the highwaymen band dvd – Kevin Costner And Woody Harrelson Are Together At Last, And Regrettably Dull, In The Highwaymen

The Rangers had been disbanded, were scorned and mocked, so Ferguson’s assignment of the two men was hardly taken seriously, despite their well-earned reputation for effectiveness. This was an entertaining movie.

the highwaymen band live – The Highwaymen Review An Exercise In Selective Revisionist History

The HighwaymenThe Highwaymen was an American country music supergroup , composed of four of country music’s biggest artists, who pioneered the outlaw country subgenre : Johnny Cash , Waylon Jennings , Willie Nelson , and Kris Kristofferson Between 1985 and 1995, the group recorded three major label albums as The Highwaymen: two on Columbia Records and one for Liberty Records Their Columbia works produced three chart singles, including the number one ” Highwayman ” in 1985. My mother’s cousin, Sophia Stone, was the real life woman kidnapped by B&C as portrayed in the 1967 movie. She didn’t like the film, either. For one, the man she was kidnapped with was not her boyfriend but the married next-door neighbor. Even though the name was changed, she felt the movie told the world that she was sleeping with a married man. Second, she said at no time was the ordeal fun. They were terrified for their lives from the minute they were picked up in Ruston, La. When Bonnie dropped them off in Arkansas and then put the car in reverse, they were sure she was coming back to kill them. Instead, Bonnie gave them a $5 bill to help them get home.

Hancock, whose previous films include The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks , creates a strong mood, John Schwartzman’s cinematography capturing the Southern American landscapes in golden, elegiac hues and Thomas Newman’s score adding the melancholy and twinkle of its two characters. But Hancock and writer John Fusco (whose long-gestating screenplay was originally ear-marked for Paul Newman and Robert Redford ) can’t imbue the film with any original angles or sense of urgency and fizz. There are moments of excitement — an opening prison break out, a car chase across a dusty flatland— but they are too few and far between. Still, the double act of Costner and Harrelson keeps you engaged — even though you know it will all end in a hail of bullets.

Then again, it’s hard to mess up being a middle-aged man in a movie about the American frontier. Good Westerns — and The Highwaymen is very much a Western; motorized vehicles and Depression-era imagery be damned — are often at their best when they drill down into a period of rapid growth in our country’s history. Men like Hamer served as a bridge between two eras: one where a handful of upright citizens were all that stood between order and chaos, and one where the commoditized nature of modern society means it is always for sale. As a result, many of these Westerns take a romanticized approach to the grizzled lawman. In a corrupt and scandal-fueled society, these films suggest, one man’s moral compass might make all the difference in the world.

In the 1967 film Bonnie & Clyde, Hamer (played by Denver Pyle) is given a villainous mustache and humiliatingly captured by the Barrow Gang; he then hunts them down for revenge. In reality, he was never actually captured by them, and when his family saw this simplistic portrayal, they sued the film’s producers for defamation of character and settled out of court.

These aren’t the most likeable of dudes, and the screenplay by John Fusco doesn’t do much by way or characterization or motivation. Meanwhile, to make a dirty-deeds film like The Highwaymen work, the villains must be depicted as complete fiends, much unlike their sympathetic portrayal in Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are mere walk-ons in this plodding account that means to anoint two former Texas Rangers as the saintly guardians of law and order who brought the notoriously popular crooks to justice. The Highwaymen” shows Costner and Harrelson in top form, honoring their characters while acknowledging their flaws.


While the popular conception of Bonnie and Clyde depicts them as grandiose bank robbers, the truth was more mundane. They were small-time crooks,” Guinn said. The Barrow Gang mostly robbed gas stations and convenience stores; they would even break into gumball machines to collect the change.

Costner’s dutiful scowling alongside a more down-to-earth Harrelson, especially during scenes set in Frank’s car, might bring to mind the ornery pontificating of True Detective, if it featured Baby Boomers role-playing as Greatest Generation do-gooders. (The real Hamer and Gault were born several generations earlier, of course, but their movie versions’ stoic can-do ethos matches up.) Then again, the average episode of True Detective is shot more dynamically than this Netflix potboiler, which resembles a big-screen production, but just barely. At his best, someone like Eastwood can make this kind of sparseness—of scenery, of characters, of action—look elegant. Hancock makes the Texas scenery look more like staring out a dusty car window on the fifth hour of a long drive.

