6.8/10
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164 user 93 critic

Ride with the Devil (1999)

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During the American Civil War, two friends join the Bushwhackers, a militant group loyal to the Confederacy.

Director:

Ang Lee

Writers:

Daniel Woodrell (novel), James Schamus (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobey Maguire ... Jake Roedel
Jeremy W. Auman Jeremy W. Auman ... Guard
Scott Sener ... Guard (as Scott C. Sener)
Skeet Ulrich ... Jack Bull Chiles
Glenn Q. Pierce Glenn Q. Pierce ... Minister
Kathleen Warfel Kathleen Warfel ... Mrs. Chiles
David Darlow David Darlow ... Asa Chiles
Zan McLeod Zan McLeod ... Wedding Musician - Guitar
John Whelan John Whelan ... Wedding Musician - Accordion
Roger Landes Roger Landes ... Wedding Musician - Mandolin
Jeffrey Dover Jeffrey Dover ... Wedding Musician - Drummer
Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson ... Wedding Musician - Drummer
Kelly Werts Kelly Werts ... Wedding Musician - Fiddle
Michael W. Nash Michael W. Nash ... Horton Lee, Sr.
John Judd ... Otto Roedel
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Storyline

Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles are friends in Missouri when the Civil War starts. Women and Blacks have few rights. Jack Bull's dad is killed by Union soldiers, so the young men join the Bushwhackers, irregulars loyal to the South. One is a Black man, Daniel Holt, beholden to the man who bought his freedom. They skirmish then spend long hours hiding. Sue Lee, a young widow, brings them food. She and Jack Bull become lovers, and when he's grievously wounded, Jake escorts her south to a safe farm. The Bushwhackers, led by men set on revenge, make a raid into Kansas. At nineteen, Jake is ill at ease with war. As his friends die one after another, he must decide where honor lies. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Civil War See more »

Filming Locations:

Doniphan, Kansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,159, 28 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$630,779, 23 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes of the Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas were filmed in Pattonsburg, Missouri. Pattonsburg was flooded out during the great flood of 1993, and the town was relocated leaving many empty buildings and homes available. See more »

Goofs

In the very last scene, as Holt is riding away you can see three flashes of light in the sky - landing lights from planes circling a nearby airport. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On the western frontier of Missouri, the American Civil War was fought not by armies, but by neighbors. Informal gangs of local southern Bushwhackers fought a bloody and desperate guerrilla war against the occupying Union Army and pro-Union Jayhawkers.
Title Card: Allegiance to either side was dangerous. But it was more dangerous still to find oneself caught in the middle.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Miss McLeod's Reel
Traditional
Performed by John Whelan, Kelly Werts, Roger Landes, and Jeffrey Dover (as Jeff Dover)
Produced by Alex Steyermark
With thanks to Connie Dover
See more »

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User Reviews

 
There are no heros ... just great film makers
2 April 2001 | by dare31See all my reviews

Easily 9 out of 10 for a film by director we will continue to grow to admire. But don't watch this movie expecting to be "entertained." Ang Lee takes an objective look at a relatively unexplored aspect of the Civil War. What is beautiful about the movie, like all of Lee's films, is that he doesn't "side" with his characters. He creates characters, embodies them with life, problems, and ambiguity ... and endows them with a reality that often hits far closer to home than with which many are comfortable. This film has action, but it is not for the action lover since the violence is deeply disturbing and far from gratuitous ... i.e. like the characters, it is real. And as you would expect about one of mankind's most horrific wars, the violence is horrific.

But as an exploration of the greater human ambiguity that surely dwelt within the Civil War, it is a masterpiece. Was the war about slavery and an abolitionism? Lee seems quite willing to blur that line made so popular in depictions like the Blue and the Grey. Neither is about idealism, though, as seen in Gone with the Wind. It is about freedom, about the desire to have something which is yours and to fight for it. As you watch the characters, you will ask yourself "how can they be fighting to preserve slavery?" The fact is, I don't think they really are, and in that the film shows the problem of why so many were caught up in the maelstrom of the Civil War.

The fact seems clear that many of the characters we learn about are fighting out of senses of loyalty to "home" though they may never have examined what home represents or whether they truly espouse its values. The letter scenes are very moving and yet subtle. Jake and Daniel are other examples of loyalty stretched to the limits. And when the tension finally snaps, and these characters find themselves suddenly "free" ... we see the birth of new men.

All this mixed in with Lee's beautiful incorporation of humankind's environment with breathtaking vistas and frames. Lee has a style which is his, somehow European in its "art" (a slow camera, unrushed), Asian in its epic-ness and development of story, and yet somehow familiar and easily accessible to so many in North Americans.

Relax, let go of your preconceptions about what the Civil War is, what the "western" as a genre is, what a war movie should be ... and let Ang Lee take you into a world so fragile, so hard, so real that few of us can comfortably see it.

In this, Lee continues what he wrought in Ice Storm. Again, the movie is slow paced and without apparent "direction" ... a sure sign of Lee's ability to direct without "imposing" himself on the story or screen. His direction is amplified by what he brings out of Jewel (yes, the singer), a hitherto unproven actress who puts in an amazing performance.

A movie for those who love film and are not lovers of the standard Hollywood epic.


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