Review: ‘The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid’

The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid - described as shedding 'new light' on Cole Younger and Jesse James - may be a valiant attempt but fails to come off.

The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid – described as shedding ‘new light’ on Cole Younger and Jesse James – may be a valiant attempt but fails to come off.

Primarily, this is due to utter lack of sustained narrative, confused and inept writing, over-abundance of characters difficult for ready identification, often apparent indecision whether to make this drama or comedy and a mish-mash of irrelevant sequences.

Plottage bases its premise on the outlaws’ decision to go from their native Missouri to Minnesota to rob what a newspaper ad claims to be the biggest bank west of the Mississippi. Cliff Robertson plays Cole and Robert Duvall is Jesse.

Perhaps Philip Kaufman, who directs and provides the screenplay, accurately attains historic accuracy in his recital of events leading up to the raid, and afterwards, but his treatment is such that characters throughout are dull fellows indeed, and picture itself is in kind.

The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid

UK

Production

Universal/Robertson & Associates. Director Philip Kaufman; Producer Jennings Lang; Screenplay Philip Kaufman; Camera Bruce Surtees; Editor Douglas Stewart; Music Dave Grusin; Art Director Alexander Golitzen, George Webb

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Cliff Robertson Robert Duvall Luke Askew R.G. Armstrong Dana Elcar Donald Moffat

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