Examining the cult of high-profile criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow through the prism of two ageing lawmen hired to track them down, The Highwaymen is the opposite of 1967’s Bonnie And Clyde Whereas Arthur Penn ‘s counter-culture classic is fast, freewheeling and gloriously amoral, John Lee Hancock ‘s film is slow, elegiac and alive to the moral complexities. What it lacks in fizz and incident, The Highwaymen — enjoying a cinema release alongside a Netfllx run — makes up for in strong filmmaking craft and the chemistry of its two stars, Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson , playing men born out of time.

That film romanticized the criminal duo who killed 13, and their fatal ambush seemed less like a necessary law enforcement action than a gutless slaying. Now, 52 years later, comes the reverse view with The Highwaymen,” screenwriter John Fusco’s tale of how two handkerchief-wiping, retired Texas Rangers tracked them down.


Hamer became a senior captain of the Rangers in 1922 and played a large role combating the Ku Klux Klan in Texas. He became known for his ability to control riots and his patient, skilled investigative work. He resigned in 1932 when Miriam Ma” Ferguson—who detested the Rangers—recaptured the Governor’s Office. He turned to mostly private investigation work before being hired to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde following the Eastham breakout.


Every time they cross paths with a sympathizer – which happens a lot, as if the film is helpless to deny the populist appeal of its ostensible villains – loose cannon Hamer gets so very, very mad. An insolent gas station attendant claims not to have any intel on the culprits’ whereabouts, and that he wouldn’t share it even if he did, so Hamer assaults him. He then gives a stirring speech about responsibility and justice to take the edge off of the casual police brutality, and the man nursing a mouthful of broken teeth undergoes a change of heart. He decides to assist them in their mission, just as Clyde Barrow’s father snitches on his own son in the wake of a similarly convincing monologue from Hamer a few scenes later.

The idea for the Highwaymen came about in 1984 when Cash wrangled Nelson, Kristofferson and Jennings to film Cash’s Christmas special in Montreux, Switzerland. Inspired by the camaraderie in the hotel, where they’d jam after long days on the set, the artists returned to the States and entered the studio with producer Chips Moman, eventually taking Webb’s Highwayman” as both their name and the title of the album. It was a creative formula that worked,” says John Carter Cash, who recalls Glen Campbell, Marty Stuart and Johnny Rodriguez present during those early sessions. Rodriguez, in fact, would lend his voice to the LP’s Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” a Woody Guthrie song.

Public affection for the duo had also waned by 1934, especially after the Easter Sunday murder of two Texas Highway Patrol officers. An eyewitness account, later discredited, described Parker drunkenly executing one officer and laughing (you can see this version of events in The Highwaymen trailer above). The actual gunmen were Barrow and Methvin. Nevertheless, Hamer blamed Parker for the murder, even in interviews after the ambush.

After Hamer and Gault get back together, it’s easy to see both men are still plagued by memories of men they killed earlier in their careers. Especially Gault. And though Hamer rarely uses his pack-a-day rasp to voice those bottled-up feelings, you can see they’re eating at him, too.

Telling the story of the lawmen who pursued and killed Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, The Highwaymen is a smoothly executed but decidedly drab crime drama. Checking all the necessary narrative boxes for its target audience and asking little of stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson other than to bring their well-established onscreen personas to the characters, the latest from director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) dabbles in familiar dramatic ironies and rather obvious observations about violence, celebrity and ageing. The Highwaymen never puts a foot wrong, but it fails to elicit much passion or fascination.

The broad strokes of the portrayal are accurate. In 1934, Barrow and Parker whisked off several inmates from a jail that was previously considered impenetrable. The inmates would become part of the Barrow Gang, a rotating cast of accomplices alongside the infamous duo. Newspapers were quick to give them all the credit, and the breach of security led directly to the hiring of Frank Hamer to track them down.

Woody Harrelson (l.) and Kevin Costner star in ‘The Highwaymen,’ a retelling of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ from the point of view of the lawmen who hunted the Depression-era outlaws. Production: A Netflix release and production. Producer: Casey Silver. Executive producers: Michael J. Malone, John Lee Hancock, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Costner, Rod Lake.

