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Audie Murphy plays a young Jesse James falling under the Svengali-like spell of the outlaw William Quantrill, played by Brian Donlevy. Jesse and his youthful gang join the rebels to avenge the death of his parents only to become disillusioned with the senseless violence and looting of innocent civilians. Goaded by Quantrill's girl to leave, Jesse vacillates until the Yankess close in. Quantrill forces Jesse to leave and faces the Yankess gunfire alone. Jesse rides off with his gang and the rest is history. Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
Glad to see this remade into "Ride With the Devil"
Because this film was seriously a laughable film, even when it was made. Don't be fooled into thinking people of those times were naive enough to believe the hogwash. People knew History much better than, and there was a lot less History to know.
So, we get that out of the way. This isn't a think piece. It is one of the original farces, with all the famous names together. Just be glad the producers didn't jump the time barrier and bring in Davy Crockett.
The film is obviously what "Ride With the Devil" was inspired by, although "Ride With the Devil" is undeniably (I dare say) a superior film on every level, even for those of us who like shoot em ups.
Young Southerners are lured into Quantrill's band and learn how vicious he and his fanatics are. One of the problems with Kansas Raiders is that the Youngers and Jameses were psychotic killers, too. Making them heroes is like making a hero out of O J Simpson or Charles Manson.
But we could go on about that. There is adequate action and adventure. The hero isn't exactly likable, though Frank James is. It is usual for films to depict Jesse as the hot head who gets killed, and Frank as level headed. This is poetic license, and few people have problems with this.
Certainly a lot of garbage if taken seriously, but I give it a 3 because it is good for light hearted fare, but I recommend an R rating for this, while I'd give "Ride For the Devil" a G rating, because of the misinformation and the horrible morality of making Jesse James a hero.
Finally, watching this film will really make you appreciate the quality of "Ride With the Devil", if you already don't appreciate it.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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