Apr 292013
 
The James-Younger Gang

Frank and Jesse James and Cole Younger had ridden with Confederate guerrillas William Clarke Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson along the Kansas-Missouri border during the American Civil War (1861-1865). When the war ended, they tried to settle down, but Missouri had been a battleground and the legal restrictions on ex-Confederate soldiers made it difficult to obtain loans. Frustrated and missing the excitement of war, the men formed a gang composed of friends and relatives, and began robbing banks in February 1866. A disastrous raid in Northfield, Minnesota on September 7, 1876 destroyed most of the gang, and only the James brothers escaped. By this time, the outlaws, especially Jesse, were famous. Unable to retire to a normal life, Jesse raised a new gang and continued to rob trains until he was killed by recent recruits Bob and Charley Ford, who were seeking the large reward for his life, on April 3, 1882. Read More…

Sep 202012
 
The Tall Target

Rating: ★★★★☆
Combining a great mystery with superb historical accuracy, The Tall Target (1951) uses the Baltimore Plot, a suspected conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln during a stop in Baltimore, to illustrate the tension in the United States as the nation found itself on the verge of civil war. Read More…

May 142010
 
The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid

Rating: ★★½☆☆
More of a caper film than a traditional Western, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) is an interesting and enjoyable, if not entirely accurate, look at the James-Younger Gang’s final raid. Read More…