Hoover’s men are smug, citified so-and-sos in trim suits who set great store by fancy crime-fighting techniques like fingerprint analysis, wiretaps, two-way radios and aerial surveillance. The ex-Rangers, reclassified as highway patrolmen for their new mission, prefer to rely on horse sense and cowboy folk wisdom. Outlaws and mustangs always come home,” says Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner), the older, gruffer one. He reckons that Bonnie and Clyde will circle back to the Dallas neighborhood where they grew up. He’s mostly right, but the feds and other busybodies keep getting in the way.

In The Highwaymen, Costner plays Hamer with a growl, a sluggish gait and a steadfast sense of right and wrong. His version of Hamer had been out of the force for a long time and is brought back for the proverbial one last job.” He struggles to even shoot a bottle out of the air. But Hamer had only been off the force for two years before being hired to hunt Bonnie and Clyde; he was not as domesticated as the film suggests. Bob Alcorn, a member of the Barrow hunt, called him one of the bravest men and the deadliest shots in the state” in a 1934 interview.

ever present, but the disparity between the two characters, which goes way beyond their temperaments, is never played for simple laughs. Hamer may be on the side of the law, but he has the stone-cold demeanor of someone for whom taking a life is just part of the job. Maybe even, if the cause is worthy, the best part of the job. To its credit, the movie doesn’t soft pedal the darkness within.

It worked when Costner played Eliot Ness opposite Robert De Niro’s Al Capone in The Untouchables” (speaking of wildly inventive fictional takes on real-life events), and it works here. Costner delivers one of his best performances in years as the righteous, sometimes volatile, occasionally self-deprecating but always doggedly determined Hamer.

John Fusco’s shrewd and meditative script has fun trolling Bonnie and Clyde: The scene in the earlier film in which Bonnie dramatically reads aloud her poem about her life and anticipated death inspires a scene in which Hamer and Gault consider the same poem and note that it’s moronic. Used to be, you had to have talent to get published. Now you just have to shoot people,” notes Gault. In another scene Gault just about has Clyde in his sights when the bandit’s car is suddenly mobbed by adoring fans.

When the Highwaymen recorded Desperados Waiting for a Train,” written by visionary songwriter Guy Clark, who died earlier this week, the supergroup of Johnny Cash , Willie Nelson , Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson landed on their most poignant song. While Jimmy Webb’s Highwayman” may have been the foursome’s signature, Clark’s Desperados,” released on their 1985 debut album, dovetailed with their own outlaw legacy: that of aging icons who indulged the young guns their bravado while still beating them on the draw. They may not have been pushing 80 as in Clark’s lyrics (all four were only in their late 40s or early 50s), but, especially now, it’s impossible to think of the Highwaymen as anything but elder statesmen of country music.

Hancock and scriptwriter John Fusco (most recently credited with adapting the utterly baffling Christian parable The Shack in 2017) flip the Bonnie and Clyde narrative’s focus to Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, the faceless feds who pumped the robbers full of lead at the bloody conclusion of Penn’s classic. Their targets only appear in a couple of scenes, seldom with their faces shown, and with only one line to minimize any possible glorification. We instead follow the two ageing Texas Rangers (portrayed respectively by Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson , favored actors of your uncle who was in the army) on their dogged pursuit of the celebrity criminals, where they encounter a great many supporters of Bonnie and Clyde.

There is a joke floating around certain corners of Twitter that the entertainment industry is only one White House administration away from producing a remake of Easy Rider – but this time recasting the heroes as the rednecks who kill Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s counterculture heroes. The Highwaymen, a retelling of Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic film Bonnie and Clyde from the point of view of the lawmen who shot the pair to death, is this cynical gag brought to odious life.

But Bonnie and Clyde had blown through their share of roadblocks and other arrest attempts, leaving dead lawmen in their wake. Their car was a virtual arsenal, according to Jody Edward Ginn, official historian for the Former Texas Rangers Association — with three Browning automatic rifles (with armor-piercing ammunition), three loaded shotguns and 10 Colt automatic pistols.

