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 »
I'm thinking this may not be the sweetest smelling way to live, but it's downright better than walking behind a plow.
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Kansas Raiders is a neat little film, with, one suspects, a higher budget than most Audie Murphy westerns. An interesting cast (I didn't realise Kit Dalton was from Da Bronx) and an ambitious and ambiguous premise make this a worthwhile way of passing the time.
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