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American Outlaws (2001, Colin Farrell, Scott Caan)



Colin Farrell stars as Jesse James who, along with Cole Younger (Scott Caan, son of James), leads the James-Younger gang. In the post-Civil War Midwest, avaricious railway companies are forcing their way through homesteads and farms; what they can’t buy, they burn, including Jesse’s family place (Kathy Bates plays Ma James). Vowing revenge, the gang start robbing the banks that fund the railways, bringing on themselves the wrath of Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton), the head of a famous detective agency, who harbours a sneaky regard for his adversary.

Les Mayfield’s muscular western presaged Farrell’s rise to the A-list but he still shows the star qualities that are now obvious. Scott Caan is a chip of the old block; Ali Larter, as Jesse’s love interest, also plays to her strengths; and Dalton, by downplaying his villainy, brings a degree of sympathy to what could have been a stereotypical baddie. The whole cast had to spend six weeks learning to ride at a real ranch, and Farrell became so attached to his horse that it starred in the movie.

production details
USA | 94 minutes | 2001

Director: Les Mayfield
Script: Roderick Taylor, John Rogers

Colin Farrell as Jesse James
Scott Caan as Cole Younger
Ali Larter as Zerelda ‘Zee’ Mimms
Gabriel Macht as Frank James
Gregory Smith as Jim Younger
Kathy Bates as Ma James
Timothy Dalton as Allan Pinkerton
Harris Yulin as Thaddeus Rains, President Rock Northern Rail Road
Will McCormack as Bob Younger
Ronny Cox as Doc Mimms, Zee’s Dad
Terry O’Quinn as Rollin H. Parker – Rains’ Gopher
Nathaniel Arcand as Comanche Tom
Ty O’Neal as Clell Miller
Joe Stevens as Loni Packwood
Barry Tubb as Captain Malcolm