To introduce the premiere of The Highwaymen at the Paramount Theater on March 10, director John Lee Hancock told a story about a movie screening in that same theater 52 years ago. In 1967, when Warren Beatty’s iconic Bonnie and Clyde came to town, Gladys Hamer bought a ticket to see what all the fuss was about. Gladys was the widow of the legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer , who, along with fellow Ranger Maney Gault, tracked down and killed Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. Frank Hamer, whose career in law enforcement started before the 1911 Mexican Revolution, comes off as a buffoon in the 1967 film. That didn’t sit well with Gladys, who got bulldog lawyer Joe Jamail to sue Warner Bros. for defamation of character. She won.

Costner plays his Hamer like a classic Costner role; silent and focused, with a moral charisma and a sly hint of sweetness underneath the grumpy exterior. Harrelson turns in another fine performance, just the kind of sassy, good ol’ boy you’d want next to you on a stakeout. I’m above ground and ready to go,” he tells his partner. They’re a great odd couple.The Highwaymen

It’s hardly an insult to acknowledge that The Highwaymen is no classic on the level of Bonnie and Clyde. But it is, in its way, the perfect corrective to Penn’s film. The film also co-stars Kathy Bates and John Lee Hancock Jr. (“The Blind Side”) directed it.

Costner and Harrelson are the film’s biggest asset. That’s what happened to Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow on May 23, 1934, the day the law finally caught up to the couple who had spent years on a multi-state murder spree. The real Hamer eventually did track down and kill Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow on May 23, 1934, near Gibsland in northeastern Louisiana.

From Feb. 12 to May 23, 1934, Hamer hunted Bonnie and Clyde and studied the gang’s move­ments. Both in the movie and real-life Gault and Hamer were not Jason Bournes, sprinting through cities and killing people with their bare hands. Gault was 48 and Hamer was 50 at the time, they couldn’t run very fast, and neither of them had been active Rangers for some time. But they were tena­cious and expe­ri­enced, method­i­cally hunting down the crim­inals.

For long stretches thereafter, The Highwaymen” relies almost entirely on the chemistry generated by Costner and Harrelson to sustain interest, as Hamer (memorably played as a far less complex character by Denver Pyle in Penn’s version) and Gault follow their guts and trust their instincts while methodically follow clues and connect dots overlooked by other lawmen using new-fangled crime-solving aids like wiretapping and aerial reconnaissance. Their approach is dogged, even plodding, but it’s obvious that they couldn’t work much faster if they tried: Each man is thick around the waist and easily winded during foot chases. (Gault needs to take frequent bathroom breaks, a running gag that somehow never gets tiresome.) And yet, not unlike John Wayne during his late-period films, both men can manhandle younger guys who need manhandling when the need arises. It’s just that, in their case, they have more frequent need to back up their fists with brandished weapons.

Kevin Costner plays legendary lawman Frank Hamer and Woody Harrelson will play his long-suffering sidekick Manny Gault. Though both men were out of the Rangers by the time Bonnie & Clyde started their robbery reign, they were commissioned as special investigators, coaxed back by a consortium of banks to assemble a posse and end the robbery spree of the notorious gang reputed to have killed 13 cops – and others. The Highwaymen takes the vantage point of the formidable posse headed by Hamer, an old style Texas Ranger who’d survived 100 gunfights and killed 53 people.

In 1934, Frank Hamer ( Kevin Costner ) was 50, which is kind of like being 80 in 2019. He was ready to live out his golden years with his wife Gladys ( Kim Dickens ) and his pet pig when Texas governor Ma Ferguson ( Kathy Bates ) became convinced that the only way to stop the multi-state rampage of Bonnie and Clyde was to reboot the Rangers. They convinced Hamer to come out of retirement, and he went and recruited an old partner named Maney Gault, himself living on the edge of poverty with his daughter and grandson. The old-fashioned buddy dynamic is clear: Hamer is the leader and Gault is the talker. They set off to stop Bonnie and Clyde, tracking them through the Southeast as their crime spree continues.

In the 1967 film Bonnie & Clyde, Hamer (played by Denver Pyle) is given a villainous mustache and humiliatingly captured by the Barrow Gang; he then hunts them down for revenge. In reality, he was never actually captured by them, and when his family saw this simplistic portrayal, they sued the film’s producers for defamation of character and settled out of court.

Categories Movies