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The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid attempts to accurately bring to the screen the historical period in which the famous outlaws Jesse James and Cole Younger operated and recounts the last days of these desperados. This unconventional film marks the feature debut of director Philip Kaufman, better known for his later films: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Right Stuff. More of a crime drama than a traditional western, the film opens with a discussion in the Missouri legislature about granting the robbers amnesty on the grounds that the railroads stole their land and drove them into crime. A corrupt official thwarts that legislation, and Jesse James (Robert Duvall), who never believed in it anyway, starts planning another bank robbery. Cole Younger (Cliff Robertson) reluctantly joins him. Unnoticed by the gang, civilization and the forces of law and order have been gaining ground in the region, so that things do not go smoothly for them. Duvall's scary performance as Jesse James, a psychopath always on the verge of violence, is one of the highlights of this film.

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MC02051 Great Northfield Minnesota Raid DVD (1972/Cliff Robertson) $14.98