Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
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>
Although Brian Donlevy was almost 49 when he made this film, the real William Quantrill was only 27 when he died. Marguerite Chapman was 32 when the film was made and plays Quantrill's woman, Kate Clarke, a fictional character. In real life, Quantrill met a local Missouri girl, Sarah Katherine King, when she was only 13. She lived in camp with Quantrill and his soldiers. They married and she was 17 when he died. See more »
Although brother Frank did join Quantrill, there is no evidence that Jesse, less than 16 at the time, ever joined the guerrilla raiders in Kansas. See more »
Like my old pappy used to say, 'A hog that straddles a fence ain't likely to wind up no place.
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One of the worst pieces of garbage in cinematic history.
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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