At the end of the Civil War, Southern beauty Belle Shirley, indignant at the way Yankees treat the Southerners, marries Confederate guerrilla leader Sam Starr and continues to raid Union towns, becoming a symbol of Southern resistance.
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The setting is the Civil War and its aftermath. Belle's family has lost their land to Yankees. She marries Confederate guerilla leader Sam Starr and they continue activities against exploiters until she is shot riding to alert Sam to a trap. Highly romanticized and little connection with history. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Ed Shirley (Shepperd Strudwick) is ambushed and shot by Jim Cole (Joe Downing), instead of just falling off his horse, the actor swings his outside leg over the horse's saddle to ease the impact of falling to the ground. See more »
If anyone is expecting any true notes out of this film concerning Belle Starr they are in for a sad disappointment. One of the very few things that this film got right was that Belle Starr as befit a lady to the manor born rode side saddle. You wouldn't catch Calamity Jane doing that.
If you saw this film you would think that Belle's career ended a few years after the Civil War was over. In fact Belle's time on earth was 1848 to 1889 and in that period Belle Shirley married several times, the last being a Cherokee Indian named Sam Starr. No hint of that background in Randolph Scott, he plays the part as the real Randolph Scott was, a courtly southern gentleman from Virginia.
I don't know if Gene Tierney was in the Scarlett O'Hara sweepstakes, but in playing Belle Starr she does it in the fiddle-dee-dee tradition that Vivien Leigh did in Gone With The Wind. She's got all the men in the area ready to do and die for her and that includes Dana Andrews the Yankee major who is from Missouri also and has a real case of the hots for her. But Dana does his duty no matter how distasteful it is and Tierney's heart is only for Randolph Scott.
The real Belle was quite a bit more earthy a character and had a few children as well. One of them, a daughter became the madame of a brothel later in life. This film is entertaining with Tierney acting like Scarlett O'Hara and the plot lifted from that other Twentieth Century Fox classic about a Missouri outlaw, Jesse James.
Belle Starr will never make the top ten list of any of the cast members.
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