A to Z Challenge – Youngers in Long Riders

Day 25

April 29, 2016

The Younger Letter: Y

The Younger Brothers and the James Gang

For some of us – and I am one of them – there’s something seductively exciting about a ‘bad boy.’ Who’s to know what it is which draws us to that enigmatic kind of person.

I don’t remember exactly when I found the stories of The James Gang appealing. I do, however, remember that one movie made it a full blown desire to know more.

Long Riders

In “The Long Riders” this group of “Wild Wood Boys” not only brought the story to light, but one of the main things I thoroughly appreciated was that the casting was brilliant.

In a world of outlaws, it seemed that it often became a family affair.

The James Gang was led by Jesse James, and his brother Frank James. Their cronies in crime were the Younger Brothers, Cole Younger, Jim Younger, and Bob Younger. Two other brothers were also a main part of this train and bank robbing group: Clell and Ed Miller. On the outside, wanting to get in, were Charlie and Bob Ford, who never made the cut, but whose part in this story was still a major role in how it all ended up.

James Gang Cast

The idea of ‘crime’ families is not new, and more than likely didn’t begin with the likes of The James Gang. But what I found compelling is the casting of actual real life brothers in the parts.

Jesse and Frank James were played by James and Stacy Keach

Cole, Jim and Bob Younger were played by David, Keith, and Robert Carradine.

Clell and Ed Miller were played by Randy and Dennis Quaid.

And the Ford brothers were played by: Christopher and Nicolas Guest.

This made the relationships within each family and between the characters feel more real.

It also has a most excellent soundtrack, by Ry Cooder!

Here are two samples: