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American Outlaws (2001)

Duration 1h 34m Rating (UK) 12
Source of story The legends relating to the James-Younger gang.
Writers/Script Roderick Taylor, John Rogers (Story by Roderick Taylor)
Additional Info One of the many films about Jesse James, the second to be featured in this blog.
Director Les Mayfield
Starring Colin Farrell, Scott Caan, Ali Larter, Gabriel Macht, Harris Yulin, Kathy Bates, Timothy Dalton, Ronny Cox
Elevator Pitch The James brothers and the Youngers return home to Missouri from the civil war, where they had been fighting as part of a guerilla group, to find that the farms in their home town have been subject to compulsory purchase by the railroad company. The James homestead is blown up and their mother killed, in revenge the young men to become bank and train robbers to prevent the progress of the railway. The Pinkerton Detective Agency is on their trail. Can they survive?
Content There is a skirmish between Union soldiers and the guerillas, where the James and the Youngers show their special skills. A lot of bank robberies take place, with occasional shoot-outs between the gang and the detectives. The gang bicker good naturedly between themselves, when not robbing banks, and the young men sometimes get their shirts off. As one critic pointed out, Jesse’s love interest did not get her shirt off; it is a PG-13 in USA! So no sex no nudity but a bit of drinking.
A View This is a tiresome presentation. It seems that the director did not know whether to go for the whimsical or the dramatic and as a result it veers between the two. It was not wildly expensive, probably since the actors were pretty much unknown, but was panned by the critics and did not make its money back. Choose almost any other from my Western category.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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