The season finale of AMC’s excellent series The American West airs tomorrow — and here’s an exclusive preview clip.
The footage focuses on the story of Jesse James, one of the most notorious figures in American history, and features Young Guns star Kiefer Sutherland talking about his legendary status.
Following the Civil War, James became a hero and martyr to many, representing the defeated South. Contemporary historians tend to see him more as a tragic figure, the result of a terrible war.
But to the larger public he became a popular figure, his exploits recounted in dime store novels and on stage. Eventually his story made it on to the silver screen and he became one of the most notorious figures from American history.
Talking about the outlaw, Sutherland says: “Americans, for better, and sometimes for worse, truly cut their own path. And I think that that’s why we always idolise Jesse James.
“Jesse James said ‘I’m not going to take this’, and went and grabbed what he wanted. I think there’s a place in America’s heart for those people.”
The eight episodes of The American West have sought to show how post Civil War the country became a land where dreams really could come true, but at a cost.
Like any frontier of civilization the West was violent and volatile, but the draw of wealth and opportunity inspired millions to make the dangerous journey.
Eventually the mix of people from all over the world and their pioneering spirit went on to make modern America the most powerful country in the world.
Over the season the show has interviewed the likes of Burt Reynolds, Ed Harris and its co-producer Robert Redford…each giving their take on famous and infamous figures from the era, some of whom they played in movies.
Also in Saturday’s season finale, Wyatt Earp abandons the law in search of justice, and Sitting Bull is accused of inciting rebellion.
Tune in to AMC on Saturday 10/9c for the season finale!