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 »
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:
Napoleon made the profound observation that an army travels on its stomach. I suggest you fortify yours if you hope to be of any use to us.
See more »
Frank and Jesse James, along with the Younger brothers and their pal Kit Dalton join Colonel Quantrill's guerrillas in order to fight the Union, but soon realize they've joined an army of bloodthirsty murderers.
This colorful studio B-picture is a decent enough showcase for war-hero Audie Murphy playing a teen-aged Jesse, as well as up-and-comers Tony Curtis and James Best, who aren't given enough to do.
As William Quantrill, Brian Donlevey gives the film's most interesting performance, portraying the rebel leader as cold, calculated, and quite mundane, all at the same time! Murphy's strange attraction to and utter revulsion for him make up most of the film's conflict.
One thing that disappoints though, is the throwaway nature of Scott Brady's character. Brady was always a pretty good character actor and a pretty mean heavy. Here, he leaves the picture way too early, long before the dramatic possibilities of his character are exhausted.
Finally, during the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, the manager of the bank being robbed by the James gang rushes at Murphy exclaiming, "You little sh...!" before being interrupted. Was he going to say what I thought he was going to say? Did the actor's ad-libbing almost go too far?
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