of the admiration they foster; however, many more are none too pleased with this turn of events and send out a posse from the Pinkerton Detective Agency to track them down and bring them to justice. This leaves them in a confused position - are they pardoned or what? - but will not hold them back from a fresh raid.

By the early nineteen-seventies, the revisionist Western was a genre that had replaced the traditional form of the genre, and it was, it could be argued, the reason why it waned so badly from the most popular of American movie styles to the state it is in during the twenty-first century, where indie movies tend to be where they are made rather than the occasional big budget effort. This has left those seventies entries looking both prescient to what would be on the way - basically a bunch of disillusioned, even mournful low-to-mid budget efforts that usually gained a cult following at best - but also largely appealing to the buffs, as they lacked the hook to bring in a wider audiences.

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (a historically accurate but needlessly complicated title, though perhaps it had nothing on the Brad Pitt attempt at telling the Jesse James tale) was Philip Kaufman's big studio debut as director, sparking a career that had its ups and downs but at its best was ambitious and distinctively intelligent, lending him a cult following of his own for selected pictures. His tone here was largely cynical, as everyone we saw was incompetent to some degree or another, leaving us watching (and those making the film) in the position of seeing the past from a weirdly arrogant place, considering the folks here to be cunning in some respects, but idiotic in many others.

Cliff Robertson was the ostensible lead, bringing some old school charisma to his role as Cole Younger, but this was more of an ensemble piece, leading to some rivalry among the cast to see who could steal the movie. Robert Duvall, now a rising star, did his level best to present Jesse James as not some charming antihero, but as a ruthless and entirely self-centred villain with no room for an ounce of sentimentality in the way he was portrayed; he made an impression, and was patently destined for bigger things (this was released the same year as his star-making turn in The Godfather), but amidst some very well-kent faces of Westerns past and future, he did not stand out maybe to the degree he appeared to be hoping for. With old hands like R.G. Armstrong or, in smaller roles, Elisha Cook Jr and Royal Dano, that was understandable.

At times the film erupted into broad comedy you would imagine would have gone down well with rough men of violence like the gang depicted, despite the historical folks being the butts of the jokes: see the baseball game which is pure slapstick, including the conclusion decided when Cole shoots the ball out of the sky to divert the attention back to him and his scheme to get the Northfield locals to invest in the bank. He has discovered this lot are hoarders, therefore the vault is empty leaving the gang with nothing to rob; in a story of the stupid, he is just smart enough to concoct this plan without the wherewithal to pull it off. If you know the history, or if you have seen Walter Hill's not dissimilar (but without the comedy) The Long Riders of eight years later, then you'll be aware of how this went, and with every Western from this period we are reminded that time marches on (here represented by steam power), but if this is a rickety, wayward version, it has enough to compel. Music by Dave Grusin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1157 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Philip Kaufman  (1936 - )

Level-headed American writer and director who doesn't shy away from challenging material; after award-winning debut Goldstein, he offered superhero spoof Fearless Frank, but it was five years until his movie career really got off the ground. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid was followed by The White Dawn and the script for The Outlaw Josey Wales, and a remake of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers was his first big hit. Then came The Wanderers, The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the controversial Henry & June, Rising Sun, Marquis de Sade drama Quills and thriller Twisted. He also contributed to the story of Raiders of the Lost Ark; considering his talent, it's surprising how few films he has directed.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: