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
When the group buries Jack Bull Chiles in the dugout, Sue Lee kisses him on the lips before he is covered with dirt. This is in the novel and the film. But in the novel, Jake also kisses him on the lips right after Sue Lee does, which Holt scoffs or chuckles at, earning him a rebuke from Jake. See more »
A wooden country revival style "teddy bear" is seen in "Aunt Wilma's" parlor. The distinctive "teddy bear" was created in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, decades later, however toy wooden bears were common items even before the Civil War. The story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" was written in 1834, greatly increasing interest in toy bears. Stuffed bear toys started showing up in catalogs as early as 1894, long before Teddy Roosevelt was associated with them. See more »
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.
Allegiance to either side was dangerous. But it was more dangerous still to find oneself caught in the middle.
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The American Civil War was marked with horrible battles that exacted a toll on humanity that numbered into the thousands; however, there were other aspects of this war that took an equally horrendous toll. The border states in this war were completely divided and often the inhabitants of these states were caught up in desperate struggles for their lives and homes.
Certainly "Ride with the Devil" does not feature the epic battle scenes that "Gettysburg" brought to the screen, but it does give an excellent insight as to how everyday people dealt with the total destruction of their lives.
"Ride with the Devil" certainly gives a fresh and unique perspective of the Civil War. It is to the movies credit that it fully explores the tedium of life experienced by the common combatant who faced moments of tremendous anxiety while in combat and the long dull periods of no action.
Furthermore, I am really tired of movie critics harping on the dialects and language used in the movie. Well folks I hate to tell you, but in the 19th Century people generally spoke in the manner that this film depicts. I believe that the language in the film is one of its finest points.
Ang Lee went to great pains in making this one of the finest period pieces that I have encountered. Mr. Lee used hundreds of Civil War re-enactors and took great care in making sure that his principle actors, sets, and scenery looked the part. The movie was filmed in Missouri and Kansas and captures the scenic beauty of this area.
The actors are of a fine calibre and should be recognized for their outstanding performances. Considerable kudos should go to Tobey Maguire and Geoffrey Wright. They both were believable in their mannerisms and dialect. Tobey Maguire is outstanding in his use of period language.
All in all the movie is great. Since it wasn't on the big screen long we can only hope that the video will arrive soon. Sometimes it is refreshing to go and see a movie that is about real people and events that really happened.
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