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Kansas Raiders (1950)

Approved | | Western | 15 November 1950 (USA)
Outraged by Redleg atrocities, the James and Younger Brothers along with Kit Dalton join Quantrill's Raiders and find themselves participating in even worse war crimes.



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Complete credited cast:
... Jesse James
... Col. William Clarke Quantrill
... Kate Clarke
... Bill Anderson
... Kit Dalton
... Union Captain
... Frank James
... Cole Younger
... Red Leg leader
... James Younger
... Willie
... Pell
... First Lieutenant
... Rudolph Tate (as Dave Wolfe)


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The historic Lawrence, Kansas raid...aflame again in all its fury! See more »




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reiter ohne Gnade  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Seems most of the actors are using handguns invented after the Civil War. Quantrill is not using French Pinfire revolvers and his uniform is the wrong style - incorrect button pattern for a Confederate Officer. See more »


William Clarke Quantrill: There are some things a woman simply cannot understand.
See more »


O Tannenbaum
Traditional tune, lyrics by Ernst Anschütz
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User Reviews

One of the worst pieces of garbage in cinematic history.
22 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

I caught this movie on AMC's Saturday Morning Western. AMC usually shows decent movies, but this one was awful. Definitely not one of Audie Murphy's best. I understand that Audie was not originally an actor, but his acting was wooden and virtually emotionless. You would think that after 5 movies under his belt Audie would have been better.

The movie centers around Jesse James and his gang traveling to Kansas to join Quantrill and his raiders. Jesse wants to join the raiders, in part, in order to get revenge on the Yankee soldiers that destroyed his home, maimed his mother and hung his father. While on their way to find Quantrill the James/Younger gang are almost hanged as spies by the Red Legs, Union guerrillas. Once the gang finds Quantrill, they request to join.

First, Jesse James is very naive. In fact he passes over naive and into very, very stupid. The gang arrives just in time for Quantrill to pass judgment on some prisoners. Quantrill has Union POWs shot as spies. Next Quantrill's henchmen shoot and kill a man whose wife and baby were gunned down in one of Quantrill's raids. Innocent people being shot? Why doesn't this bother Jesse James? The James/Youngers join the Raiders and go on their first raid. The Raiders proceed to butcher all the people in the town. Jesse is dismayed, but not too much as soon goes on another raid. On the second raid, Jesse only agrees to go when Quantrill promises that only soldiers would be attacked. What happened next? The Raiders kill more civilians. When will Jesse get at clue? The Raiders are chased off by the Union Army. Eventually, Quantrill is blinded in a gunfight and the gang escapes with Quantrill in tow. The gang eventually hides out in a burned out farmhouse. The gang pities Quantill now that he blind. But why? The man was a thief, scoundrel and killer in uniform. It was very hard for me to find any sympathy for Quantrill. But the idiots of the gang followed him to the end.

Eventually the Union Army shows up at the farmhouse at night. There is a $10,000 reward for the kill or capture of Quantrill. The Union Army gives the gang until dawn to surrender Quantrill. Why? I would have just burned the farmhouse down. But the Union officer even says that he doesn't want the gang, only Quantrill. Jesse comes up with the idea for the gang to sneak out the back of the farmhouse. Why wasn't the farmhouse surrounded? When only Quantrill and Jesse remain, Quantrill orders Jesse to leave. But Jesse refuses to leave without Quantrill. Quantrill tricks Jesse and shoves him out the back door. Quantrill then stumbles his way out the front door into the waiting arms of the Union Army. Quantrill is shot down like the dog he is. Jesse and the gang get away and become legends.

What bothers me is the ending narration that states the gang became great because of the association with Quantrill. How utterly stupid. Quantrill was an evil person and the gang continued to follow blindly. I was very happy when this trash was finally over.

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