THE GREAT NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA RAID
Directed by PHILIP KAUFMAN
Screenplay by PHILIP KAUFMAN
The outlaws in this movie are born of history but made of myth. Jesse James is crazy, a killer by blood and pleasure. Cole Younger, equally deadly, is shrewder, less skittish. Both are bandits who become political heroes, leaders of a gang of irregulars who ride through Missouri warring against the new railroad that is appropriating the farm land.
The movie's action springs from an 1876 vote by the Missouri house of representatives to give full amnesty to Cole, Jesse and their assorted brothers and buddies. The house speaker, bribed by...