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The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)

The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces for a bungled robbery of the bank in Northfield, Minnesota.

Director:

Philip Kaufman

Writer:

Philip Kaufman
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Robertson ... Cole Younger
Robert Duvall ... Jesse James
Luke Askew ... Jim Younger
R.G. Armstrong ... Clell Miller
Dana Elcar ... Allen
Donald Moffat ... Manning
John Pearce John Pearce ... Frank James
Matt Clark ... Bob Younger
Wayne Sutherlin Wayne Sutherlin ... Charley Pitts
Robert H. Harris ... Wilcox
Jack Manning Jack Manning ... Heywood
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Bunker (as Elisha Cook)
Royal Dano ... Gustavson
Mary-Robin Redd Mary-Robin Redd ... Kate
William Callaway ... Calliopist (as Bill Calloway)
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Storyline

In 1876, the Missouri legislature issues a pardon and amnesty to the James and Younger gangs despite many people considering them outlaws. The pardon is because they protected the homesteaders of Clay County against the marauding railroaders, who wouldn't let anyone or anything get in their way of building the railroad where they wanted. However, the railroad companies and banks still consider them outlaws and will take matters into their own hands if they come across the gangs. Prior to the pardon, Cole Younger had contemplated robbing the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota - what is considered the largest bank west of the Mississippi - but has now decided against it. Circumstances, including learning that Jesse James and his gang are going ahead with the robbery behind his back, and that the railroaders issuing a war against them which also includes bribing the legislature to revoke the pardon, make Cole change his mind. But right from the start - even during the planning ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Action-Packed Adventure Capturing the Legacy of the Notorious Jesse James and Cole Younger Gang. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swedish | German

Release Date:

14 June 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der große Minnesota Überfall See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Goof, not a point of trivia:: At the end of the baseball game, a twentieth century house can be seen in the background. See more »

Goofs

The film was shot mostly in Jacksonville, Oregon, whose landscape bears little resemblance to that of Northfield. Many errors result from this, such as the hills outside of town (Northfield is located in relatively flat farm country). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Even before the wounds of the Civil War had healed in Missouri, the railroads came swarming in to steal the land. Everywhere, men from the railroads were driving poor, defenseless families from their homes. And that's when a fresh wind suddenly began to blow. It was other Clay County farmers, the James and Younger boys, coming to the rescue. They tarred and feathered the railroad men and drove them from the land. From that moment onward, they were outlaws. But the people of ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Hodie Christus - Natus Est
Music by Jan Sweelinck (uncredited)
Performed by St. Olaf's College Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
De-glamorization of the Old West
11 May 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 1972, Phillip Kaufman's "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" details the final bank heist of the James-Younger Gang in 1876, which was an epic failure for the infamous gang.

The tone of the film is equal parts raw realism and parody; you could almost call it a Western black comedy. For a fuller and more austere detailing of the story -- not to mention all-around better movie -- check out 1980's "The Long Riders."

Jesse James is played by the great Robert Duvall, who was only 40 at the time (but looked about ten years older). Actually Jesse takes a backseat to Cole Younger here, played by Cliff Robertson. These actors and the other principles do a fine job. The film is expertly made, the story is moderately engrossing and there are some genuinely amusing moments.

Despite this, the tone the filmmakers decided to go with ruins the film for me -- it de-glamorizes the wild West, making it ugly, idiotic, silly and almost profane. By Contrast, "American Outlaws" (2001) details the James-Younger Gang's first year in action and makes the Old West fun, heroic and larger-than-life and 2007's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" is a serious Western drama. "The Long Riders" remains the best of the lot.

The film was shot in Jacksonville, Oregon -- a far cry from Missouri and Minnesota -- and runs 91 minutes.

GRADE: C+


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