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>
The reviewer did not take in that the story is a fictional so the goofs he mentioned are not important. When you write a fictional story but having it in a real historical place you can use whatever characters that you want. See more »
And so into the pages of crime history rode five young men: Kit Dalton, Cole and Jim Younger, Frank and Jesse James, five whose warped lives were to be a heritage from their teacher, William Clarke Quantrill.
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Kansas Raiders was an opportunity for Universal-International to display some of its young contract players of the time to see who might have some career potential. In terms of career longevity all of them had varying degrees of success.
With Audie Murphy as young Jesse James and Richard Long as brother Frank with Tony Curtis as Kit Dalton and James Best and Dewey Martin as the Younger Brothers we see them all as young guns during the Civil War from Missouri all joining up with William Quantrill to raid, plunder, and pillage the west.
Quantrill has never really gotten a revisionist view from either history or Hollywood. He's a murdering skunk who's using the Civil War as cover for what he would be doing in civilian life anyway. But he's probably seen in the best Hollywood light possible in this film.
Brian Donlevy in this very confused story is as bad as they come, but he does take a kind of fatherly interest in all these young men who've come to join up with him. That's the problem with Kansas Raiders, Quantrill's character is so badly written you can't understand why all those young potential outlaws see in him.
Definitely for fans of the above named players only.
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